evannichols (evannichols) wrote,

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Orycon – She Flies With Her Own Fairy Wings

My experience of Orycon averages out to a B-, perhaps a C+. I don’t go to very many conventions, so I can’t compare it to others; it may have been the Best SF/F Convention EVAR. I just didn’t get so much from it.

I think I’d have a terrific time if I attended with a bunch of friends, or was up on what’s happening in Science Fiction and Fantasy, or really into gaming, or much better at striking up conversations with Random Strangers. While there, I had a constant suspicion that there was a room where all the Cool Kids were hanging out and having Big Happy Fun Time, but I just couldn’t find it. So I wandered from the presentations through the lobby, from the Game Area to Hospitality, past the Art Show and Dealer Room, and they were always filled with throngs of people I didn’t know. There were costumes to see and stuff happening, but aside from a few exceptions, I didn’t latch onto anything and say “Yes, this is exactly where I want to be!”

I got to hear Cory Doctorow a couple times; he’s bright, articulate and insightful. I didn’t get the opportunity/nerve to talk with him one-on-one, which I regret. I spotted him as he wandered into the Dealer Room, but he only toured half the aisles and didn’t come by our booth before he headed for the exit. I probably saw most of the other presenters, artists and Guests of Honor over the weekend, but didn’t realize it; they look just like everyone else. This supports Evan’s Observation About Celebrities (“Famous People are just like us Ordinary People (Only Better)”), but since I’m not up on Who’s Who, I’m sure a number of opportunities slipped by.

This was all complicated by being there under the auspices of working for R in the Dealer Room. That meant a couple hours setting up on Friday, bringing in another load of stuff on Saturday, and striking it all on Sunday. I can’t complain about that too much, as she did pay me generously for my time, but it did shift the tenor of the experience. I managed to set up a display for my Ask Dr. Eldritch stuff, showing off a couple shirts and the splendid Bubble Bath items (made by sanguinity)! But the traffic in the Dealer Room was very erratic and often slow, and it became quite clear that only one person was required to run the booth. However, R was having some health issues, so I wasn’t comfortable with just going home. So I spent much of the time hanging out in the empty space beside R’s booth on the off chance that anyone was interested in hearing about my comic.

There were several things that brought up the grade:
  • lenser came by and visited Friday afternoon.
  • MaryRobbinetteKowal (of MaryRobinetteKowal.com) was there, and I got to chat with her. (She’s a writer and the best Icelandic Puppeteer I know). I attended her presentation on readings and a panel discussion about blogging.
  • I would have sworn Lucy Lawless showed up in a Xena costume, but it was one of the attendees, a physical trainer taking advantage of her similarity of appearance. I got a photo. (Unfortunately, she’s married.)
  • The space next to R’s booth was used for coffee in the morning, then was empty the rest of the day except for a chair and a table with a black tablecloth. So I sat there much of the time (there wasn’t much free space in R’s booth). Someone had lost a red 1” fluff ball on the floor, so I set it in the middle of the otherwise empty table, with a $349.95 price tag. That got a lot of chuckles from the people wandering past.
  • The best part was when one of the guests did a double take at my shirt, and said “I read your comic!” He shook my hand, and asked if his friend could take a picture of us. The answer was “Of COURSE!” That part had me grinning for quite a while.
All this gave me some more insights for my upcoming “Attending a Convention” post. This will help when I go to more such events in 2007. So even if this one wasn’t the most productive, I think it will help make future ones even more successful.

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