So I had planned on documenting my cosplay progress on here. That turned out well *herpderp* So where have I been? Well I got work, in a nutshell. I started a marketing internship in London around March time and once that ended during April I went on super job hunt/prepping for MCM Expo whilst I had the time. Then I got my job break at the beginning of May and here I am!
I’m currently working in the Promotions and Marketing dept. of a magazine in London J I’m in a super snazzy building as well with a great view across the city (when it isn’t grey and typically English like it is today) and it’s good to be in a proper working environment which isn’t retail.
The MCM Expo took place from the 24th – 26th May at the ExCel Centre in the Docklands area in London. I’ve been going since 2006 so you could say I’m becoming a bit of an expo veteran now! I’m pretty sure this was the busiest I’ve seen it since I started going. Thankfully they took on the suggestions people have been making for years and opened up a separate hall for people to chill out, rest and have a bite to eat. We’ve been suggesting this for ages and it’s good to see they’ve actually made something out of it, it has been a much needed for a very long time! Another thing I noticed was that there was a big increase in people which disabilities attending (along with some pretty well thought out cosplays) which is great; I imagine the organisers have widened the aisles a bit and the addition of the rest area must have made a big difference. It’s great that they’re making it so anyone can attend without limits. I imagine it must have helped having only MCM Expo on at the venue as opposed to having 2 different events on at the same time which is how it’s been for the last few years!
The main issue I had this time was the queues for the cash machines and the amount of space people took up in queuing for these. I think when I first got in on Saturday around 10:30am, the 2 front machines both had at least 30-40 people queuing…each! The machines downstairs had an equal amount of people if not more at some points and the cloak rooms were flooded with items so they got full very quickly (on Sunday I had to go to a different cloak room after one was full and this was on the ‘quieter’ day).
So how can ExCel combat this? This is obviously a venue issue over an event issue, so there’s no point in people complaining to MCM about this issue. ExCel need to either start installing more cash machines inside or maybe even have some outside to take some of the heat off the ones inside. It’s been gradually getting worse for years but this year I’ve noticed it to be way out of control, to the point where I didn’t bother buying anything because the queues were so ridiculous. Most money I bought with me ended up going on food and the nearest cash machines outside of ExCel are a good 10/20 min walk away (depending on what end of the venue you go from), which isn’t that far, but taking into consideration that you are either in costume, have lots of bags (because the cloak rooms are full…) and you’re tired, it’s not exactly convenient. Also taking into consideration the number of wheelchair users attending, just popping to a cash point by Royal Victoria isn’t exactly a speedy task.
Something needs to be done.
Personally I don’t feel comfortable taking out £100+ before I leave and travelling 1-2 hours across London to Expo along with my costume and bags. There’s just too much risk of it getting pick pocketed or dropped. And I’m reasonably local to the venue, there are others travelling for hours and I’m pretty sure they’re in the same situation! I really hope they go over this problem and rectify it in time for October Expo so that it’s a more enjoyable experience and you’re not standing in queues all day.
Aside from that, the expo was better than previous ones I have been to, especially with the latest edition to the MCM line-up, MCM Esports. Currently this only consists of League of Legends which is a great place to start as it is currently the widest played/recognised game of its type. However I do believe in the next few years, after the success of the first E-sports tournament they held, they will branch out to include other games such as Starcraft 2, DotA 2, maybe some fighting games and others like CS:GO. Possibly if this goes well a whole hall/separate event could be formed solely for E-sports, which would be amazing for the UK E-sports scene. I know people would gladly pay to watch and take part in something like this because with the exception of the iSeries up north, there’s not a huge amount around, especially in London, which is strange as it is the capital city. I’m guessing the reason behind this is the costs of running an event here is a lot more plus being unsure of demand, but I am sure it is there.