Last week, Joel discussed conventions briefly with us all and so I thought I’d carry this conversation on but actually discuss the pros and cons of the conventions.
Now Joel did a nice job of summarising some of the negatives to going to a convention early on in his post on the subject, but this is my turn now and I’m going to give you a funky fresh approach to this. No, I will not be doing funky fresh rhymes.
Networking – The first and foremost reason why we all go to a convention in the first place is to meet similar minded people, who are partaking in similar activities. However in the case of a blog, a games studio, manga artist, etc, conventions are invaluable communication methods, which serve as a brilliant marketing strategy and drives engagement like there’s no tomorrow. I’d have not met Joel if he wasn’t trying to plug Quotes from the Tabletop at me.
Admiration – To receive admiration for the work that you’ve done; be it writing, art, cosplaying – in fact nearly any skill of any kind, so long as you’re willing to show off what makes you so damn great, then people want to see it. They don’t just want to see it, they want to talk to you, because you’re there being you and you’re like a physical manifestation of what people around you like.
Gaming – Mhmm, believe me or not, gaming seems to be a massive part of the anime convention scene as well as video games convention scene. Be it tabletop role playing games, a good board game, that blasted Cards Against Humanity or video gaming: You’ll find it in these conventions by the bucket load. Good!
Yes, I realise the initials above so far are NAG. I am doing just that.
Partying – It’s time to party like there was never going to be another party. Whilst it isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, the partying in the anime convention scene is phenomenal. Be it a late night dance in the nightclub with all of your favourite characters, or be it a private party in the dorms – Conventions allow you to meet and socialise with people in ways you’d not normally be able to. Trust me: It’s not that common to step outside your house and meet with people who are into the same damn things as you. Geek culture, whilst on the rise, still isn’t mainstream acceptance.
Merchandise – The dealers halls are packed with geeky stalls, with pocky sticks everywhere, bags and clothing. You name it: it’s probably sold there. From miniature mecha’s and Pikachu’s, to pictures of your favourite anime and manga to buy. From cheap games to expensive games – Yes, you are likely able to buy it at a convention. Some conventions get exclusives, too.
Panels – Panels are one of the major reasons to go to conventions. If you’ve gone to a convention and never
Fatigue – Even the most seasoned party-goer will slowly crawl to a stop at a convention. Seriously, you get so tired due to the lack of sleep. Be it the parties themselves or be it because there were three guys outside at 5am chasing foxes around a university campus, you will find that sleep at a convention usually is scarce. Make the most of your time, don’t drink coffee before you go to bed and stop drinking energy drinks.
Drunkenness – Hand in hand with partying is getting drunk. Please remember to drink responsibly, know your limits and don’t be horrible to other people. At the end of the day, your convention experience is yours and yours alone. You’re always welcome to get as drunk as you like/can handle, but do be aware of the consequences. Plus it can make the rest of your convention pretty crappy if you’re feeling under the weather all the time. Also, you could damage your costume or others costumes!
Spending – I won’t beat around the bush with you guys here: but conventions are expensive. If you’re a cosplayer, you have the expense of your costumes. You also have the expense of the event itself, which can vary from £20 to £500+! You’ve also got to remember your spending money. Taking £100 for a night is fine, but taking £100 for 3-4 nights? Certainly not fine! Depending how far away you go, you could be racking up a £1,000+ event for yourself!! Please do not blow your whole lives savings on these, start small and close to you.
Activities – There are so many activities to do and so many panels to see that I find it’s impossible to actually plan. Formulating a rough plan is good, but you’ll still find you keep missing activities and events! If you have a foolproof way of sticking to your plans at conventions, I salute you. I can’t and won’t do it, especially when I get to bump into so many cool people on the way to these activities!
Yes. The initials for the cons are FDSA. I am not insane, honestly.
Overall then I think the pros vastly outweigh the cons. The cons are draining, which I guess it somewhat counter-intuitive of a holiday – but the draining feeling you get from these conventions are wiped away quickly by the natural high you get from the environment and the fellow geeks you meet.
I’ve been a little bit biased in these circumstances, of course. I mean I go to conventions fairly frequently now and I look to be attending at least 5 events next year. However, I honestly couldn’t review this in any other way. The cons of going to a convention are vastly inferior to the reasons to go. Who knows: Perhaps soon we’ll be at the same convention and we can continue the discussion there?
What did you all think of my little post on the pros and cons of conventions? Now that Alcon is over, we must move forward towards our next one…
… Oh hey, I am attending a 1 day local Sci-Fi and Geek convention in the upcoming weeks! Stay tuned for more information on that!