I have been going to conventions since 1998. my first ever convention was Octocon Lite, a one day event that to a certain extent has had a very lasting influence on my life.
The first time i heard of Octocon was just after the 1997 Eurocon in Dublin, and I regretted not having heard of it in time, as i am sure it would have been brilliant for me to have attended that event.
Either way 1998 was my first event, and since then I have tried to explain why I love going to conventions.
In those early days it was not the people I had met and become friends with, as I had still not learnt how to handle my shy and socially akward self. Instead it was the panels.
Here were people like myself who were interested in these topics, whether they were Star Wars or Star Trek or Willow or Lord of the Rings or well anything really, and could talk about in smart ways. It was an eye-opening experience, to see these topics that i rarely had any deep conversation about, been treated so respectfully, though with a bit of comedy thrown in.
While now people can find people of a similar mindset available on the internet, i don’t think there is anything better than a panel for getting into a topic.
If you are wondering why you should go to a convention. It is not about who the guests are, though they are usually awesome, it is about the discussions you will get to watch and be a part of, that is what makes conventions great.
Of course these days I am so busy at conventions, I rarely make panels, and then usually only because I am on them. However that’s a different story for another day!