The continuing journey from consumer to contributor:
While most attendees at a pop culture con are the average consumer, there’s a small population that aim to contribute to the experience. I’m talking cosplayers, panelists, exhibitors, celebs, promotional companies giving away kettle chips, saving the day when you forgot to pack a lunch…and all that goodness. That’s the goal.
This Long Beach Comic Con was the first convention since SDCC where I’ve had full momentum for Nerd Coolture. In fact, I created the Nerd Coolture website the first morning of SDCC from the living room of our AirBnB.
Now, I’m learning nerd networking on my own. Here are some takeaways from LBCC:
- Approach – Aside from the support from my amazing wife, who is a tad more introverted, I found myself to be less audacious than I thought I would be. Why? Fear of rejection or presumption that people didn’t want to hear about Nerd Coolture. So I was really picky with whom I approached and had to make sure that I was super comfortable with the situation. Ehhhh…
- Asking – It’s one thing to approach someone. It’s another to ask for a pic, their social media tag, email, or whatever else it would take to establish a connection point. This is how community is built though. I had to remind myself that I love these people and they’re super cool. And yeah, after some genuine conversation, I exchanged contact info with some rad folk!
- Adding – Contributing to the discussion at panels is a way to add to the con life. One panel that inspired me was Nerd Living, facilitated by bloggers and everyday nerd enthusiasts with jobs in the professional world. It totally spoke the language of Nerd Coolture, integrating nerd elements like everyday cosplay (aka bounding), housewear, crafting, and of course, fashion. I stole this pic from Jennifer Kretchmer, one of the panelists whose words made sense while up on stage. We talked after the panel about the lack of guys fashion in nerd culture, and she threw me a lob that I soon start my own panel. WHAT?! I’m so thankful she lit that fire. By “thankful” I mean “freaked out” She’s on Twitter @dreamwisp. Follow her. She’s mos def a cool nerd.
If I’m not learning at a con in order to contribute, then the con is a bust. Yeah, it’s still fun, but it has to sharpen my nerd skills in order to help my fellow nerds in the long run.
This LBCC was a dive in the deep end because of the socializing, the risk, and all the walking of course. All of that walking was to find the right person to connect with or get the perfect shot to share the Nerd Coolture. Because in the end, it’s not about me, it’s about the culture.