Make It So: First Episode Con

As you saw awhile ago I’m pretty sold on the idea of smaller mini conventions. I think there’s a real place for them, I witnessed an excellent one in the form of Kraken-Con, and I’ve had good experiences with them.

Now recently in a Muse Hack get together the gang was discussing how we’d share and experience new media, those one-off viewings, seeing premiers, etc. That consolidated in my head and I want to make a proposition, an idea, something for someone to Make So. Something for you to try.

(Why not me? Well . . . we’ll see. I’m busy here. But I plan to push for this in my spheres when/if I get a chance).

So imagine this . . .

A one-day, tightly-run convention. The major focus however is on two things – viewings and a dealer’s room, with of course proper social areas. However there’s a little specialization.

The viewings? They’re only first episodes of a series. Thats it. One episode, no more. The goal? The goal is to make sure people get maximum exposure to new series, obscure series, interesting series, etc. In short, this is your chance to sample media in a crowd of fellow fans.

The dealer’s room? Should focus on videos and merchandise related to the shows in question. If people like a series then they can grab related merch, videos, or manga. In short, you have people primed and ready to buy. The dealers, of course, will be told as early as possible what’s on the playlist so they can prepare.

Finally, make sure there’s a good social area with food so people can bond together and discuss new and old loves. Make sure there’s actual break time every few hours so no one misses anything.

The result? You create a giant social event for people to discover new things, make friends, and of course make money. Everyone wins, and you get an event that, being one day, is relatively easy to plan.

Think of it as First Con, or Premier Con, or Tapas Con, or SampleCon.

Now a few more tips for this:

  • All viewings should be suggested by the potential attendees. They should explain why the series is important (or fun or whatever) and present a list of other shows people may like in that vein. This information should go in the program book. That way if people see a show they like they not only see it they see other things that may interest them.
  • Present as much related material as possible so people can learn more about shows.
  • Having a schedule and information on a website as soon as possible is a good idea.
  • Try and have “before and after” events an hour before and after the shows start so people can get settled – and can socialize.
  • Look for sponsorship. Because this begs for it.
  • A con like this should be done more than once a year. I could easily see one two to four times a year in the right area.

So there’s the idea folks. A one-day convention focused on first episodes to introduce people to new shows. Now, Make It So.

– Steven “Single-Day” Savage