MCM London Disney meet
Simon Upton, MCM Disney group organiser, took time out of his busy MCM schedule to answer some questions and give us a little insight into what it’s like to be involved in one of the biggest and most well attended meet ups at MCM London Comic Con
Many cosplayers will tell you that one of the biggest parts of their convention experiences is attending a meet up. People plan their cosplays around them and photographers keep their eyes on the meet up listings to see where they need to be to get the best photographs of the day.
Simon’s Disney group grows larger and larger every year and not only pulls in a massive amount of truly talented cosplayers but it has also been getting quite a lot of attention from professional photographers and videographers. It’s one of the most well organised meet ups I’ve been attending over the years and it was great to get to catch up with Simon and chat with him about it.
Check out Simon’s page and the Disney meet up event page:
Photography Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/sruphotos
MCM Disney Meet Page: www.facebook.com/mcmdisneymeet
- Hi Simon, can you start by letting us know a little bit about yourself?
“Hi there, I’m a PT chef from County Durham. During my spare time, I like to play on my Xbox one and doing photography which I’ve enjoyed for 4 years both in and out of conventions. I love watching films and going to the cinema as well as cooking”
- How long have you been organising the MCM Disney group meet up and how did you originally come around to starting it/get involved?
“I’ve been organising the Disney meet for 3 years this May. Before I did the meet, I generally went around MCM, doing cosplay photos for cosplayers at the event. After one MCM, I decided I wanted to get involved in a different way and thought about setting up a meet that I could relate to. I also noticed the wonderful disney cosplays all over the convention, from there I put two and two together and the Disney meet was born”
- When did you start attending MCM?
“I started attending about 5 years ago. My friend loved coming here and always told me about all the fun he’d been having. He would tell me about the guests he’d met, all the cosplays he’d seen etc and he would show me pictures of it all. So after a while, I gave in and came along… and since then have never looked back”
- How has the convention changed since you started attending, what changes have you seen (good or bad)?
“MCM has grown! No doubt about that. The layout has changed to adapt to the increasing numbers. I’ve seen more guests attend and the amount of floor space definitely seems to have increased. There has been a definite improvement regarding the queuing system as I found last year that I was able to get through quicker; so that’s a positive sign. However the inside of the Excel Center in particularly the centre walkthrough area, can be considerably busy and this is where some of the meets set up due to the inconsistent British weather”
- Why did you chose to organise a Disney group, what is it that makes Disney so special to you?
“I decided to organise a Disney meet as I’ve been a big fan of Disney for sometime. No matter what age I’ve been, I’ve loved singing along to my favourite songs. I’ve always admired the wonderful Disney cosplays that people were wearing at MCM, so I wanted to bring people together allowing all Disney fans to meet each other, whether they are cosplayers or people wanting photographs of their favourite characters”
- (On average or estimated) How many people attend the Disney group meet ups?
“The numbers do fluctuate and the meet has grown in size. Originally when I started organising the meet, it was only on one day. At the initial meet, I had 75-80 people. That number doubled for the next meet to 150 plus the Sunday meet came into effect which brought in more people. Now, on average, the meets over the weekend over all three days pull in about 250+ people, with Saturday being the busiest day”
- What are some of the challenges of arranging and organising such a large meet up?
“Having such a large meet up to organise does provide its challenges that is true. I have to consider how much space I’m going to need which is priority for those attending. I have had to move the meet in order to accommodate that. One of the other things I have to consider is the other meets, since there are many others who want to arrange meets at London MCM, so I also contact other meets meeting in the area in order to work together for their comfort as well as our own.
I’ve also set up a Facebook page in order to keep everyone up to date with what’s going on. This is in addition to the event pages as well as I feel keeping people up to date with everything is important; plus it makes it easier for others if they can get hold of me easily.
Other challenges such as solving problems that may occur or considering requests from people attending for photos etc and working them into the schedule I piece together”
- What tips or advice would you give someone who wants to start organising meet ups at MCM?
“If you are interested in setting up a meet. Consider the following things”:
- How big is your audience that your meet is aimed at?
- Location of the meet – Whereabouts is suitable and would give you the right amount of room?
- Is it accessible for everyone?
- How are you going to promote your event other than MCM Fringe Festival.
- Other than your fantastic meet ups, what do you enjoy most about going to MCM?
“I love going round and taking in the atmosphere. I don’t spend much within the convention due to how busy my weekend can be, but I love meeting guests who do voices of my favourite video game characters. It’s also great to meet up with friends where I used to live as they cosplay there as well. I also do a lot of cosplay photography which has grown considerably.”
- What plans do you have in store for the Disney group?
“The Disney meet has grown over the three years; going from one meet to two meets and now, it runs every day over the London MCM weekend. I plan on keeping it going so many others can continue to enjoy it over the weekend. I’m also working alongside additional videographers who love coming to the meet and capturing their cosplays on camera. With more Disney characters constantly appearing as new movies occur, characters new and old will appear which will bring more to the meet. I’m also looking at organising possible events outside of MCM to expand on the meet that way as well”
Many thanks to Simon for speaking with me!
And in case anyone was wondering what I went to the Disney meet as, well the only way I can describe it is Drunk 1950’s Alice in Wonderland (she’s made some bad decisions)
GS Blogger: Fia @madame_fifi