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Copyright VAX 2017

You know how people say third time’s the charm? Visual Arts Expo 2017 has come and gone and here’s what we think about VAX’s third time running.

Oh boy, how VAX has grown. Granted it didn’t start off as a small, school-hall convention like how some of the larger events did (like AMG and CF for example) but I can safely say it’s come a long way.

If you remember my write-up from last year, you might have heard that I didn’t feel the con was the best but I’m pleased to say I’m quite happy with this year’s offerings! Now let’s get the ball rolling!

Location

This being the first time attending a convention in the Shah Alam Convention Center (SACC) I didn’t really have much expectations for venue. But in all honesty I find the place quite nice; there’s plenty of space and there’s a mall in close proximity so if you need food (or ample parking) there’s somewhere to go. Parking in SACC’s basement is quite limited though, so you’ll want to look for other options.

The building also has multiple levels, and as such a LOT of room to expand. If the event ends up being even bigger next year, they don’t have to move because on the 2nd and 3rd floor there’s ample rooms that can be used. The place is quite well maintained too, with adequate air conditioning (given the crowd) and the amenities are in great shape as well.

The downside to using SACC as a location is that it’s a wee bit out of the way, and there aren’t any good public transport options to get there. Your best bet would be to either drive, or if you need to use the train; take it as close as you can get and uber the rest of the way. But generally speaking, I really like the place and I hope they stay there!

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Jam packed with stuff to do

In typical VAX fashion, there were heaps of things to do.

If you weren’t attending one of their free panels, there was plenty going on at the stage area, be it a talk from Studio Trigger or Abam Apam, or the Type Moon panel going on in the panel room upstairs, you’d have better hoped that anything you wanted attend didn’t clash or you’d have a hard time attending it all!

I personally enjoyed the panels, and I’m looking forward to getting to attend more next year. VAX brought in tons of guests as well, so kudos on being able to pull in industry professionals, personalities and cosplay guest alike from around the region.

Of course, it isn’t quite a convention without vendor and artist stalls (usually my fave part of a convention, seriously I think I buy too much stuff sometimes haha) and there was a significant turnout of members from the local creative industry as well! We don’t always get to meet up and personal with industry players, and it warms my curmudgeonly black heart that VAX has pretty much kept this up as part of their main draw for the event.

Also closing ceremony and concert. I didn’t stick around long enough for it, but it never hurts to hang around for that!

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Cheryl Bates
Occasional writer, gamer, artypants and owner of about seven+ years of craft related battle scars, she lives only half anchored in reality while still trying to figure out how anti-gravity anime hair works.