As COVID-19 cases among Filipinos continues its downward turn, more events are now gearing up for a restart after two years of hiatus.
Among those who are raring to ride a new wave of post-pandemic convention events is CONQuest 2022, slated to be held on July 23 and 24 at the SMX Convention Center Manila in Pasay City.
What would set CONQuest apart from other pop culture conventions and what would they offer to an audience that continues to satisfy their appetite for pop culture events & gatherings after the two-year pandemic halt?
According to its website, CONQuest began as a high-school project among students from Iloilo City in 2017. The first two events, held at the Old Capitol Building (or Casa Real de Iloilo) in Iloilo City, were attended by around 2,000 people, which they claim as the “largest event the city had seen at the point,”
In 2019, the group joined forces with other student leaders across the country to create AcadArena, which is the first-ever collegiate gaming and electronic sports (esports) network. They also held their event at the same year at the Iloilo Convention Center, where it was attended by 8,000 attendees.
The event is now set to takeover Manila for the very first time after three years, and is slated to be one of the first major esports and pop culture events to be held since the pandemic.
Gamers, Cosplayers, and Celebrities overload
CONQuest may just be making their comeback since 2019, but they are assuring their attendees that they will not scrimp on activities and guests that will be arriving in the country for the convention.
Among the big guns who will be gracing the event are content creators Hydae, one of the fastest-rising streamers of the game Valorant, as well as the star duo of the Blacklist Mobile Legends esports team V33Wise, and Tuonto, who is a leading Genshin Impact streamer.
Also gracing the event are LilyPichu, who is a content creator, musician, and the voice of Sayu from Genshin Impact, Twitch personality Michael Reeves, voice actors Anne Yatco, Ratana and Christian Banas, and cosplayer Liui Aquino.
Vtuber and content creators Bao and Senz will also be in the event, and they will have their respective private fan meet and free panel sessions.
Other guests include content creators Atsu, Nekkopii, Een Mercado, Riku, and local creators Gloco, Joconyo, and Sskait.
There would also be tons of activities in-store for event goers, like a retro and free-play arcade, Meet and greets with the special guests, a Tech and Game Development Expo, Community Panels and Crafter’s panels.
Among the showcase events are the Alliance Games Finals, where student-gamers from different schools battle it out in the country’s first campus gaming league, and the Gyeonggi International Cosplay Festival (GICOF) Philippine Preliminaries, which will choose the country’s representative to the GICOF Festival in South Korea.
Ticketing Information and COVID Protocols
With these big guns and activities lined up, the ticket prices are also reflective of the number of guests that will be gracing the event.
A Single-Day Pass costs PHP 450, which can give you access on either Day One or Day Two, while a Weekend Pass will allow entry for both days, costing PHP 750. Both of these tickets remain available as of posting time.
Those who want priority entry will have two available passes, the Weekend Pass Plus, which is valid on both days and comes with a merchandise bundle, costs PHP 1200, and the Premium Plus, which not only allows priority entry and additional merchandise, but also access for all meet and greet events, access to the Premium lounge, and a limited edition digital collectible which can be accessed through the Polygon website. Both of these passes have already been sold out.
Aside from this, there are also additional meet and greet sessions with the guests, which will set you off with separate prices on top of the regular entry price. As of July 3, the meet and greet tickets for V33Wise, Michael Reeves, LilyPichu, Kyedae, and Christian Banas have been sold out, while other meet and greet tickets are now in limited quantity.
As the country continues to remain under a state of public health emergency, the organizers have already capped their tickets and capacity for certain days, and there is also no assurance that when the event comes on July 23 and 24, the country would continue to be under Alert Level 1 by that time.
The organizers have said that if one bought a ticket before an announcement was done related to coronavirus restrictions, they may be able to receive a full refund, while if one bought a ticket after the announcement, normal refund policies will prevail.
Do note that only fully-vaccinated individuals are allowed entry inside the venue, as per the current national and city protocols, while unvaccinated individuals shall not be allowed entry. Children under the age of 13 are allowed to inside the venue as long as they are accompanies by their parents or guardian.
All tickets will be available through Ticket2Me and can be accessed through their specialized ticketing microsite.
Ready to Conquer
After its first three years in Iloilo and the next three years under a pandemic lull, CONQuest is going to gun it on the big leagues with a return event to be held for the first time at the SMX Convention Center Manila.
Will CONQuest’s return whet the appetite of eventgoers who need to experience their longing for a cornucopia of pop culture activity and guests coming in from abroad? Will CONQuest’s Manila sojourn enough to see it grow into a major convention force in the years to come?
Only time will tell, but for now, CONQuest is now ready to conquer the big leagues.
CONQuest 2022 is happening on July 23 and 24 at the SMX Convention Center Manila in Pasay City, Organized by AcadArena.
For more information and latest updates on the event, visit their website at conquestph.com or visit @CONQuestPHL on Facebook and Twitter.
Anime Pilipinas is a Media Partner for CONQuest 2022.