Back to the Convention Grindstone

My “post here every Monday” commitment is going to be seriously tested over the next couple of months. MTAC is coming *cue Ned Stark* and I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me.

Quick recap: MTAC is the Middle Tennessee Anime Convention, a Nashville-based anime con going into its 13th year on March 29-31. I’m the organization’s public relations manager, meaning I help promote the event by writing and editing content, helping plan promotional strategy, and managing the convention’s public interactions through customer service and media relations. All with the help of a fantastic staff and incredible colleagues that make me appear much more competent than I actually am.

Then in six months, I’ll be doing the same thing for our other convention Geek Media Expo.

This is me explaining if any of my columns over the next two months aren’t up to the low par of my usual work. Depending on what you do with a convention, the job can be very time consuming. Mine at this stage will consist of a metric ton of emails, copy-editing, and social networking throughout my evenings, as well as several in-person promotional events claiming my weekends.

By the way, it’s a no-pay, volunteer job.

So why do it? Watch the video above, done by convention videographer MAGE Tv, and you’ll get an idea. It’s a blast, knowing that you and your friends helped create something that gets that kind of praise and excitement. It’s the fun of working with your friends and the fulfillment when it comes together to the enjoyment of others.

This same feeling can apply to any team-based project, be it playing in a band or producing your own movie, or anything that catches your fancy.

Additionally, I actually get to put my college degree in mass communication to work, as well as learn new skills in customer service, event organization, and more.

I wrote a piece last summer about how to staff a fandom convention. To anyone who regularly goes to conventions, or anyone with an interest in event or media production, I highly recommend giving it a try. However, there are plenty of other ways to get involved in the convention experience than joining staff – running panels, getting an artist table, forming a costume group, holding a room party, recording a con video, just to name a few.

Bottom line, simply attending is fun, as well as often necessary to relax and avoid burn out. Once in a while though, you have to plunge in and do something.

With all of that now said and done, I have to get back to editing bios.

Do you attend any conventions (of any kind)?
Do you try to involve yourself with the experience?
If so, how?


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