Monday, May 16, 2011

The Fifth Comic-Conmandment: Thou Shalt Love the Nightlife

While many comic convention attendees think the show ends when the sales floor closes, savvy fans know that this is when the best part of the convention just begins! 

Along with the masquerade balls, film screenings, and awards shows that make up the official evening programming at many conventions, great fun can be had outside of the convention center every night.  Rather than fleeing to your car and heading back home right away, consider remaining in the vicinity of the convention center or the official convention hotel.  Here you'll see some of your favorite creators and celebrities in a more social setting, and see some unexpected events.  You may end up seeing pulitzer prize-winning author Michael Chabon out getting an ice cream; find yourself sitting down to dinner with a group of Legion of Super Heroes fans you've never met before, just because you had open chairs at your table; or even happen upon a famous film writer/producer/director assisting a young woman in distress as paramedics arrive.*  The types of interactions you can't have during the show, and couldn't make up if you tried, occur at night. 

Of course, this is to say nothing of the bar scene.  On a typical evening, the bars of local hotels teem with creators networking, visiting with friends they only see at cons, or blowing off steam from a challenging convention day.  This makes for tremendous people-watching, to say the least.  Even better, if you use your very best social skills, and if someone is open to it, you may even be able to buy your favorite creator a drink and have a short chat with them.  As of today, at Comic-Con International in San Diego, this opportunity for outside-of-the-con entertainment has been extended to all hours of the day with the creation of Tr!ckster, a space across from the convention providing food service, creator signings and events, an art gallery, and more.

Whether spending time with creators or just your pals, taking advantage of these opportunities enhances the con experiece.  Hanging out with old friends, making new ones, sharing a meal or tipping back a beverage or two, and catching up on convention goings-on and life in general can be the most rewarding experiences of any con.  For me, those convention memories have become some of my most cherished.  So hang out after the closing bell, and make some memories of your own.

* All actual events that have occurred to me or in my presence after-hours.

This is the fifth of The Ten Comic-Conmandments series. Check back here or follow me on Twitter to read future entries.

No comments: