Oh Danica, you advice giving power-mad tyrant, you. Clearly our Void Angel boys totally get what Danica is all about.
Garth and I have done a lot of conventions over the years, but DragonCon was unlike any we’ve attended in recent memory. This was an absolutely tremendous show that had the heart and soul of a show a fraction of its size. After three days of any convention, I’m usually ready to go home by Sunday afternoon. This was a four day convention, and I wasn’t eager to leave on Monday. That hasn’t happened to me in years.
I can’t exactly put my finger on what made DragonCon so different. Maybe it was the mellow vibe of the crowd, even though it was tens-of-thousands strong in number. Maybe it was the reasonable hours in the Artist Alley (though some other bigger cons are starting to lessen AA hours these days, which I am very grateful for). Maybe it was the more mature feel of the weekend, as DragonCon is known to attract a somewhat older crowd. I even participated in the after-hours “night life” of the convention! If you went to the Drum Circle on Friday and/or Saturday nights, you may have seen me drumming. My fingers are still swollen.
Whatever the reasons, DragonCon was a mammoth show with an intimate heart and we had an unforgettable weekend. We would love to return next year, given the opportunity.
Last weekend Garth and I returned to Intervention Con, a small and mellow show that we’ve been attending for five years. This weekend we’re making our first appearance at DragonCon, which (from what we’re told) is monstrous in size and insane in activity. Two conventions in two weekends can be tiring, especially as you get older and travel wears you down, but contrasting conventions like these can offer a good perspective on the pros and cons of shows of both sizes.
+ A slower, more relaxed pace.
+ Lengthier conversations with attendees.
+ No huge crowds to deal with.
+ Reasonable hours for the Artist Alley.
- Less attendees equals smaller sales.
+ A faster, more exciting pace.
+ More attendees equals more sales.
+ The people-watching is unforgettable.
+ You may end up on the news!
+ People who do one or two cons a year stick to these bigger shows, and their enthusiasm is infectious.
- Huge crowds to deal with (everyone who “rides the elevator up to go down” can bite me).
- Artist Alley hours can be exhausting.
- You may end up on the news.
Garth and I enjoy doing both kinds of conventions. We’ve been going to them for just about a decade. Any size, any shape, any pace, we like coming out and meeting folks. The travel can be tiring and the planning can be frustrating, but the experience is always worth it.