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04 Jun 2010 - 14:3133408
The Expo Rant
I just HAD to let this go and please don't take me wrong, I'm not a pessimist or negative person but I'm sure that some of you also feel the same right?

I've been to the MCM Expos and I don't know, it feels like it's getting.. drier? (Seriously, I'm so horrible at describing =__=) I'm just saying.. once you go to them, it just feels more boring and less fun, I suppose. I mean, if you're not in a competition or masquerade of some sort, the most you do is take photos with/of cosplayers and look at/buy imported stuff from Asia. (I might sound a bit biased 'cause I'm oriental, so the stuff selling there doesn't interest me much.

It's also really crowded (in the building and such) and on the May Expo, it rained on the first day so.. let's just say people almost got squished. XD It's common for us to sit on the floor to relax and eat but still, more seating places and such would be pretty good.

I might sound biased again and it might just be my thoughts, but it seems like people have become ruder. The perverts, 'chavs', and young little kids that try to act all 'that' still exist, but I've gotten used to that. XD Actually, maybe the people aren't rude, maybe it's too packed and people have to push through and such. (Taught me a lesson when I cosplayed as Yuffie from Final Fantasy - My huge shuriken got broken into pieces ;w; ).

The rudeness is a typical thing and I don't really pay that much attention since a hall packed with people (some of them with huge swords and stuff) would probably piss most guys off and honestly, you wouldn't be in the mood to give a crap about anyone. But then again, there is also sexual assualt. =__= That, I find, truly disturbing. I got hit on by lots of guys (gutless guys) and that's normal, no harm done, but the fact that some guy grabbed my butt and intentionally grabbed my chest, then ran off into the crowd?! Huh, well I guess some people are like that, and there's more chance of finding them in a crowd. =___= And here's another thing: 'Free Hugs' does NOT mean 'Hey, c'mere and feel my butt and press against my breasts~' Gosh, it's overly creepy and I can't say much to them since all they say is 'what? That was a hug!' =_____=

Actually, the only thing I'm actually seriously mad about is the fact that I ALWAYS buy the £5 ticket and there's not that much to do in the hall. Well, maybe it's just me getting bored easily and it's gotten really packed so I don't get to fully enjoy what the expo has to offer until it gets a bit late. (But then, the hall gets closed. ;w; )

I suppose the expo just has its pros and cons. ^__^ (But it's got enough good points to keep me going every year~! XD)

Still, I'm going to the October Expo and cosplaying as Chrona from Soul Eater, and hopefully, it'll go well~! I hope that all of us will make it an expo to remember~! x3 One of the good points is that we also make really great friends there~!! ^___^ So I hope to meet you guys and hopefully get along and have a great time~!!

Thanks for reading my all-complaining rant~!! XD

Please post any comments of any sort (arguements against my rant/ agreement), everyone has their opinions~! ^__^

(*sighs* Felt great to lift that load off my back. XD)


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Last edited by Clover-tan (04 Jun 2010 - 19:57)
04 Jun 2010 - 14:5233412
I understand what you mean. The only Expos I have been to before May 2010 were May expo 2008 and May expo 2009.

When I went to these, it was a lot more exciting and there seemed a lot more to do, heck i didn't even cosplay in 2008 and I think it was still my best expo!

This year's may expo however did seem a little dry. Before we got there Lolita Hime and i were planning out everything we wanted to do. When we got there, we were wandering around for about 2 hours thinking 'what the hell can we do until the masquerade?' We had even been in the pre judging line for over an hour and were still bored.

I also noticed the amount of people who were quite rude. One guy walked straight into me, knocked my swords and chipped one of the guards... he just looked at me and carried on walking... I was a little bit more than peeved to say the least. I know it's crowed but hey, it doesn't cost anything to say sorry! ¬_¬

X

Looking forward to October though! (No delicate props ^_^)


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Last edited by VeXerLINK (04 Jun 2010 - 14:55)
04 Jun 2010 - 15:1233417
I've been going to Expo since October 2006 and I've pretty much enjoyed all of them all for a variety of reasons. I'm not old-school with Expo, as I'm sure people have been going far longer than I have, but way back when I first started they were no where near as packed as they are now. You could move about easily on a saturday and cosplay wasn't quite as OTT as it is now (me and my friends went as a Death Note group and people had barely read the series then!)

