Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Conbravo 2013 Review

This was my first time going to Conbravo and I have to say that it really wasn't what I was expecting at all. To start off, this convention was actually moved to my home town of Hamilton and in the downtown location which is a part of Hamilton I absolutely despise for the fact that it's quite torn down, lacks culture, and just painfully boring to look at. I don't hate where I live but there isn't much to brag about it either. The weekend pass was $35 which is fairly priced imo.

Now I've been in the Hamilton Convention Center before to do a performance at one point so I already had an idea how the interior was going to look like but to my surprise it looked a lot better than I had expected. The convention had lots of space and lounges to just sit around and relax while waiting for events so it wasn't as claustrophobic as I thought it would have been. There were 3 floors with the first floor having a massive game room filled with retro arcade machines, console setups, PCs, tabletop games, and extra space to bring your own laptops and etc. The lack of rhythm games disappointed me but I can't blame the convention since those are all brought by actual staff, hopefully next year. The dealers room could fit in about 20-40 artists and vendors so there was a good amount of space but they tried to squish the artists tables making it incredibly difficult to move around sometimes. The panel rooms were perfect sized and likely determined by estimated popularity so some panels were classroom sized while others could seat about 200+ people.

Since there weren't that many events or panels that interested me, I found it a little hard to kill time around the convention with so little to do. I mean there is the game room and the dealers room but killing 2-3 hours there would make you die of boredom eventually. I spent most of my waiting time in the lounge racking in street passes on the 3DS or just talking with friends and posing for photos. I actually attended the dance party late in the night and I considered it a highlight of mine, it consisted of a good amount of ACTUAL dance/party mixes and wasn't like Anime North where they just played repetitive rave music and kpop. The people there were great and really friendly so it was a fun night more to say. Met a lot of new faces who were amazing people and also walked into a few socially awkward moments looool.

To sum up Conbravo, I really liked it and can only imagine that it'll get better in the upcoming years. The staff was absolutely great and its an amazing convention focused on having fun and for the community. It's not the best place for photoshoot locations and that sort but there is a terrace provided by the convention. Overall it was a lot better than I expected and a good amount of people attended. I will definitely be going to Conbravo next year as it is great for what it offers.