I attended the Chicago Steampunk Exposition this past weekend. The event was held at the Westin O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, IL. Let me start by saying I loved the venue, even though my camera did not. The hotel is warm and inviting but the lighting was the enemy of every person trying to take decent pictures. So please keep this in mind when viewing the photos from the event.
Now, as for the event itself, I had a great time. This was the Exposition’s maiden voyage and I feel they are off to a very good start. The staff were easy to find, wearing bright-colored wide sashes and were helpful and courteous. I also want to give kudos to the staff working registration at the event, they were very helpful as well. When I brought it to their attention we were over looked for a press pass, they took action right away and resolved the issue. You Guys Rock!
I spent my time wandering the entire convention floor and the areas available for the patrons’ entertainment. I was blown away by how friendly everyone was and the magnitude of creativity I witnessed. I saw a wide variety of Steampunk costuming from the conservative Victorian with velvet and lace, to the more imaginative fantasy sci-fi costumes decked out in brass, glowing bits, and glitz of all kinds. There were various panels and events held throughout the weekend and I tried to catch those I could. Unfortunately I was only able to attend on Friday and Sunday, missing out on Saturday, which is preferred by most convention attendees. Next year for sure.
On Sunday, I attended the live adaptation of The Island of Doctor Moreau, inspired by the old radio broadcasts; The Salem Tusk Q&A panel and preview of “The Steampunk Adventures of Salem Tusk.” I finished my Sunday with the panel “Let’s get Lit, an Introduction to Electronics and Lighting in Cosplay.” All of which I found very entertaining, which is a lot to say for a guy who can hardly sit still for very long, or as my friends like to say, “Distracted easily.” (Reviews to come on a couple of the above mentioned topics). This is just a small sampling of the entertainment offered by this convention.
Wrapping this up, I would like to say that for a new convention, they shone brightly and have a LOT of potential to become one of my favorite conventions. One of the drawbacks I overheard was regarding the cost of parking. I feel it was not adequately promoted that self-parking was free with validation at the registration table if a person was not staying overnight, and only $10 they did stay the night. Without the validation, parking fees were much higher.
I give the Chicago Steampunk Exposition 2019 a 4 out of 5 Stars and look forward to attending again next year.