July 27th, I made the long trek to Hamilton to make my triumphant entrance to ConBravo. Having never attended this particular con before, I was left not knowing exactly what to expect. With a terrible cell phone camera in hand I went exploring. Here’s what I saw.
The dealer’s room was combined with the artist alley and this caused a bit of a jumble (and more temptation to buy things). That being said, the dealer’s room at ConBravo was the easiest to navigate of any convention I have been to. This can be partially attributed to the low attendance in a space that was clearly chosen for growth. But I do give credit to the organizers for making this experience the best it could be for someone with no money.
This is an aspect of the convention that also benefited from the expansion of the convention. Many times the event rooms had empty seats despite levels of popularity. All of the events went off without any issues of getting attendees into the room. The only area for improvement in this aspect is the management of lines. For some of the event rooms, the lines extended into awkward corridors.
This is not usually an aspect to judge a convention on, but in my experience a well organized and inviting con makes for happier and more easy going guests. That being said, the guests were all very polite and open with attendees.
The gaming section of ConBravo was well set up and focused on video games. While the card gaming area suffered a bit in space and variety, it was well worth the large focus on video games. There were plenty of demos for modern games and a good tournament setup. There were some consoles from various generations for playing both in nostalgia and for modern experience. The best part of the gaming section was the free to play arcade. The ability to experience the social interaction of gaming on old school machines was excellent for attendees. It was an awesome way to make new friends.
ConBravo kept the close knit feeling of conventions like Con-G while bringing in some well known guests and a good gaming section, along with a large and well laid out dealer’s room. This makes it a bit more similar to larger conventions like Anime North. This made for an excellent convention with a great atmosphere.