Before the IFBC madness starts, I wanted to bring up one question: why do bloggers go to so many cons?
Because let me be blunt: if you wanted to save money and still talk to people, IFBC 2014 is going to be livestreamed furiously by everyone present from sunup to sundown. Twitter will be so full of facts you could attend the con from the comfort of your couch, and you can still join in online.
(Actually, that sounds rather lovely, especially since I missed Seattle Attic’s ScreenConf. Now I’m tempted to host my own Comfy Con. We could take over a conference space, cover it with bean bags, and have a screening of Creative Live pieces and encourage MST3K-level commentary. It could even be BYOC – Bring Your Own Cocoa – and we’d supply marshmallows. Any interest?)
And if you want to get writing input, there are writer groups in Seattle. I love the Tea-Tweeps, as little as I get to see them, and there are so many amazing writers in Seattle to talk with even if you’re an introvert.
Yes, there are the advertising opportunities, and the swag, and the twitter insanity. But I know that con attendance, for me at least, is physically exhausting, even if I love everyone in the room. It’s why I love that Geek Girl Con has a quiet room, and I cherry pick the cons to attend that will make me happy and won’t leave me stressed afterwards. And yet, I still go to a ton of them.
I think we go to cons to get two things: connection with others and ideas. Being a blogger is a fairly solitary experience, and most of us don’t live with people who really understand what it’s like. Sure, they’ll help set things up or go with us to places, but they’re not living the day to day insanity of running a blog and doing your own advertising. It’s a particular kind of freelance world that both requires isolation and makes you want to find others to commiserate with. Cons are more like a giant reunion in that way.
Just as important are the ideas. I’m a group thinker, someone who loves bouncing ideas off of others in conversation, and IFBC basically gives me a room full of people who will understand generally what I’m talking about in food and be able to ask useful questions – and they can do the same with me. And that is a magical and wonderful thing, because we should be out there supporting each other. I’m all for collaborations and group events and fun, and that’s what I hope to bring to IFBC.
Whatever your reasons are for attending, I hope you’ll say hi to me while I’m there. I’ll be the one with the pancake hat.