Just as a lark, I attended the Fan Expo Canada Convention in Toronto on Saturday.
Before I describe the convention, let me start with a short preamble. I have little-to-no convention experience. I received Dragon magazine as a kid (and teen) and always wanted to attend GenCon. I went in 2008 and checked that off the list of things to do before I die. I would like to go again in 2010. I really didn't game that much while I was there but played in the Goodman Games Tournament (and advanced) and wandered the vendor hall. Picked up tons of cool gear. That was cool enough for me.
So, I rope-a-doped my good friend and former role-playing buddy into going to Fan Expo with me. Although gaming was included as one of the "areas" in the vendor hall, and there were games taking place throughout the convention centre, I really didn't dig the vibe. The vendor hall was dominated by Anime (which I can't stand) and Comic Books (not my bag either); I mean DOMINATED by these two areas. Gaming, as defined at this Con, was video gaming. I went hoping to score a few D&D minis for my home game and only found one store selling minis. That just sucks. The cosplay was pretty average too with the exception of the Star Wars 501st Legion.
Having said all that, I think there were a ton of people who enjoyed it. The lines to get in at 10am Saturday morning were huge and the line to get in to the convention centre extended down the street and around the corner by noon. People in Toronto were keen to attend.
So, overall, it wasn't what I expected but I'm glad I went. It was an opportunity to hang with my buddy and check out the larger gaming scene in Toronto. I don't know whether I would go again. Maybe in a few years when my kids are older. There aren't many "pull" factors for an RPGer.
Here's a few pics of the Con (that's me with the Tron bike and with the 501st):