FanFes 2018 is one of the latest entries in the Cosplay Mania Event Series, and in this day and age, it’s one of the events that defies the norm.

Back in the late 90’s to the early 2000’s, events like FanFes 2018 may come a dime a dozen. None of the international guestings, steep ticket prices, constantly loud sounds from coming from the stage; none of boisterous commotion. FanFes 2018 is far from that. and it’s a welcome sight to behold.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that SMX Aura’s Function Room 1 is a bit too cramped for a local event. The venue is also not that accessible considering public transportation. But it’s not necessarily a downgrade. The layout is evenly spaced, and the place is generally well-lit. Not to mention, foot traffic from ticket booth to exit was actually manageable and a little less chaotic than the norm.

If there’s one thing to describe FanFes 2018, it would be generally peaceful. Akin to staple events like Komikon or Christmas Toycon, FanFes leans more on the aspect of patrons seen as customers, rather than “con-goers.” Events like these tend to be more solemn, and the attention is directed more toward the booth proprietors and their merchandise. Most big events have these “artists alleys” as an obligatory area to explore, but it doesn’t have that foot traffic you’d expect. FanFes answers that by giving the artists (indie, amateur, professional, or hobbyist among others) their own space to showcase their talent, gain new fans, interact with longtime fans, be recognized, and earn for their hard work.

Let’s be honest. Big time events won’t go away any time soon, and we’re not getting tired of it either. We can’t expect events like FanFes 2018 to step up and dominate the events calendar year like it used to. Instead, we can be thankful that FanFes 2018 is still a go-to event for the local geek community, despite its lack of fancy bells and whistles. We need events like FanFes 2018 as a reprieve from the bigger events, and we’d be glad to see this become a yearly thing.