Game On Expo 2017 Was Bigger And Better! (Review)
Game On Expo is a convention that takes place in Arizona that used to take place in Mesa at the Mesa Convention Center but moved to Downtown Phoenix for a bigger facility in the Phoenix Convention Center. This is one of my favorite events in the year because you can tell the organizers have a huge love for video games and gamers. Every year that I have attended has been wonderful and huge signs of improvement. How did this year turn out for Game On Expo? Let’s dive in!
Roll the clock back two years and Game On Expo had cosplay events, concerts featuring incredible DJs, gamers hosting panels to showcase indie games or discuss mainstream ones and so much more. While these were humble, it was still charming because it was so intimate but bring things back to the present day and we now have concerts featuring fantastic Nerdcore rappers like Megaran, voice actors from Overwatch, popular YouTubers, and so many other folks appearing to entertain fans!
There was something for everyone at Game On Expo that if you wanted to try out new games, whether they be board games or video games they had areas for you. If you were interested in cosplay, tables upon tables of cosplayers were there to engage with fans and don’t even get me started on the multiple tournaments that was going on around the clock! I believe that the events alone was well worth the ticket price!
As I mentioned before their guest list was impressive! The voice of Sombra, Symmetra, and Roadhog from the popular game Overwatch were at the event chatting it up with fans! Alongside them were voice actors from Mass Effect, Portal, Walking dead and so many more were there! On the music front they had MegaRan, DreamReaper, Super MadNES, Robots and Rayguns and so many more talented musicians that took the stage and melted faces with their geeky sounds!
You can tell they worked had to ensure attendees were entertained by incredible guests! The best part was that one of their largest stages was actually placed in the exhibitor hall where all could see and hear so you could actually walk off and buy goods while still listening to live music. It was a great idea and added something special that you don’t really see at other events!
The change of venues from the Mesa Convention Center to the Phoenix Convention Center was a blessing and a curse for many. The good aspect of the Mesa Convention Center was the free parking and short walking distance along with their own rules and regulations on cosplay props, however the event was split up into different area and in multiple buildings which only had so much room. With the change to the Phoenix Convention Center, they got more room that was perfect for their expo since it offered everything they needed in one area so con goers could spend less time walking to multiple areas and instead just enjoy the event. The parking was a hassle but worth it for the extra space and great eateries within walking distance!
One of the main aspects of smaller conventions is the extra time you get to spend with your favorite folks. For the first time in years I had such long conversations about anything and everything with our friends AmberSkies Cosplay, Khainsaw, and dope vendors such as Gamercat Prints and Sincerely Sam! I know many other folks had a blast getting to know more about the man or woman behind the costume or booth which made everything so much more intimate for the fans.
We even got to do a silly skit during the convention as well!
The on site staff were fantastic. Every time we had an issue or question, it was handled swiftly and with tact. Their security team searched bags and wanded folks with efficiency. Cosplayers who were participating in the masquerade were allowed entry with props while others were denied. The did a great job all around! I did have an issue with the staff prior to the convention. A lot of folks reported that they had to email the customer service email multiple times in order to get answers to basic questions. Personally, we applied well in advance of the convention and then had to email the staff twice to know if we were approved or denied. eventually they did inform us but then it took quite a bit of time to gather information regarding interview requests.
Unfortunately Game On Expo is the first convention this year that we did not get to interview a guest of the convention with their involvement. Granted, this is an issue that affects us and our readers but did not affect the convention as a whole but it still would have been courtesy to have been officially denied than to wonder and scheduled time just in case. I hope next year their staff can be more responsive to incoming emails as they grow! In the past years they have always been spot on with response times.
The convention was not good, it was great. The new venue, big name guests, intimate setting, and fair ticket price made Game On Expo 2017 one of my favorite all year! I am so excited to see what they have in store for us next year and look forward to presenting you all with that information as it becomes available!