Going to a Supernatural convention is a privilege and a joy beyond measure. It is, however, a treat that many fans know they will never be able to enjoy. Thousands of people attend conventions, but that is a relatively small number compared to the millions of people in the Supernatural worldwide fandom. Conventions are an expensive indulgence. Tickets, transportation and hotels are just the beginning. Add in photo ops, autographs, cabaret and meet and greet temptations and this one weekend uses up your vacation budget for the year…or more. Many people also do not have access to a convention in or near their home towns. There are Supernatural conventions in 16 cities in the United States alone, plus dedicated Supernatural conventions each year in Rome, England and Australia; and one past convention in Brazil. Despite the proliferation of venues, though, getting to the closest hosting city can be a daunting, and expensive, adventure. Besides the distance and expense, personal limitations, political or cultural restrictions or a number of other factors may prohibit fans from around the world from ever attending a convention.

Many of you have shared with me how much you appreciate the convention reports. You love seeing the pictures from the conventions, but it’s the narratives about convention activities and personal accounts from con-goers that really help you envision the fun. You live vicariously through our experiences, because you want to imagine what it’s really like to go to a convention.  Rather than the standard convention daily reports then, I thought I would try to describe the experience to you. So from beginning to end, this is what it’s like to go to a Supernatural convention…

Before And After The Convention

Preparing for a convention is similar to preparing for a very special, extended vacation. There are logistical arrangements to be made: con tickets must be purchased (then stored in a place where they won’t be lost!); hotels must be reserved and roommates found; and plane, train and/or car travel must be arranged. Then there’s usually 6 to 9 months of agonizing waiting before the convention (Really? I’m supposed to go on with my life as if nothing unusual is going to happen?)! The time for the convention finally approaches, though, and things pick up again.  Clothes must be planned (the internal panic goes something like this: “What am I going to wear?  I want to look good, but I want fit in. I have to be comfortable…those new shoes will hurt after 3 full days of walking around the convention hall…OMG, what should I wear for my pic with Misha or Mark or the Js?!”). Once you’ve decided wardrobe (and bought items to fill in the gaps), you might need to follow the auctions for meet and greet tickets, premium seats, or special photo groupings. You also have to figure out how to get away from school, work, the kids…and who will take care of the dog?! You are nervous and excited and nervous and excited!

After a con, you are shattered tired. Many people are also extremely emotional. After my first convention, I was so moved with emotion that I absolutely had to channel my thoughts and feelings into words.  That story started my writing role with The Winchester Family Business. There is also a “post-con depression” that hits many fans. Medically I think it might be the adrenaline ebbing and the hormones abating. Psychologically it is knowing that the most fabulous weekend ever is over.  Your life is right where you left it, with all its challenges and to-do lists. It truly takes a while to get back on your feet. It is so worth it though!

Being At A Convention

It is very, very hard to put into words what it is like to be at a convention. It is pure joy. It is fun. It is validating. It is entertaining and energizing. Let me see if I can be more specific.

A Supernatural convention is…a stand-up comedy club. Richard Speight, Jr., who plays Gabriel and the Trickster on the show and is the emcee for most of the global conventions, is an amazing entertainer. He can adapt to almost every situation and make it utterly hilarious. One of the funniest bits from ChiCon14 was an impromptu “song” that Richard and Rob created on the fly called “Where’s Osric?” (Osric was late for his panel so to stall for time Richard rapped verses about where Osric could be). Richard also did an outrageously funny presentation of the convention rules, having a fan come onto stage to take a video of him saying that video recording is not allowed! Besides his hosting ad-libs, Richard’s featured panels are also non-stop comedy. A few of the other regular guests (Sebastian Roche immediately comes to mind) are equally glib and fast with improvisational comedy. During their panels your sides just ache from laughter!

The very best panels are from the entertainers who understand that they are being paid to entertain for an hour. They are UP for it. They come with high energy. If they know they are not quick on their feet with wit or humor (after all, they are not all stand-up comedians by trade), they come prepared with a story or two. Some do physical comedy or they slide in off-color one-liners that crack you up (Matt and Jared, anyone?). Some enrapt the audience with their banter and interactions with fans (Mark is the master!). Some come out singing! At ChiCon14, Julian Richings directed an audience-participation stand-up-sit-down rendition of “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” (see vid at end of article!). However they are played, most panels are witty, hilarious and non-stop fun. 
 
A Supernatural convention is…a rock concert. The house band at all U.S. Supernatural conventions is The Elastic Waste Band, aka Louden Swain, the band led by Rob Benedict (who plays Chuck on the show). Besides playing rock music to open the convention and bring us back from breaks, they also provide background instrumentation for guests such as Gil McKinney, Jensen and even Curtis Armstrong who frequently surprise the audience with an unexpected serenade or verse or two! Curtis Armstrong bounced onto the stage with “Old Time Rock and Roll” (see vid at end of article)! From “Eye of the Tiger” to “Lose Your Love”, you just never know when Jensen might start singing and dancing! He delivered 10 seconds of “Under Pressure” as a surprise at ChiCon14 (see vid at end of article)!

Louden Swain also showcases their own material at the Saturday night Cabaret, when they perform a complete set of the music from their past and present albums. This is a full-out rock concert with loud bass, banging drums and jumping lead singer. They take their music very seriously and the audience soaks up the performance!

A Supernatural convention is …a mega-party. Imagine being invited to the best party in the city! The party is filled with 500 dancing, singing, screaming friends, many of whom are in elaborate costumes. The music is all your favorite rock/pop/rap, sung live with recorded background bands. THIS is Karaoke. It’s free and it’s a blast! It runs from 10 p.m. to around 2 a.m. every Friday night at the convention. Count on losing your voice singing “Carry On Wayward Son” with a room full of people who get it! The Winchester Family Business has started to post short snippets of Karaoke (after all, video recording is not allowed at the conventions – wink, wink) on our video page (along with other gems of con magic).

A Supernatural convention is …a coffee-house jam just between friends. Saturday night’s Cabaret is so much more personal than a concert. It is a time when actors who have amazing musical talent test their new material with their best friends, and when actors who are shy around music find the courage to share a talent they usually hide from the public. Many of these people have confided that the trust and support the fans show them is giving them the courage to expose their vulnerability and share their insecurity with their musical performances. In Vancouver, Osric took a chance and played a guitar for the first time in front of an audience. The songs he has been singing at cons since then are so cathartic there isn’t a dry eye in the house. In Chicago, Vancouver and Toronto, Osric broke down in tears himself because the songs conveyed deeply personal messages for him.

