This years Bristol Expo started out very different for me. With an early start I caught the train and was on my way to Bristol from just after 6.00 and had booked a table seat so I could get on with sketches along the way. Out of quite an empty carrage three other travelers had decided to locate there. It turned out they were also on their way to the Bristol show, so there was no shortage of questions on my way there. What made the journey more unusual was the two rather drunk and slightly stoned women on their way to a festival of sorts. They kept me entertained if not disturbed for the rest of the journey. By the time we arrived at the station the one reveler' could barely stand. Which was quite amusing as she had been performing her Breast and Bum dance on the way into the station.
The Bristol Comic Expo itself has been moved back into the Engineers shed, which is directly attached to Bristol Train Station. Right back to where the Event originally began and a far better location than spreading the show over two hotels as has been done in previous years. Though curiously a few artists were still placed within the Ramada Hotel along with the Talks & The Draw the World Together charity. From what I saw within the main Hall there was plenty of room to accommodate all of these into where the main convention was. Though the footfall did not seem heavy on the day I have been reliably informed the attendance had gone up from the previous year. The space within the Engineers shed may simply have made it seem lesser attended than previously. Happily I found myself busy throughout the day with people that had specifically come out to see me but also plenty of new people in the mix.
One of the things I did notice that was missing from before was the lack of european visitors to the show. Always a big part of the crowd my only guess is they have decided to move on to the bigger shows such as Kapow. The other noticeable thing from the show was the lack of advertising. With no outward sign the show was going on at all, a huge market of people were missed out. With great transport links to compete with any other show, there could of been more effort to capitalize on this. Interestingly one of the passengers on the train I chatted to had a sister meeting her at the station that actually wants to break into comics. As it turns out even she was unaware the Brisol show was taking place. Which says a lot.
I had a great time catching up with people at the show even if it was ever so briefly. There has not been a year go by that I have not attended Bristol. So lets hope now the Event is back to its original home, it will grow from there. Fingers crossed I will be there too.
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