On today’s Digression: tips for this weekend’s Fan Expo Vancouver and of course, the Weekly Mixtape.
Though the Comixverse will cover a lot of the comics-related aspects of Fan Expo Vancouver (21–22 April 2012, Vancouver Convention Center), the event is about much more than just comics: it will bring together professionals and personalities from film, television, video games, and comics together under one roof and it is the first major event of its kind to be held in Vancouver. It’s certainly likely that many of the people attending the Expo will be major convention neophytes. If you’re hitting the Expo this weekend and you’re relatively new to these kinds of things or are flying/driving in from out of town, here are a few common-sense tips:
- Prepare for the weather: Many a weekend plan has been foiled by the fickle Vancouver weather. Sure, Fan Expo Vancouver is going to be held indoors, but you’ll still be spending at least some time outdoors walking to the venue from your hotel, parking spot, bus stop, or train station. Our friends at the Weather Network are forecasting isolated showers throughout Saturday (high of 13°C, low of 4°C) and a cloudy and rainy Sunday (high of 15°C, low of 8°C). An umbrella or a light, weather-resistant jacket might be a good idea. If you expect to pick up a lot of loot from the many exhibitors and retailers showing their wares at the Expo, a water-resistant bag or backpack could be handy.
- Prioritize the talks and panels you want to attend: There is going to be a metric ton of talks, panels, signing sessions, and photo ops at the Expo (see the flyer here for the full schedule and floor map), many of them scheduled simultaneously in different areas of the venue, with line-ups and limited seating or standing room. Unless you’re Jamie Madrox, there’s no way you’ll be able to attend all of them. So make a list of the ones that you’re really keen to attend, their times, their locations, and have alternatives ready in case a room is already filled to capacity by the time you get there.
- Wear practical, comfortable shoes: You’ll be doing a lot of walking to and from various places in the Vancouver Convention Center, so make sure to wear light, comfortable, cushioned shoes with good traction (don’t forget about the wet Vancouver weather outside). Fan Expo Vancouver is neither the time nor the place to break in those new oxfords or stiletto heels.
- Watch your stuff: It’s always good practice to be conscious of your valuables and purchases when moving through a crowded venue.
- Bring cash: Some of the retailers and many of the artists taking commissions at the Expo might not be equipped to handle on-site debit or credit card transactions, so make sure to carry a reasonable amount of cash on your person. It would be a shame if a lack of legal tender cheese were to prevent you from snagging that rare comic, action figure, DVD, or sketch for your collection. Nobody likes to see a grown man cry.
- Bring a camera: So you can take a picture of the guy crying. Also, so you can relive the memories of your Fan Expo Vancouver experience.
- Keep hydrated and dress in layers: It might be cool and wet outside the Vancouver Convention Center come the weekend, but all those bodies in one place will generate a lot of ambient heat. Bring a decent-sized water bottle with you for hydration and dress in layers that you can easily take off if it gets too warm indoors.
- Know where the restrooms and the emergency exits are: Knowing the former can save you from a terrible accident and potential Youtube infamy. Knowing the latter can save your life. The complete floor map for the Vancouver Convention Center can be viewed here.
- Be considerate to your fellow Expo-goers: Don’t hold up the line at a signing session by having the artist/actor/celebrity sign a dozen different things. Wear deodorant. Don’t wear strong cologne or perfume. Put your cellphone on vibrate when you’re attending a talk. Stare at the hot cosplayer if you must, but be discreet about it. Haggle with the retailers within reason, but don’t shamelessly lowball them. Don’t be an asshole, is what we’re saying here.
- Don’t forget to have fun: You’re at Fan Expo Vancouver to take in the sights and sounds, relate with your fellow fans, buy the odd collectible, and interact with film, TV, video game, and comics professionals and personalities (and maybe to hit the official after-party), not to stress out over what you didn’t see, do, or buy. If there’s something you missed, there’s always next year, and you can always check out our online coverage of the comics panels.
Today’s mixtape is a chilled out, jazzed-up, silky-smooth afterhours/lounge collection, perfect for that Saturday night after-party or just winding down after a hard day of hitting the Expo (song titles link to corresponding video/audio, if available):
- Miguel Migs (feat. Lt) – So Far
- St. Germain – Pont Des Arts
- Kevin Yost – If She Only Knew
- The Ballistic Brothers – Uschi’s Groove
- Tosca – Suzuki
- Afterlife – 5th & Avenida
- Telefon Tel Aviv – Lotus Above Water
- Moonrock – Ill Street Blues
- Kid Koala – Emperor’s Main Course
- Heavyshift – Last Picture Show