1UP Conf + Expo 2019

New year, new con season and we’re able to kick off with a new event. Belgium has a quite some comic cons but not that many game conventions. Well, a new event popped up called 1UP Conf + Expo. It combined two aspects, namely a conference and the possibility to test the games on the event. As this is the first time the convention was held, we were rather curious to attend and get our hands on some new games.

The event had two sides. First of all, there was a conference held on Friday, hosting several speakers. Their expertise was linked to the gaming industry, making it super interesting for game developers or anyone interested getting into the gaming dev scene. In the meantime, the convention was open for visitors, just as the day after as well. Attendees of the conference could choose which subjects to follow, being able to take a seat in the big hall for the more theoretical talks, while there were also smaller rooms available for more hands-on sessions. Everything was well planned and when there was an unforeseen circumstance, the organization handled it quickly. There was one downside though, both for the conference as for the expo. Normally there was breakfast, lunch and dinner provided on the planning but it seems that there was a mistake and no dinner was available. This was quite an error, especially as there weren’t any food stalls at the convention itself. There was a restaurant from the event hall, but this was overpriced and the only alternative was a candy booth or one of the restaurants outside the hall. It would have been nice if there was something filling in terms of food on the convention floor itself instead of having to go outside to find something to snack on.

Later that Friday night, the Game Awards were presented as well, awarding some of the talented games and game studios. When prizes were given and pictures were taken, the hall changed from a meeting spot to an afterparty location which was the perfect moment to socialize and show your dancing moves. Saturday, only the convention was available, which was filled with gaming booths and the cosplay area. You were able to play several games, both from indie developers as more popular studios. Other booths were there to give you more details about their products while some schools were presented as well, showing off their several projects and education options. Is retro more your thing? Several old-school Arcade devices were available for you to go nuts on. Your children tired of playing games (if that is even possible)?  There was a section with huge bouncy castles. If that isn’t enough, there were also several competitions and events, gaming PCs, Pokémon pods and a lot of VR games for you to explore.

Next to the gaming, cosplay was also a big part of the event. The cosplay area was beautifully decorated, with huge wall scrolls to give you the impression you were in a castle village, with carts, buckets and other decorations scattered around to give it that authentic feeling. It certainly was a special location, perfect for beautiful pictures and a place to talk with some of the cosplayers. The cosplay catwalk was a feast of costumes and a nice show for the attendees.

Just as with the food possibilities, there were some other elements that need some improvements. There were only two shops, one selling mostly merchandise and the other one sold (retro) games next to some artists selling art. This is really low and it would have been nice if there were a bit more shops available. The floor plan was really confusing as well as it seemed beforehand that there were several small halls foreseen but less was true. Having an idea what to expect is a must, especially if you want to know where you want to go and what you want to visit.


1UP Conf + Expo is a new convention and conference on the map and although there are some hiccups here and there, it gives people the opportunity to check some games and get more details about the several studies that are available. If the downsides are tackled, this gaming convention might have a nice future ahead in the convention scene in Belgium.

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1UP Conf + Expo 2019, 9.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

Faster than lightning

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