I remember the expo hall was a lot smaller and so was the stalls and what events were going on throughout it (though we did get to meet Christopher Lee OMG!)I remember it was empty enough that you could run around in the hall without worry!

Then over the years it got more and more packed, they've cetainly increased the hall size from what it used to be and have filled it up with more things than it originally was so there is a lot more to do. We used to go to the masquerade, but nowadays I admit we're too lazy most of the time to bother and want to go and do other things - I like spending time playing some of the games or looking at comics or just eyeing up the merchandise even if I don't buy anything, whereas before the masquerade was the highlight of the day.

This years one seemed much more chilled for me. We spent little time in the Expo hall itself, just chatted to people and mostly spent time in the bar hanging out and drinking and having a laugh. We had some photoshoots and had lunch with people and it was lovely and I still enjoyed myself as much as any other time I've been to expo! I think its all down to what you feel you get out of it.

For us now, Expo's mostly a chance to see people you only get to see a few times a year, or a chance to get to know people better when you normally don't get a chance to speak to them much. Wheras I know for other people the masquerade, showing off hard-worked-on-costumes or seeing them is the highlight, so a crowded hall may be less fun for you to pick out some cool outfits you want to see and stuff! As for stuff to do, while I wandered by I saw people playing Go at the JapanEx area and there were a good nbumber of panels I would have liked to have gone to (again I was lazy and didn't, but the option was there for me!)

As for people being rude, people are always rude, I just think it comes to ahead a bit more when in a crowded space. Everyone is hot and grumpy and has probably been elbowed already or is sick of crawling through crowds like treacle. Yes that's no excuse, but it can't be helped, people are always going to be rude in crowds because as soon as a person becomes a crowd they become stupid. I know I do when in a crowd ^^;;;.

So depending on what you want to get out of expo I think determines your overall experience. I enjoyed it as much as any other year and had a good laugh and a lot of fun, though I know a fair few others who were all a bit 'meh' about it. Maybe find something else to do while at expo? Hook up with some friends you don't see very much, go to some panels - I always recommend the steampunk ones, chill, chat, mess around, play games - either the ones there or maybe your own, have fun! ^^


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Last edited by Monkey (04 Jun 2010 - 15:13)
04 Jun 2010 - 15:2633419
Essentially Expo is Expo, the more you go to events the less the same things will attract you and you hit the limit of new things.. They're not entertaining a hardcore crowd who'll be around all weekend like at cons, they're entertaining 41,000 people who'll stay on average only a few hours..

I basically go fully expecting that, and it's still worth it for meeting the new crowds of cosplayers and getting a zillion photos You wouldn't get these numbers and variety at conventions -- but it's easy to see why that's not everyone's particular cake of choice, and the social/entertainment side of things is certainly lacking in comparison. They're trying to do more, like the panels and stuff but they're not well advertised and everything drowns out everything else -_-;

I do think it's nice to have such an open event for people who aren't quite into it all yet.. It's quite imposing for new people to be expected to fork out convention entry prices when they're not even sure what one's like XD


As for the tables.. yeah. I used to love going around all the stalls with boxes of trinkets and keyrings and tiny gashapon figurines of obscure shows and games, these days there's next to nothing. It's all from the same half dozen shows or the figurines are now 10x taller and 10x the price.. yay -_-

Still, not much can be done about that, that's up to individual dealers, nothing to do with expo.


04 Jun 2010 - 16:1833425
I feel that a lot of what was said here was similar to reason why people didn't like the tighter expo rules this year (I'm not going to go into great lengths about that, everyone's said their piece on it now, and it's for another topic anyway), for several people, expo is SIMPLY JUST an excuse ot meet people and wear thier costume. That's what it is for me. So I don't go to Expo with high expectations, so I don't get dissapointed.

I didn't go in this year, I wasn't gonig on strike agianst the new rules or anything, it was just that due to transport shenenagins, I was just over £40 worse off than I would have been.... that money was meant to buy me tickets xD So to be able to SURVIVE at Expo I had to hope that no one saw me wristbandless. I rarely bought any food that weekend, or I stole other people's (with permission.... there is such a thing!).

For me, there is nothing I want to buy anymore. I've had my "OMG THIS IS SO COOL I'M GONNA BUY EVERYTHING!!!" part, 3 years ago. Everytime I DO go in, the merchandise is the same and more expensive. I know it's not Expo's fault and it's down to the dealers, but the ony area that interests me anymore is the Artist's Alley. I would have loved to have gone ot the Merlin panel but... money blocked me from doing that ;_;

Also, I think, the people who go on this forum are the people who WANT TO spend all day at Expo, whether or not they like what's in the hall. Beucase of the people, cosplay and photography aspect, the majority of us will want to stay all day. And sometimes the little things make us stay (like for me, I fangirl over the Docklands at night, but that's me). Expo has got to accomidate for MANY MORE PEOPLE who aren't as into events like we are and who only wish to visit for a certain panel or for a quick look around. I sort of see us as the more serious event goers... whether what we do once we're there is "serious" or not.

Uhm yeah... I think that argument was leading to a point... then it got lost half way through. Uhm... that's my view anyway xD


04 Jun 2010 - 16:3733429
oops, I wrote too much again
I agree with most of the points raised here... personally, I think the cosplay community has grown so much that it's outgrown Expo.

About ticketing: with cons, they are usually located where you will only go if you're there specifically for it, like university campuses and hotels. With Expo, because it's held at such a "public" place which at the same time also hosts other events, they have to use a different way to make sure people have bought a ticket, therefore handstamps/wristbands and weird queuing systems. On-the-day tickets makes it impossible to print badges.

That said, PAX East, which had 52000 visitors this year, more than Expo, they use badges. Different colour badges for people going on different days, and they do sell a small amount of on-the-day badges too. This is something Expo can probably do if they can afford to.

Overall, Expo can learn SO MUCH from PAX. I wish they'd just send some people there to see how an event is run properly. They give people things to read, or to sit on, as they wait in the ticket queue. Air conditioning. People don't get grumpy waiting because it's not too uncomfortable. PAX treats people like customers. Expo sometimes treats people like things to be processed, that's the feeling I got.**

Crowds: again, because of how open the location is, and so many people turn up on-the-day, those are likely the people who just want something to do for the day or in some way just aren't as "into it" as the rest of the attendees. So they'll push and stuff without knowing the damage they can do.

On top of that... to be frank, it might look really developed there in Docklands, but usually just over the next street is your typical East London neighbourhood. On a weekend when kids have nothing to do and know that they can linger outside some hall and be an annoyance? Of course that's what they'll do. It might be tarring everyone with the same brush but stereotypes exist for a reason and I have lived in East London for a while.

I honestly think cosplaying has outgrown what Expo can offer and cosplayers need a separate London event of their own, which is organised by people who have cosplayers in mind, at a venue that we don't need to share with people who have no appreciation for our hard work.

(** I must confess that I have not been to PAX myself, but my girlfriend has and she described to me in detail what it's like at PAX. She was quite traumatised by the Expo experience.)



Last edited by Pez (04 Jun 2010 - 16:43)
04 Jun 2010 - 17:0633433
i thought sat was terrible. the que system was stupid and the hall itself was packed beyond belief. i had no chance at looking at the stalls so i went bck to the hotel. even my friends got pissed of with that day.

sun was better tho


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04 Jun 2010 - 17:1233434
Comparing to PAX is more than a little unfair, they have vastly more money, resources, space and dedicated attendance with higher ticket prices - it's on the level of a convention rather than an expo, despite the name.


Expo would pretty much love to book the entire ExCeL centre but it simply doesn't make that kind of money. A huge amount of the attendance are already complaining about ticket prices or trying to dodge wristbands so relying on them to cough up more isn't going to work..

PAX has an entire army of volunteer staff, as do most cons, Expo seriously struggles - cosplay itself and related events including the masq is pretty much entirely handled through our own volunteers..


Plus despite all the complaints expo don't do enough, I'm pretty sure a cosplay-only event would die very quickly - it kind of needs that variety of hardcore attendees and casual visitors to be the event it is..


04 Jun 2010 - 17:2433436
I suppose it is unfair, but there really are things Expo can learn. And Expo is the one with a longer history, too... (I think?)

