Is there a right way to enjoy a convention? Is there a criteria that a convention has to meet to be considered a “comic convention”? What conventions should be fans be supporting?
These are all topics I have seen over the past twelve months in regards to conventions in Arizona. While I don’t think that “con bubble” has burst just yet I do think that Arizona is at a crossroads of where the local convention scene stands. We are at an all time high for number of pop culture events for Arizona and as competition for the all might dollar heats up, convention fans have turned into the first line of defense in marketing for their favorite conventions.
I see people all the time telling other people online how they should enjoy a con. Why can’t someone enjoy a furry convention just because it doesn’t have a board game room in which you think is a criteria of a good convention (to be fair, I’ve never attended a furry con so if they have board game rooms or not is just an example). Should that mean everyone should stop supporting it because it doesn’t fit the mold of your convention experience? Of course not. Why is it necessary to tell someone that their convention experience shouldn’t be based on the guests appearing because the variety of artists in artist alley outweighs the importance of guests? How someone enjoys a convention or what they put a priority on with their convention experience shouldn’t be a big deal to anyone else but yet I see over and over again. A lot fans have become loyal to a fault to conventions and if you even think about talking about your enjoyment of a different convention to them, they jump all over you. They have become marketing tools for conventions who will follow along blindly no matter what the case may be. I know this is sounding a little preachy and I need to get off the soap box but if someone wants to attend a convention that offers $200 photo ops, why is their convention experience less enjoyable compared to yours? If someone only attends conventions with local creators and artists, that is perfectly okay but it is still a convention even without a dozen cosplay meetups scheduled.
We all enjoy conventions differently, we should respect that.