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Osric, so nervous he couldn’t catch his breath. VanCon14 Cabaret

Other performers, like Gil, Mark, Richard and Chris (Schmelke, the con photographer), had to set aside their personal or secondary passions in order to devote time to their careers. Gil was a voice and music major in college yet had given up on his vocal career until the NJ con. He has since told fans that singing in front of an audience again made him realize that he had lost something that had been precious to him (video of his Vancouver 14 Cabaret performance at the end of the article). Mark has been taking over on drums and Chris just recently took on bass guitar to join Louden Swain for sets. Everyone is finding a way to get into the act!

Besides the touching solo performances, the cabaret also includes group jam sessions. At the past few conventions, Richard got the guys together (Rob, the band and eventually Jensen) to sing the Eagles’ largely a cappella song “Seven Bridges Road” (priceless vid from their encore panel performance at the end of the article!).

Outside of the Cabaret, very personal musical interludes have started to happen unexpectedly. Late one evening in Toronto, Jensen picked up a guitar and sang a lullaby on stage for the few stragglers who had not yet left the convention. He was so nervous he asked everyone to be quiet so he could pretend they weren’t there. Supernatural conventions are a place of trust, and the actors use that trust to expand their talents and reach outside their comfort zones for the fans. The music is great, the talent is obvious, and the evening is a stirring expression of affection between the people who make Supernatural and their fans.

A Supernatural convention is … therapy. I already mentioned that Osric has performed songs that express and channel the struggles in his life. More than those singular moments, though, Supernatural conventions give both the actors and the fans a place to belong, and a place to be accepted. Curtis Armstrong, who has been an accomplished actor for over 30 years, said he got tongue-tied when he asked Richard if it would be possible to be invited to a con. He said he had heard how very special they were, and wondered if he had enough support from the fans to be welcome. Many of the repeat convention performers have expressed how the cons have given them confidence and self-assuredness, life-long friendships, and unconditional acceptance from the fans. Fans too have this same experience. People who have always been painfully shy or felt out-of-place find the courage to venture out to their first con, then another and another. They make friends, have fun and find a whole new side of themselves. In Vancouver, Jared told a nervous fan who apologized for crying during her photo op, “You don’t have to apologize. We’re family here…this is where we come to be ourselves and be accepted, not to apologize.”  In New Jersey he said “This is the safest place in the world” (quoted in the report from Fangasm). Many cons have included the actors doing an emotional rendition of “With a Little Help From My Friends”. Tears were again flowing in Toronto and Chicago when Rob said that just a year ago he couldn’t even talk because of his stroke, and that he knew for a fact that the love and support of fans helped him heal. In Jared’s meet and greet session in Chicago, Jared said that he would not have been able to last 10 years on the show if it weren’t for the support and love he receives from the cons (more M&G memories coming soon). My prior convention reports described the tender moments shared by DJ Qualls, Jim Beaver, Rachel Miner and so many others. Conventions heal and help everyone present.     

A Supernatural convention is …a family reunion….with family you love and actually are excited to see! Cons allow people who know each other only from on-line interactions to finally meet face-to-face. These new friends then introduce you to other people at the con. Before you know it, you are in the middle of a clique of a dozen people who can’t wait to see each other. You really do gain a Supernatural family! I met one of my best friends at my first convention in Chicago. She now comes into town a day early before every Chicago con just so we can spend time catching up with other. She introduced me to two of her friends who also quickly became cherished friends of mine. I also met Alice at my first con, which led to my incredible affiliation with The Winchester Family Business!

Besides the fan reunions, the actors repeatedly say that being with the fans and being with each other is a miracle for them. The core con group has become so close that they have made life-long friendships. The lives of Richard, Rob and Matt;

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The Three Musketeers at their panel in ChiCon14

Osric and Mark; Osric and Lauren; Gil and Alaina and so many others have become intertwined both inside and outside of the cons. These events are truly something special.

A Supernatural convention is …an educational seminar. When good questions are asked of panels, the actors have an opportunity to give insightful, interesting answers. For example, the stars routinely share their thinking on the choices they’ve made for their characters. Jared and Jensen explain Sam and Dean’s motivations; Jared explains what Sam thought of being possessed by Gadreel, and Jensen explains how he perceived and played Demon!Dean. Beyond the show, though, these stars give acting and directing advice at almost every con. In my con reports, I’ve tried to highlight what they’ve shared about their experiences and wisdom gained from years on set and in the entertainment industry. They also share life lessons with the fans. In Vancouver, Mark was particularly philosophical. Jared also seems to find encouraging words to offer to people who are struggling with life’s challenges. He has frequently talked about strategies to combat depression or suicide (e.g. shift your focus to how you can help others). In Chicago this year, Mark suggested you “fake it until you make it” and to “hang out with people who make you feel good”. If you’re listening and paying attention, cons can teach you a lot not only about the show and the industry, but about life in general.

A Supernatural convention is …just like “finals week”. During finals week in college, you get no sleep, are nervous beyond description for the events of each day, and need to be at your very best every minute you are awake. Cons are the same way, except that you’re having fun! There are so many activities that are SOOOO much fun, you never want it to stop! On Friday, you stay at Karaoke until 1am (at least) then you get up early because you want to go to the vendor’s room before the first panel. On Saturday, the Cabaret goes until 12:30 a.m. When it’s over, you know you need to go to bed but you stay up anyway talking to friends you only see once a year, or tweeting updates, or downloading pics from your camera/phone to your PC so there’s enough memory left for the next day. Then you have to get up early Sunday morning for the J Gold panel or a “meet and greet” or a photo op.  It really doesn’t matter how long you are in bed, though, because you are much too excited for J Day to fall asleep (or the bed is too hard and you can’t sleep in hotels anyway!) When you are awake, you want to be alert, because, well, a con! The whole weekend is one big adrenaline fest!

A Supernatural convention is …a convention. For all their glory and the good that they do, conventions are still, well, conventions. Photo ops and autographs run concurrently, sometimes overlapping with the end of panels. Vancouver’s boat trip with Misha overlapped with Karaoke. It is a logistical puzzle to figure out where to be each moment of the day. You need to constantly refer to the schedule. Do you want to watch the costume contest or eat lunch? Should you do Jared’s autograph first, or get in line for the Misha and Mark photo? Meals are squeezed between panels and autographs and usually consist of overpriced sandwiches, pizza or hot dogs. The convention room is usually ice cold (aren’t all ballrooms too cold?) or broiling hot and unbelievably dehydrating. It also takes a while to feel “at home” at a con. I won’t deny that my first con held many uncomfortable minutes when I felt awkwardly alone because I didn’t know anyone, and I felt just plain silly for participating. I was nervous about being in the right places and the right times and was generally self-conscious.

