Hanging out at LVL UP Expo 2017 — Pictures and Impressions
Wow, when we signed up for LVL UP Expo 2017 (http://lvlupexpo.com/), we were looking forward to it, but we had no idea how much fun we would have at this convention. The convention is a small to medium sized convention, depending on your perspective and seems to be more focused on activities than the marketplace. We spent most of our time talking to vendors, people who were running the activities and/or cosplayers, so take what I’m saying from that perspective. I never had an opportunity to go to any of the panels so I don’t have much to share from that perspective.
When we first checked in, I was impressed at how smooth the process was of getting our press badges and getting all of our equipment into the con. Some conventions the staff are flustered but everything here seemed to be running like a smooth machine. They had their prop check-in near the entrance and security helped us get our equipment in from the perspective of “how can they help us”, which was awesome! Casino security often give us hassles, but not at the Cashman Center, they were super professional and polite.
When you get into the main thorough-way, its one super long hallway. The Cashman Center is definitely not the biggest of convention centers but it is well lit, well air-conditioned, and roomy enough that it never felt like everyone was clustered together.
The number of vendors was fairly small, but there were some good ones. Some of the consistent vendors you see at every Vegas convention and then some larger booths that help give respect to the con just by their presence.
The real star of the show though was all of the activities. Video game tournaments (and not some tournaments set in a side room, no, these were big tournaments out in the open) were a big deal and what I liked was that people could participate in them without having to leave the main area. If I was going to leave my friends and go into a tournament, technically they could still see me, it wouldn’t feel like I was “leaving”.
There was a wrestling area, which seemed pretty cool. I know a lot of people my age LOVE wrestling, I kinda missed it growing up. BUT, seeing cosplayers wrestle made me think of the spiderman origin story. I kinda want to go as paper bag spiderman and get some shots wrestling. Or rather, I want to get someone else to and take lots of pictures. ;)
There were a lot of classic video games, which was awesome, but if you went just Friday then you were disappointed to have everything unplugged. Saturday seemed much more popular than Friday but thats exactly WHEN I was would want to play on the arcade machines, but instead they weren’t ready yet. :/
There was some sky bots from a local robotics club, which was pretty awesome, and there was an R2D2 wandering around the con floor (one interrupted our video, my goal is to get keep it in video when I upload my edit) which I think should just be hired to help make the cons extra cool.
In general, this convention seemed great for people who want to “hang out”. There was also some sort of secret side quest you could participate in. This was pretty awesome for a convention called “LVL UP” with staffers whose badges said “NPC”. I wanted to participate in it but I was busy photographing people all day. Speaking of, below are my photos (most of the same ones as Facebook if you have already looked at our catalog there).
To summarize, LVL UP Expo 2017 was a great fun convention, the perfect size before it gets too busy and you start getting lost. There were little extra touches throughout that if you paid attention, really made the experience that much better. There were also enough activities you could keep yourself busy and enough cosplayers and booths that you could just spend time looking around if thats more your thing. I really look forward to next year!