The Expo has grown a lot since Kandrix, Laurie and their team started things up way back when. It's funny to think about, since I used to spend a lot of time them when they were running their artist collective many years ago. We've since both moved into the same neighborhood, but don't maintain any real contact in recent years. What they've done to start and grow to expo though is a feat to be lauded, not only by their friends, but by the city in general.
I think the expo is a great idea, and has drawn more eyes to the city throughout North America. Having celebrities, entertainment professionals, artists and all sorts of attendees come to Calgary for the event is not only fun and exciting, but also good for business. Hotels, shop owners, restaurants, tourism and the city's reputation and culture are enriched simply by playing host to the ever growing event.
I've been an attendee and an exhibitor at the expo, and generally it's been a good experience. Last year I was unable to go due to the scheduling of the event, but I heard good things. The year previously I was disappointed by the near-impossibility of attending panels due to the bottleneck and lack of signage around the doors to that area. However, this year I'm heartily looking forward to it.
I've never attended for the full event except as an exhibitor, so this will be the first time to do so. The 25th anniversary of Star Trek TNG is also pretty exciting. Of course I watched the original series as a kid during afternoon re-runs on CBC, but Next Generation was my Trek. I was able to watch it from the beginning, all the way through to the finale, and it was some great TV. The fact that the expo organizers were able to bring the entire principle cast together for the first time since the show ended is quite a coup! I'll be attending as many of the panels as I can, as well as the Exposed event on Saturday evening.
Naturally there are tons of other guests that I'm looking forward to seeing if not meeting as well. It should be a good time, even if I know my feet are going to hate me on Monday morning.
Now I just have to decide what I can get the legendary Stan Lee to sign for me...