Convention Idea: Homework

The roundup of convention ideas is here.

Conventions are fun.  Even those professional events that go into excruciating detail about art programs or the challenge of voice acting careers are fun.  You're among friends, learning new things, at times dressed strangely, and eating food most people wouldn't eat, and in some cases can't identify.

Ever thought about tossing a bit of homework in there?

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Convention Idea: Put It Online!

The roundup of convention ideas is here.

You've got your career events at your conventions.  Teachers and experts and progeeks are speaking.  You've got workshops and gameshows and lectures.  You've got it all.

What about after?

Well in your mind after probably means "cleaning up after the con and wondering why someone left their Keyblade in a potted plant."  But, post-con-cleanup trauma, what are you doing with the panels and workshops and career events you had?

What about putting them and their materials online so others can benefit them and attendees can review them.

Consider how you can extend the value of your career events:

  • If the presenters had handouts, ask them to put them online or give you copies.  That way you can link to them from the website (in fact, you could do this before the con).  Observe proper copyright statements of course.
  • Did you film some of the events?  Can you stream them, put them online, make them available as podcasts?  Again, watch for copyright issues, but consider it.
  • Is there work that was done during workshops, panels, and other career events?  Can you post it online or post photos of it so people can see – and learn – from the results?

Think of all the materials involved or produced by your career events.  With proper procedures and approvals, you can put them online.  With them available to the world you can help those who attended – and those who didn't – easier.  It also promotes those kind enough to give your convention their time and effort to do those events.

It might even inspire events for next year, or build an archive to enrich the experience of the attendees in the years to come.

– Steven Savage

Convention Idea: Have Some Fun

The roundup of convention ideas is here.

So I've been talking for quite a lot the last few months on different ways to do career oriented events at conventions.  Let me note that, you can also have fun with this.  In fact, I advise you consider some "career-fun" mix events to stimulate your imagination and avoid the risk of making things overly serious.

So among your career events, why not try a few fun things that, though career-oriented and indeed educational, can add some levity to the event – as well as making people think and giving them a chance to network.

Gameshows are a mainstay of conventions – so why not try some with a career orientation?

  • Do a gameshow quizzing people on their knowledge of game history?
  • Do a gameshow for programmers about obscure and humorous technology.
  • Do a gameshow on failed technoligies (Apple Lisa?  Microsoft Bob?)

Competitions always add a bit of spice to events and can let people use and show off pro skills:

  • Have an art competition (always a classic).
  • Do a competition in Cosplay to use limited materials (also a classic).  See if you can get actual people involved in clothing or fashion as judges.

Why not just have fun with your usual events.

  • As per my previous column, have some of your pro guests discuss their own great failures.
  • Have "stump-the guest" events where aspiring progeeks get to try and stump the more senior progeeks out there.
  • Have a party with some of the pro guests.  Make it a networking event if you want, but be sure it's fun.

Go on and add a bit of fun to the professional proceedings.  I'm sure you'll be glad you did.

– Steven Savages