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Old March 20 2013, 07:21 AM   #1
Paper Moon
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Convention experiences?

I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this question, but I suppose if the mods object, they are free to move it.

So I will have the opportunity in the relatively near future to go to a Trek convention pretty near to where I live. From what I can tell, conventions don't come around here that often, so this is in-and-of itself a bit unusual.

Because of that, I have never been to a Trek convention before. Have wanted to for years now, but the opportunity has never arisen.

Bizarrely enough, I'm really torn at this point about whether or not to go. On the one hand, from everything I've seen about conventions, they're freaking awesome. On the other hand, I'm honestly really scared of being disappointed (or worse, having a bad experience). It almost seems like something that could be better left to imagination and wishful thinking.

For what it's worth, this convention will have a lot of big names, so I'm not super worried about that aspect.

So, what do people think? What experiences, good and bad, have you had at conventions over the years?
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Old March 20 2013, 11:00 AM   #2
teacake
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Re: Convention experiences?

I love going to conventions.

I've had a few people I know IRL go to the big ones at my encouragement who hated them (I won't make that mistake again). They got there and all they saw was a ton of merch, merch merch merch everywhere and it offended their poor little Trek sensibilities that have evolved past the deep need to own shot glasses with Andorian Mining Consortium printed on them in faux latinum. Thankfully I am much more shallow.

You'll have the best time if you talk to people, if that's out of your comfort zone start with the ones in costume. They wouldn't dress up in costumes if they didn't want to be approached and talked to. I've always had a blast, but I think some people hang back and are shy and feel isolated in the crowd.. if that seems likely just concentrate on hearing the great speakers! You'll be kicking yourself if you don't go and miss out on hearing Trek and seeing Trek actors, especially if these things don't happen regularly where you live.

It's really like a Star Trek fair, you get out of it whatever you want for the most part.
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Old March 20 2013, 12:05 PM   #3
Sagart
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Re: Convention experiences?

Go, Paper Moon, go! I love conventions!! Most times, I'm with a like-minded friend or two but I've been to ones on my own as well and I've always ended up chatting to people, dealers or even the celebs and having a great time. I've done the Vegas con about 6 times as well as smaller ones in the UK and I've just been to a Comic Con in Portland, where I met one of my heroes, Stan Lee. There is such a buzz in being in a room with 100's or even 1000's of people who may be so different from you in everyway imaginable but who share your love of Trek or whatever the con is about.
I've never had a bad con experience. I've only been at one that was really badly run (not a Trek con) and I've even made good friends from them. I've even become friends with 2 Trek actors from our meeting at cons.
Go for it
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Old March 21 2013, 02:13 AM   #4
Shanndee
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Re: Convention experiences?

Add me to the "you should definitely go!" crowd.

Cons are a lot of fun. I love listening to the actors tell their stories/share experiences/answer fan questions. The "extra" performances can be fun too (I've seen the "Star Trek Rat Pack", and I was lucky enough to see Jeffrey Combs perform his one-man play, "Nevermore").

Please follow Teacake's advice and talk to your fellow fans, it makes the experience that much more rich if you can share it with like minded new friends!

Just be prepared for the one big negative...cons are EXPENSIVE! I felt like I was bleeding money when I went to the Las Vegas con...but it was totally worth it!
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Old March 21 2013, 02:39 AM   #5
teacake
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Re: Convention experiences?

I'm getting a lot better about the money, I spend less each time. I always tell myself, "you can get this on ebay.. you can get anything on ebay..".
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Old March 21 2013, 02:53 AM   #6
Shanndee
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Re: Convention experiences?

Good to know!

I've only been to 2 conventions so far, so hopefully I'll do better in the future with that advice!
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Old March 21 2013, 03:04 AM   #7
teacake
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Re: Convention experiences?

I'm also prepared to spend big on one really nice item.. but I have yet to find anything fitting that description. There's a guy that makes very high quality jewelery here but it's all games and comics, with the odd delta symbol as cufflinks. Yeah I really want me some of those cufflinks, not. And even though there are probably 1000 t-shirts at the big cons I go to for sale from multiple vendors not a single one is girl shaped. Not a one.
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Old March 21 2013, 08:06 AM   #8
J. Allen
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Re: Convention experiences?

I've only been to one convention, the 2010 convention in Chicago, and it still leaves a great impression on me. It was worth every red cent that I had scrounged together just to travel there. Go, do it! It's fun!
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Old March 21 2013, 08:55 AM   #9
Therin of Andor
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Re: Convention experiences?

I guess it's like saying, "I've never been to a wedding before, what are they like?"

So many variations are possible, so many organizational styles, so many possible reactions between the people in focus on the day and the people who've come to watch/participate.

Overall, I usually have a great time. But I've seen some amazing successes and failures. What irritates me is a convention committee that never learns from the mistakes of their previous conventions.
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