Never been to a convention

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LrdSatyr8

Sr Member
I've been a sci-fi fan all my life... I remember camping out in front of the theater for 3 weeks to see Empire Strikes back in 1980. I've built Sci-fi models, watched just about every sci-fi movie, tv show, and lived, eaten and even created a few little scifi fan clips myself, but I've never been to a con of any kind even thou I've always wanted to. I've always wanted to see what comic con was all about and even wonderfest. But alas, now I'm 47 and find that I've got a lot of free time, but it seems as if I never have enough money or the cons are always too far and I never want to go to one of these things alone. Ex-wifes never were interested and I never had any kids... so now I'm at the age where I want to go to something but not sure where or even when to go. Am I alone here or are there other shut in guys like me?
 

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foldart

Active Member
A quick Google search shows a few cons in the Carolinas, e.g. ConCarolinas near Charlotte in late May. Depends on where you are and how far you want to travel.

Probably good to start with smaller events rather than jumping straight into something like DragonCon.
 

Grifter2013

Active Member
Yeah as a fellow South Carolinian, dude I can point you to a number of conventions. If you want to start small I'd recommend SC Comic Con coming up in March. There is also HeroesCon and ConCarolinas in Charlotte during the summer, and of course DragonCon and TimeGate in Georgia. If you have any questions send me a message I don't mind filling you in.
 

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Clerval

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
To actually address a few key things:

You need to think of what type of Con you want to go to.
-The most basic breakdown is media v literary. These days, lit cons cross-over a good bit (multiple programming tracks that cater to wider fandom ranges than just author/artist, but in no way are the overscaled hype and usually zzz-fests of media cons, say DragonCon, ComicCon etc, which are too much BS for too little in return). In no small way lit cons have shrunk attendance-wise, but to me this makes the con, guests and fellow fans much more relaxed and accessible.

Con season is about to kick off in a major way, so memberships and accommodations need to be sorted soon for many of them.
Just to prep you for the worst-case....

Getting a membership. For a few Cons, usually larger regionals, membership is something that must be taken care of well in advance (some sell out, some cut off on-line, or mail-in requests date, some have multi-step processes to take care of things, almost all have rate bump dates etc). It may not be so easy to decide just a short time before the Con that you're going. A new trend that I support is some mid-size and up regionals are capping attendance numbers, so should you choose a lit/SF over a media con, you should do what you can to determine how far in advance you need to commit and in what ways; just hit their websites. Some of these will soon stop allowing membership transfers as well.

If you don't buy a badge within certain windows, you're likely to have to pay an increased rate or perhaps not be able to buy one at all til the next window for next year. Add on to this sorting out accommodations, which can be another nightmare as sorting room nights (members submit room requests through the con's hotel/accommodation liaison) and costs and however much of their space a hotel is opening up... well, can be hectic. That said, if you've a few acquaintances who'll attend, and if you frequent Con FB page and forums, then it's very likely you'll find a community of folks who are well-prepared to help you with membership and accommodation, if things are tight in those depts.

The above can be a pain though in all, more than manageable. If you have a few friends along, they're still one of the best ways to seriously kick up your energy level for whichever of your fandom(s) you hit. There's no acceptable surrogate for a good con weekend.
 

Grifter2013

Active Member
For a first timer I always recommend starting small. Something like SCComicon, ConCarolinas, HeroesCon, maybe TrekTrax. Then if you decide it's for you there are always larger cons. As a costumer I find I get a lot of play regardless of what size convention I am at so I enjoy them all.
 

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