We start the year with another post event report, but did the event provided a refreshing take to geek conventions today?
Organizer Hobbiworx has been organizing events for years, way back when it was still hosting free events in the late 2000’s. Now that they have joined the ranks of other major conventions that provide premium events to their respective communities, there is seems to have a single dilemma for the Hobbiworx. Since 2014, all of their paid events (Tagcom and Collecticon) have a single pattern, they all have the same content, and now with their third event called Manila Hobbies & Collectibles Convention; will they be bringing a new experience to their loyal con-goers?
We try to dissect the event and analyze each of the important segments that makes a convention tick.
Entrance and Registration
The entrance and exit area are divided by the ticket booth, then it has two windows to handle two lines for ticket purchases. You will receiving a ticket and a small paper that acts as a registration for the raffle, it would have been convenient if they created a ticket that also acts as a raffle stub. All inquiries and other registration process for the stage activities are handled on the side right after you get inside.
Event site and booths
Since the venue was only at the Megatrade Hall 3 (which is the smallest from the three halls), don’t expect a large number of booths available. With only a handful of merchant booths available and a small portion for displays of toys and action figure collection from known toy collector groups and sponsors, you can explore the entire event venue in just a couple of minutes. As for the types of merchandise available from certain booths, it still has some good variety from on-the-spot t-shirt printing to free gunplay building campaigns. However in regards to toy retail booths, almost everyone had the same retail line-up, from old Star Wars figures to an abundant flow of FunkPop figures, the few toy line-ups are possibly due to a product lockdown of a certain toy distributor which was also one of the sponsors for Manila Hobbies & Collectibles Convention, which caused a few number of retail booths to not bring those restricted products at the event and have to bring other products instead. It is a risky move to allow sponsors or any retail partners to make a product lockdown at the event as it can affect the impression of the con-goers as well as the relationship with other tenants at the event.
Since the event is focused more on the toy retail booths, there is nothing interesting with the stage setup, no LED screen, fewer stage lights, though the platform is larger than the usual size for a small event.
Nothing much interesting as there was just the typical highlights that you would see in a typical convention. There is the cosplay competition on day 1 however it has a long delay to start their portion and some technical issues on the sound system. On the second day the event is heavily focused on KPop, yes you heard that right, KPop. There is nothing wrong if an organizer decides to target different audiences in terms of getting attraction for the event, however organizers should take note if different communities can blend well with each other where both would not alienate the other group.
It is quite disappointing that the organizers can manage to host two events every year yet they still provide the same old content with the same venue size. Now they have launched a third event and yet it is still the same from the two. Manila Hobbies & Collectibles Convention lacks some sort of identity that will make it stand out from the rest of Hobbiworx events and even from other hobby conventions, and instead of focusing on improving, they rather went with the playing safe route. It could have been great if the organizers decided to focus on bringing one major event that would identify itself as a unique event by Hobbiworx, but instead they launched multiple events that feels like a side event. If you are a collector who missed out the Christmas events and wants to find some action figures, then it is a good opportunity, however if you are expecting a new kind of event for 2016, then this is not the event that you are looking for.