October 2015, we went to FACTS for the first time! FACTS is a Belgian Comic Con. I was very impressed by the way it was set up. So this year, we decided to go again. And this time we had a whole weekend! Yeay! This was the first time, there was a spring edition. We arrived a bit after 10. Parking was a bit confusing: Many parking places, we didn't know immediately where to go. Luckily there were parking attendents that showed us were to go. Walking from the parking lot to FACTS took about 10 minutes. There was quite a line to get in. We had been expecting this. FACTS already announced many checks and you weren't allowed to take in bags bigger than an A4. But: The queue went very smoothly. We stood in line a while, but it went well. The line moved constantly: No standing still. So for me, the queue wasn't a problem. On sunday things went even more smoothly. You have to imagine there was a big hall were everybody came in, then there was bag and ticket control. After that you walked into another hall with some things to do and eat. This was the real entrancehall. On sunday they let people go through securitychecks before 10, so everyone was waiting in the second hall for the doors to open. You could take a seat and have some coffee. Or get your picture taken. At 10 o' clock sharp the big doors openend and everyone was inside in a few minutes. Great organisation! What I like the most about FACTS is the variety. There's so much to do! A lot of merchandise, props, actors, cosplayers and games. I can't get bored at FACTS!
At the guest area, you could see the actors and artists. One of my favourite places at a convention! The actors weren't very accessible because of the space for queues in front of them. Also they were put in a row in the back of the hall, that made it even less accessible. I liked the design at Dutch Comic Con better. Me too, it looked a bit messy this way. There was also a big sign: No flash photography. Well, I can imagine that! No problem. But, a guy from FACTS was constantly stopping people from making pictures. There wasn't an explanation why. I asked ehy and he said those were the rules. And although I think it's madness to deny fans to make a picture, if it's a rule there's nothing you can do about it. But why the signs with "No Flash Photography"? Just erase the word flash and everyone knows where they stand in this. Later I saw 1 sign board at Richard Dean Anders with "No photos". But it wasn't clear for me and a lot of other guests, when/where/why you could or could not make pictures That's a real pity. I'd suggest clear signs: Then we all know what to do! As for autographs and selfies: Prices were clearly stated at the tables. Almost every actor would also do selfies at the table (As far as I know, only Richard Dean Anderson wouldn't). No he did no selfies, because of the huge line in front of his table. He wanted to give everyone a chance to get an autograph, so that's understandable. Prices for selfies were, in my opinion, overrated. Way to high! It was as expensive as autograph/ photo op. So a selfie, autograph or photo op, were just as expensive. I really believe that a selfie should cost less than a photo op. So, I didn't do any selfies at FACTS (with an actor ;) ). I did get an autograph: From Tom Wlaschiha!Me too! We wrote about that in a seperate blog. I also got an autograph from Richard Dean Anderson. The price for this was too high in my opnion, especially given the fact that the autograph wasn't personalized (also because of the huge line). This I don't get. There were 2 volunteers sitting next to Mr Anderson. In my opninion one could handle the finances while the other writes down the name and gives this to the actor. If you do it this way there is no time loss in personalizing the autograph. But what can I say... McGyver was one of my childhood heroes so I had to get this autograph! All in all it was all well organised and clear what to do.
The panels were well organised. A good, schedule, excellent lighting and nice background. Sound was very good. You could see and hear everything very well. I was really fond of the lighting: Excellent for making some nice pictures. Oh how we love the lighting at FACTS. I think this is because the panel area is in another area. This room has a partially glass ceiling. This way there is a lot of sunlight falling in. It also makes the area feel very spacious. The presenter of the panels was great. I couldn't agree more, this guy deserves some special attention. He had a great way of keeping the conversation going. This went very natural. When there was no question, he would come up with a question. He seemed to know something about all of the actors/ the series or movies they play in. He found in good balance in letting people ask questions (Everyone got a turn) and helped people out when needed. It was a relaxed atmosphere and a real pleasure to attend the Q&A's!
Prices for photo op were fine. A big advantage: We could both go on 1 picture with one ticket! Really love that. We bought a photo op for Tom Waschiha and Louise Brealy. Liv also bought one for Richard Dean Anderson. Most of the time, there were two queues. It wasn't very clear which row was for which actor. You always had to ask. Maybe some signs to clarify the situation next time.The queue itself was fine. It went on quite good. We had to wait a while before Louise arrived for the photos. But it wasn't a problem. It didn't take too long. I'm really happy with the photos I got. Good prices. I had to wait a looong time for my Richard Dean Anderson photo op. But hey the guy is popular and a lot of people want to take a picture with him and it was worth the wait!
Last year, we only attended FACTS for one day. Of course, in one day, you don't have enough time. So we didn't eat. That's why I can't compare it to last year. But this year was fine for me. Enough choice and variety. There were many places to eat and well divided over the area. It was easy to find a place for coffee, fries, burgers, sodas, anything! Prices were ok, in some spots I thought the drinks were expensive. I liked the food/drink stand outside. On sunday the weather was amazing and it was joy to sit outside!
Oh, I LOVE props. And FACTS had so many of them. Yeah, this was heaven :). So many picturs to make. I really like it when a convention has a lot of them. So much to see and do. It keeps me occupied for a while :).Aaah yes the props...I love the props. Star Wars definitely dominated the props. But I love Star Wars, so it wasn't a problem for me. There was enough time and to take pictures and enjoy the props.Most of them were set in one big room. And there were some spread over the convention as well. In another space there were also many movie cars. Love that too (But love the other props more!).There even was a KITT and the evil KITT! I am an 80s kid so I grew up with Knightrider (oh why dont they make shows like that anymore?) . A few pictures from the props: