Almost every kpop fan’s dream is to go to the annual Kpop Convention held every summer. From making new friends to shopping Korean beauty products to eating K-food, buying K-pop goodies and getting the chance to be in the same room as their favorite idols, Kcon is the place to be.
Last week, I attended the first day of the 3-day event to check out all the excitement with thousands of other Kpop lovers.
1.) Check-in and the wait I got the convention center around 8 in the morning and there already lines with hundreds of people waiting in them. I was a bit confused on where to go get my wristband and had to go all the way to the side of the building to get it. (If you don’t know where to go, follow people who have also arrived as well or don’t be afraid to ask for directions.) Soon, I was able to find the check-in booth and get my wristband. After that, I went back to the front where the lines where and had a rough time finding my friend who was waiting for me with a few of her friends. Thankfully I found her after a ten minutes. We waited in line outside in the hot sun for about an hour and they finally let inside. But the wait wasn’t over since it was still early. We waited in another line, got our wristbands scanned, and waited for almost an hour and a half and were finally let into the convention.
2.) The Convention Booths Looking through the glass doors, I was able so many booths to choose from at the beginning. Form left and right, there were different things you had to go see and buy. Once we got in, me and my friends made a beeline to a booth for Innisfree, a popular Korean skin care line, where free samples were given. They even had a claw machine for people to try to get beauty products as their prize. All you had to do was make an account on their website. On the right, were more cosmetics. Popular brands such as The Face Shop and April Skin selling some of their best products for such affordable prices. If there was any place to get stuff for cheap, well you sure can get it at Kcon. There were booths where they played kpop songs and people were allowed to go up and dance if they wanted to. I watched many people go up on stage no matter the song. Many people competed to win a hi-touch or audience pass by trying to dance the best to the chosen song that was played. It was crazy fun! In the far back, that’ where all the good stuff was at. Posters, albums, hats, shirts, pillows, etc. It wasn’t easy trying to get to the table where all the albums laid but then again, albums are like trophies. People treasure having them. Posters were selling like crazy as they went for just $5 a piece from the biggest one to the smallest. One brand that was selling like crazy was also the8mm whose hats are what a Kpop fan needs for their wardrobe. He’s known for creating the “finger heart” hat and his other collaborations with many celebs in the kpop community. One of his biggest sellers at the convention were the hats he created with popular Kpop reactor JREKML, who did a meet and greet with those who purchased his “Jreamer” or “Just Random Everyday” hats or any others hats that were being sold. Although I was broke at the end, I bought a snapback that says “Korea” on it and was able to get a pic with him. Hooray!
3.) The Food Outside the hall, there were many food and drink vendors to choose from. I walked by every vendor, seeing what was available and couldn’t choose. On a hot day, you mainly want something to cool you down but I couldn’t help but look at all the hot and spicy foods. These vendors gave fans a chance to eat what their favorite idols would eat back in Korea or what they’ve seen in dramas. I didn’t go crazy and buy a lot since I was low on cash. I was able to try Jajjang for the first time from a vendor named Muk – Oh!. It wasn’t on noodles as they served it with rice but it was still delicious. Now I know why everyone always orders it in dramas. Light bulb drinks were a craze as well. Almost everyone who passed by me had one in their hand. I would’ve gotten one, but I didn’t want to carry glass in my bag for the next couple of hours.
4.) Games and more! Running Man fans unite! Upstairs on the second floor was a room for people to play games to earn tickets or prizes. If you ever wanted to play the name tag elimination game, they had a little segment of it set up where two people would try to rip off each other’s name tag. It’s really tiring and I broke two nails, but I still won. Another popular game was the whisper challenge where two people would put on headphones and loud music would be played. One person had to guess what the other was trying to tell them. I failed terribly trying to say “He is Jeonghan’s baby”. More games that were also played were popular ones such as Ddakji, Rock-paper-scissors (with the hammer and helmet), and giant Jenga
5.) Youtubers If you go on YouTube as much as I do, you would have a few favorites lined up on your subscription page. So many Kpop youtubers joined in on the line up this year and I was lucky to meet a few of them. I first go to see popular reactor duo 2MinJinkJongKey who were my first reactors back in 2013. I literally jumped when I saw them up close and had tears coming up when I was talking to them. It was a dream come true for me to see them and take a photo. I never thought I would ever have the chance to meet them. My second and last youtuber that I met was none other that JREKML. I first saw him on the second floor when I was leaving the Running Man booth to go eat and literally squealed when I saw him. He had to go somewhere to do something but allowed me to walk with him as I really wanted to take a photo with him as I was turning on my phone. My phone was off to save battery as I forgot my portable charger at home. Silly me. I was able to get a shaky selfie with him due my nervousness. Thankfully I got the chance to take another photo with him at the meet and greet. There were many other well known youtubers I saw but didn’t recognize since I know only a few. I even saw the Nutty Nomads but they were on stage and I had to go home.
Conclusion Although I didn’t get to see all of what Kcon had to offer, I was able to experience most of it. From getting new skin care products to meeting my favorite Youtubers to being able to spend a day with friends. To all who couldn’t make it this year, don’t frown. There’s more Kcon to come the following years. Just save up that $$. Also, let’s hope there will be a Kcon in your area next year. The party’s only getting bigger.