On August 29th, 30th, and 31st, my brother and I attended Fan Expo Canada in Toronto! It was so much fun! We did photo ops (meaning we got our picture taken) with Matt Smith and also Stan Lee! For our Matt Smith photo, I wore a TARDIS dress that I made last October for Halloween and the 50th anniversary special and my brother dressed up as the 10th doctor. My brother also brought along his 11th doctor's sonic screwdriver for Matt Smith to hold in the photo so now he can say that Matt Smith actually held it! For our Stan Lee photo, we wore our Fan Expo t-shirts that we received as part of the ticket package that we purchased. We also went to the free autograph session with some of the cast of Murdoch Mysteries (and we took pictures with them at the autograph table just as many other people did) and went to their free panel afterwards. Other free panels that we went to were Arthur Darvill's panel and Stan Lee's panel and we went to the special Doctor Who panel which had both Matt Smith and Arthur Darvill. This was our first time going to Fan Expo and it was definitely a very interesting experience!
Throughout Fan Expo, there were a few things that I noticed and thought that I should share so here are 5 tips for attending conventions:
-Bring a bag: I brought my pack sack (backpack) and I was so glad that I did because we used it to hold things that we bought, free stuff that we received, snacks, water bottles, etc. I also brought a small book bag and used that to carry our photos after we did photo ops (which we payed to have framed) so that they would stay safe.
-Saturday is crazy: Saturday was the busiest day out of the three days that we were there. Saturday is probably a busy day at all conventions seeing as it's a day that is the most convenient day, for scheduling, that people are able to attend. We went to panels on Saturday and tried to do some shopping but we could hardly move through the crowds so I would definitely recommend sticking to panels and other similar activities on Saturday.
-Use the Help Desk and ask the staff questions: The staff are there to help so if you have any questions or don't know where to go, just ask them! Sometimes, the staff don't give enough information or they might give confusing information but when that happened, I either asked them to clarify or I asked another staff member.
-Be prepared for large crowds: Conventions are huge and busy! It can get very overwhelming (I was super overwhelmed until I got used to it) so be prepared for this. Understand that it might take you a long time just to get to another part of the building and be prepared to stand in long lines. When my brother and I got too overwhelmed, we left the building for a little while (usually to get lunch and get some air).
-Most importantly, have fun!: Conventions are meant to be exciting and fun so don't forget to enjoy yourself!
Just to give you an idea of what a panel is like (if you've never been to one), here's the awesome Murdoch Mysteries panel that we attended: