I wanted to give my perspective of the recent MCM London Event which occurred over the weekend of October 22th – 24th and talk about some of the key points of the event.
I have to admit upon attending this event, I had such covid anxiety because deep down big crowded events such as comic-con events, sporting events, large crowds etc shouldn’t be going ahead at the current infection rate England is experiencing.
When I arrived at the venue, I was pleased to see that security on site made sure that everyone entering the site had one of the three conditions covered by Reedpop’s covid policy, which were
- Proof of double Vaccination
- Proof of negative lateral flow test within a 48 hour period
- Proof of natural immunity to covid-19
Each day on site I was given a new wrist band to confirm that I’ve been checked, though I’m not sure how much they really looked into what I showed them as it was a quick glance at times. But I have to say I was glad this system was there which gave me the security that on appearances, checks are being made. I have heard of some attendees who arrived who couldn’t prove any of the three criteria that they were turned away at the door.
Stalls and space
I only visited the dealer’s halls only during the morning or in the evenings but was pleasantly surprised by how much space was made available to people to walk between the aisles. The stalls themselves were still packed in close which could prove a problem once everyone was inside and crowds built up and possibly started to crowd around the table.
With that said, the benefit of having so much space meant the number of stalls was low, which hit both mainstream companies and independent owners trying to buy a pitch at the event. I do feel that the amount of money spent to attend the event and the number of stalls available wasn’t really value for money but then again to keep within covid rules, Reedpop possibly trying to recoup as much money as possible, I can give them a pass this time but would want to see an improvement for the next event.
I’m very disappointed that not many people wore a mask indoors. I do know that wearing a mask was “strongly encouraged” but with everyone within the cosplay community experiencing in past years of con flu, I would have thought more people would wear a mask to prevent themselves from catching any illness that might be going around the event.
But I do have to understand also if everyone at the event follows the covid policy that Reedpop set out, no one should be entering the venue with the covid-19 virus.
I also heard that when people were attending panels or meeting celebrities, that mask-wearing was a requirement, no room for excuses. Which is a good sign that the event organiser is looking at the health and safety of the people attending the event.
My time at the event
I have to say, Reedpop/Excel have created such a safe environment for everyone attending. I truly believe this year they made sure to hold back general entry until their designated time as you could really feel when priority entry was in attendance and then general attendees then appeared. I also have to say that the number of people attending the event at its peak did feel and look lower than previous years. I couldn’t say how much of a reduction of attendees to the event but you can certainly see it at times.
I chose to keep wearing a mask throughout the event even if I was outdoors and was pleased no one questioned my choice in doing so and was successful in photographing people without any issues.
I’m not sure if now I turn up to these events looking forward to seeing and working with people then actually going to buy geek merchandise from stalls. This is why my view of the event isn’t the same as others as the stalls at comic con could be barebones as long as there are people in cosplay wanting their photos taken. I’m surprised again how much I needed this event from a personal point of view. I miss seeing and interacting with people and seeing people in Cosplay, taking their photos, really took my mind off things and gave me the time to enjoy life once again and not worry about life.
I had such a fun time getting to know people and friends again, I even took out my phone and streamed from the event, to capture what I was experiencing throughout the weekend as it was such a return to an atmosphere I so missed. I do understand why a lot of people stayed away either for health reasons or allowing others to test the waters of the events and see how it went.
Over the weekend I took so many photos of cosplayers which says to me how much the weekend took over me and not how I was worried about the health and safety of the event.
I’m looking forward to Birmingham MCM in November and fingers crossed I have a similar experience to what I did in London.
Don’t forget to listen to the Podcast with my guests talking about aspects of the MCM London event and more.