Headed over to the local science fiction convention today, with my wife (sportin’ a Dr Who T-Shirt) and my daughter, dressed credibly as Supergirl. (Pix later).
Me? No costume’s to speak of in this genre, which is lame. I will rectify this next year. I hope to at least hit the panel on Game Design, see what they have to say.
Well, gotta admit, that was a total bust. Registration did not open until noon, which would potentially have been fine except for the enormous number of watchdogs on hand to make sure you can’t do anything without a badge – which no one is in a position to get for you.
When my pleas of “shut up and take my money” were finally heard, the discussion more or less went like “well, you can wait until noon” and I replied “yes, but the panel I would like to attend, on game design, starts at 11am.”
Someone eventually did come down to help us – they were very good, despite the hotel keys conspiring against them at every turn – we only then found out that it was $100 per person, even though our attendance would be limited to (a) only Sunday, and (b) a matter of hours.
I couldn’t justify that expense even remotely, so we left.
So, what was supposed to be a mid-afternoon full of gaming, science fiction, costumes, and fun was basically brought to nothing. Some advice to future conventions:
- Unless it is your mission to be elite and exclusive – and I have no problem with that in theory – allow a way to just drop by. A day pass, or even a per-event fee, is entirely appropriate.
- Have a non-trivial amount of stuff that’s open to the public. Places such as the merchandising area? Yeah, let people give you their cash.
The $100 entry fee for a four-day con? Only $25 per person? A steal on a per-day basis. But think about it. They’re doing this over July 4 weekend, that means of the roughly 2.5 million people in the Twin Cities area, approximately 2 million are “up at the lake.” So there are going to be wholes-a-bunches who come back on late Friday or Saturday and might want to come to your convention.
That should not exactly be discouraged.
That being said, here’s a picture of two cute girls, because convention memories need to have cute girls in them. This may, in fact, be the worst camera phone picture I’ve ever taken. Alas.
Finally, it’s entirely possible, and even likely, that for those not wishing to just drop by on the last day of the convention, things went swimmingly, well organized, etc. The one panel I crashed on SF&F for kids was pretty decent.