Con Diary: EXPCon 2019

EXPCon 2019 logo

EXPCon is a smaller convention located in Florida that has an interesting history. It was started in 2008, and ran for 4 years until 2011 before the convention went on hiatus. The convention made a comeback in 2017 by bringing all four voice actors for the game Final Fantasy XV all together for the first time at a convention.

I had previously been to EXPCon in 2017 and 2018, so I was really interested to see what this year had to offer. I only made it for a Saturday trip, but since it is a smaller convention I was definitely able to see plenty of what I wanted to see while I was there for the one day. I also got to attend with some amazing friends that made the experience all the better.

As far as guests went, I was most excited to see Robbie Daymond, Ray Chase, and Dante Basco. They’ve all had roles in games and shows that I’ve really loved such as Final Fantasy XV and Avatar: The Last Airbender, so it was exciting to see them all in one place. EXPCon gave each voice actor their own moderated Q&A panel. The two panels I was able to attend were interesting! I always love getting to hear about behind the scenes things when voice actors are working on projects or just fun tidbits about the different things they’ve done.

Voice actor panelists at EXPCon 2019

Another panel that was insanely hilarious was called “L.A.V.A.’s Super Kawaii Happy Party Game Go Go Happy Hangout Funtime.” A bit of a mouthful, no? It was essentially in the same spirit of Whose Line Is It Anyway? with voice actors Ray Chase, Robbie Daymon, and Max Mittleman acting out different sketches, improv, and games on stage in the main event room! It was a funny show to watch and they had the audience rolling!

The last panel I was able to attend was Basco’s, where he shared some stories involving his work on Avatar: The Last Airbender, Hook, and other projects. A bit into the panel, Christopher Judge (well-known for his voice work in the game series God of War) came into the room to join the panel. From there, the panel moved into a rather in-depth conversation on the importance of people of color being in both live action and voice acting roles in the entertainment industry. Both Basco and Judge had some amazing stories to share about their past work and what they’ve done over the course of their careers in regards to empowering their own roles and what they’re passing onto the next generation of actors of color that are coming into a changing industry.

Apart from panels, there was an amazing artist alley that was full of talented artists selling their art, keychains, stickers, and more! The vendor’s room had plenty on display as well, with some familiar Florida convention dealers scattered around. A game room was present, boasting plenty of consoles, games, and arcade setups to check out. There was even an actual DDR machine that I got to try a song out on for the first time in years!

For a convention that was on hiatus for a decent chunk of time and one that’s of a smaller size, EXPCon is a nice change of pace from larger conventions that I usually go to. There’s a bit more intimacy in panels where there are smaller audiences, a more chill vibe about the entire place, and you really get a chance to hang out with your friends in a relaxing environment!

Overall, I had a really great time at EXPCon this year. What the convention had to offer in terms of panels, guests, and other activities was great and spending a great day with my friends really made for a fun time.