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What To Do When a Favorite Convention Suddenly Loses Its Luster?

Sad Weeping Angels just broke up with a con.

If you’re into anything pop culture, then you likely have been to a few conventions. It could be Star Trek, Star Wars, board games, video games, or just about anything because there is a convention for every one of our obsessions. The big ones like SDCC are the stuff of bucket lists, but there are lots of smaller, more attainable local cons that give everyone a taste of convention life. But what do you do when a con you loved suddenly feels like a chore?

It might be simple to say that you just don’t go anymore, but it’s not that easy. It’s hard to find just the right local con to perfectly fit your interests, especially if you live in a more rural area. Once you find it you’re loathe to let it go. You’ve probably told all your friends about it and they all go each year and some of them might not even be local, so you’ll miss them if you don’t go. You want to go for the people, but the con itself, not so much.

You should not feel like this at a con.

I’m fortunate that I get to attend all sorts of conventions covering all sorts of topics. Some are trade shows, like the Detroit Auto Show, and some are gigantic pop culture fests like NYCC. I adore both of those and, at this moment, hope to go every year.

Those are behemoths, but the small conventions and trade shows are the ones where you really get to be a part of things. Vendors have time to actually talk to you about their wares. PR people can actually stop to take a breath, tell you about their latest and greatest, and not be so swamped that they forget you ever talked two minutes later. And you and your friends can wander, be social, and enjoy each other’s company.

You should feel like this, ready to take on anything!

But sometimes, those small cons change over the years and it’s usually in one of two directions. They start losing attendees until they get so small they just stop, or they start gaining attendees and lose something that’s harder to define.

What was once unique, interesting, and full of life can suddenly just feel, well, meh. The excitement is gone. It’s all a little less personal and it’s lost its identity, its special-ness.

Either way, as an attendee, all you know is that something is missing and it just isn’t what it was once upon a time. Not going is the obvious solution, but it kind of feels like breaking up with your boyfriend. It’s not that he’s done anything wrong, you’ve just grown apart and the spark is gone. It’ not easy to walk away.

And your every moment should involve My Little Pony and/or The Doctor

I’ve broken up with a few conventions over the years, and though no tears were shed, it really is sad. At first I felt like I still should have gone, like I was missing out and had made a mistake. The boyfriend looked interesting again. But, in my heart I knew it was over and when I started looking for new conventions to fill my weekends I found all sorts of new things to try.

And that’s the key. Just because you’ve been going to the same cons for years doesn’t mean you always have to go to those cons. If they lose their charm, then move on. There are so many conventions out there, if you just take a little time and look around, you’re sure to find one that makes your heart race when you walk in the door, just like that ex-boyfriend.


2 Responses to “What To Do When a Favorite Convention Suddenly Loses Its Luster?”

  1. Lisa says:

    I'd give the advice that if ti's a local con or just one that your friends go to and you don't want to miss them, consider giving it a go a TOTALLY different way. A lot of us are stuck in our ways about "how we con". Talk to some friends who you always only catch in passing at the bar at night who seem to be doing really different stuff from you all day and try doing it like them. It's completely ok to "break up" with a con if you're not enjoying it or want to spend your money elsewhere. I know that i overdoses on cons and realised that i occasionally wanted to do other things and had to have a few break ups myself. But do think that for local cons, maybe give them a chance to see them through someone else's eyes first.

  2. Very true, Lisa! I've done cons with different groups of friends and ended up with completely different experiences depending on the things they like to do.

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