I’m sitting here in the Consuite at the MidAmeriCon II in Kansas City. I just finished talking with a really fun couple and figured I would write a post on how to meet people at WorldCon for new attendees.
If you are new to Cons, the Consuite is one of the best ways you can meet people. You’ll get the opportunity to talk to publishers, editors, writers and fans from across the world. It’s what makes WorldCon fun for me. It’s easy to strike up conversations with people. Mainly due to everyone here having the same mindset. They like Books and they like Cons….
Here are some easy questions you can ask to get the conversation started with “anyone”.
- Do anything fun this Con?
- Going to any parties tonight?
- Attending any panels? Are you on a panel?
- Are you Writer? Do you have an Editor? Do you have an Agent? Do you like Vegetables?
- How many Cons have you been to before?
- What was your favorite Con? Why?
- What was your least favorite Con? Why?
- What is you favorite part of this Con’s city? Some restaurant? Local event?
- What future Con are you voting for?
- Rinse and repeat
You get the picture… Everyone who has attended a Con in the past has something to say about them. You will also get invited to many parties later in the evening. Which is when the real fun begins. Take them up on their offer and go to the parties. You will meet many more people at them.
Panels go on all day. If you see one that looks interesting to you, go to it! This is another one the great ways to meet people. You can strike up conversation with people around you before and after the panels.
To figure out what panels you want to attend, get out the program guide you get when you register and circle every panel that seems interesting. Make sure to check to see where the panels are and if you have time to get there. WorldCon is a HUGE place and the logistics of getting to the other side of the convention center can be an issue.
My biggest problem was having time for food. There is not a long span of time to eat between panels. MAKE SURE YOU EAT and put that into your schedule beforehand…
How to Meet People if you are a Shy Person
Volunteer… It’s pretty simple. You will meet a ton of people. When you volunteer, people will come up and talk to you. Half the battle is bypassed.
Side note: WorldCons are run entirely by volunteers who work very hard. They need all the help that they can get. There probably will be a volunteer table down near the registration area to sign up at. You can volunteer for an hour or 8 hours. It’s up to you. They will put you where you are needed or where your talents are.
Evening Activities & Main Events
The convention runs 18 hours a day for 4 1/2 days. It’s not a typical conference where you go out for dinner and then everything shuts down. There will be late night programming and activities running into the AM.
Rules (Varies from Group to Group)
Take care of your health. You are not at home and there are a lot of things going on. You are being exposed to people from all over the world. Bring band-aids because you will get blisters on your feet from walking around for five days. Drink a lot of water.
The 2-6-1 Rule
- Eat two meals a day (Candy is not a meal)
- Sleep 5hrs to 6hrs every night (People get sick from not sleeping)
- Take a shower every day (Elevators get really crowded)
The Con publishes daily newsletters with information. They come out in different colors . They will tell you what is cancelled and what has been moved. Who is here and why and what good is going on. Funny things that people said. And various odds and ends like restaurant reviews that could be helpful.