They say you should never shop hungry, and I agree with that. I’ve done it far too often and walked away with more groceries than I needed. I’m gonna add that you should never write about conventions when your feelings are hurt or you’re angry about something. Even though I’m breaking that rule right now. But, I’m breaking it with the intent of saying something positive, rather than focusing on the negative – because there’s enough of that in the world right now as it is.
If you have ever helped put on a convention, thank you. I know how that goes. I know it’s mostly a thank-less job, a volunteer job, one you don’t really get any compensation for beyond a ticket or a shirt or something like that. I’ve volunteered many times with various conventions and conferences. It can be fun and rewarding. It can also mean long, stressful hours. And few people acknowledging your efforts outside the other volunteers. And I totally get it.
I’ve noticed some people thanking conventions now and then, and that’s great. But for the most part, if you see someone talking about a convention at all, it’s to complain. I don’t want to complain. I have a hard time differentiating me complaining from me whining, and I know that’s all me and my brain.
When you go to a convention – any convention of any size – there’s a better than decent chance few, if any, of the people keeping the thing running are some sort of paid employee. The more likely scenario is that they are unpaid volunteers, doing it for the love of whatever the subject matter is – science fiction, books, comics, movies, etc. And they are working their assess off to make everything come together. They don’t always manage that last part, but they do the absolute best they can and for the one thing that doesn’t go perfectly right, there are a hundred that do. Keep that in mind, if you can. I try to. And I try to thank the people who run conventions when I have the opportunity. I want them to know I appreciate them, and the sweat equity they put into these crazy things.
I will be at Denver Comic Con on Friday, June 15th and Sunday, June 17th. I’m on three panels. I’d love to see you there. You can find the panels by checking out DCC’s website and schedule. (I’m leery to post details right now just in case it changes, so hit their site for the latest schedule.) I won’t be selling books there, or doing a signing or reading or any of the usual kind of stuff you might expect. I don’t even think my book will be available for sale at any of the wonderful book sellers present in the dealer’s room (or whatever they call it at DCC) (Please support these book sellers! They can only be at these things if we buy books from them!). But I’ll still be there. If you have a copy of my book (or any of the other things I’ve been in like anthologies) and would like it signed, stop by one of my panels and I’ll be happy to sign it for you. I’ll do it with glee, in fact.
I wish I’d had more time to prepare something else for DCC, like a giveaway or table or something. But that wasn’t in the cards this year. Blargh.
I’ll be there early on Friday, though, with a smile and ready to chat. And I hope you will too.
And if you have occasion to interact with a volunteer, thank them. I promise you, you’ll make their day.