Don't be too cool for fan meet-ups

16 MARCH 2016

If you hang around Conland long enough, you hear everyone (me included) talk about how great the community is. And it is. But it's worth noting that some participation is required.

Wait for other attendees to spontaneously approach you and say, "I love your Orphan Black cosplay and I want to be best friends with you" and you'll just stay in your bubble. But if you chat people up online or talk to the attendees standing in line with you, you'll find that Comic Con people tend to be laidback, friendly people. There's rarely any pretentious attitude or evaluation about who's pretty, rich or hip enough to join some lofty social circle; attendees usually tend to sidestep all that superficial crap. (At least at Cons, most do. I can't say what they do in their normal lives.)

Which brings us to the fan meet-up. I know a lot of you probably think that a room full of strangers and socializing sounds like the kind of forced networking event your job would make you go to, but fan meet-ups can be fun. First of all, there's a theme; Emerald City has tons of them for lots of big fandoms (Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, Disney, Walking Dead, Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Firefly, X-Files etc) which means you all have something in common to talk about. And if you don't have a lot of friends in real life who share your passions, it can be invigorating to finally have a pow-wow with someone who does.

There are also meetups for anime fans, women and girls in tech and - I'm calling attention to this one - first-time attendees. That one's on Friday morning and it's going to be a great way for first-timers to meet other attendees. I mentioned this before, but some people new to ECCC have found it hard to meet people. The Seattle Freeze? I don't know, but this could be a good way to make connections AND get a little advice from the ECCC team on making the most of your weekend. Plus if there's another event you want to go to and your companions aren't interested, you might find someone who will hang out with you.

Just a suggestion. Take a look at what's happening and see if any of them appeal to you. And of course, if you belong to a specific fandom, check your own online communities as well and ask if any offsite happy hours or meetups are happening. You might be surprised.

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