Sorry for lack of updates and not sticking to my “post each week” semi-goal. I often find myself torn between trying to decide what would be appropriate to post here versus knowing that I should just write to stay sharp. I actually had an enlightening conversation with my friend Jon Wright about that very same topic on our way to…
Hamacon is an anime con held annually in Huntsville, AL. The name actually means “Huntsville And Madison Anime CONvention.” This is its fourth year, with its dates being May 31-June 2, 2013. One of its senior staff members is host of the OSMcast and friend of the blog – Basil.
Through my work with MTAC, I’ve come to befriend a few Hamacon folks, including Basil, but I’ve never been able to make it down to their show. This year, I was determined to change that, even for only a short time. Jon (check out his attempt to understand Tumblr) and I headed down for an overnight trip to experience the show Friday night through Saturday afternoon, all to support our Alabama friends and to enjoy a con where we didn’t have to do any work.
Of course, con work was pretty much all we talked about all weekend.
As it turns out, con runners from Atlanta’s Momocon and Seishuncon also made the trip to support our Huntsville friends. As soon as we were on site Saturday morning, we ran into each other and talked shop most of the day. So much so that Jon and I lost track of time before we had to leave for a prior engagement back home.
With only having attended one actual event, and the rest of the time spent goofing around with friends, was it worth the road trip and one-night’s hotel room to mostly talk to people I chat with regularly online? You bet it was.
Social engagement is a legitimate reason to enjoy and experience a convention. For many, it’s why they’re there. With the cons I work for, our feedback surveys show the oft-stated reason for attending is the social experience – hanging out with their friends, meeting new ones, and enjoying a weekend-long party in support of their fandoms. To be perfectly honest, that’s true for those of us working the events too. We do what we do because we enjoy the work, but more so because we enjoy working along side our friends.
We didn’t get to see much of the con outside of the general layout and Basil’s “Pain Train” clip show. The layout was pretty unique, with the con opening into a large exhibit hall that functioned like a lobby that most of the main event areas filled or branched out of. Jon equated it to the WiiU’s WaraWara Plaza, which seems to fit given my limited experience with the WiiU (from Jon’s place, no less).
I had a great time this past weekend. This was a blast of a buddy road trip, exemplified by our inadvertent exploration of the beautiful green rolling hills of southern Tennessee, thanks to Google Maps. Despite not even being in Huntsville for a full 24 hours, I enjoyed the entire time with my friends and colleagues and proved that even a one-day stop at a three-day event is worth it as long as you have people to share the experience with.
At least enough people to form the megazord.
Why do you go to conventions? Is it for the social environment, or is it something else?
Share your answers and thoughts in the comments below!