A Supernatural convention is …an exhilarating, nerve-wracking, exciting, one-of-a kind experience. Every person I have talked to about going to their first con tells almost the same story. The first time they attended a convention they were a catatonic bundle of nerves. As described above, there is the very practical matter of navigating yourself around the convention. They are usually held in very large venues, like ballrooms at hotels or convention centers. The convention schedule is printed in a font so small it can only be read a few inches from your face while you are standing in bright light using reading glasses! Okay, maybe 20-somethings don’t have that hard of a time reading it, but without exaggerating, it is printed in 5 point font. So you worry and reread and worry. You highlight and underline and reread it again.  Again, the internal dialogue goes something like this:  “Will I be able to find everything? I don’t know anyone else here so what if I miss something? The autographs for Richard are at 1pm but the photos for Jensen (or Jared or Misha) are at 1:30 so I’ll never make it through the autograph line in time to get to my photo op!  It doesn’t even say where I am supposed to go for the photos! Am I reading this wrong?  Am I the only one that doesn’t know where to go? I haven’t even decided what I want Richard to sign and now they tell me I have to tell Jensen/Jared/Misha which pose I want for my picture. I don’t know!! What poses do people usually use? How am I going to breathe when I see (insert impossibly gorgeous, totally buff, to-die-for actor name here), let alone talk to him? My knees are weak even thinking about it! My eyes are always closed for pictures so what if I take a bad picture?  I know I only get one shot at this and I paid so much for it, I don’t want to ruin the picture, and Oh My Chuck I will be standing next to Jared/Jensen/Misha (Sebastian/Mark/Alaina). What if I make a fool out of myself?”

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Why would anyone get nervous standing next to this guy?! VanCon14

All these nerves just add to the overwhelming excitement that permeates a convention. Some fans come dressed as their favorite character. Some bring their art. Some fans wait breathlessly to see if the videos they worked on for weeks will win the video contest. The best videos are shown throughout the days to set the mood for the guest stars. Can you imagine seeing your video on twin giant screens, with sound pumped through several sets of massive speakers? A Supernatural con is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.

A Supernatural convention is …a fantasy. A dream come true. Cons allow you to listen to and get close to people you love. If you purchase autographs, you can talk directly and personally to these actors (even if it’s only for 15 seconds!).They make eye contact with you!  If you purchase photographs, you can stand next to them, hug them and have one of the most thrilling moments of your life captured for all time.

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Who wouldn’t want to hug these guys? VanCon14

You really just can't believe it is happening. The actors feel the exact same way about interacting with fans, feeling our love and support, and being treated like mega-stars on top of the world, even if it is just within one convention hall at a time. At the end of Mark’s panel in Chicago, he became very serious because he wanted to convey how much the conventions mean to him. “This is the reason we come. This interaction is what it’s all about.”

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Characters usually only seen on screens or posters (background) come to cons to talk to fans in person. ChiCon14

I’ve been asked about the atmosphere at a Supernatural convention. Each of the past two years there has been some sort of unfortunate misunderstanding that has played itself out either before or during the Chicago con. After last year’s convention, I wrote this reflection on this question:
Saturday evening, after a long, tiring, wonderful day at ChiCon, I read a tweet someone had sent to Osric asking about the “atmosphere” at the convention. She asked if the mood felt “heavy” there “after the craziness of this wk on twitter”. Fandom nearly pulled itself apart in the week preceding ChiCon13, and many, many people on line were depressed, angry, worried, frustrated, fed-up…name the negative emotion and it was felt throughout fandom. The tweet wasn’t directed to me, but I had to answer because the atmosphere at a con is as far from “heavy” as you can get. It is euphoric. It is electric. It is happy and joyful and nervous. The Chicago13 convention was filled with 1000 strangers, who had all come together for love. Love for a show, love for the show’s actors, love for how they feel inside when they think about Supernatural. Some fans meet other fans they had talked to in chat rooms or through the comments on The Winchester Family Business. Some come with a friend or relative who shares their passion, while others come with a companion who doesn’t really follow the show but came so the fan wouldn’t have to be alone. The conventions are about support and creative expression and fun. They are about being able to see and talk to the person who plays your absolutely favorite character on TV. Conventions are about asking deeper questions about the plot, and getting to know the motivations, preparations, thoughts, concerns, triumphs, failures and pranks of the actors that give us Sam or Dean or Castiel or, well, everyone in Supernatural. It’s about being with people who feel the same unexplainable passion that you feel when you watch the show, so that maybe you can understand your own reactions a little better. It about being with so many other people who feel the same feelings as you, even if your parents, spouse or best friends pull away or even criticize or chastise you for caring so much about fictional characters. Conventions are about getting closer to the “magic” that is Supernatural.
It may be luck or it may be the nature of the con, but when fans are together at Supernatural conventions they are united by their love of the show. It is rare that anything penetrates, or ruins, the euphoria (partially because we are almost completely cut off from the internet!). Maybe one day this ideal world will expand to encompass the entire fandom.

Are Supernatural conventions unique? It seems that, yes, they are. I’ve talked with several fans who have attended other genre gatherings and without exception, they have said that Supernatural conventions are different somehow. The closeness, the bond, the love and the trust that permeates the room is unique. Several actors have said the same thing. Mark, Tahmoh, Alaina, Curtis and others are all con veterans, yet several of them have said that Supernatural cons are different. The conventions photographer, Chris Schmelke, described it like this:
“… the energy here is unlike anything else. At the first Supernatural convention in Chicago, you could feel it in the air, there was just something. I’d say of all the groups I’ve worked with, the Supernatural fans are probably the most down to earth, grounded and intelligent” – Page 170, Fangasm: Supernatural Fangirls


What do the fans think, though? Here are excerpts from two emails I receive after asking friends to compare conventions:
I have to agree that SPN is something special. [Another show] comes close in feeling inclusive with the actors & creators…but while the actor bonding is legendary with [that other show], there isn't that same friendship between folks who hadn't worked together, unlike SPN. Just look at those Karaoke Kings! How many times did we hear over the weekend how they've become friends after they've stopped appearing on the show? And good gosh....Osric!

I’ve been to 5 Supernatural cons now, as well as 2 other Creation cons & 7 consecutive DragonCons, plus a fan-organized premiere party [out of the country for another show].   I’ve enjoyed all of them, & I think the fans & actors/guests alike enjoyed them too.  Cast members came to the premiere party of their own accord & stayed for hours, signing & posing for pics when they were under no obligation to do so.  They are definitely fans of the fans! So while I’ve felt the warmth of respect & support from other fandoms too, I do think there is something special about the Supernatural cons.  I’m certainly a bit biased, but Jensen & Jared & the rest of the SPN cast & crew have my heart completely.  I can’t imagine they would do these cons, especially so many of them, if they didn’t truly enjoy it.  They give up so much of their limited free time.  I was just thinking that neither of them probably saw their wives & kids this weekend.  Granted they are awesome actors & could “fake it” with their enthusiasm, but the smiles I got during photo ops seemed very genuine.   I especially also loved Osric’s involvement with the entire con experience.  That guy is adorable!

