The TwiCon Convention just wrapped this weekend and our inbox is filled with questions just like these:
“Whenever you get a chance to catch your breath, I would be interested to hear your perspective of the various Twilight events such as SSIF, Twi/Tour, TwiCon, Comic Con, etc. What are the similarities, differences, etc. that would help a Twilight supporter navigate the various options.”
“How would you rate TwiCon compared to Creation Cons?”
“I just heard the next TwiCon was in Las Vegas in 2010. I thought there was a TwiCon in Chicago.”
“Which convention does the Lexicon run?”
So, to wade through murky waters here we are going to try to provide some info without specifically talking about the pros or cons of any specific convention. We are going to be Switzerland. The reason for that is that we have a bias having formally presented at three cons, personally knowing people involved in another, and having several upcoming appearances at others. It wouldn’t be cool for us given that to “rate a con”. It just wouldn’t be fair to groups that we haven’t worked with. So, were going to stay out of the what makes one good or bad (which is highly subjective) and just go for info 101. If you have a comment on any particular convention experience (pro or con), feel free to put it in the comments.
1. The Lexicon doesn’t run any conventions. We’ll run their press releases, or run media reports and videos that come out after. We ourselves don’t run a convention. We can’t stop people from linking to the Lexicon. Just because our link is on a site doesn’t mean it’s a stamp of approval.
2. Any event we run a press release for has some kind of verifiable corporate structure like an event planning firm as part of the team or charitable organization backing it. So we don’t run things that have no support structure to them, or things that seem like Twilight is an afterthought or minuscule part of the event. We also won’t deal with a group whose releases are riddled with typos, conflicting info, etc. because it speaks to attention to detail and that’s incredibly important when running a con. If they can’t be bothered to spell check and proofread, catching multiple glaring errors, what else can’t they be bothered to do?
3. Every convention is different. You have to read the fine print as to what you get. Some are very book driven with just discussion panels and events like barbecues. Others are very actor driven with no other programming. Others are in between. What makes one good or bad is largely down to what you are looking for.
4. Check out people’s past experiences with a particular convention group. How long have they been in the business. If it’s their first Twilight Con, have they previously done other cons like a Harry Potter or big events so you can see references? Google is your friend. If you want to know more about a particular convention or the people running it, Google the organizers’ names, companies, and fan reviews.
5. Fan forums discussion can be more helpful than news articles. Usually the press only gives an overview of any con. They tend to pop in the first day do a quickie interview with management and the first fan they find and then they are out the door. It’s usually a filler “local happenings” story that while fluffy and fun, isn’t usually that helpful. So fan forum discussion can usually give you a feeling for a group.
6. TwiCon, Summer School in Forks, Twi-Tour, Hub Productions, Eternal Twilight, Accio Con are all run by differnt people. A lot of people talk about “I’m going to a twi con this weekend.” meaning that they are going to a “twilight convention” and they just shortened the name. It does not necessarily mean that they went to TwiCon which just took place this past weekend in Dallas.