In the weekend of 29-30 September 2018, more than 45000 people made their way to Flanders Expo in Ghent for the 31st edition of FACTS. One of these 45000 people was little old me and today I am going to tell you my thoughts in my review of the FACTS Fall Edition 2018. Before the event I already wrote about the guest list for this edition and it was a good one! As you might know we usually focus on the movie- and TV guests and the merch. Unfortunately, I could only go for one day, so I had to do as much as I could in very little time...
For this edition of FACTS I had a press badge, which means that I had to take another entrance (I was in very quickly), but Tristan took the normal way in and things all went very smoothly (as always). I did not have to wait a long time before Tristan was in. In my opinion getting into FACTS is always a smooth operation. Sure there are massive queues, but because of a very good setup of the crush barriers, the queue is constantly moving, so it doesn't feel like you are waiting for a long time.
As I already mentioned, I had a very tight schedule, so I had to do my shopping in the morning. First thing I always do is search for my two favorite shirt stands, being Cool2U and Dirtees. Luckily both of these stands have not moved for the last few editions, so I could easily find them. This time I could not find anything to my liking at Dirtees, but at the Cool2U I saw this great "Jurassic Park" shirt. I love "Jurassic Park" as you know, but all of the shirts I have are black, so it is great to find a grey one. I walked around some more and stopped at the stand of The Lab. I looked around a little and I saw some cool shirts, but unfortunately they were not in my size. I talked to the stand owner for a bit and asked him if he would be interested in working together for a new Insights article. By the way he agreed so keep checking our social media channels for that one. But when I walked away I saw this great "We're doomed" shirt with C3PO and R2D2 on it. I love those two (especially R2D2) so I had to take it. I walked around some more and I saw a lot of the familiar faces among the stand holders. It would be nice to see some new dealers next time. I wish I could have walked around some more. Unfortunately I had to make my way to the Q&A area, because the Q&A's I wanted to see were about to start.
New Q&A area
For this edition, FACTS had a new Q&A area with a huge stage. I, for one, did not think there was anyting wrong with the other area. The light in the FLEX room (that is where the Q&A's took place during the previous editions) was excellent and the pictures I made there are magnificent. I also loved that it was kind of away from the bustle on the convention floor. Also the sound was great. The only thing that was kind of an issue was the capacity of the room I think. The new Q&A room was in one of the halls of Flanders Expo (the one next to the Guest Hall) and I think both locations have their pros and cons. A big pro of the new area is the extra space. Also the sound and light were pretty good. But for someone who loves to record the Q&A's and take pictures it is difficult to get a clear shot. But that is the only thing that I thought was a shame. Overall I think FACTS made a good move, by moving to the hall.
I attended four Q&A's on the Saturday and they were all great. First I visited Jennifer Morrison's panel, followed by "Anything Goes" by John Barrowman. The next one was Tom Felton and the last panel of the day was by David Tennant. I had a great time during all of these panels and the videos will be up very soon. you can find some of the videos beneath the pictures below.
Photo op & Autograph Area
The photo op and autograph area was the same as previous edition, apart from the facts that it was incredibly crowded everywhere. It was impossible to see the actors at their table. The queues were enormous as were the queues at the photo ops. This is very understandable, because there were some pretty amazing guest stars. I did not do an autograph this time, but I did do two photo-ops.
I love going to FACTS, although there was one thing that did not go so well. My photo op with Tom Felton was pretty early in the day and it all went very smooth, but the photo op with John Barrowman was a bit chaotic. At the time of the shoot, there were two other very popular photo shoots in the other room (Tom Felton, followed by David Tennant) and this resulted in a very crowded pick up area for the photo ops. Eventually I had to wait so long that I did not have time to walk around some more. But I did get my photo eventually and the volunteers did their best to get the right photo to the right person. Of course this is something that can happen, but next time it might be a good idea to communicate a bit better. Nevertheless I had a great time at FACTS again and I can't wait for the next edition. Besides this little point of criticism, I have to say that the organization did a great job again! See you for the Spring Edition!