MCM Comic Con Brussels 2016

The last convention in Belgium was held this weekend and for the first time, the organization of MCM Comic Con held their famous event in Brussels. A lot of the attendees heard of, or attended (one of), the international conventions, which means that there were high expectations. The questions remains if they were able to live up to these standards.

MCM Comic Con

The weeks before the event there were a lot of advertisements to bring a friend for free or even contests to win tickets. This certainly is a nice way to promote the con as it is being held here for the first time, but it can be seen in two different ways. For instance, it is a good technique to get more people but it can also indicate that the presales aren’t going that well. The ticket prices might have been a tad high, especially since people didn’t really know what to expect.

Upon entering the event, it was clear that it was quite a small convention which isn’t bad but comparing to the entrance fee, it was certainly costly to attend. There were quite some shops that had diverse goods, which certainly is something that can be encouraged. Going from different food stands to Japanese goods and figures, you certainly would find something to your liking. One note regarding this matter, there weren’t that much comic-related stands, which felt that the convention was a bit out of theme. Of course, other sellers are allowed but there were more ‘non-comic’ related goods which makes it a bit out of place.

The layout of the event wasn’t that practical either as there wasn’t that much structure. It was hard to tell what you already visited and what not, while some of the stores were kind of hidden since the outer area of the hall was kept empty, except for those unlucky few then. Also, some areas were occupied with smaller, divided sections which made it feel quite secluded from the rest of the event. It would have been better if the empty area at the sides was used to place some benches to rest or eat something because this certainly was something that was missing. Yes, the seats in front of the stage could’ve been used, but it’s not that ideal for the attendees and the guests whatsoever. At any rate, there was enough room between the different stands and food trucks, making it easier to roam around the area. The organization tried to add some new things to the eating possibilities, as a food truck of Ellis was selling hamburgers or the ice cream stand in the middle of the event, which certainly is a good thing.

MCM Comic Con invited some guests and YouTubers that were available for autographs and pictures or were interviewed. The interviewer translated the conversation (too) regularly, making it quite confusing and less fluent at times. Yes, it was a good idea to think about people who don’t understand English, but the constant brambling in between might’ve been quite bothersome for a lot of the listeners. The stage wasn’t only for the guests but also for the cosplay masquerade. This competition was held on both days, making it able to see a lot of costumes and crafted props. There were also some changing rooms foreseen, which certainly is a big plus for some of the bigger costumes or for people that were travelling by public transportation.

Workshops and activities weren’t largely present, although there was a laser shooting area which was seemed quite loved by the attendees. It would have been better if there were more activities held instead of some other available areas, like the two televisions that were looping Universal movie trailers.

Conclusion

For the first edition of an MCM Comic Con event in Belgium, the organization tried their best to provide something good and their reputation certainly had the hopes up for a lot of people. Due to the rather small layout and the lack of workshops and activities, a lot of the attendees were finished looking around after approximately one hour, making the ticket prices extremely high. Although the organization wanted to give people the chance to get a cheaper ticket by bringing a friend, there were still a lot of attendees that were quite angry or disappointed. In the end, it was an ok edition but the prices were just too high for what was offered. Let’s hope that MCM Comic Con will learn from their first experience and we hope to attend an upgraded event next year.

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