Fan Expo Canada: A Newbie’s Experience

A few weeks have passed since Fan Expo Canada, but I’m still undergoing withdrawal.

For geeks everywhere, attending your first Con or Fan Expo feels like a rite of passage, or at least something to check mark off your inner nerd’s to-do list. Now, some of you may be gasping at the very idea that I finally experienced my first Fan Expo, and I know, I’m surprised it took me this long too.

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A week before Fan Expo, I wasn’t thinking much about it, but as the Friday drew closer, I suddenly felt nervous. I didn’t know what to expect. Luckily, I had this handy survival guide to ease my nerves and prepare myself for a long weekend.

I cringed at the thought of huge crowds and worried about feeling out of place if the majority of attendees cosplayed. As some of you and my friends have mentioned, there was a good mix of cosplayers and those who decided not to. Aside from having to appease the geek gods and a few friends, I feel I may have to try to cosplay next year. Who knows — it might be fun! Anyone have cosplay ideas for the Paper Droids team?

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Look at that crowd! And that was just one room.

When I woke up Friday morning, excitement was coursing through me and I was ready for Fan Expo. As I took everything in — the crowds, the costumes, the booths, and my schedule for the weekend — I was completely overwhelmed. It was filled with everything I loved and I was surrounded by people who understood me.

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After Elissa, the entertainment editor, and I picked up our snazzy media passes, we checked out the floors to see what was available for sale, weaving through people. At first, it was hard to focus on where I was going when there were so many things to check out. Over time, like watching a movie with subtitles, I got the hang of it.

We met up with fellow Paper Droids staff to catch up and plan the rest of the afternoon. Megan, our science and tech editor, mentioned that the Space Channel booth was giving out Orphan Black buttons! I had recently watched every episode and became an instant fan. Unfortunately, when we got there, the bowls were empty. But wait, something much better happened!

A few minutes later, the actors from Orphan Black, Dylan Bruce, Jordan Gavaris, and Kevin Hanchard, started their signing before their panel. By the look on my face alone, my friends knew I was fangirling. Hardcore. I love the show so much! Check out the photos I got!

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When the signing was done, Space got the buttons out again and I stalked the booth like a hawk to snatch as many as I could.

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The Paper Droids team eventually parted ways to go cover panels for all of you! Elissa, Megan, and I headed straight for the Orphan Black panel. Find out more about what happened during the panel in Elissa’s article: Clones Aren’t “Redshirts:” Orphan Black at Fan Expo. I was super excited. For me, Friday was my best day at Fan Expo.

On Sunday, my day was packed full with panels. First on the agenda was The Walking Dead. As some of you know, I write The Walking Dead recaps for Paper Droids, so you can probably imagine how much of a big fan I am. There wasn’t much talk about next season, but it was super cool to see Steven Yeun, Norman Reedus, Laurie Holden, and Michael Rooker in person. Check them out!

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Lucky enough, my friends and I just had to stay in the same room to sit in on the Nathan Fillion panel. He was so awesome to just listen to. He’s very kind, down to earth, and clearly loves his fans. And Fillion has a gentle, playful humour that I just love. It was a joy and privilege to actually see him live.

It was fair enough to say I was on a complete geek high that weekend and I didn’t want it to stop. As Nathan Fillion mentioned during his talk, once Fan Expo is over, it just feels like you’re hungover. And how true that was!

I had a blast during Fan Expo weekend and I’m already counting down to the next one. Did you know Fan Expo Canada will be celebrating its 20th anniversary next year? I’m certainly looking forward to something special.

And if you’ve never attended a comic con or expo before, I highly recommend it! It’s totally worth it.

I'm a quiet girl with a lot to say. I'm a self-proclaimed geek girl, book worm, and social media addict. I'm the digital marketing manager for PaperDroids, so you've probably spoken to me on Twitter or Facebook, or if not, come say hi! I also have a book blog called Feisty Little Woman (feistylittlewoman.wordpress.com), where I write about strong female characters and their importance in novels and share my expertise about the publishing world.

  • ElissaS

    It was so fun being your fanexpo guide 😛

    • StephFurlan

      And thank you for being my guide! Tons of fun and great to go with geeky friends. No judging on the fangirling front. Haha!

  • Tracy Tendean

    Steph, I can totally relate. While last year wasn’t my first year at Fan Expo, it was the year that the convention changed my life and I realized that there was more to these passions and interests, and that I wanted to work within this world someday (still trying to figure that out ;)). But to have such a realization was epic and I went through intense withdrawal for many weeks to follow, so I completely understand how you feel!

    I’m so glad your first experience was so awesome and memorable for you – it sounds like in just two days you went to some of the best panels they had to offer this year! Now that you’ve had a taste and know the ins and outs, I bet next year will be even better for you. (And so exciting that it’s the 20th anniversary – I can only imagine what big names they’ll get!) 🙂

    • StephFurlan

      Thanks so much for your comment, Tracy!
      It’s so awesome to chat with people who just understand geek culture and know what it’s like to have a complete fangirl moment. I totally felt like I was in
      my element. And I’m excited to go back next year or even experience other cons. Life goal: San Diego Comic Con

      Had hoped to do more live tweeting for PD, but sometimes the connection wasn’t the greatest, but we’re hoping in the future to create meet-up schedules so writers or fans of the site can have a chat with us! 🙂