For the last three or four years you can find me doing a “con” – the Great Plains Renaissance Festival. Now, the reason I do it is simple – I get booth space for free, and in exchange I run the Kansas Authors’ Pavilion, an event where local authors get to connect with the tons of people that go through the ren fest. Fun deal, and it’s a chance to chat with a whole lot of people.
This year things changed a bit. With the introduction of The Save Ferris Project I ended up getting out and about a bit more than usual.
My first stop with The Save Ferris Project was the Kansas Authors’ Pavilion at the Great Plains Ren Fest, as usual, which happens once in the spring and once in the fall. While the Kansas Authors’ Pavilion was going on for the fall ren fest, I separated out part of the tent space and ran a fundraiser for The Save Ferris Project instead. The guys from the ren fest – in particular, Richard Cathey – are great guys, and ran a special advertisement in the handout for the faire about the fundraiser!
There’s always one downside to doing the Great Plains Ren Fest – because the tent is donated we get kicked out at 4 for The Pirate Smoker (if you’re at the ren fest, be sure to take in the smoker at least once – it’s all the jokes they can’t tell to a family friendly crowd. Definitely an adults-only show, which is why it needs it’s own tent that gets closed up.) This year, something pretty awesome happened – one of the authors at the pavilion, Lyndon Perry, is a minister, and his church has a nice 20′ x 20′ tent for sale, cheap! Those pavilion tents are fairly expensive, so thanks to West Towne Baptist Church and The Save Ferris Project, I now have a tent to continue running the fundraiser in, along with giving the Kansas Authors’ Pavilion it’s own home at the ren fest!
That was supposed to be the only one I did for the year. But the idea occurred to me: if I’m doing a fundraiser that involves video game development as part of it’s backbone, maybe I should be getting out in front of a very geeky crowd?
That lead to me doing Encounters Convention, a brand new Sci/fi convention in Wichita. As luck would have it – or connections, rather than luck I suppose – Rich happened to have multiple tables available as part of his agreement, and he passed one on to me for the Save Ferris fundraising efforts. Though, I suppose if I would have asked nicely, there was a good chance they might have donated one anyways – I know part of the founders of Encounters, and they’re good folks.
That lead to Devvi convincing me to do one more – the Emerald City Steampunk Convention, which was cool by donating the fundraiser a table!
So, all told, two ren fests and two geeky conventions in one year. That’s a bit more “out there” than I normally am, and it brings up the question for 2013: am I going to try and do more cons?
There’s upsides and downsides. I’m a writer, a game developer, software developer, and I’m trying to raise money to help a friend (or possibly friends and others, if I can really get the project to take off.) Being out there and in the public eye, connecting with others, is a really good idea. In fact, for the writing and game development part of my life it’s almost mandatory.
On the other hand, I’m recently married, so doing these events frequently takes me away from my wife and our new home. Additionally, I attend services every Friday night at Remnant of Israel, and Torah study Saturday mornings, and all the events I’ve been involved with so far have either been Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Saturday / Sunday events.
I really haven’t made up my mind on what I should be doing, really. So far, I haven’t had to spend any real money on going to conventions. Typically, this is something I’d have to spend money on (as an exhibitor – for speakers, often there’s at least ticket compensation and free vendor space. For big ones, you could end up compensated with travel and hotel room, too – but that’s not particularly common.) So, I have no idea how many I’lll do in 2013 – I could try and branch out, and hit a few other cities (I’ve got an opportunity to hit Kansas City, for instance) That’s going to take a bit to figure out, along with some discussions on Kat about our priorities. She’s said before that conventions are part of my job – but how many are too many?