[Event Review] Fangaea 2023 – A Fantastic Fandom Experience!

Source: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/fangaea-2023-the-awesomest-pop-culture-and-fandom-convention-tickets-412753034437

By: Peggy Sue Wood


I would say that this is an excellent starting place for first-time attendees to fan/anime conventions. It is a PG-13/TV-14 friendly event based on the content I saw displayed. The overall cost of the ticket was relatively cheap too (about $20 for online purchase, and $25 in person for the day). (“Cheap” cost in terms of the local area–I recognize that this may be more expensive for those not local to California living costs.)

Size and Scale + Food

This is definitely a small convention. The price for an attendee ticket was more than reasonable for this kind of small-scale event. As mentioned earlier, the cost was about $20 for online purchases and $25 if you bought a ticket at the convention itself. It was all hosted in a single building, the Scottish Rite Event Center in San Diego, and played host to a number of different rooms with varied activities.

The food was all outside with two food trucks available. One was a boba truck and the other was Mexican food. I ordered a quesadilla from the Mexican food truck and loved it. The side of rice was a little bland but ultimately fine. When looking at food from a truck, or really any outside food, the biggest concern I tend to have is a feeling of “will I feel alight after eating it?” and the answer for this event was a strong yes. In fact, I felt good while eating it and was full for the rest of the convention!

Overall, a second food option would have been appreciated, but what was available was great and a welcomed stay for the day.

Health and Safety Policy

Because of the small area and regular patrol of security, I felt very safe at this convention! The security may have seemed a little zealous at times, such as when directing people not to go down a particular ramp towards the vendor area, but they were doing so for safety reasons and I can’t fault them for that.

Covid policy was a disclaimer recognizing that people come at their own risk to events like these. There was no guarantee of testing or vaccination records, no necessity for masking, etc. At this point, I think these are reasonable assessments and claims in a post-pandemic world.

Vendor Hall + Artist Alley / Performance Stage

The Vendor Hall was a mix of small businesses and spillover from Artist Alley. It was a healthy mix of fandom, which my family liked. I enjoyed the anime, and they enjoyed the Marvel/DC.

I recognized some of the local vendors from events prior and saw some new faces. Personally, I liked the Vendor Hall more than Artist Alley, but mostly because I had an easier time talking with the vendors and asking questions. Artist Alley, which shared the space with the main performance stage, was a little more difficult for me. It too had a healthy mix of fandom and I recognized a few of the artists and locals.

Because the main performance stage was in Artist Alley, there was always some sort of announcement or other ongoings in the room, such as music, speaking, etc.

Entertainment – Presenter Experience

From a presenter’s point of view on the experience, this was great! Everyone on the team was very quick to respond to emails and set solid deadlines for the needed return of materials regarding advertisements and preparations. There was someone to help set up my computer prior to the start of my presentation, and they also helped with moderating time. The screen in my room was somewhat small (like a semi-large TV with a hookup), but perfectly fine for the room size. Meanwhile, in the other speaker area, there was a projector hookup with more speaking space. Both locations have a good setup, from my perspective.

Entertainment – Attendee Experience

I loved attending when I wasn’t presenting. I got there pretty early in the morning and felt very comfortable the whole time. There was a lot of seating to rest and recover as the day got hotter and things started settling into a full swing of events. In fact, the women’s restroom had a rather nice lounge area, and I found myself sitting there for short breaks more than once.

Even outside the lounge area, there were plenty of couches and other seating in the spacious main hall. This was great, and I regularly saw attendees sitting for brief periods to collect themselves, recoup, and get back up again.

I think that there probably wasn’t as much as there could be going on given the space or the venue, but given the size and price, the fact that there was as much activity as it had seemed reasonable. There were some semi-known voice actors present and events happening all throughout the day, which was great!

However, I think more could have been done to update attendees on changes to the schedule. There could have been a mobile way to check for schedule updates–such as being active on the official Twitter or creating a briefly usable mobile app (heck–even the main website or a free Google site that just discusses changes to schedules would have worked). There was a good amount of cell service for my carrier, which tends to find dead zones almost everywhere I go, so I assume that the staff were busy with other things or made an active choice not to work on schedule updates with everything else going on.

Final Judgments

Venue: 4/5 – Great space, but could have had at least one additional food option (not just boba!).

Staff: 5/5 – Nice, organized, and always ready to help!

Organization, Layout & Management: 5/5 Effective use of the space, given the size of the event.

Organization, Media Use: 5/5 – Great marketing materials.

Attendance: 4/5 – Overall, great use of the space and great events

Affordability: 5/5 – Excellent cost-to-experience ratio!

Overall: 4.6/5 – I would say that this is an excellent starting place for first-time attendees to fan/anime conventions. It is a PG-13/TV-14 friendly event based on the content I saw displayed. The overall cost of the ticket was relatively cheap too (about $20 for online purchase, and $25 in person for the day).

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