I’ve not been to many gaming conventions in my life and part of that comes down to not having the money to go and finding the time to travel down. Luckily though, i57 came at the right time at the back end of March. I went into the event kind of knowing what to expect. Lots of games, tournaments and online celebrities holding their own stage shows.
When we first arrived, we went to have a look around the various exhibitions from stores to games such as Quantum Break on show at the Xbox booth. As expected with most of these things, there was a lot of queuing, which did make some things very frustrating, especially as you had to wait quite a while. I think because we went on Saturday it was probably the busiest day of them three and the fact that the pub quiz was on Saturday night, it was quite an attraction for those over 18.
We then went to the Razer show where they were handing out free goodies to those sat in the crowd. Unfortunately we missed out on a seat, but took a standing position at the back to get a glimpse of online YouTubers Syndicate and MiniLadd. Since I got my partner into YouTube, these have always been her two favourite YouTubers, so she was pretty excited to see them in person to say the least. Although she did make fun of Syndicate’s small height.
We then went back around the exhibition floor, ready for Syndicate’s talk about YouTube and how he evolved into the world of vlogging. It was pretty hard to hear exactly what he was saying with all the hustle and bustle of the other exhibitors, but it still gathered a lot of viewers. As for the exhibitors on show, there was Asus, Razer, PlayStation 4, Xbox, GAME and many other big gaming brands there. I had a look around most of their stands, but I think the busiest was Syndicate Original and Razer. But props to GAME for their pirate ship display!
Overall the day was pretty spectacular and having lunch at TGI Friday’s made it all the more better, despite the busy service and slightly below their standard food. And a quick hotel review. We stayed at the Arden Hotel which was about 10 minutes from the NEC venue. We were provided a helpful and splendid service from the staff, including directions to the arena, as the underpass and bridge over the railway were closed on the day. The food was decent and we even had some spare spending money to pay for breakfast in our room the next morning.
Overall, I would say my i57 experience was pretty good. I could have got involved in more things, but as my first event in a long while, it was definitely worth the effort and money getting here. I’d definitely like to go again and next time I might even sign up to a few things, just to enhance my experience there.