And so I went to both events today. SOYA (Start of Year Again) held at Ngee Ann Poly, and Cosplay Challenge (hence abbreviated as CC), held at the Singapore Discovery Centre. 1st to SOYA at about 2.30pm, then left at about close to 4pm to CC.
My frank verdict...
In terms of attendance/turnout, SOYA kicks CC's ass down the drain. Much more crowded at SOYA compared to CC. Perhaps it had something to do with free attendance at SOYA? While CC had to pay 10 bucks to go in.
Venue: CC wins in terms of spaciousness and organization. SOYA's booths were smaller and the layout very crampy, and the corridors were very crowded. Photo-taking was rather messy affair due to the crowds. In contrast CC was well laid out and spacious, with huge tentage at the venue.
Events schedule: Both events had slightly diff schedules/activities...both had cosplay competitions, SOYA had anine karaoke, CC had symphonic band playing excerpts from anime OST (which I thought was quite intriguing and a great idea), and highlight of course was Goldy's Gundam which was simply put, Godlike. (DOTA voiceover style XD)
Cosplay standards: both events had a fair mix of new faces and oldtimers, notably at SOYA I saw lots of unfamiliar faces. Quite a no. of regulars weren't around though. In terms of costumes there weren't any real standouts at both events. SOYA had a few good ones tho. Madame Red from Kuroshitsuji was one of them. And I saw a Shakugan no Shana team! A first!
Organization: Both events were fairly well planned and executed. SOYA organizers definitely improved a great deal from last year's event, and took a leaf out of the book from other similar scale events. (baggage counter, etc etc.) But what got me wondering was the registration for photogs and stickers for photogs...I think frankly it was waste of time...and useless. CC organizers (SCC) have had 7 years of Cosfest experience behind them, and it was smoothly run. I didn't like the overzealous SDC security guy tho...who told us to stand away from the barricade which seperated the paid area from non-paid.
Atmosphere: I just didn't feel it at either event. The sense of excitment and having fun was just not there. When compared to last yr's AFA, EOY, and Comic Fiesta, CF ranked the best in terms of atmosphere.
It was a pity that in the end not many cosers and crowd showed up for the closing stages at CC. The venue was quite nice (to be fair) and spacious, but it was a bit far and more inaccessible compared to Ngee Ann Poly, the organizers should have taken note and booked some buses to do shuttle btw SDC and say Boon Lay MRT, to entice more ppl to come over. From my observation, SOYA was the one which won out at the end. CC failed not becoz it was a mediocre event, but in terms of the crowd pulling power, it lost out to SOYA and that was a pity coz with a little rescheduling and planning it could have been a great event on par with say Cosfest or EOY. Well there's always the next yr....
To summarize: it was really idiotic of both organizers to held both events on THE SAME DAY. Why the heck they wanna clash on exact same day when there are so many other options for alternate dates on the calendar, do not ask me.
As for pics...sadly I wasn't that interested in snapping the shutter today...I managed a grand total of zero (yes "0") shots at SOYA alone. Maybe I am growing a bit bit too jaded of these events already.
Was also supposed to do a solo photoshoot for one of the cosers but things didn't work out as planned so din get to shoot. :\