In short, a Supernatural con is a miracle of love, goodness and what can be the very best in this world. They are, quite simply, joy. Major life events almost always come with mixed emotions. A child graduating means they will soon be moving away. Graduating yourself means starting a new school, or worrying about finding a job and wondering if you will succeed in your chosen field. A child being born brings fear of how good a parent you will be. I’m not trying to put any of life’s real triumphs or joys anywhere near the same level as a convention. Just the opposite. A convention is an escape from reality. Cosplay, parties, concerts, listening to actors you idolize, taking pictures with your heroes… You can’t help but forget all your troubles, even if it’s just for a few days.

So that is what it’s like to go to a Supernatural convention. For me, they are pure fun. No expectations, no responsibility. Nonstop entertainment infused with joy. It’s all very surreal. If you’ll indulge me, I can put it another way. They are simply… supernatural.

-Nightsky

For those of you who have attended a convention, how does my experience compare to yours? For those who have not attended a convention, are there any questions I haven’t answered, or aspects you’ve wondered about that I didn’t cover? Most of the staff of The WFB have attended Supernatural cons, so I’m sure one of us will have an answer for you!

I also promised several quick video clips! (These may take a few minutes to load, so please be patient.)

Here is the video of Julian Richings leading “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean”, ChiCon14.



Here is Curtis Armstrong singing “Old Time Rock and Roll”, ChiCon14.



Here is Jensen rapping a few lines of “Under Pressure” at ChiCon14. Notice how Jared “encourages” Jensen to sing by repeatedly pointing his mic at him!



Here is the gang singing “Seven Bridges Road” at ChiCon14. I realize that there is a better view of this available on YouTube, but this view is a more realistic presentation of what fans at the convention would see. I was in row 13, and there were about 58 rows in the hall, so can you imagine the view from farther back? I also kept a wide view to keep Jared in the frame.

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Here is Gil’s Cabaret performance VanCon14.

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For Vancouver Karaoke videos, and other short video clips, visit our video page!

http://www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/video-page

Comments  

Mae
# Mae 2014-11-05 21:03
This was lovely!

I have only been to one con (the first Nashville con), but hold such fond memories. Even though I was NOT even in fandom at the time. I was a casual fan who watched every week, but had no idea there was such a huge online fandom community.

I had been watching SPN one evening when I saw a TV ad (!!) for the convention on the local Nashville CW affiliate. It kinda blew my mind that something like the con even existed! I managed to convince my boyfriend (who also enjoyed / enjoys the show) that we HAD to go & we purchased GA tickets. I do kinda wish we had done Gold or Silver or even a photo op or two, but we just couldn't - and still can't - justify the prices.

I think the first evening (karaoke), we were both just so overwhelmed, we sat to the side & just observed all the passion in the room. Screaming for SPN characters we (at the time) didn't even remember from the episodes they were in. It was just nuts.

What I remember most about the the con is that there is NOTHING like J2 day. It's crazy how you can feel the mood & energy shift on the day J2 will be - the anticipation & excitement just goes through the roof. It is absolutely incredibly the way those two can hold the room of a 1,000 people in the palms of their hands. Even though I was in the back of the room, wayyyyy to the side, I just couldn't take my eyes off of them. Never has an hour gone by so fast!

I do kinda credit the con with sucking me into the SPN fandom world - it was all almost contagious!
Alice
# Alice 2014-11-05 23:33
I was at that first Nashville con! It was a very memorable experience for me because it didn't exactly go according to plan. I got sick with an infection and ended up in the hospital. My three day trip ended up being a five day trip with a four day hospital stay. I chronicled the whole story here, including me stupidly going to J & J day on Saturday despite my condition because I was determined to see the boys! I was so spacey on pills the whole day. So I guess in my case, I got a very unique con story out of this one.

http://www.thewinchesterfamilybusiness.com/article-archives/con-reports/16285-my-not-so-pretty-nashcon-story
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-06 10:13
I'm so glad you enjoyed this report! I really wanted to do something different for the people who can only envision conventions through others' accounts.

You are SOOOO right about J2 day! I've written before about the energy at the con on their day. It may have been in my first report (which I linked to) or it may have been in others since then. I don't remember. Your heart just feels like it will burst just knowing they are around! I even felt a difference in energy between my solo photo op with just Jared (whom I adore) and the J2 photo op. The energy when they are together is overwhelming! Them goofing around with each other making each other laugh, they way they help each other - it all adds to their unbearable charisma!
buffsgirl
# buffsgirl 2014-11-05 21:49
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. I found the show in season 4 and been live viewing since season 5. I have gotten my sister and brother-in-law to watch the show but, they are casual viewers, so I ended up coming on line to learn more about the show and to share my obsession. Honestly, I am more of a lurker on this site than an active participant. I have posted a comment here and there but have not really "engaged" so I don't have any connections with the fandom as some people do.

I recently saw that there is a SPN convention coming to Denver in November of 2015. Since I live here I could save on the travel costs of getting to a convention and have been considering attending. I keep going back and forth, partly due to the cost of attending, but also because I am not sure what to expect. I am not a shy person and am always up for doing new things and doing anything by myself so that is not the issue. My issue has been "is it worth the money." I love photography, golf, travel, etc..... and when I look at the price of the con tickets + photo ops + room rate that is a new lens for my camera! However, I feel if I'm gonna do it, I should do it right (cause there is a chance I will only attend one con) and go gold, photo ops, the whole works. So, reading your review of what it is like to go to a con is certainly helping tip the scales towards "just do it!"

I do have two questions for you based on your review. What happens if you have two events that compete? For instance, what if you are in line for an autograph at the same time a photo op is occurring? Do you need to make a choice? Or if you paid for it do you get it no matter what? My second question is similar to the first. Would you recommend for a first time con goer that I maybe only pay for one or two "extras" instead of trying to jam everything in? It seems like it would be much less stressful if the only thing I had on Sat besides the panels was a Misha photo op but maybe it is better to run around trying to get everything in!

Thanks again for taking the time to write this. I do so appreciate you and all the writers of the WFB staff!! :)
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-06 10:38
I'm happy this helped you think through your decision. I say this will all sincerity - it IS truly worth it. I agonized over whether I should go to my first con. It was my husband who finally convinced me to treat myself. Then I really agonized about whether I should spend a fortune to go to the Vancouver convention this year. Both were the most wonderful weekends ever. I have no regrets about going at all. May I suggest that you read my first 2 reports for the WFB (found on my writers page or through the link above)? It's a more personal and complete story of when I went to my first convention.

