The Anatomy of a Convention
Everyone has heard of a convention, but they don’t necessarily know what happens there or what is available. The word convention itself simply means ” a meeting for particular purposes”.
What I’ll be talking about in this post are “fan conventions”. These gatherings are meant for the purpose of bringing together people with an interest in a particular film, TV show, comic book, genre, etc.
They are extremely large in the amount of attendees so they typically take place in hotels or convention centers.
I don’t consider myself the biggest convention attendant. I’m sure there are people that have been to more than I, but after visiting three of the nerd persuasion, here is what I’ve grown to accept as commonplace at conventions.
1. AUTOGRAPHS and PICTURES! : When you go to a convention, one of the main things that draws you in is being able to see people that have been in things you like. They set themselves up at a table and then sign pictures of themselves or DVDs or breasts or replicas or… you know what? I’m pretty sure they’ll sign anything but a baby (and if you would ask someone to sign your baby, please call DCF). There are also typically replica cars sitting in front of the entrance. During events, you are often asked to pay for autographs and donate in order to have photographs in replicas like the Delorean, the General Lee, the Batmobile, Batcycle, etc.
2. EVENTS! : From Q&A’s to sneak previews to concerts, any good convention has a bunch of stuff for you to do. Hopefully, the ones you want to do don’t all coincide and you have to choose one. Because chances are, if you choose the “wrong” one, you miss an eye stabbing. Who doesn’t love an eye stabbing? The only downside is that if you go to a Q&A for the same topic at different conventions, you start to have the ability to know what questions are going to be asked and you could answer them verbatim. So mix it up! Who cares if you don’t know a darn thing about Green Lantern. Go to the screening/Q&A. You might become their newest fan!
3. VENDORS! : When you go to one of these things the way I do, you go completely unprepared. (“Wait… Deanna Troy is gonna be here? All I have on me is a checkbook. Uh… Will you sign this Boris Karloff check for me?”) Enter my salvation: VENDORS! If you have never been to a convention before and have no desire to, I’d say try it once. I would suggest getting a one-day pass if there is one near you just to look at the stuff that is sold. Some of it you can buy anywhere and for a lot less, but there are some rare and remarkable finds like a complete collection of TMNT trading cards, or a cardboard Archie record in near mint condition. Be prepared for sensory overload. Vendors pack their tables as full as they possibly can to provide the most product in hopes of turning a profit (vendors pay for space).
4. COSTUMES! : If you go to a convention, don’t be surprised if you are asked to be pulled into a picture (especially if you dress like my friend, Crissie). Many people dress up to go to conventions in costumes from their favorite shows, mangas, books, movies, comic, etc. Many conventions have a costume contest as well. You can have yourself and Lara Croft, Scarlet Witch, a Predator, a Ghostbuster, Doc Brown, Shaun (of the Dead), Ash, and Flo from the Progressive commercials all in one snapshot. It is amazing to see the time and dedication that some people have put into their costumes.
5. SMELLY PEOPLE! : Yep. Had to bring it up. For the most part, I figure that the costumed people after the third day in a row of wearing a costume are going to be a little rank. So don’t hug a costumed person on the second or third day. I’d suggest multiple costumes, but that’s only if they are made out of a porous material like lycra, spandex, and cloth. I wouldn’t expect someone who has built custom Fett armor to have a set for each day. Maybe the stuff fitting under the armor should be replaceable. But they’re not even the most notorious smellies out there! Honestly. If someone doesn’t dress in costume for the weekend, they should lather up daily. They are staying somewhere that there is a bathroom. Most of the time, they’re staying at a hotel, so the hotel provides soap and shampoo. All you need to remember is deoderant and breath mints. There are hundreds or thousands of people within close proximity to each other. The temperature rises drastically due to the amount of warm bodies thrust into one location. If I can’t stand next to someone without gagging, there is a problem. I have paid just as much to get into the venue, yet I am clean. Oh! And slathering on cologne fools no one. You just smell like butt and cologne. Blech.
So these were the things that I could think of when trying to explain to my mom what a convention was and why I had gone to so many in a short timeframe.
What do you think of when you think of a convention? What do you expect and are disappointed with when they don’t deliver?
[[The pictures are all from the latest convention that I went to. Please ask if for some reason you want to use them. ]]
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- GeekGirlCon 2011
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- Geek Girls Edit Wikipedia
- What do I do with my webcomic idea: Promotion
- GeekGirlCon Craft Day!
- Loving The Anti-Hero