LVL Up Expo is the second of three conventions that my Wife and I went to in order to celebrate our honeymoon. I was really curious about an event with a huge focus in gaming and really wanted to see some of the guests. Unfortunately, the con was dealt a heavy blow with some guest cancellations, but did the rest of the events help to make up for that?
So I originally went to this event to meet Yuri Lowenthal, Tara Platt and Dave Wittenburg but sadly all three of them had to cancel. These things happen and have nothing to do with this event, but even so, I couldn’t help but be upset by this. The rest of the guests were also amazing and included voice acting legends such as Chris Sabat and Steve Blum. This event picked some amazing talent so there were still a lot of awesome people to see.
The panels were fun but I didn’t have a whole lot of interest in them. This convention didn’t have a lot of panels going on so there wasn’t much to pick from; however, it did have some pretty cool interactive panels and panels that featured most of the guest list. These huge panels are always fun to attend. The convention featured a lot of tournaments such as Pokemon, Super Smash Brothers and a bunch of board games. It was so much fun seeing all the games everywhere that I tried a few and got to have a relaxing time. I just think a few more panels would be a nice addition.
A really entertaining alternative to panels was a thing called side quests. You would get assigned a task to get a picture or video and return to the quest master to show you completed it. You had to complete about five tasks to move up in rank and get a ribbon for your badge for your efforts, but to get the last rank, Diamond required 10 tasks. They ranged from easy tasks like finding a link cosplayer, who was right behind me when I got that mission, to tricky ones like finding six people to form a human star. It wound up being a whole lot of fun and a must-do at this convention for sure.
Vendors/Artist Alley was a gamers haven for sure. The merchandise was amazing with all sorts of funkos, video games, board games, original games, and the artwork was really good. It was really easy to get around which also helped with the side quest I mentioned earlier. The layout was really good and really vast for shopping.
Overall I had a really fun time at this event, the problem was most of what I came to see had to cancel. The convention had a lot of fun things to do for sure and there was awesome merchandise all over the place, but it really needs to find a way to improve on the panels because their just weren’t that many. They had a lot of good ones, but not enough. I will keep this convention in mind for future trips because if they have some guests I really want to see I will for sure comeback.