The balance of volunteers vs paid is an issue. Volunteers tend to care more - probably why the cosplay desk is so brilliant! And in the US it is easier to get big sponsors like Sony and Nintendo. Here we'll have to fight with Paris who has the better gaming events.

That said, there are very basic stuff that Expo can do to help. The overhead space full of ad banners? They can also hang banners that display information. Like, "COSPLAY" with a downward arrow where the cosplay desk is, and so on. That's how they do things in Hong Kong and it just helps people find what they want once they go in, rather than lingering around the entrance looking lost. And the quicker people find what they want, the faster the ticket queue can go too, in theory.

A lot of the time it's just... using a big of common sense to help people along.

Cosplay-only probably won't survive... but something that's designed to accommodate cosplayers, at a venue that hasn't got caravan expos and world wrestling summit happening at the same time, however, might? One can hope...


04 Jun 2010 - 17:3733437
This was my second Expo, having been to the last one in October 09. Most of Saturday for me was a complete nightmare. I was trying to oranise and keep together a group of 15 people, who all wanted to find different photoshoots, or wandered off alone in the hall. I honestly spent more of my time chasing after people and making sure nobody was lost than actually enjoying myself.

Sunday was far less packed, and with less people with me and no group meetup to organise I started to enjoy it, but soon realised we were all getting bored fast. The games there to play were....frankly disappointing at best, the stalls were interesting but pricey and crowded to get to. I only bought 1 thing all weekend, a leather corset, and though I'm happy with it felt like there should/could have been more interesting or at least less pricey t-shirts!

The other irritating thing was arriving early on Sunday there were practically no lines, but they still made us walk around all those stupid barriers! I was in 5inch heels, and they are not made for distance walking like that, especially with no good reason! Would it have been so hard to open a barrier for a while then close it off as it got busier?

My highlight was going to the bar on Sat night and getting plastered on tasty cocktails, I could finally relax with the people I came there with. Other than that the reason I'll be going back again and again is for the costumes, friends, and chances to meet new people. I have at least 5 new friends I'm in contact with after randomly meeting at expo and plan to take business cards with my contact details on to the next one so it's easier to find people again.

Expo isn't about the sights, sounds, merchandise or guests for me now, it's all about the people that go there. And the hugs, the many, many hugs!


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04 Jun 2010 - 17:4433439
I the cosplay sign is a really good idea, that's what a heck of a lot of us are looking for and it's never fun to wander around looking lost... and I know I annoy people when I stand looking for something (hence why I don't do it too often... xD)... perhaps we should suggest it.

I wonder if people would volunteer to help out? It's a thought... I mean, some people have been going so long that perhaps they'd be more than happy to lend a hand in the running of things.

AND... whatever happened to the beanbags? BEANBAGS SOLVE EVERYTHING. I know we can't have them outside (actually, for all I know they may hve been in this time, but they haven't been there when I've been in) but.... a possible seating area? Although... I can see a health hazard there =.=


04 Jun 2010 - 17:4733440
Quote Pez:


That said, there are very basic stuff that Expo can do to help. The overhead space full of ad banners? They can also hang banners that display information. Like, "COSPLAY" with a downward arrow where the cosplay desk is, and so on.


What, you mean like the massive, massive banner that's been hanging above the cosplay desk with a big arrow that we've had since October last year?


04 Jun 2010 - 18:1033441
Quote MadameLapin:
I the cosplay sign is a really good idea, that's what a heck of a lot of us are looking for and it's never fun to wander around looking lost... and I know I annoy people when I stand looking for something (hence why I don't do it too often... xD)... perhaps we should suggest it.

I wonder if people would volunteer to help out? It's a thought... I mean, some people have been going so long that perhaps they'd be more than happy to lend a hand in the running of things.

AND... whatever happened to the beanbags? BEANBAGS SOLVE EVERYTHING. I know we can't have them outside (actually, for all I know they may hve been in this time, but they haven't been there when I've been in) but.... a possible seating area? Although... I can see a health hazard there =.=



Um.. We already have a gigantic banner, and all the helpers are already volunteers XD We always welcome more! As I'm sure do the steward crew..

The beanbags again weren't anything to do with expo as I recall - they were brought by individual dealers/companies/etc and used in their paid-for areas.

