Convention Ideas: Roundup

This is a compilation of all the posts done on this blog about adding “fan-to-pro” elements to conventions.  I will be updating this over time.

If you wonder why conventions are a big idea, I did an entire book career events at cons – and the reasons why I did it explain it better than anything!



Convention Types:

  • Comic Cons – Comic cons have a unique foundation – but also are evolving n ways that career-minded fans can take advantage of.






  • Ani-Magic, the Autumn Dream – Making a convention an entire professional-skill-building experience.
  • Anime Saint George – Finding good trades for guests, diversifying professional guests, and keeping people informed on how to break into industries.
  • Anime USA – Leveraging geographic advantages, specific deep focuses, and having a staff with professional ambitions and experiences.
  • Daishocon – Getting speakers that wrote “how to” guides and paying special attention to teaching people how to break into careers.
  • Erie-Anime-Experience – Tying history, guests, and ideas together.
  • Hal-Con – Cultivating diversity on all panels, and working with guests and attendees for unique topics.
  • Iowa Icon – Leverages classic ideas, an intimate setting, and specific focus.
  • Mobicon – Leverage your guests and keep your staff primed to develop good profan events.
  • Odyssey Con – Covers areas of professional writing not everyone thinks of, and “subcontracts” events from other conventions.
  • Queen City Kamikaze – Calling on local talent, local education, and making career-specific events.
  • Templecon – Trying a few things no one else tries – including some contrarian elements!
  • Tigercon – Making guest-sharing deals and adding academic elements.
  • WindyCon – Following in the steps of WorldCon and doing manuscript review for writers.

– Steven Savage

Convention Thoughts: Invite recruiters

More thoughts on how to make conventions more professional.  You can find my previous suggestions here, here, here, and here.

When I attended Anime North 2009 I saw something odd that I hadn't expected – a youth recruiter was at the convention, running a table that explained government placement services.  It may seem odd to some, depending on the conventions you're used to and your location, but that struck me as an idea worth expanding on.

Conventions, especially medium to larger ones, are really are prime places for some companies, agencies, and employment services to recruit people or promote what they do.  There's a lot of attendees, many are passionate about given subjects, and of course they're always up for new and interesting things.  Besides, in this economy, fans are probably far more open to job opportunities at conventions, so why not help out.

So for conventions you help with here's a suggestion – invite recruiters.

  • Give them a table (they may even pay for it).  Universities might want to target your audience, or temporary agencies, or technical recruiters, or training schools.  I've seen universities have a presence at conventions – why not?
  • Have them speak.  Work them into career tracks.  Have them discuss the economy.  They may have a lot to share.
  • Go the extra mile and, if they're fannish, invite them to judge a contest or something.  Let them be part of the family.
  • Some may even be excellent guests if they're far enough in the profession.

Its a gamble, of course – even I've only seen this done recently, so I'm not sure how well it pays off – but it can't hurt to try.  If nothing else it builds good relations between the convention and other communities/businesses/people, and that's always a good thing.

Part of me thinks that, done right (and at the right events – it won't fit all events), this could work out spectacularly.  I can see larger conventions be especially good for this, and recruiters and so forth really making great contacts and providing more value to convention attendees.

– Steven Savage

Convention Idea: Go Local!

More on my ideas on helping cons appeal to progeeks and profans.  Previous articles are: here, here, and here.

In my musings, speculations, and ideas on ways to add more professional and career-building events to conventions, I've talked about guests that people can invite to conventions.  I want to talk about something that's often missed.

Local guests from local businesses.

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