If the con is close enough to your home, you can commute back and forth each day. I still do that in Chicago (I live 45 away). It makes for very late evenings but if you feel you can safely drive, it saves several hundreds of dollars on hotels and food.

To answer your questions, the people who run the convention are extremely organized. They are constantly announcing how to handle conflicts. For example, they will say, "does anyone in line have a photo op with x now? If so, go down there first then come back up to the autograph line." They have also done an expert job of setting up the schedule to minimize conflicts. When there are unavoidable conflicts, they usually recognize those and allow for them, e.g. "Everyone with x line up first so you can then go to y with plenty of time". As an experienced con goer, I can now see that one spends a great deal of time waiting your turn (they call you to get in line by seat numbers so you are not standing too long). I worried about missing things, but in reality, the people who are not nervous have things well under control. You will absolutely get to do everything you paid to do.

As for how many things to do at your first con, I guess that depends on two things: your personality - will you be able to absorb the excitement of everything all in one weekend; and whether you really believe it will be your only con. If your only con ever, go for broke and do everything you want. There is a high probability, though, that you will be a repeat con-goer. Most people can't resist once they experience the fun.
As for the ticket type:
Gold vs. Silver: Gold gets you many more autographs and the Gold J panel. You get in line earlier but that's not a tangible benefit (i.e. not worth the money) if you have patience.Missin g the J panel is HARD but it is only 30 min. It is an acceptable compromise if money is a real issue.

Silver vs Reserved vs GA: Silver puts you closer by several rows. Honestly, this isn't an issue on Friday at all. The reserved and general admission seats were off to the side sections (silver is center) but equal in row numbers. Saturday pushed the generals a little farther back. SUNDAY is a huge difference. You are significantly behind in row numbers. Another huge disadvantage of General Admission is that your seat isn't reserved. There is always a line to get into the auditorium at the beginning of the day because it is first come first served for choosing your seat. Again, BIG deal on J day. Silver also has the advantage of J2's autograph (and usually 2-3 others), plus a Saturday Cabaret ticket. I highly, strongly suggest not missing either of those! So calculate General ticket+J2 autograph+Cabar et to compare against silver's price.

Hope that helps!
buffsgirl
# buffsgirl 2014-11-06 19:23
Thanks for taking the time to respond and for the additional details! I think I'm gonna go for it. :)
Sylvia Gowen
# Sylvia Gowen 2014-11-06 21:52
I wish I had read an article like this before my first con, ChiCon2013. I went for the gold because I thought it would be the only con I would ever go to. But it was so wonderful I bought tickets for the DalCon2014 the weekend after I returned to Denver. Once again I felt that the DalCon2014 would be the last because of the cost and vacation time. They announced the Denver con while I was in Dallas - yup bought my ticket before I left Dalles. Even though my house is only 7 miles from the con site I'm budgeting for staying at the hotel because part of the fun and experience is mingling with the other fans.My advice is to go for the best tickets you can afford and enjo yourself!
ABN
# ABN 2015-07-22 18:38
I loved your article. It was very helpful, it gave me a preview of what I should expect for my very first SPN con (Dever2015).

As expected, I am very nervous to attend my first con. Due to insufficient amount of money, I will not be able to indulge in the awesome extras like the photo ops &etc but I will be attending with the Copper weekend package. I know that whatever package I choose will be completely worth the money. On another note, I will love to have a great time, in fact, the time of my life. But, I am afraid I will not be able to, considering that I will be going alone and I am also not "connected" to the SPN fandom/family. I'm afraid that the lack of SPN communication and my shyness will affect the way I will live the SPN con.

Lucky enough, I live about an hour away from Denver but I was wondering whether you can give me advice on what to do regarding travel expenses and what the best thing to do would be? Also, it would be great to know your opinion on attending a convention alone..?

Hope to hear from you soon, and thanks for your time & the article!:)
foundmyzen
# foundmyzen 2014-11-05 22:01
buffsgirl I am right there with you. I've never been and want to but the $$$. There's one coming to Jacksonville Jan 2016 that's where I live so at least I wouldn't have airfare. I would LOVE beyond anything to do a VanCon as I've heard of tours of locations and other things that only happen there. My biggest worry is doing a con alone. My husband would go but I know he would only be going for me and wouldn't enjoy it and that would make me miserable. I am incredibly shy so going alone is just very intimidating. That's why I love everyone's stories, videos, pics and tweets from a con. Thanks so much for writing this Nightsky.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-06 10:48
On the WFB Fandom Page, at the bottom, is a Con Page. Post on there that you are considering going to Jacksonville to see if anyone would be willing to meet you there. Connections to veteran con goers is one purpose for us having that page! Maybe there are other newbies who want to go but don't want to be alone. There is also one WFB staff member who might go to that con. If you post there, I'll send it to her to see if she can meet you if she goes.

