ReedPop’s second MCM started off with a bang as hoards of cosplayers flocked to this incredible event placed in several halls of Birmingham’s NEC. The convention shared the centre with the Photography show, an annual event usually held at the same time each year. This provides a lot of good photo opportunities for both cosplayers and photographers alike. Sadly photo sniping is still a huge issue for this convention that I think Reed Pop, now that they run things, need to address in the future.
The queuing system had changed to an entry point where bags were checked and tickets were issued, then attendees walked next door into the convention hall, free to come and go with either their day stamp or weekend wristbands. Security was as tight as ever which is nice to see, re-entry being easy once you knew the entry points which were clearly marked by the guards standing at various gaps in the gates.
As ever, the British weather promised an awful weekend for a convention, especially this late in the year, with possibly the first con experience many of us had where snow was present! Sadly I saw a lot of messages on social media which included sorrowful bulletins of how people were unable to travel due to public transport disruptions, meaning the Sunday of the convention was rather quiet.
Because of the weather, it meant that a lot of the photographers and press got to photograph cosplayers inside, as well as enjoy the various panels from the likes of: The Overwatch voice cast, Michael Rooker, James Gunn as well as other big guests that were a surprise to a lot of MCM goers, especially those who are Marvel and Overwatch fans!
The convention itself was filled with the same ol’ merchandise sellers, and they are great if you have the cash to splash. For more cosplayer orientated goers like myself, it was a quick run around to see what the offers were. Sadly not many this time around, although Square Enix were handing out goodie bags for their new trading card game! A cool new area that was available was a photo shoot area, where cosplayers and even regular con goers got to have photos with a cherry blossom tree and a giant Snow Tiger looking creature!
Overall, as a convention, MCM Birmingham is a lot smaller and quieter than London, with no organised after-party. The food locally is rather expensive, the Wetherspoons within the NEC were charging £3 for a Coke as an example, but if you budget for an expensive food weekend, it is easily a lot more relaxed than its London counterpart. As a first con it is highly recommended, with its main downside being the hotel & beverage prices in comparison to London’s MCM.
(PS please get in touch if we took your photo! We would love to credit you in the article!)