This weekend saw the first ever MCM Expo held at the Manchester Central convention centre in Manchester, England. The organisers have been running expos across the country for several years but this was the first time the event has ventured into the north of England, filling a surprising void in the sci-fi and fantasy events calendar for the region. Enormous crowds showed up for the show, seemingly far more than the organisers anticipated, causing some organisational flaws to be sadly drawn to the fore, marring what was otherwise a great day out.
Early entry tickets allowed those willing to pay a little extra access from 9.30am however general admission was to be from 11am. I have seen several negative comments from parents regarding the early access tickets. One of the main points made in the advertising for this expo was that children aged 10 and under would be admitted free. However this only applied to general entry tickets, meaning those who were already paying out extra for early entry were forced to pay again for their children at the same price as adults. For a family of four, this could mean the difference between the event costing £10 ($16) for arrival at 11am, to its costing £32 ($53) for arrival a mere 90 minutes earlier – a significant price difference to a family who may well be budgeting carefully given the current financial climate. Naturally no one had to buy these early access tickets but dedicated collectors would certainly be interested in order to get to the stalls before the big crowds and this would be extremely off putting for those wanting to make a family day out of the event.
Read the rest of Sophie Brown’s adventures (mostly good!) at the Expo over on GeekMom.