I didn't know a single person when I went to my first con. The first hour before the con began was extremely awkward for me. I had reached out to WFB staff, though, through the "contact us". Alice agreed to meet me, we had lunch, and the rest is history! Make connections before you go and you won't be alone for long!
Veronica
# Veronica 2014-11-07 01:43
My first con, I was staying with two friends I knew from online but never met before. Within my first hour, I'd met a friend that, two years later, I consider one of my closest friends to this day. I'm an incredibly shy person, so I know this sounds very "whatever you don't know me," but after my convention experiences I wouldn't hesitate going to a convention alone. I wouldn't even need to make "friends" online first. I'd be comfortable walking into the convention having not spoken to anyone, knowing from previous experiences that despite my horrible social anxiety everyone there is going to be so welcoming that I will make friends without much effort all. Everyone has always been open and welcoming at conventions.
Alicia
# Alicia 2015-09-03 12:33
Hey! I'm planning on going to the convention in jax because I live here too! Only 15-20 minutes from the venue. And it looks like I'll be going alone. And it is SO expensive but at the same time i really want to get to have some time with Jensen and just for the 10-second photo op it's $150 + passes for the full weekend so I'm thinking maybe I should beg my parents for some spare change, pray to God and just go Gold! Then just eat ramen or pb&j for a while. Hey it's the college student lifestyle anyway.lol. maybe I'll see you there!!
Alicia
# Alicia 2015-09-03 12:34
Hey! I'm planning on going to the convention in jax because I live here too! Only 15-20 minutes from the venue. And it looks like I'll be going alone. And it is SO expensive but at the same time i really want to get to have some time with Jensen and just for the 10-second photo op it's $150 + passes for the full weekend so I'm thinking maybe I should beg my parents for some spare change, pray to God and just go Gold! Then just eat ramen or pb&j for a while. Hey it's the college student lifestyle anyway.lol. maybe I'll see you there!!
Alicia
# Alicia 2015-09-03 12:34
Hey! I'm planning on going to the convention in jax because I live here too! Only 15-20 minutes from the venue. And it looks like I'll be going alone. And it is SO expensive but at the same time i really want to get to have some time with Jensen and just for the 10-second photo op it's $150 + passes for the full weekend so I'm thinking maybe I should beg my parents for some spare change, pray to God and just go Gold! Then just eat ramen or pb&j for a while. Hey it's the college student lifestyle anyway.lol. maybe I'll see you there!!
Maritza
# Maritza 2016-02-08 20:15
Hello.. My daughter, sister and I had the amazing opportunity to go to the Jacksonville convention. It was GREAT!!! I have a question.. i am already saving for Jan 2017 tickets..
Having been there and seeing the layout. Do you think Copper tickets are worth it or should i just stick with the Preferred seating? We were Row Z the entire weekend. (preferred seating)
I would hate to spend $250 per ticket and only get moved up two or three rows. I cannot afford Silver just yet. Thank you !!!
Im not sure how i cam across this page so if possible please email me so that i can read your response.. Luna456m@yahoo.com
Rene4
# Rene4 2014-11-05 22:30
Loved your review of the conventions.
I was visiting family in LA area and just needed some time off, so, on a whim, went to convention hotel and asked for any GM tickets. I was in luck. So I attended my first weekend of Supernatural convention in Burbank, 2010. I loved it. Edge of my seat all through the wonderful sights, sounds, laughs, just great!
Decided I would go for the gold ticket, so went to Vancouver 2013. Autographs, photographs, lines, 3 days of great fun and excitement, breakfast with the J's, wonderful hotel room-I enjoyed it all. It was, for me, worth the money for a a once in a lifetime experience and I have the books, photos, autographs and memories.
I only wish that a person could buy into a meet and greet with only a GM ticket. I understand the business end of the convention, so I know it is not very practical but at the same time, many of us would pay extra to get that meet and greet.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-06 10:54
I'm very happy you enjoyed the report! I also greatly enjoyed my Vancouver adventure!

Remember that the Meet and Greet tickets are by auction so you are never quite sure what you will pay for them (you specify your maximum bid). It highly depends on the city. Vancouver and Las Vegas go for more because there are more global con goers at those conventions. While some cities go for minimum bid (In earlier years I was lucky enough to get one of those), other J M&G's have gone for over $1000 so it's a significant commitment.
uhmyeah
# uhmyeah 2014-11-06 00:47
I watched my first episode of “Supernatural” in the last week of June this year. I spent the entire summer watching the show, and early fall tearing through youtube.
Cons seem like they’d be a great time, but the events of ChiCon2014 as experienced on twitter and news articles REALLY put me off as a new fan. The Fandom seems mostly supportive of the cast/crew except the ones who are apparently sending death threats and hate to J2 families and Misha&his family. Divisions in a fandom is one thing, but for it to get to the point where one segment gets the ear of the posse with enough trust to get a rival thrown out and barred from an event is an entirely different story. It is my understanding that event management made amends when further investigation exposed the issue, but talent posse continues to stonewall. I understand that there was probably some misplaced trust involved, I understand that talent would back their support group (I would), but I also see the entire thing as hugely sexist/classist . In refusing to address the bullying incident, management is in effect saying “don’t you worry your pretty little heads-we know what’s best for you, you can (blindly) trust us to do what’s right”. Well, for everyone except the victim of the bullying.
I guess what I’m saying is that as an in-coming fan I’m not really seeing the cohesive supportive group I’m being told about. #Chicon was the 1st convention I followed on twitter besides the group hug that was Misha’s trip to RussiaCon so maybe I just picked the wrong time to test the waters. It helped to get perspective on big fan gatherings from friends (one is a seasoned critic who attends festivals worldwide, another an indie producer/direct or and another who recently got in to #BigStudio) in indie film. But it sounds like this would be a very different experience. I hope I’ll feel comfortable enough to attend one some day. Thank-you for this insightful article.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-06 11:05
The fan incident that happened in Chicago was tragic. I will tell you, though, that 99.99% of the people at the convention were completely unaware of what was going on. I know several people who were in the Gold J panel, and they saw and heard nothing. The only way we heard about it was through people outside the con emailing us, or us catching up on Twitter in the 30 second we had to get on line. There was also a lot of wild speculation on line about why panels were delayed, and what was happening at the con from people who were not there. Timing was wrong and there were other significant factors at play. Much of what actually happened at the con was not attributable to this incident.

Last year people outside the convention were also concerned that there would be a lot of "fighting" at the con because of an on-line flap between factions. There was NOTHING. Con goers don't come to a con to bicker; they come to be happy. That is why I included what I wrote last year in this article. The atmosphere was not tainted at all by on-line mess.

I'm very glad Creation corrected their end of the "misunderstandi ng". I hope the perpetrators are caught. The whole thing is so very, very sad but then all bullying is wrong. I would propose that we don't let the single person (or few people ) who cause trouble to ruin your individual opportunity to enjoy a convention. That is what I think standing up to bullies is all about.
AmberAnnh
# AmberAnnh 2014-11-06 12:30
I was a ChiCon 2014, as well as the past 3 conventions in Chicago, and about that "incident": Being at a convention is a VERY DIFFERENT experience from following it on Twitter. On Twitter/Tumblr (insert social media of your choice) you get one person's interpretation of an experience, often condensed and posted in the heat of the moment. Many of the tweets I saw after the fact were from people who were not at the convention nor had any connection to what happened. They were simply posting what they thought happened based on second- (or third- or fourth-) hand reports. I encourage you to actually attend a convention. Like Nightsky said, there's nothing like the supportive, loving atmosphere of a con.
Christine Lake
# Christine Lake 2014-11-06 01:06
I went to my 1st convention in Aug. (Vancon). I am 61 so not a bouncy teenager, but I felt like one. Had an absolutely awesome time & if it were not so expensive or I was not married (& I am very happily married for 41 years) I would go to as many as I could every year. I do hope to go again, maybe in 2016!! Getting a photo op with J2 was breath taking, I asked Jared if I could hug him & that is the last thing I remember. My photo proves that I indeed got a hug from Jared. I loved your article and you nailed it!
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-06 11:11
Thank you!
...and ditto, ditto, ditto to everything you said!
PENNY JAIME
# PENNY JAIME 2014-11-06 02:24
I have been lucky enough to go to Dallas con the past 3 years. You are right about the prices. It has been my vacation for the last 3 years. As a matter of fact, that is how I justified it to my family; and to myself! Most people take vacations, this was mine. BEST TIMES OF MY LIFE!!! It never stopped being a thrill. Meeting Jensen. Being face to face with him, and more. I told him in my photo op, that even though it was my 3rd time, I was just as nervous as my 1st time. The weekend goes by SO fast. It is all a blast. Better now with Rob & the band. I may not be able to ever go again; but I will always have my memories of those weekends. (and my photo op pics!)
suenash19
# suenash19 2014-11-06 17:02
Funny you should mention Supernatural... I just booked my holidays for next year!

