「Pacific Media Expo 2014」
Pacific Media Expo 2014
Seeing how I’m a person that enjoys going to conventions and seeing all the crazy (both good and bad) things that people create for them, Pacific Media Expo was definitely one of the tamer cons I’ve been to. While that’s probably in-part of its scale and where its located, for the most part I really enjoyed this one. For those out of the loop, Pacific Media Expo or PMX is held in Los Angeles at the LAX Hilton. Being a short drive away from the airport, the venue itself is fairly urban-y as well as has a Carls Jr. right next to it that’s open late to fill that empty stomach of yours. Anyways, let’s get into the review!
Small / Mid-sized Convention
All jokes aside, I would say that PMX is akin to smaller cons like Anime Los Angeles or Animegacon. It’s hosted within the Hilton meaning most of the events and panels take place within one of the various ballrooms / conference rooms. Size wise, I originally thought I was going to compare it to ALA since I’ve actually been to that one and wrote a review for it but after taking the time to really think about, PMX feels a bit larger. Whether or not that’s true in terms of square feet, I have to admit that with the way everything is spaced out within the Hilton, it definitely feels like there’s a lot more walking from place-to-place.
If you were to get into the specifics though, the size of the Dealers Hall or the Artists Alley definitely felt a little smaller than other cons I would compare it to. I say that with a little reservation though because I really appreciate the actual layout of both rooms since it allowed for a lot of breathing space between people during busy hours. Maybe things will change if more dealers or artists decide to go in the future but props to the people in charge for keeping the little things like an individual’s personal space in mind.
Another thing I really appreciated was how the convention itself managed to create a space for photography use. While it may only have been a small section with some benches and crappy landscaping (hotel’s not con’s), having a specific space to scout out cosplays as well as take shots without tons of convention go-ers in the background was awesome — something I would have thought would have been more of an afterthought for a con of this size.
The Panels and The People
Just like a majority of other cons like PMX, industry panels were sparse and a majority of them were hosted by people like you and me (aka fans). While those have never been my kind of thing, the cool thing about PMX’s panels were everyone inside seemed to be having a great time. While I can’t tell you if it’s because the hosts were good or the attendees were excited, it’s pretty tough for people to fake being happy.
Which leads me to another thing — the people. If there’s one thing that (relatively) smaller cons have compared to huge cons like Anime-Expo is that everyone there is just so freaking friendly. You rarely encounter someone with a bad attitude and everyone is ready to anyone else out. Honestly, how often do you see two strangers crash into each other, knick a piece of the other’s cosplay out, and then run and grab them superglue to fix it? My only minor complaint would have to be all the drunk people toward the evening time but that’s expected, ya know?
While it didn’t blow my socks off, PMX was hands down fun to attend. Sure it may not have some of the bigger industry offerings larger cons may have, I think the people you meet and the things you experience on a personal level make up for it. So yeah, PMX was pretty enjoyable and I’ll definitely think about coming back next year. Also, hats off to Con-ops and all the volunteers who were super friendly in helping me find the stuff / locations I was looking for.
P.S. I had two out of three memory cards literally fizz out on me so there isn’t the usual wall of photos I would normally have. What’s above is what I could salvage :/
P.P.S. Thanks to Zephy for letting me steal his cool looking layout.
“All jokes aside, I would say that PMX is akin to smaller cons like Anime Los Angeles or Animegacon.”
“props to the people in charge for keeping the little things like an individual’s personal space in mind.”
“If there’s one thing that (relatively) smaller cons have compared to huge cons like Anime-Expo is that everyone there is just so freaking friendly.”