So a litte over 2 weeks ago, I attended California’s first My Little Pony convention in California. It was called Equestria L.A and it was a 1000 attendee convention that was held over the course of 2 days in the Anahiem Convention Center which is located in Anaheim, California or as locals such as myself like to call it, “DIDNEYWORLD”.
It was the second MLP convention that I have been to with Canterlot Gardens being my first and the 3rd fan convention for anything that I have ever attended as a young adult living in the U.S. Unlike Canterlot Gardens however, EQLA was the first convention that I’ve been to where I was officially representing both Derpy Hooves News and Bronies for Good in manners which ended up coloring my overall convention experience. I mean, instead of running around and going to panels or enjoying convention shenanigans (like I was in CG), I was at my BfG table talking with convention guests about what Bronies for Good is, what it does, and why they should donate to Seeds of Kindness 2. Oh, and incarnating this awesome banner with everyone who donated to the cause:
Are you all familiar with the massive amount of butterflies that you get before the start of a major live event? Well fortunately I didn’t have any such issues during my pre-con rest but I did end up waking up a full 2 hours early. It wasn’t all bad since I filled the time with last minute preparations and the ever so exciting scenario generator. Alas duty called, and soon I was on my way to the convention.
The trip (Which I took by car with some friends from the Bronies of Northern California Meet-Up Group) was frothed with good conversations and ponies, was a whole load of fun. Especially considering that one of our companions had his DJ gear along for to keep up entertained with live audio mixing and the occasional out of context sound bit. At a predesignated halfway point in Central California, we stopped at an In N’ Out to meet-up with other Norcal bronies taking the trip down as well. After sharing stories and being a general nuisance we resumed our trajectory to Anaheim. Upon reaching the outskirts of L.A. We ran into the notorious afternoon rush hour traffic. Aside from a few close calls and one mid-line skipping incident though, we were able to make it to Anaheim in one piece. We then proceeded to check into the Hilton, procured our badges after some registration woes and made our way to head to a So-Cal bronies meet-up in one of the multiple’s IHOP (International House of Ponies) that we would claim over the course of the weekend. As always, good conversations, warm food, and a few drawing commissions were had. Then as per typical herd mindset, we wandered off into night in search of entertainment and excitement. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling up to the task so I decided to head back to the hotel and retire for the evening since you should always have at least one good night of sleep before going on a weekend of convention. I mean come on…It’s common sense and your body will thank you later.
DAY ONE: Tabling, Tabling, and more Tabling!
After arriving at the Anaheim Convention Center and consulting the artist alley coordinator, I soon found myself situated at table D4. Content with my space, I took my table cloth for a banner and affixed it to the table proper, opened my box of pins, booted up an ancient PC tablet, and put out my sign-up sheet. I took a breath, and began what was to be 10 hours of tabling for Seeds of Kindness 2. But I wont bore you with the descriptive details about all of the wonderful people that I spoke to and hung out with during those hours. Neither will I describe in detail the heartfelt exchanges that I had with donor’s of all sorts who helped me raise $714 for Seeds of Kindness 2 Faithful and Strong. Instead I’ll tell you about the few shameless plug-in’s that I managed to pull during through the course of day. Why? Because I can:
Day 1 writers panel notebook giveaway (Go to 30:00)
FRIENDSHIP CIRCLE (And Rave)!
A Powerpuff girls storyboard that was sold off during the Charity auction. If only I had more bits to burn…
Day 2- Charity Auction and General Shenanigans
Day 2 began on a rather ordinary note for me as I slogged out of bed, combed my mane and began making my way to the convention center and rooted myself firmly at my table for what I expected to be another full day of tabling. Needless to say, that didn’t turn out being the case as I was dragged into all manner of charity auction preparation, conservations with Brenda Crichlow and the Kreber’s. But I really stop stalling and get to the real para-sprite in the room…The EQLA Charity Auction.
Where to even begin with this event…Hours of collecting and cataloging items, timing the script and setting up the format for everything was basically flushed down the proverbial toilet as spontaneous acts of showmanship and generosity overtook it. What was supposed to be a 1 hour auction turned into a 2.5 hour affair with moments that took me from every emotional extreme imaginable. Everything from frustration with the schedule, tears of joy from what I consider the most tear jerking moment of that whole convention. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about allow me to enlighten you. Ohad (one of the meet-up organizers from Bronies of Northern California) donated $2,000 to Operation Smile for a trio of MLP cards. If there was any moment when I and joy from the hilarious antics of Mic the Microphone, Michelle Kreber, Silvahound and friends. I mean for goodness sakes, there was a Gangnam Style rave…During a charity auction…It was fun, but seriously bordering in the realm of ridiculousness at times. But in the end, we did manage to raise almost $7,500 U.S.D for 3 wonderful causes so I wont complain too much. Don’t take my word for it. Watch the recording and make a judgment for yourself and let me know because from where I was standing it was an insane experience.
Equestria LA was a splendid 1000 person convention. The programming was well put together (albeit a bit rushed at times), the staff were awesome and the experiences I had are ones that I will carry for the rest of my life. My only real gripe stands was the Autograph room being situated within the Hilton as opposed to in the convention center with the rest of convention but it’s understandable given the cost of renting an Anaheim Convention Center room for autographs as opposed to using a Hilton Hotel Conference Room. Otherwise, I recommend checking it out again when it starts back up on May of 2013.