As I note in Fan To Pro, a convention is a great way to scout an area for relocation. You get to visit an area, see how it handles a crowd, meet people, and of course know if the geekery there is for you. A con is good research – among all the other benefits.
This got me thinking – and helped me revive my old Make It So columns.
We need relocation panels at Conventions. Not how to relocate or why, but how to relocate to the area the convention is being held in. Yes, I’m assuming that area is worth relocating to, so work with me here.
So let’s work on a format idea!
First, who would host it? Obviously people living in the area, at least some of them being being that relocated to wherever the con is being held. You want specific testimonies from people in the know and who went through the process of relocating.
Secondly, some of the panel has to be specific testimonies from the people above. You need people to discuss their experiences, challenges, and techniques from living in and/or moving to the area.
Third, subject matter. Here’s a few things that should be covered – interspaced with real stories:
- Employment and employment options – and challenges.
- Major employers of all kind – corporate, government, education.
- Living expenses and what they’re like.
- Best places to live. You may want to add a bit of what not to do if there’s anything to really avoid.
- Walkability, public transportation, and other ways to get around.
- Trends in employment, living, etc. For instance if some places are getting pricier, etc.
- Social opportunities – cons (obviously), clubs, etc.
- Cultural opportunities like museums, libraries, and so on.
- Food, dining, cuisine.
- Moving tips and advice.
Fourth, have a handout of some kind with all of the above or put it online. The convention might even host it on their website, especially if this becomes a permanent thing.
Done properly, a Relocation Panel would be an awesome addition to the right cons in the right areas. It’d help attendees out, help people share their knowledge, and these days we need all the help we can get living and job-wise.
Keep it in mind, and let me know if you try it . .