Essentially from what I understand Expo themselves handle the hiring of the hall - so the space, lighting, power, the stages, and sorting out all the entry tickety wristbandy stuff.. The guests, etc. As well as silly amounts of tax and money to pay for the masses of damage expo attendees cause.. I'm pretty sure that lot wipes out most of the entire budget.

The majority of the rest is individual dealers and volunteers like us.. Expo can't tell them to have more interesting games on rather than just their current must-sell, or to bring plush seating - but if they want to they can

Things like the cosplay repair station, all that stuff's directly out of mine and Ailsa's pockets XD


04 Jun 2010 - 18:1933444
I didn't see the banner? And it seems like I wasn't the only one. Looking at the Expo official site, there are so much stuff overhead, if there was useful info mixed in with the ads, then... ah well.

I'm sort of imagining, instead of a massive Koei Techmo banner, there should be a massive CONSOLE GAMING banner, then near it can be slightly smaller ones featuring the companies involved. But, that's a minor point. I just want to say there are things that can be done better. The cosplay desk is BRILLIANT, but the rest doesn't seem to improve with each event? That's the impression anyway. Maybe I'm just getting old and cynical.

ETA: Ah, ailsa-chan, I remember you from Kitacon, helping everyone out and giving me a drink (really needed that - I felt like I was dying XD) just before the masquerade, and I never got to say thanks. So. Thanks so much! <3



Last edited by Pez (04 Jun 2010 - 18:23)
04 Jun 2010 - 18:3733446
The photo Viz Media guy inside wasn't too chuffed - he wasn't given any electricty points so couldn't use his lights. Not really well thought out.

I didn't really enjoy this expo as much... I don't enjoy expo all that much due to having issues with crowds, but I found there was a load more rude/pervy people.

The girl I was staying with had a bum touched by a guy in our hotel after him or his mate tried to make me feel really uncomfortable (I'm skilled at ignoring people) and thus called me (and all cosplayers) crackheads.

My friend in Ibis had a guy forcefully kiss her and her bum grabbed.

WTF? This hasn't happened before! And first expo we stayed on the other side of london and travel over in cosplay - and she was Misa Misa!

I can ignore rudeness, but I'm pretty sure the other incidents file neatly under sexual assult.


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04 Jun 2010 - 19:3733450
http://www.manylemons.co.uk/gallery/nertcam/LondonExpo/may10/sat/NertCam-47469.JPG.html

For what it's worth, the banner is the one behind Yoko XD Clearest picture ever.

It's the only one in the area, backed by the black curtains of the stage area, etc.. but people rarely look up, and a lot of stalls this year were pretty tall.


04 Jun 2010 - 19:4633451
Quote NixieThePixie:
The photo Viz Media guy inside wasn't too chuffed - he wasn't given any electricty points so couldn't use his lights. Not really well thought out.
[..]
I can ignore rudeness, but I'm pretty sure the other incidents file neatly under sexual assult.


It would and does, if anything like this happens in a hotel then their security would certainly like to know, otherwise any expo or excel staff member would've been interested to hear about it ASAP. If they're caught, they can be detained or booted out of the entire ExCeL campus at the very least.

As for electricity, from what I could tell there were power points every few meters - whether ExCeL turned on that particular one or not is another question but I'd have thought that could've been sorted out reasonably quickly on the day o.O


04 Jun 2010 - 20:0633455
Quote nert:


As for electricity, from what I could tell there were power points every few meters - whether ExCeL turned on that particular one or not is another question but I'd have thought that could've been sorted out reasonably quickly on the day o.O


Paul said the electricions (spell?) had already gone home early in the morning so he was left with no electric and no-one to sort it out for him.


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Last edited by Leonie Heartilly (04 Jun 2010 - 20:06)
04 Jun 2010 - 20:2433460
i was Utterly bored at expo this year.
been going since May 2006 and it was the most epic this ever back then. but this year was so BORING!
and the line was MAHOOSIVE! never seen it so big! it took long for us pre-paid ticket people to get in than the ones who were buying on the day. (they need to put a number cap on that or something)

the only good thing about this year were the few and far between japanese culture related stands (i bought one of those adorable knitted octopus things for my hair) and the stalls selling K-pop merchendise.

even the DS record breaker was boring. they need some new stalls and new entertainment, it's the same every year.

i think i may have just grown out of expo but it's certainly become much less exciting and interesting as i've gotten older and the years have gone on. i can do the whole thing in 2 hours now.

