Hello Shiquers and welcome back to Nerdy Shique Universe! Sorry for being away for so long. I have been having computer trouble and sorry for not getting any of the posts I was supposed to do such as favorites and my top fave songs for last month. I will try and get around to that but first I have my first Convention Impossible of the year and it is on Omni Expo!
Disclaimer: This review is based on opinion and observation of the writer of this blog. Please respect the thoughts and feelings in this review!
So, this past weekend was Omni Expo and man it went by fast and I bet you’re wondering how it went. Well, it went pretty well despite it moving to a new location due to the International Palms being renovated, which I will start with that.
Otel: This year’s location did have to change which it was originally supposed to be at International Palms but due to a new company buying it out and doing renovations on it, the con did move to a new location and that was the Florida Mall.If you haven’t been to this place then you are missing out. It is a huge tourist place even when it comes to its hotel that is built in. It was nice and the area was kind of small for the lobby but it did connect to the mall which you can find a pair of doors leading into it. I am not sure how the rooms are situated since most hotels here in Orlando are either in different buildings or just in one single building, which to me it was a single building. It was pretty convenient in my book. The convention was set up very neatly where you have Artist’s Alley and Con Registration in one room and then Vendor’s Room and Panel Room 1 next to each other and then Main Events around the corner in another hallway and then when you go to the left from the hotel entrance you will find more tables for costume contest sign ups, Panel Room 2, and both of the gaming rooms for card games and video games. It was pretty simple to navigate especially when you want to get to Vendor’s and the Artist’s Alley areas. I do like this layout but wishing Panel Room 2 was placed closer to the other stuff because it was pretty small and notice that not much traffic went there unless you were in the costume contest on Saturday due to pure-judging happened in that room. There were some panels in there too which included mine. I hope they hold Omni again at this one again because it was a lot more easier to get food. Unlike the other locations which were the Worldd Center, Rosen Center, and the Double Tree near Universal, we had to travel to get food even though the World Center did improve on their food court and can’t wait to go back to Matsuri if we get press again this year. With Florida Mall, you can either go to the cafe area in the hotel itself or walk into the food court and the mall for the food stands which makes it very convenient! Some places did give discounts like the sushi place which we didn’t get a chance to go since that was a place that gave a 10% off discount to people with a badge or wrist band. Most of my food money went to A&W unfortunately. Still, veery nice and also nicer that one of the businesses in the mall did promote themselves at the con which was called Pop Cult, which Gondar visited back in December. Hoping this convention is held at this place again because I do love the convience and easy navigation!
Vendor’s Room and Artist’s alley: I decided to combine the two since this year there were really talented artists and sone were even in thenVendor’s Room. One one happened that that included Angry Mask Man which he had masks that he had made. Some of the masks include Majora’s Mask from Legend of Zelda, Princess Monoke’s Mask, and many more. I asked him how long it took and he said it is a process for him to make them since he had to make molds for them. If you search for this guy on the net, I would recommend. Another vendor that I was happy to see was the woman who made the 3DS cases and she did post on the Omni Fandom Expo Group on Facebook about her stand and that she had phone cases and since I did get an SE I decided to see about My Little Pony ones. I almost got thee Pinky Pie one at first and she didn’t have Twilight Sparrkle one, neither in princess form nor regular form, but I did get one with Rarity because it was pretty and shiny! I will get a new 3DS XL case since thee one I got from her broke. Hoping I get online or at the next con we go to. Another vendor that caught my eye this year was something I never thought I would find and that is an indie makeup brand and they are known as Surreal Makeup. Her makeup is all natural and cruelty free, which is awesome for anyone looking for a new cruelty free brand, and she has brought a lot of her eye shadows and some of her lip items. I almost thought about getting a lip item but her eye shadows really got my attention since I tend to horde eye shadows left and right. The one I got is called Shooting Star which is a very sparkly one which I didn’t know she included a toothpick to poke with (which Gondras told me about after putting it on but did fix that when I got home by poking the hole in the middle) and according to Gondras I poked like I was gong to join Jem and the Holograms. You need to be careful but she suggests that you poke a hole in the middle of the sifter and tap out the shadow which will last longer even while cosplaying. You can find her site at http://www.surrealmakeup.com for all her stuff! I highly recommend and if you are going to Rupaul’s Drag Show this year, she will be selling there as well. Tell her that I said hi since I left my business card. Also, my thoughts about something like this is that some conventions should definitely have more makeup brands or at least indie ones to sell since we do love cosplay and finding awesome makeup for it, even on a budget, it would be nice to get something on the spot! We did find many other vendors in there such as the t-shirt guys who made shirts for such shoes like Biker Mice from Mars and Swat Cats, even one that sold a Power Rangers items that included the Dragon and Tiger daggers that Tommy used when he was the Green and White Rangers in Mighty Morphen. I was happy to find a better key ring for my Lucy cosplay and it was the actual key ring and just put the keys on it this morning. Can’t wait to go back to a con as her or the newer Pokémon crossover costume I want to do of her.
