APCC 2017 Post-Mortem: The Ups, the Downs, and Everything in Between
It’s been a month since the AsiaPOP Comicon Manila 2017 concluded, and it was a blast for geeks and congoers alike. Highlights included guests, freebies, and good finds to enjoy; not to mention amazing cosplay and the competitions that spanned the 3-day spectacle. APCC 2017 has improved quite a lot in its third iteration. From organization down to the individual highlights, are things other conventions would do to take note of. Here is What’s a Geek‘s general assessment of APCC 2017.
We’d like to applaud APCC 2017’s organizers, as they did an overall splendid job making this convention work.
It’s not easy coordinating alongside celebrity guests, and we do think that it was within reason not to release schedules earlier, given potential conflicts. We do feel, however, that photograph/autograph sessions, and meet & greets with celebrity guests could be organized much better; at least in a way that would accommodate congoers without compromising the schedule. It was noticeable that the program flow was delayed due to smaller happenings. Perhaps next time, the program could be adjusted to accommodate unexpected delays.
As for highlights from the main stage: it could be helpful to consider adding a bigger barrier (or more barriers) between the audience and the stage. This would allot more room for organizers and media to move, and perhaps be much more convenient for guests.
The ushers and marshals themselves add an air of safety to the convention. They are extremely approachable, which makes it easy for congoers to ask for instructions. We reckon it may be better to also brief marshals on big highlights for the day and the convention itself. This allows congoers to get answers about the basic details of events even within the halls.
Of course, having organizers in the information desk near the entrance makes it quite noticeable. Fans wouldn’t have any trouble asking about specifics of the convention that are not already included in the handy event guide. In this regard, APCC2017 once again steps up with a nicely updated event guide for all congoers.
A Sight to Behold
The SMX Convention Center has proven itself to be a good venue for big conventions such as APCC 2017. Booths and exhibitors are well placed; providing something for anyone, pretty much everywhere. This makes it extremely encouraging for attendees to walk around.
Speaking of walking: walk-flow for congoers was good. There was a lot of legroom; unlike other conventions where exhibitors are crammed in specific areas, making it difficult for congoers to navigate and buy merchandise. Some exhibitors also solved this problem by allocating space within their booths for buyers and observers. Items were also carefully placed to maximize visibility without obstructing paths.
More eSports, Cosplay?
APCC 2017 had a lot to offer where it concerned exhibitors. Fans of almost all pop culture icons and figures had sights to see at the convention. The booths covered comics, toys, and even television networks. In this regard, we think that APCC 2017 could expand its potential market by inviting more exhibitors from unique pop culture “categories” and relating them to certain parts of the program. This can expand interest towards the product or service.
In this respect, we noted that there wasn’t that much of anything for gaming and eSports, or even cosplay. This is quite ironic as CAGE, one of APCC’s biggest highlights since it’s inception, had many participants donning cosplay inspired by gaming characters. Perhaps the next batches of APCC could invite more exhibitors that provide cosplay materials and services, or allot a small area for cosplayers to shine. Likewise, eSports and gaming merchandise can be set in specific areas as well.
It might also be helpful to place exhibitors with the same demographic in similar areas. This would help fans navigate towards their chosen interests easier. One consideration: placing bigger booths or booths with “walking spaces” near or adjacent each other to save space. Then again, organizers may have chosen the current placement for APCC 2017 precisely to experiment with walk-flow and traffic of exhibitors.
While we do tip our hats to APCC for providing a handy map and event guide for this year’s convention, it might be also helpful to have a larger map placed in other areas besides the first floor. The main stage itself is large enough to accommodate quite the audience for panel discussions and special highlights. Perhaps it could be useful to have certain parts of the main program “televised” somewhere within the Convention Center, for maximum exposure. This is a consideration for attendees who couldn’t enter the main stage due to logistical purposes.
Organizers also managed to handle lines for highlights such as Hall M and the workshops. Unfortunately, those areas with extremely long lines discouraged some fans from fully enjoying their offerings. Perhaps breaking these events could consider setting a time limit for batches of attendees, so that these areas could accommodate more fans?
On another note: the halls could consider bigger signs that point where the bathrooms are. Some areas had obstructed access to bathrooms, which may have confused some congoers.
Third Time’s the Charm
The AsiaPOP Comic Convention has undoubtedly become one of most anticipated events for geeks and pop culture enthusiasts – and for justifiable reasons. Given the experience provided by APCC thus far, feedback on the price range has been good. For a fledgling convention, it’s been quick to show peers in genre-specific conventions that it is more than ready to please fans of all demographics. If APCC continues to improve, it may very well earn a spot in every congoer’s hearts (and to-go lists).
What do you think? Do you have feedback on the recent AsiaPOP Comicon 2017? Share these with us, we’d love to hear from you!
APCC 2017 is the third year of the AsiaPOP Comicon Manila. The convention ran from August 25-27, at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay, Philippines.