First.. I've been to four conventions:- Twilight NL Con (I was a volunteer at this event, Nieuwegein, the Netherlands)
- Asylum 7 (Birmingham, UK)
- Asylum Europe 3 (Bad Wildungen, Germany)
- RingCon (Bonn, Germany)
And LeakyCon (London, UK) is to come in August 2013.
- Elf Fantasy Fair (I went to the Utrecht, Haarzuilens editions 4 times, twice to Arcen, so 6 in total, both in the Netherlands)
- Entertainment & Media Show (London, UK)
- Collectormania 18 (London, UK)
As I remember correctly I started going to things like this in 2008. The Elf Fantasy Fair was the first one and I always dressed up in some way. Like I showed you in my cosplay post, which you can find here and here. A lot of people would consider me crazy or a geek. But I don't see those words as an offense, I know I am a geek, a nerd and crazy. And I love it. The worst things about conventions.. They're damn expensive!
I will try to explain what a convention is to all of you who never been to one or might not even know what a fandom is. A lot of you might know about Comic Con? Well a convention is a place where fans come together. There are a lot of different conventions. Conventions for Star Trek, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, Twilight, and I could go on for another few pages, fans. A fandom is a group of people who are fan of the same thing. It's some sort of group name for fans. A convention takes 1 to 4 days most of the time. You buy a ticket (of which the price is very different for every event) and go there to visit merchandise stands, meet people from the movie/tv show you're fan of, have fun with other fans or just have a good time. Most conventions offer a lot of different activities.
One of the most exciting things for me about conventions is to meet other fans. Some fans are so creative and passionate about the things they like. And yes, there are people who might be obsessed and might overreacted, because you see a lot of fan tattoos and houses filled with merchandise. But people make their own costumes, their own swords and are so open to talk.
Most people act surprised if I tell them I go to conventions and like to cosplay (costume play). But as I'm definitely not ashamed, I love to share stories about it. I'm absolutely passionate about being a fan, just like I'm passionate about fashion, movies and skiing. But now on to my convention experience.
Supernatural conventionsI've been a die hard Supernatural fan for quite a long time, I'm gonna use SPN as a short word for Supernatural. That's why I visited two SPN conventions and started a Dutch Supernatural Fans page with a couple of friends. One of the conventions was in the UK, one in Germany. These conventions cost 95 pounds (there is an possibility for upgrades) for 2,5 days. (+ hotel, travel and expenses you make there) You would say expensive! But what would you pay for a citytrip? Or going out, a concert? Yes that's right, about the same amount of money.
These two conventions both had about 8 actors/actresses attending from the show. And of course you're able to take photos with them which you'll have to pay for. But the autographs are included with your 95 pounds. (which is something the organizers, Rogue Events, does) Over the entire weekend you're able to visit talks with the actors, coffee lounges, (a small get together with the actors) meet & greets, photo and autograph opportunities and of course to meet other fans. This also might be the shortest story I've ever told about a SPN convention. But I'm trying to keep it short and clear for you all to read.
One thing I wanted to add, we made this video for a contest. We had an absolute blast making this and I think I turned out pretty well. (I met so much amazing people through Supernatural)
RingConThis was the first mixed convention I went to. In the first place I went here for all the Game of Thrones guests attending. But after more guest announcements I couldn't wait to meet the Lord of the Rings and Legend of the Seeker guests as well. This was quite a bigger convention and costed me 99 euros for 3 days, again the hotel, travel and other stuff not included. I got to go to a press meeting for this event as I'd report for two different websites. Which was an amazing opportunity to ask questions and take photos. There were a lot of workshops and talks at this convention, unfortunately most of the workshops were in German. But the most fun thing about this convention was the amount of people who were dressed up. Because there are so much fandoms mixed, a lot of people decide to dress up. I dressed up as Daenerys Targaryen, and you got so much reactions. I got called 'Dany' and people asked me if they could make pictures. I felt like a celebrity for a day. I had an absolute blast at RingCon and am planning (and hopefully able) to go again next year.
The similar eventsThe other events I named before are more like events mixed for everything. You can go there if you like fantasy, sci-fi, manga, comics and much more. There are no big talks like on the conventions. But there is much more to do. Workshops, a lot of stalls with merchandise and the freedom to walk around. The fun thing about this is that you see something else every year. Other guests, other people and other costumes. The other thing is, that it's not as specific. So you might not recognize a lot of costumes and spot a lot of stuff which you don't know about. This is why events like this are a lot cheaper, because you might spend more on the event itself. (all though that's not really true for me) For events like this you don't pay more then 35 euros for an entire weekend. But that definitely wouldn't mean those are less fun. I still love going to the Elf Fantasy Fair every year. And all though I might have to skip a year this time, I'll definitely go back.
So if you ever want to try something like this.. Visit an event like this to start with.
The events I've got coming up? LeakyCon will be for sure, which is Harry Potter convention (in London). But I really want to go to London Comic Con as well, and maybe some more events if I get the chance. If you want to know more, or things about me. Feel free to ask in the comments, I hope you all enjoyed this post and if you read all of it.. Congratulations on finishing this massive post.
NL: Ik heb voor school een korte documentaire gemaakt over fan cultuur. Als jullie geïnteresseerd zijn. Dit is de link naar het filmpje.