Ohayou! It's OhayouAnime here. Today we will discuss how Facts was and how it compared to the previous edition.
Let me first introduce what Facts is for the people that don't know about the convention. Facts is like a Comic Con that's being held 2 times a year (winter and spring edition), it was the first convention in Belgium that felt like a Comic Con that you would have in the US. I don't know if that is a legitimate comparison but you get what i'm talking about. Facts wanted to bring a convention that felt like one and they did a pretty good job. BUT
Let's begin with the floor plan. Facts is known to bring a nice looking floor plan. This year wasn't any different, the floor plan is always in the style of the conventions subject. This years subject was series, movies and games. Once you opened the booklet to the page of the floor plan your attention is immediatly caught to the execution of it. Props to the team that worked on it because it really looked nice. Allthough, i do found it dissapointing that the floor plan doesn't change that much. If you are fimiliar with the floor plan then u probably will know what i'm talking about. The placement of each dealer didn't change compared to last year and the edition before that. It's always the same path placement, the only thing that might change places sometimes is the cosplay hall or the games hall.
Next up are the guests. Let me say this first, WOW. Facts have outdone themself this year with the guests. They brought in names like Lana Parrila (Roles: Evil Queen in Once upon a time, Sarah Gavin in 24, Greta in Lost, etc...), Jason Isaacs (Roles: Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter, Captain Gabriel Lorca in Star Trek Discovery, Captain Hook in Peter Pan, etc...) and probably the most hyped actor in this list was Gaten Matarazzo (Roles: Dustin Henderson in Stranger Things, Broadway actor for Les misérables and Broadway actor for Priscilla, Queen of the dessert: the musical). Don't get me wrong with this, Facts always have a nice looking line up. Some better then the other, but this year was exceptional.
Let us talk about dealers next. I'm allways wary for the dealers. Why u ask? Bootleg, it's that simple. Bootleg is a real problem on conventions, not only on Facts but on every convention u go, u will find some bootleg dealers for sure. The convention team tries to make them scared by tweeting or putting op facebook posts that bootleg will not be tolerated and that their goods will be confiscated if they don't comply. I really want to believe that they do everything in their power to keep their word but i have heard from several dealers that they simply turn a blind eye against them, wich saddens me. It's really hard as well for the untraind eye to spot bootleg (like myself, i have a general idea of how bootleg looks like but i might miss something). The easy way is to have someone in your group that knows about it and luckily i have someone like that. My advice to every visitor going to conventions in general, make sure it's legite before u buy what u want and if u do find bootleg PLS contact the team and let them check on it. I also have several dealers i trust and know that sell legite stuff. A good point that goes towards the dealers and the convention is the use of card payments. I usually don't carry cash and prefer to pay with card as much as possible.
U can find all the dealers here: https://facts.be/nl/exposanten/
Let's discuss the food. Facts might be a "Comic Con" style convention, u do find some interesting food stands. The venue that Facts hires is also equiped with a "restaurant" where u can sit and relax, away from all the noise. That is always appriciated by a large number of people. The stands u mostly find are the asian style of food. Rice balls for example or the asian sweets and drinks are the most popular on these conventions. I tried the hamburger that they where selling and boi that was delicious, the price was a bit on the high side but it wouldn't be a convention other wise.
Next up is the amount of activities. Conventions Like Facts (Belgium) and Abunai (Netherland) will have activities for young and old. Facts usually has saber fighting in the entrance hall. This year they had some additions to the list. It's always fun for parents that bring their children to let them go ham from time to time instead of walking all day. This year they had a superhero academy, where u could do things like the eliminator, the warrior pitch, the hammer and many other things. They also had the board game zone and just like previous editions the gaming hall where the esports is being held as well.
Here's the link for the full activities list: https://facts.be/nl/activiteiten/
Last point is ticket prices. The prices for the tickets are divided in 5 different categories.
Cosplay ticket: costs around €13 and going in cosplay is obligated.
Standard ticket: costs around €20 to €25 depending if u would buy it online or in the venue itself.
Priority ticket: costs around €30 and u can go in to the venue 1 hour earlier.
VIP ticket: costs around €99 and u can go in to the venue 1 hour earlier. U also get the vip pack wich contains. Fast pass for fotoshoots and signing sessions. Entry to facts through a special VIP entrance. VIP parkingspot for your car on the chosen day(s), close to the vip entrance. Exclusive Facts-VIP badge and lanyard. Reserved seats for Q&A on the front rows. Access to the VIP lounge.
VIP weekend ticket: costs around €169 and u can go in to the venue 1 hour early on both days. U also get the vip pack wich contains. Fast pass for fotoshoots and signing sessions. Entry to facts through a special VIP entrance. VIP parkingspot for your car on the chosen day(s), close to the vip entrance. Exclusive Facts-VIP badge and lanyard. Reserved seats for Q&A on the front rows. Access to the VIP lounge. U also get a goodiebag (only with the vip weekend ticket).
Now to come to the full conclussion, Facts still has some working points towards dealers and the floor plan is getting a bit old but the style of it was nicely done. The guests where exceptional compared to previous editions. Food was good and the activities looked pretty fun. Prices where a bit on the high side for the tickets.
Floor plan and placement 6/10
Ticket prices 6/10
Overall Score 7/10