Lovely article, made me smile and brought back happy memories!



Sue xx
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-11-09 15:15
That is a lovely photograph Sue. :)
E
# E 2014-11-09 16:39
This IS a beautiful photo. Are you both standing? He's really a giant isn't he… a gorgeous giant. :P

I love these articles about fan experiences at a con. I probably won't ever go to one. Not only is it expensive (though, I could probably scrape together the funds for one con) it's just not really my "thing." I have no desire to have a picture or an autograph or to collect anything connected with the show. I'd love to meet them (any of them, but Jared in partic) and have a conversation, but that's about it. I wouldn't mind attending the panels and meeting all you wonderful people that I chat with, but I have never really been much of a collector of memorabilia or autographs or anything like that. I live close enough to get to the NJ con, but I don't know that I'll ever go….. maybe a GA on J day…..maybe…….. possibly…….:p
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-11-09 19:17
Honestly E, I am usually the same way. I have never collected memorabilia or given a hoot about autographs but for some reason this show has brought that out in me a little. I have such fondness for all the actors (and the show) it will be fun to go to a con and get up close and personal in a photo op and to get autographs and say hello to the stars and the other fans. I have all the SPN magazines, a few other articles, and Comic-Con issues. I don't expect to ever feel the same way about a show again so I'm indulging my hitherto hidden fangirl a little. :D
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-09 20:35
E - Collecting stuff is a small part of the con. If you get general reserved or general admission, you do not get any autographs with your ticket so you wouldn't be "obligated" to keep track of those things. The advantage of autographs, though, is that that is your opportunity to say 3 sentences to the actor and have them answer you back. If the gold and silver patrons don't really care for a particular autograph, it is not uncommon for them to give away their position in the autograph line (i.e. "Pass") to the general ticket holders. In contrast, photographs are when you get to be in physical contact with the actor but there is virtually zero time to say anything other than "hello" and "hug?" or "hold hands?" or whatever pose you have chosen.
I have never cared for collecting things. I don't have any SPN collectibles. I have loved having the actors sign screencaps of their most memorable scene, though. I had Tahmoh sign his suicide shot in his cell; Gil signed the scene when he died in the boys' arms. I have also had them sign DVD covers. I think that is all pretty cool. I really don't have a lot of use for signed "head shots". Just a few ideas.
Veronica
# Veronica 2014-11-07 01:32
Mark S said "You hang out with people who make you feel good." I don't think anything I've ever been a part of captures this quite like a SPN convention does. So many things I've been part of have best intentions at heart, but human nature gets in the way. But a SPN convention... we hang out with people who make us feel good and we make sure the people with us feel good--THAT'S a SPN convention. I've met so many diverse people and personalities at SPN conventions but we are all there to support and help each other. Sure, it's about the show. But it's equally about our fellow fans, about our fellowship, if you will. And that's what sets us apart.

Excellent article. I'm always trying to describe the unique experience of a SPN convention and feeling like I fall short. Great job. Can't wait until March when I can go to SeaCon, and August when I make my 3rd trek to VanCon. It's a lifestyle now.
elle
# elle 2014-11-07 20:30
Great article! I'm hoping to go to my first convention in October 2015 in Toronto. Very excited but nervous about photo ops - I will probably lose the ability to speak.
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-08 21:37
Don't worry about it! The Js (and probably the Ms) are used to it. They actually help you.
ChiCon was my 4th convention. I am still going to write up Jday, my Jared M&G, and my photo op experience. When I finish that article, you will read how I flamed out AGAIN with Jared. I was able to talk to J2 coherently, but I found that I could talk but not think at the same time and ended up doing something completely opposite of my intention. You'll see what I mean...
bjxmas
# bjxmas 2014-11-08 13:23
Wow! Thanks for this and thanks for the opening paragraph where you acknowledge that so many devoted, passionate fans will NEVER have the opportunity to attend a Supernatural Convention, either because of logistics, other commitments, or the almighty dollar! I'm attending my first and second conventions next year in Phoenix and Vancouver and it is a privilege and my gift to myself! I am excited and nervous and an emotional wreck already! This article reminds me to take a breath, relax and enjoy the moment, and accept that my flailing love for Supernatural and the Js might make me a blathering idjit when I finally meet them, but that it's okay, they understand and no one will judge me! That's huge for me because while I may have been a fan from the start and come out of my lurking to become quite talkative online, it's still hard to put yourself out there and step out of your comfort zone. Online I have the time to compose my thoughts, to get all thinky and analytical about my passion, to be rational and clever...as much as I possibly can. I fear turning into a moron when faced with the expectation to actually string words into a coherent sentence when the enormity of all those dreams and expectations coming true hits me.

I do wish all fans could have this opportunity and I'm thankful I'm at a place in my life where I can go Gold, even though I still struggle with justifying it and worry that I'm gonna want to keep going to Cons. I think the greatest gift of sharing this experience is feeling validated that ten years of my life devoted to a TV show, its characters, its cast and this fandom is a good thing! Friends and family who only casually watch the show or who just don't 'get it' often make you feel less when you always have a Supernatural quote or reference to illuminate your point in a discussion. You get that eye-roll of 'not again!' instead of excited squeeing and sharing that my online friends greet me with! It's gonna be nice to come home to my SPNfamily when I finally walk into my first convention, and as Mark says, hang with people who make you feel good. Supernatural does, the Winchesters do, the Js & Ms and the entire cast make me happy! And this fandom has given me a voice and a sense of community! And that's AWESOME!

B.J.

B.J.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-11-09 15:35
Hi Nighsky, thanks for sharing your con experiences again I always enjoy them. Your articles have contributed to my eagerness to experience at least one con before it all said and done! Good timing, as I've decided to go to the Seattle con! I am equal parts excited and nervous. Clothes, how much extra to spend, fear of humiliation from tongue tied-ness or tripping or god knows what else, will me being in the photo ruin my photo-op? :D Ah, so much to fret over! So little time.

