This was my first year attending Tekko, along with Laura and our friend Jessie who was selling her soap and bath products in the artist alley. Tekko is also the first convention where I’ve travelled six hours from the east side of Pennsylvania to the west side, but it was well worth the long trip!
Tekko is held in the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Tekko is not quite large enough to take over the entire convention center yet, as evident by the fact that we shared the space with a vaping convention during the weekend. While there are hotels connected to the convention center, our hotel of choice was the Homewood Suites, which had just recently opened in the area. While it was a little far, about a 10 minute walk, it was a nice hotel with free breakfast and kitchens in the rooms—so we saved a lot of money on food!
In terms of vendors and artists, however, there was a massive selection and I know Laura and I circled the room over and over just to get an idea of what was available to us. Because it was our first time at a convention on the west side of Pennsylvania, there were so many new artists we had never seen at our local conventions and it was amazing having the opportunity to spend way too much money on new artists. The dealer’s room section also had a nice variety of vendors to explore as well!
When not helping Jessie out at her booth, Laura and I spent some time in the Game Room. While I do not typically spend a lot of time in game rooms at conventions, Tekko had something new and unique to offer: an Escape Room! The staff at Tekko actually built a set of rooms riddled with puzzles that needed to be solved before proceeding. A staff member stays in the rooms with your group as you attempted to solve the puzzles, giving hints when the group seemed really stuck and giving updates on the time remaining.
I not only had the opportunity to experience the Escape Room, but was able to do it in Zero Escape cosplay along with a group of friends!
As mentioned before, while I typically do not spend much time in game rooms, I did take the time to explore the entirety of what Tekko had available. From arcade games, to a variety of rhythm games and Smash Brothers LAN parties, Tekko had a wide variety to offer. There were also a couple of vendors in the gaming room, which is not something I had personally seen at a convention before. Since the artist alley and dealer’s room were pretty stuffed with vendors, it made sense to move some of the gaming and table top vendors into the gaming room—and there was definitely space available for them even with the game machines and escape room.
Besides the Escape Room, Laura and I also spent most of our time in cosplay and found the cosplay scene to be really chill and laid back. We attended an Undertale shoot on Saturday and while large fandoms like Undertale tend to get a bad reputation for being out of control at conventions, the gathering was organized and everyone was very respectful! There are also some nice locations for photos, including the lovely cityscape outside the convention center windows, and a bank outside along the riverside.
Overall Tekko was a con full of new experiences; from seeing new artist, to a new cosplay scene to even the Escape Room! We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We wish we could have checked out some panels that seemed very interesting, but time escaped us sadly. I know for a fact that Jessie will be making the trip back to Tekko next year to sell in the artist alley again, and I hope to make the trip back as well!