For the normal attendee, a con can be broken down into three major compnents: things to watch; things to buy; things to do. Leaving aside panels and workshops, which are kind of a separate thought (and one we dealt with briefly last time) lets thing about the “to do” part.
The biggest “to do” for many congoers is cosplay. This is, in some sense, a very interactive thing – one person dresses up and lots of other people take their picture and talk to them about the costume, the character, the series. A really good costume is frequently a real ice-breaker with some fans. The enthusiasm people have for this interactive costuming makes the Masquerade or Cosplay Contest one of the most popular events at most conventions. Cosplay is no longer simply a fashion show – people get together, design skits around their costumes and the characters they represent. At larger cons, the masquerade is a full-multimedia event, with high-end prizes and tremendous acclaim for the winners.
But there’s alot more than just cosplay happening at any given convention. While you and your friends are wandering the Dealer’s Room or watching anime, there are probably dozens of other “events” happening at the same time. Live Action Role Play – think about the preparation that has to go into an event that will bring together a variable number of total strangers to compete for a prize. A story must be written, characters’ skill sets have to be accounted for, contests of skill or will arranged – the logistics are a nightmare! ^_^ But when you sign up and at the end, you’ve had fun, you don’t often think about what went into the preparation. In fact, if you notice the preparations, or the execution – it wasn’t well done. A seamless activity is something that’s hard to appreciate, because you don’t even notice the work that went into it!
At Yuricon 2003 we’ll be having a j-pop concert, rather than a dance. And a bunch of contests, and games. And for all those things, we have to decide what we’re going to say, how we’re going to present it (go ahead, *you* write a script for a Dating Game! Go ahead, I dare ya! ) and on and on.
So, next time you check out a con program – take a moment and think about all the hard work that goes into making that auction or whack-a-thon, or DDR contest happen. And when you’ve done that, find a staffer and thank ’em – it might just mean one more event for next year!
And if Entertainment is your bag – why not join the Yuricon Entertainment committee – we can always use fresh blood, erm, enthusiasm. ^_^