I love to go to conventions.
At most conventions, I am stationary…meaning I either work for someone else’s booth, or I have my own. With the creation of Ginger Ale Games, I suspect this will be a continued trend and I am OK with that. In fact, I love the idea.
I run a craft/artist alley table at small conventions when I am not doing Ginger Ale Game stuff. And then at large conventions, I usually work for another gaming company as well as do things to promote whatever project we have going on for Ginger Ale Games.
I find being at a booth or table at a convention is one of the best ways to get to talk to and meet a lot of new people. When you are an attendee at a convention, you are on the move. Sure, you get to attend more panels and events then I generally do…but hundreds of people come by the spot where I am stationed and I get to see, talk to and meet all of them!
This past weekend I attended a very small first-year convention in Evansville, IN called Tri-Con. Their attendance was just under 500 – which wasn’t what they had hoped for, but still a good number for their first year. With the exception of a few grumpy vendors, I heard nothing but good things about the staff and volunteers of the convention from other vendors and special guests alike!
As usual, I was stationary at Tri-Con. My best friend and I were running our artist alley table, peddling our nerdy crafts (like purses, hats and jewelry). Feel free to check out our stuff on Facebook! We got to see and meet so many new people at our table and I have to say, sometimes small conventions are even better than the excessively large ones.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE GenCon and Origins Game Fair. But at conventions like those, you meet so many people that sometimes faces and names just start to run together and if the convention has any special guests, you will be lucky for 5 seconds of face time with them (if you’re a fan). Small conventions are so different, their feel is different. Everyone is there to meet other like-minded people and to celebrate our nerdy fandoms together.
I am a HUGE Star Trek fan. Like seriously. It is one of my three absolute favorite franchises/shows/series. That includes fan-made Star Trek and I was lucky enough to get to spend a little time with a couple of cast members of Star Trek Continues – a very professionally done, fan-made Star Trek web series which continues the five year mission.
I wouldn’t have had such a fantastic opportunity to chat with these talented folks at a large convention. For example, I got to meet William Shatner at two different larger conventions (with the help of a good amount of money spent on my part). And while I am glad I got to “meet” him, each time the interaction lasted about 3 seconds. Same thing goes for when I got to meet Walter Koenig at GenCon. I’m glad I met him, but the interaction lasted long enough for him to autograph my Star Trek Catan game box lid.
When you attend small conventions, you get a more meaningful experience with everything you do…from the smaller, more intimate panels to your interactions with special guests. By the end of a weekend at a small convention, you get this feeling like you’ve spent the weekend with family.
Next time you have the chance to attend a small convention, don’t balk at the cost to attend…instead, GO! You won’t regret it! No matter how small the convention is, you will have a great time!
Your convention family is waiting for you! You just haven’t met them yet!