Guests: Since we covered the vendor;s we do have the Guests as well. The autograph area was slightly smaller and I can see why since thee room was a bit small. I do like the idea since there weren’t long lines to worry about Ike most conventions. We did interview Paul St. Peter which he remembered us from last year. He did do his usual voice acting panels which included Voice Maker and Voice Perofrmer, which we only went to Performer on Sunday. We did attend his famous Pirate Curses panel of course and did enjoy that like last year. Gondras did participate this year and got a compass as his prize. We also got to interview Josh Martin and Chris Rager together since they have been in Dragonball which was fun talking to them about vvoice acting. I was happy that Chris was in Fairy Tail and you know me that I love my Fairy Tail! I did get to meet Brian Muir on Sunday and was great talking to him about some of the movies he had worked on and glad to know that he is enjoying his time being retired from it and Rogue One as his final work. Hoping to meet him again in the future. We did reunite with Bruce, No Ordinary Balloon Guy, he did had a Hercule made for that weekend for Chris Rager and awesome that he still makes balloon stuff, he even made people something when asked. Gondras thought about interviewing him but we need a quiet area but seeing how busy the weekend became the time flew out the window! Always next time Gadget!
Panels and Events: Holyy moly! I think this year we went to more panels than last like with Matsuri. Most of the really good ones took place in Panel Room 1 which included Tokusatsu panel that I knew Richard would enjoy and he did and even helped with some of the info. Someone did say that he should’ve co-hosted with Crows which I agree. I did check out the Lolita 101 because Vivi attended one by the Central Florida Lolita Society back at Metro in 2014 but didn’t like it as much since the information was either “Yes, you can do this.” Or “You can but you must do this and this.” This one was done by Mesumi Sempai and she was very informative in her presentation especially with the history. I did ask about shopping from Angelic Pretty which the panel Vivi went to mentioned that Angelic Pretty is the only place everyone should shop from The answer I got was it is not necessary since people are on a budget including me and good thing is we can buy things pieces at a time which I do like and we do have a lot of resources out there to buy from which is also true, this bit was also mentioned during the Cosplay Tips and Tricks panel later that night and done by a cosplay guest which she gave a lot of good pointers too. If only some of these panels on this stuff were done more like this. If you are wondering, I had no audience at my panel since there were a lot of other panels going on and it was in Panel Room 2 but it will be on YouTube for you guys which is a good thin. I hope to take it to other conventions because there are people who may have heard or not heard of assistive tech and apps that help, heck when I demonstrated Be My Eyes, Nerdy Shirts was surprised that an app just like it exists. You will see how it works in the video!
The biggest event that is always the thing everyone loves is the costume contest. I did enter as Pokémon Ranger Link and man it was fun to do. It was also the first time I wore elf ears ever since he did have pointy ears. I had to get a new bottle of Spirit Gum and it was fun explaining what it was to my dad while at Party City looking for it. The costume construction was supposed to be for last year but couldn’t do it due to being broke but until my work experience that was when I got the parts for it and got it done in time for this year! The judges liked the Ageslash that Gondras made in the Master Sword colors and the patches and scarf bits my dad did the sewing work for. Too bad I didn’t win, even Nerdy Shirts thought there should’ve been a “Best Costume Donee With a Budget” award which I agree and the same time a “Best Crossover” award since I did crossover two of the best video game franchises together. The judges did mention that they had a hard time choosing since they saw awesome costumes even an Enchantress cosplayer from Suicide Squad! The most impressive was a kid doing a Attack On Titan scout with the weapons pack which hee made on his own which he got the Youth Category for.
There was one event that was a first for us was the Script Reading panel where the vice actors get to read scripts and it was entertaining. My favorite scripts that were done were for Guardiansof the Galaxy, which Paul St. Peter did an awesome Rocket Raccoon, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail which had the Holy Hand Grenade scene!
All in all, the panels and events. I think going to a lot of them this time does give a lot to do.
Verdict: CONVENTION COMPLETE: I know that this convention tends to get an ACCOMPLISHED but this year it felt more the second one and that is a COMPLETE! The hotel was awesome and the events were great but there were many other things that can take place during the time. It did feel like it had a slow start due to the new location and not a lot of people came due to the sudden change in location but it was still fun in the end.
Needs for Improvement: I feel like the real need for improvement is trying to get the word out there a bit more. When I talked to someone I knew from Metro that was going to be in town he didn’t know that Omni eye was taking place since it was March again. I know I did Convention Spotlight before my computer went out of order. (I am using my IPad and a Bluetooth keyboard I just received in the mail, that is why you are seeing this post!) but there should’ve been more word going around despite the change of location, as in finding more ways of getting the word out there. I did remember during year one there were fliers passed out and that should’ve been done even in the mall unless that was being done. If next year’s con happens at the same place, hoping a lot more people go to it since this is a great con and Paul St. Peter wants it to keep it going and said for the fans to make it the best con in Florida, That is why press is also here for too.
Another improvement would be having Panel Room 2 closer to the other main rooms because it felt like some of the panels, including mine, weren’t getting much attention especially when people were going to for any panel in there. Plus, that room should be bigger. I felt like I was in a workshop almost. And glad that my claustrophobia didn’t flare up. Still, this should be closer to the other rooms instead of far away.
Well, that is it guys for this review! I am glad we got to do another year at this convention. Hoping we keep on doing it since we have contributed a lot as press for them and want to keep doing it and we still enjoy doing it especially with interviews!
What is next on our Convention roster? MegaCon! We are doing it this year so stay tuned for Convention Spotlight! Until next time!