If you have never been to a con before it can sometimes be rather overwhelming when you first show up to Fan Expo Canada. Fan Expo Canada is one of the largest conventions in the world with 127,000 attendees in recent years. For comparison San Diego Comic Con has roughly 167,000 attendees so its a HUGE conference! Even if you are a pro and have been to con’s many times there are likely a few things happening that you didn’t know was happening. Which brings me to this article of 5 really cool things you didn’t know you could do at Fan Expo Canada (for free!)
1) You can play tabletop games with your group of friends ( or make new ones) with the guys who created the games at Fan Expo Canada.
If you have never played a ‘tabletop game’ before don’t worry. There are lots of quick, fun, geeky games you can play that will have you full entertained. Bring your group of friends to the “Tabletop and BoardGames” Section of the con and just walk in. There will be groups playing various games and a section in the corner with more games than you could ever imagine. Ask one of the many crew members walking around for some help if you are new. They can suggest a game or two. Many of the creators/companies who own the games are also there providing demos and answering questions. Go buy yourself even and meet up with some cool new friends over killing zombies. If you’d like to escape the crowds of the exhibit halls for awhile playing a board game for half an hour is a great idea.
2)You can watch a cast of voice actors read over a popular screenplay and use the countless awesome and funny voices that they know for at Fan Expo Canada
Lots of voice actors attend Fan Expo and these panels are always fun to see what the person who makes the voice you love in your favorite cartoon or video game actually looks like in real life. These panels can be quite funny. But what is even more awesome is when several of them get together in the same room and read a popular screen play. At the last Fan Expo 6 voice actors read the entire screen play of GhostBusters! It is sure to have you doubling over in laughter as Pinky and the Brain act out the parts of Ray and Peter from the Ghostbusters. This is a really fun event that the voice actors seem to really enjoy also.
3) You Can watch sketch artists “compete” against one another to draw some really awesome and amazing versions of characters and then you might win one of those drawings at Fan Expo Canada.
Several times through out the weekend you will be able to sit in a room with some top comic book artists. As you enter the room you will be handed a draw ticket, so hold on to that! A character will be selected by the audience and then Bam! The artists will start drawing. You are able to ask questions to the artists while they are drawing and gain the wisdom of how they got to be so talents. Several times over the hour they will show you the draws and how they are progressing as you can see in the photos. It’s really awesome to watch. At the end of the hour there will be a drawing so see if you get to walk away with a one of a kind art piece!
4)You can play Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder or another Role Playing Game with really talented storytelling Dungeon masters at Fan Expo Canada
You may know that some really famous actors and actresses play RPG’s, but perhaps you’ve never had the chance before? Head over to the RPG Events area and sign up for some afternoon or late night life changing experience! All you need to bring is yourself and this group will provide an amazing story, education on how to play and geeky fun from all of your favorite gaming Universes. From beginners to experienced players, Fan Expo Canada offers the largest schedule of RPG game play in the country. Signing up for this can be a larger commitment because you will usually play for a few hours (usually after the con is over 7-11pm say), but they sometimes have short 1 hour sessions so check those out too. Don’t be shy – stop by the table in the RPG events area and the helpful crew will help you select which scifi or fantasy world you should sign up for.
5) You can learn techniques and tips from top cosplay creators and suppliers so you can make your own costume and cosplay next year at Fan Expo Canada
As you walk around the convention you will notice lots of amazing cosplay costumes. If you’ve never made anything beyond a store bought Halloween costume it can be a little intimidating to get involved in the process of making amazing costumes. Want to learn how to save that trashed wig? Create amazing looking plastic shields and weapons? Talk to the designer and creators and get some help from some of the top names in the industry. Arda wigs was there talking about Thibra plastic and how easy it is to slightly heat up and mold onto pretty much anything. Thibra features a smooth surface and sticks to itself when heated; any scraps can be heated and reused. An awesome tool for your cosplay creations. Corsetiere Dianna DiNoble who has been sewing since she was six gave a detailed history of corset and tips on creating your own. There were many other panels to talk to such experts and get any questions that you might have had answered.
I hope you can see that there are a lot of other fun things going on at the con than the exhibit hall, and getting signatures and photos. If you’ve never been before you should really check Fan Expo Canada out and try out some of the hidden gems mentioned in this article.