Still, one of my priority stalls was one for a notable up-and-coming iOS games development company...
... Tin Man Games.
After visiting the venue, I went back on my website to ask in the chatbox who'd heard of the company. To my surprise, two people said they had, and a third said they'd played one of their games - Infinite Universe. Had I asked the same question one - possibly two - years ago, I'd have got a resounding 'no'. In fact, I did ask the same question when the company first launched and that was the usual answer.
So I asked more about how they'd heard of the company. One said that their Facebook friends had been discussing it.
So anyway, at the stall, I went up and pretended I was a random person interested in the gamebooks and started talking to Niel (the founder) about Fighting Fantasy. After a few words, I revealed my identity - the reaction was worth going to the expo for, alone!
In any case, I highly recommend Tin Man Game's gamebooks - they're available on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and of course, the Fighting Fantasy books (including Blood of the Zombies) are also present in real life, at your local Waterstones. The gamebooks on iOS are the price of a single coffee at Starbucks! Grab some tea at home instead, buy the books and sit back and enjoy!
Other events at the Expo included a mish-mash pantomime of cosplayers, authentic Japanese food, nearly a hundred stalls of memorabilia and knick-knacks including real samurai swords. Well, real as far as I know. There were also wooden weapons, cosplay items, a multitude of anime and manga sales stalls (though the prices of the manga seemed to be mainly the same as on the High Street - around £5, if you were buying from the major manga distributor there). There was also an interesting stall of lesser-known manga wherein the books were being sold for about £1 each. If you're interested in trying something new, then the Expo's certainly something to try!
And let me tell you, when I first arrived at the Expo, I was thinking 'ohmygoshsomanycosplayers' but after about half an hour of being in the centre itself (not the queue) it felt normal. Knowing my friend, they're going to be convincing me to cosplay next year...