London MCM Expo
|London MCM Expo|
MCM Expo May 2011
|Location(s)||One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London Docklands, London, E16 1XL|
|Organized by||MCM Expo Group|
The London MCM Expo is a multi-genre fan convention held in the London Borough of Newham twice yearly, usually on the last weekend in May and October. The convention mainly focuses on anime, manga, video games, sci-fi, cosplay & popular media from the United Kingdom and Japan.
History and organization
The MCM (Movie Comic Media) Expo Group are organisers of the London MCM Expo, Midlands, Manchester MCM Expo's & MEMORABILIA Birmingham. It was founded in early 2001 by Paul Miley (ScifiShows) and Bryan Cooney (Wolf Events), both well known organisers within the convention entertainment industry.
The convention is held twice each year, usually on the last full weekend of May and October. There have occasionally been exceptions to this; May 2009 being one of them.
The event started as a single day and has now expanded to run across three days attracting attendance and involvement from industry luminaries such as: Universal Studios, Twentieth Century Fox, Manga Entertainment UK, NEO Magazine amongst others.
London MCM Expo features a large floorspace for dealer stands and exhibitors which include media companies such as movie studios and TV stations. There is also a theatre space that includes a large stage with projection monitors on either side and seating for approximately 1000.
Guests from popular media are commonly invited to the show. They take part for a variety of reasons. Often, this is to promote their latest product or production whether it be movie, TV or print. Sometimes it can be to raise awareness and funds for a charity or cause important to them. It is common to see television and film personalities selling autographs and interacting with their fans both in person and on stage during Question and Answer sessions. Along with panels, seminars and workshops with comic book professionals, there are previews of upcoming television and feature films, portfolio review sessions with video game companies.
The event also includes an autograph area where big names in movies and TV will sit and sign items for the public.
Ticket holders are allowed to, and in many cases encouraged, to take part in cosplay. Cosplaying has become one of the most popular parts of the show. This can be to show off the costumer's latest work, just to show devotion to their favourite characters or engage in role-play with other cosplayers in the same series, as well as just meet new people with mutual interests.
Comic Village is an area of the show that is co-ordinated by Gary Howe a member of the MCM Expo Group. This area hosts approximately 200 tables, where amateur as well as professional artists/writers/publishers sell their comics as well as prints. This area also has a signing area where big names in the comic industry come and sign for members of the public, previous guests have included Gail Simone, Kevin Eastman, Frazer Irving, Antony Johnston, Kieron Gillen and many more.
MCM Fringe Festival
In 2010, MCM Fringe Festival was re-vamped and given a new logo. The main purpose of Fringe is to allow cosplayers to organise photoshoots, meet-ups, picnics and get togethers. Organisers are more easily able to create their own event within the Expo and broadcast it. At the same time, the rest of the Expo Attendees can search the website and decide to go to it. Photoshoots will be more successful and likely to get more people from the same anime or game to take part. Previous events have included picnics, dances and video gaming tournaments.
Eagle Awards for Comics
The Eagle Awards were founded in 1977 and are the longest running fan voted awards for the comic industry. They were held at the London MCM Expo each May until 2011, since when the Eagle Awards no longer run.
VidfestUK is an area of the expo dedicated to online visual media, such as animations, vlogs and various web series. Notable guests include YouTube partners such as TomSka and MrWeebl.
In May 2010, in answer to a large number of non-paying attendees, the Security and Ticketing System was given a complete makeover. Wristbands were put in place and given to everybody when they handed in their ticket. Wristbands were needed to enter the Expo Hall and Expo Theatre, and Security were enforced to make random spot-checks.
In October 2010, stronger wristbands were given to weekend ticket holders. This was due to Weekend Attendees having to wear them all weekend; Wristbands are unable to be removed without voiding them. The paper version of advance tickets were also scrapped. Advance tickets are now only available as an e-ticket which must be printed and taken to the event.
As of October 2013, MCM Expo occupies multiple halls within the ExCeL and valid documentation is required in order to enter the majority of the centre's facilities, including the central boulevard.
Location and dates
MCM BUZZ is a website in association with MCM, bringing all the latest in media related news from movies, comics, interviews with celebrities and a live podcast.