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STGCC 2012 will be invading the Marina Bay Sands!

Hey fans, STGCC will be back from 1 – 2 September 2012 at a new exciting venue: Marina Bay Sands! Stay tuned for more updates! ♥

It was a simple, unassuming tweet from the official Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention (STGCC) account @singaporetgcc, but it is saying SO much.

Firstly, STGCC remains a two-day event and will still be held near the end of the summer season which confirms that organiser Reed’s decision this year to avoid clashing with other similar events like Anime Festival Asia and EOY at year-end must’ve garnered positive feedback from the fans. It is also the weekend of the start of the September school holidays, which is nothing short of genius and clearly leans towards establishing STGCC as family-friendly event.

But the bigger news is that for the first time in the event’s history, it will no longer be held at Suntec Convention Halls 401 and 402, which has hosted the Con since 2008. Instead, we’re now looking at the Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre to be the future site where geek history is made. Yet one has to question: what prompted the decision to relocate? Were there more push or pull factors? How will this affect the fans?

Without more details, it will be difficult to analyse further. Some fans’ first reaction is whether the prices will go up with the location change. I for one don’t think they would. With it still being a two-day event, I don’t foresee them changing their pricing guide yet again. This year’s tiered system of  VIP tickets for the hardcore, weekend tickets, single day tickets and evening tickets did appear to have the expected effect of attracting more attendees, though whether the attendees felt the tickets they got were value for money is another thing.

What we do know is this: if their event configuration is based on this year’s event, where the booths were in Hall 401 and the stage was in Hall 402, with no other locations involved, then we’re most likely looking at a smaller event next year. The Sands has six exhibition halls, with all but one of them significantly larger than Hall 401, which is 3,890 square metres. Only Hall D on the basement 2 level is 3,110 square metres, and with the adjoining Hall D1 (at 1,360 square metres) just the right size for the stage area, it is probably the most likely location for next year’s event. Of course, organisers Reed Singapore could surprise me, as they have often done in the past and opt for a larger location, but I’m not holding out for it. For one thing, unless they make entry free again (and I doubt they will) a large location would only serve to give the impression of poor attendance.

This also means that cosplayers and photographers who traditionally throng the open areas on Suntec’s third and fourth level at such events will probably find themselves needing new places to congregate. Though the prefunction area outside the Hall in MBS seems large enough, the natural sunlight that characterised Suntec may be sorely missed in the basement. Yet, I’m sure as most cosplayers are already aware, there are lots of open areas in the Sands’ vicinity which would be perfect for photographs. They’ll just be a lot further from the Con than before.

All in all, though details are still sketchy, I doubt the move to MBS will affect the way STGCC itself is run. If nothing else, it reflects Reed’s increasing commitment to their investment and bodes well for the geek community here in Singapore and the region.

Peter Lin

His teenage years spent nursing a giant man-crush on Steve Rogers, the first Captain America, Peter naturally found himself drawn to many other heroes who depicted strong, manly qualities, including the honour-bound warrior Worf, first Klingon in Starfleet, and the muscular rock hard abs of The Thing.

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