The round-up of convention ideas can be found here.
When you want guests and events its easy to focus on the professional side of things: professional fans, professional groups, professional lecturers.
Keep in mind that many of your attendees with be students, potential students, or people looking to learn more.
So for potential guests, events, and more start looking at inviting student associations.
Your local colleges will probably have plenty of selections:
- There are those associated with particular professions or skills – writer's groups, artist's, etc. They can provide people with information on what it's like to learn a skill or pursue a profession – and find groups they may want to join at a given skill.
- There are those associated with colleges in general. They may be able to speak on the virtues of a given college or institution.
- There may be groups that have general interests (anime, SF) that can provide some broad and interesting insights.
The advantages of inviting student associations?
- Speaking to the right targets. Most student associations know exactly who they're for and what they provide.
- History. Many student associations have long histories that provide information, context, and connections.
- Build relations between your convention and colleges. Good student association relations can forge stronger relationships with educational institutions.
- They are your audience. There's a good chance the student association members are interested in or are already attending your convention anyway.
Next time you set up your convention's profan activites, don't forget the students. You'll be missing out.
– Steven Savage