Yay! I made it another con! I was super pumped, excited and a bit nervous to attend Evolve 2016 here in Perth last Sunday. I knew that I would be attending another con alone (my partner’s work schedule just keeps getting in the way!) but for once my excitement outweighed my nervousness. So I packed my camera, prepped my cosplay, and off I went!

And I ended up being a little underwhelmed.

I hadn’t been to the venue before (HBF Stadium) so, I didn’t know the size going in. From the chatter on the Cosplay WA Page on Facebook, it sounded like there was quite a few people going. Maybe the Saturday was busier, but there never really felt like there was any real “buzz” on the convention floor. Other cons I’ve always felt an “energy” walking around; people excited to see their favourite characters in real life, finding amazing collectables, looking forward to special guests and panels. Evolve felt flat for what I was expecting out of a $30/day pass.

Another thing that was a little confusing; there was no posted schedule I could find at the con! Even in the “goodie” bag you were handed at the entrance, there was no flyer/pamphlet to reconfirm what was posted online. Thankfully, they had volunteers wandering around with signs letting everyone know what panel was on. And bonus: the panels were in their own room away from the main stage! Finally you could hear everything without extra noise from vendors in the back round. Props for that!

One of the big upsides of Evolve: the people! Everyone that I met and talked too was fantastic and really nice. All the cosplayers were super polite, the photographers were fun and the volunteers kept things running smoothly. I may not have found the “buzz” I was looking for, but I did have a few great conversations about cosplay, photography and other random nerd-ness. A small success for the day! I did also manage to snap some amazing cosplayers in some of my favourite characters. Because what is a con without cosplay! (I didn’t take any photos of my own Misty cosplay, but I did organize a shoot with a local photographer. Doing a happy dance since I am excited to get some pro shots for once!)

Final thoughts? Evolve is still going through some growing pains. As a pop culture convention, Evolve is still is working to find a solid identity, and hopefully it finds one without all the “fluff”. So bring back the Jedi fight scenes, the cosplay contests and photographers, and maybe leave the live “wrestling” for another con.

What are your thoughts about conventions? What do you love most about them?

Happy Conventioning!
-SB

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