UPDATE: Because the day job has apparently eaten my brain, I left out material in the initial post AND the title. This has been remedied.
Today we welcome Bobby Nash as our author guest, and the last for this month‘s topic.
I love a good con.
Not the kind where someone steals all my money though. Those are only fun to watch on TV or in the movies. What I love are conventions. From the small one-day shows to the big four day events, conventions invigorate me as a creator even as they wear me out as a person. When H.C. asked me to make a list of the pros and cons of attending cons, I leapt at the chance.
1. Meeting the Pro’s. As a creator myself, I love talking with other creative people and the convention is a great place to meet like minded peers, fans, and friends alike. Some of the best relationships I’ve made are with people I first met at a convention.
2. Finding out what’s new or uncovering something you didn’t even know existed. Conventions are great ways for local and lesser-known creators to get their works in front of potential fans. As a writer, I love introducing people to my work. With so many different books out there, conventions are a good place to see what else is out there. More often than not you’ll find a few gems you didn’t even know you were looking for.
3. Travel. I love to travel and attending conventions has allowed me to visit places I might not have had the opportunity otherwise.
4. Getting out of the house. I know this sounds like a joke, but it’s not. Writing is a rather solitary job and I spend so much of my time in a room alone with my laptop. Stepping into a convention center with a few thousand of my closest friends is a nice refreshing change of pace to my sitting alone in my office for days and weeks at a time.
5. Cosplay, fans, and fun. Cosplayers, fans, actors, writers, artists, etc. are there to work, but also to have fun. The evening events at conventions are a fun time to socialize outside of the dealer’s room where people can hang without trying to sell stuff. It’s a great time for photos, chatting over drinks, or just hanging out. Have fun and introduce yourself to someone new. Just don’t stop in the hallways or at the top of escalators for photos. That leads to disaster.
1. Conventions are expensive. All of the cool things like paying for a badge or a table, food, hotel, travel, books, supplies, and whatever you see at the con that you just have to buy can eat up a good bit of cash so you have to be prepared. Budget is key. I usually try to carpool and/or split a room with someone when I can. That certainly helps out with those expenses.
2. Crowds. As cons continue to grow in popularity, the crowds grow right along with them. If you don’t like crowds, this is something you’ll have to bear in mind.
3. Know your surroundings. I mentioned earlier taking photos. Be aware of where you’re standing when you ask for a photo. Blocking doors, stairs, and escalators never ends well and either creates a back up or a collision. Just take a moment to step away from the walkways.
4. Dehydration. Drink plenty of water. This is key. Also, at least once a day, take a shower. Cons are hot and sweaty.
These are just a few of the pros and cons of attending a convention. Personally, I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons. No matter what convention you go to, try to have a good time. Remember, the people working the dealer’s room, panels, booths, etc. are there to have a good time like everyone else, but they are also working so check out their stuff and say hello.
I’m often asked what kind of con people should attend. That’s a tough one as there are so many different kinds of conventions out there for many different fandoms.
There are smaller one day shows that are usually more laid back with little stress. These are usually shows where you shop with a handful of guests you can meet, usually writers, artists, or actors.
Hotel shows are generally relaxi-cons, which means they run day and night over the course of a weekend. Look for a good number of parties in the evenings, plenty of opportunities for meeting your fellow fans.
Convention Center Cons take place during the day in a convention center. That means the evening is usually unscheduled, although if there is a hotel attached to the con, it’s probably where most folks from the con will hang out in the evening. In other cases, people scatter when the convention closes down for the day, depending on the venue.
No matter which type of show you want to attend, check their website first to see who is there you want to meet, what panels you would like to attend, things like that. Have a plan, but be flexible. It is impossible to do everything at the cons.
Most of all, no matter which con you attend, have fun.
About Bobby Nash:
From his secret lair in the wilds of Bethlehem, Georgia, 2013 Pulp Ark Award Winning Best Author, Bobby Nash writes a little bit of everything including novels, comic books, short prose, graphic novels, screenplays, media tie-ins, and more.
Between writing deadlines, Bobby is an actor and extra in movies and television, including appearances in Deviant Pictures’ Fat Chance, FOX’s The Following, USA’s Satisfaction, AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire, and more. He is also the co-host of the Earth Station One podcast (www.esopodcast.com) and a member of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers and International Thriller Writers.
Bobby was named Best Author in the 2013 Pulp Ark Awards, his first professional writing award. Rick Ruby, a character co-created by Bobby and author Sean Taylor also snagged a Pulp Ark Award for Best New Pulp Character of 2013. Bobby was also nominated for the 2014 New Pulp Awards and Pulp Factory Awards for his work.
To find out more about Bobby Nash, visit his blog
or his website.