All in Original Blog

A Night At Hogsmeade Inn

As a Portlandian I participate in various geeky events and organizations. One of those organizations is the Time Traveler's Costume Guild, a member of the International Costume Guild. My mother helped start this local group, and this January, we were able to host our first big event, a Harry Potter themed dinner. My write-up for the event was featured in ICG's May/June 2016 Newsletter, but you can also read the full write-up below.

Press 101: How to Apply for a Press Badge as a New Outlet

Blogs, Vlogs, and new press outlets for our geeky world are popping up almost daily. Cheap technology and the rise of social media has helped propel individuals and small outlets into great sources for geeky news. And thus, the battle for press badges at conventions has gotten tougher. Not to mention, it can be confusing for a newer outlet to know how and when to start applying for press badges. Remember, every convention is different, and thus has different rules about applying, and who they will accept as press.

Your Guide to the World of Conventions!

Each convention is very different. With differences ranging from how programming is handled to the type of people that attend an event. This three part guide goes over some of the things to expect at different types of conventions based on my personal experience attending and staffing conventions. As well as the experiences of friends and acquaintances that I’ve made in the convention industry. Not every convention is alike, and some cons within the same category will be vastly different. This is meant to be a general guide to the different types of conventions and what to expect.

How to Room Share at a Con like a Pro

Room Sharing is the act of sharing a room with one or more people. At conventions this usually means a hotel room. While it’s not like having to share a dorm room in college, there are still plenty of horror stories. So, how do you and your roommates ensure everyone has a great room experience? Outside of being really really awesome? Conventioning has some tips to help you!

Outreach Booths: The Frontlines of Your Convention

I’ve worked my fair share of convention booths, and there have been good and bad experiences. I’ve also seen a huge range of set ups, goals, and things that work (or don’t). The bottom line is that your convention booth is like a foreign exchange student, and everyone will be judging their first impression of your convention by it. Below is a list of things to keep in mind for your convention’s booth at your next outreach event!

Are There Legal Issues with Cosplay?

A new article from Anime News Network is shedding some light on the legality of cosplay in Japan. Recently some fans asked Yūji Ōkuma, a lawyer with Toranomon Law and Patent Office, about the legality of making costumes based on their favourite characters. And while his answer may be expected to some, it will probably still create a bit of panic. Okuma explained that while making cosplay for yourself, for personal and private use, fell into the category of grey legality that a lot of fanworks fall into. But if you’re creating a costume for a friend, or to sell, and yes that includes props, you are infringing on Japanese copyrights.

The Puzzle of Programming

All conventions have something in common, panels. Panel content, presentations about everything from the history of Sci-Fi, to the latest blockbusters from Hollywood, to the evolution of pop culture are a common element of today’s conventions. While the content will vary from convention to convention, that content is the result of hours and hours of work on behalf of the programming department, the presenters, and the convention as a whole. But with every convention having panels, how do you ensure your convention has unique and interesting panels that your attendees will love? First you must know what your attendees want.

Copyright Holders Vs. Artist Alleys

We've been seeing more and more stories about what is sold in Artist Alleys. Many companies (like Disney, Marvel, FUNimation, etc) are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with fanworks making money. But this isn't big media cracking down on the little guy. Characters, just like the actual content of books, logos, phrases and more are copyrighted. That means that companies and creators own the rights to produce works based on those characters, use their names, image, etc. While I can understand fans speaking out about these policies, it's well within the rights of these companies and individual creators to claim the rights to their work and prevent others from making money based on those characters.

Expanding Fandoms Mean Expanding Convention Centers

San Diego is back in the convention spotlight with Mayor Kevin Faulconer deciding against a split expansion model for the San Diego Convention Center. The San Diego Convention Center is best known as the home of San Diego Comic Con, has reached critical mass with the convention during the last few years. And with more and more people interested in attending comic conventions, organizers have surely been pushing for expansion. Additionally, the San Diego Chargers, have been suggesting a joint convention center-stadium expansion in order to relocate the team downtown.

We Want You: Finding Staff for Your Convention

Conventions and events often run into the problem of not knowing where to get volunteers and staff. Social media, schools, friends of friends and general word of mouth are the go-to methods for finding new, able-bodied, staffers. Many conventions even have great perks for their staff, like hotel room discounts, t-shirts, lanyards, and more. So why is it so hard to get great staff? Is your convention really exhausting every avenue? Here are some great ideas for where else to look for staff!

A Conventioneer's Toolkit: The Unconventional Guide to Surviving & Enjoying Conventions

As staff, I perfected my own survival kit to include sharpies and pens, sticky  notes, Aleve and Excedrin, bandaids, athletic tape, and of course a messenger bag to shove it all into. But what about the things that aren’t usually talked about? There are plenty of guides out there for how to survive your first convention. And tips and tricks for saving money and time when both are at a premium. Some conventions even have guides posted on their websites for newbies! So this is a more unconventional list to help you get through a convention.

Conventioning: An Informative Introduction

Conventions have been a great passion of mine for over ten years. And with their growing popularity, more and more are cropping up across the US and across the globe. We live and breathe pop culture, memes and fandom references. Picking up a new (legally obtained) comic or manga is as simple as going to your local bookshop, library or your couch with digital copies available from most major publishers. Mainstream audiences are sitting with bated breath for the next episode of the Walking Dead, Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D. and Game of Thrones.