Sunday was much more enjoyable as i could ACTUALLY get to the stalls that day. haha!


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04 Jun 2010 - 20:3233462
Quote nert:
http://www.manylemons.co.uk/gallery/nertcam/LondonExpo/may10/sat/NertCam-47469.JPG.html

For what it's worth, the banner is the one behind Yoko XD Clearest picture ever.

It's the only one in the area, backed by the black curtains of the stage area, etc.. but people rarely look up, and a lot of stalls this year were pretty tall.


Ah.... I remember that from October, but somehow didn't see it this year. >> I must've been too stressed by the crowds and queue by then to pay attention, oops. orz


04 Jun 2010 - 22:2133478
I didnt enjoy expo that much this time around, just because I thought it was a waste of a fast track ticket on the saturday.

We didnt get in till gone 3pm after queueing for two houes to get the wristbands we had to walk right back out because 1. mega hot, 2. way too many people and 3. no-one was nice enough to let me and friends see anything. I was lucky enough to get a few things but my friends didnt get anything.

I think MCM should limit the amount of people that get in on the events, and change the age limit, I mean why have little kids walking around on their own and stuff? Someone was taking a photo and walked right into my friend and well her costume cost around £200 so if that had got damaged she wouldnt have been happy at all.

There was some new stuff around, but one stall that had loads of posters on it I was looking for a claymore one for my friend and there was a FF:AC one with a picture of Nero on the front saying he was from AC! I think people need to look at the merch that they are selling and buying. I saw a lot of fake stuff aswell.

But other than that, it was a blast to see my friends again.


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04 Jun 2010 - 23:1233486
i do agree with ppl that expo seemed.... how do i put it... dry....
every stall seemed to have the same things at diffrent prices, all were SSOOO exspencive.....
my cosplay was damaged about an hour into expo (good job i had a sewing kit with me to fix it)
i was in massive amounts of pain because of the course u had to walk before getting in.
i do think expo is all about the ppl you spend it with rather than wots actualy inside.... i think i may get ticket for the sun in oct but not the sat...... if i go at all..... (hopefully expo can sort something for disabled people, if not i may have to give it a miss as its way to painfull and im not risking using my stick to have it kicked out from under me)


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Last edited by Rwylin (04 Jun 2010 - 23:13)
04 Jun 2010 - 23:4733492
Quote ailsa-chan:
Quote Pez:

That said, there are very basic stuff that Expo can do to help. The overhead space full of ad banners? They can also hang banners that display information. Like, "COSPLAY" with a downward arrow where the cosplay desk is, and so on.

What, you mean like the massive, massive banner that's been hanging above the cosplay desk with a big arrow that we've had since October last year?

Yes that one!

And I think (someone confirm please) that the cosplay desk was also marked in the guidebook that people received on entry to Expo??? I may be wrong about that - I can't remember


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Last edited by Lunar_Kitten (05 Jun 2010 - 21:47)
04 Jun 2010 - 23:5633494
Quote Lunar_Kitten:


And I think (someone confirm please) that the cosplay desk was also marked in the guidebook that people received on entry to Expo??? I may be wrong about that - I can't remember


*checks guide*

Yupp it is.


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05 Jun 2010 - 00:0033496
Quote NightmareWings:
I think MCM should limit the amount of people that get in on the events, and change the age limit, I mean why have little kids walking around on their own and stuff?


Expo want money, pure and simple, so there's no way they're going to change the age limit or put a cut off point on the number of people who are allowed entry into their event. Why should they? If you think about it, with the amount of people that turn up, they're making thousands of pounds (what was it this time, around 40000? they're easily making hundreds of thousands on entry tickets alone, assuming of course each and every one of those people paid for entry) so why on earth would they suddenly cut off a huge chunk of the people attending just because they're not old enough? They'd lose out on a lot of money and it's kind of obvious that they're not going to do that haha.

What I've seen from a lot of complaints about Expo (over Facebook, the Expo forums, here and otherwise) Expo cares more about the money than the customers themselves and it's unlikely that that is going to change. If you want age limits and a cut off point at attendees, then you should go to a convention. What you're looking for is not what Expo offers.


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