By the way, thanks for the heads up on the Seattle con! I would be interested to know if anyone else here is going to that one!
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-09 20:39
If no one answers you here, post the question on our con page. I know other readers have said they are going to Seattle!
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-11-09 21:46
Thanks nightsky, I will. I forgot about the con page!

edit to add: Um, how do I get there now? Wasn't there a link on the main page?
suenash19
# suenash19 2014-11-09 16:11
Thanks Leah :-)
(Tried to favourite comment but it didn't work NightSky)
nightsky
# nightsky 2014-11-09 20:40
Sue, my iPad and the commenting system are not best friends either. I usually have to press the heart 4 or 5 times before it takes. I sometimes never get into replies...and when I do the iPad is miles behind my typing. I gave up and use my PC for comments.
suenash19
# suenash19 2014-11-09 19:16
In reply to E:

Sorry, I cannot seem to do direct replies on my iPad. Thank you for your kind words. Yes we were both standing, but he was leaning over into the pose! I love the feeling of belonging in this one xx

If you do go to a convention I'm sure it will be a lovely experience for you :-)
Best, Sue x
Freebird
# Freebird 2014-11-12 16:35
The way you described a spn con experience - it's how I feel when hiking in the mountains with my friends. It's fun, it's therapy, it's educational, it's feeling loved and accepted. It's exhausting but good :) So, I guess, what gives our lives that special feeling can be summed up with "love, laugh, live", wherever you are and in whatever you do.

Thanks for sharing, Nightsky :)
Naberrie
# Naberrie 2015-05-15 02:54
okay... this post make me really want to go to a SPN convention.... I will try to attend Huston SPN next year (2016)... I'm only afraid of all this new plan, because I'm from Mexico and I really don't know if I will be able to pull it off (by that: will I talk to people ?? will I speak proper English and not bullshit my way thought it ?? will I ever make friends over there ??.. just the nerv-ball I'm usually are with new situations hahahahah~) but the community has been amazing, and though I have only interacted with it trough net, I hope I can attend and meet people that like it as much as I do :3
HFishtiel
# HFishtiel 2015-10-23 18:29
I'm trying to plan for Toronto 2016 for Supernatural as my first convention. Is there a step by step process you can give me on how to prepare for this? I'm getting married next summer, as well, so any help is greatly appreciated so I won't get overwhelmed. I've already started recruiting for people to go with me so it would cut hotel costs. I don't think I'll be able to afford the Gold or Silver Pass at that time.
LEAH
# LEAH 2015-10-23 20:05
Hi HFishtiel. Honestly I went to my first con in March and you really don't need to stress at all. Just get there. Sharing a room is a good money saving idea. I went Gold so my experiences are from that perspective. I got there in time to register and receive my placard and program schedule. Then I planned out my days. There are many friendly and helpful people around to ask question of. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. There is a lot of standing in lines if you are getting autographs or photo ops. I enjoyed that actually, the people around me were friendly and chatty. Everyone is happy to be there. I took some food and kept it in my room. HUGE money saver. Plus there isn't always a lot of time between panels so having some fruit, water or granola bars in my bag was nice. I took a roomy bag for stuff. Remember to take or buy something for them to sign if you are getting autographs. I took some SPN magazines but there were some nice 8x10 photos in the vendor area for only 8 dollars so I decided to use them instead. Anyway you'll have fun so don't stress. :)

PS: DON"T forget your admission and photo ops tickets (if you bought them), I almost left them at home!! THAT would be a problem.
theoncomingfangirl
# theoncomingfangirl 2015-10-26 16:23
As someone who just finished her very first con this weekend, coincidentally Chicon, I found this article to be highly accurate and also extremely comforting knowing my friend and I aren't the only ones suffering from post-con depression. This weekend has been an absolute blast for me, and despite a bumpy patch last night that I'd rather not get into right now, it has definitely made me want to start planning for my next con already. As Richard Speight, Jr. very accurately said this weekend, "Start worrying about how you'll get here next time or else you'll have fun with no stress and no one wants that." Quite simply, this weekend was an experience I never want to forget. It's been full of amazing experiences like photos with J2, Misha and Mark, and even Misha as Castiel, as well as an unforgettable Friday night karaoke party. Nowhere else I've been has had actors who will take your phone and take a selfie with you on it, and even make sure the owner of the phone is in the shot. They are all truly super sweet people who actually care about us as fans and not disappointing us. I was too shy to ask J2 for the pose I wanted in my photo this time (Charlie's Angels) but managed to get up the nerve to ask them both to do silly faces and while it was not what I wanted, I was extremely pleased with the outcome. I got gold seating this weekend, and I truly plan on continually getting gold seats every time I go to a Supernatural convention. I feel the benefits far outweigh the cost, and I was able to thank both Jared and Jensen for my photo with them and tell them I loved it. Jared, the typical sweetheart, said, "You're welcome. I loved it too. :)" and Jensen was very nice about it too, and said, "Absolutely!" I bought an extra Misha autograph for myself, since I am giving my first autograph of his to my sister who could not come. He seemed exhausted on Saturday but was feeling much better on Sunday and when I thanked him for the second autograph, he said you're welcome and winked at me XD he probably did that for most everyone getting his autograph, but it still made me feel awesome. All in all, I am already somewhat deciding where my next con will be, and I'm hoping that each con will continue to be just as memorable.
Katy Bee
# Katy Bee 2015-12-25 16:22
So I want to go to DC Con, but there is NOOOO WAY my parents and I are willing to pay for any other than the single-day pass. I know that the gold pass will get you into a lot of exciting things, but what if I only purchase the single-day? Is it still worth it? Please help because I would really like to go but I don't want to be disappointed after like $200.
Anda
# Anda 2016-01-29 23:28
I brought tickets for July Pittsburgh convention and the anticipation is sending me over the edge. The material was really helpful to understand what convention means - especially for someone coming from Europe just for this event..love has no borders... :) My question is: can we bring gifts to our favorite actors? How about sweets ? Is anyone willing to share this information? Thanks
Anda
# Anda 2016-01-29 23:29
Bought not brought :) sorry
eilf
# eilf 2016-01-29 23:40
I am going to my first (and only) con in Houston and I am really looking forward to it :D The convention rules say don't give the actors presents because they can't transport them around and so it probably isn't worth it. If you were going to bring sweets ... I would definitely make sure they are in a sealed bag if you have any hope of them actually eating them. I suspect that they don't eat anything like the amount Jared makes it look like though! :P Oh and don't bring Kinder eggs, they are banned here ($2,500 potential fine per egg ("https://en.wi kipedia.org/wik i/Kinder_Surpri se#Prohibition_ on_sale_or_impo rt_into_the_Uni ted_States"))!
Sorry to be a spoilsport! I hope you come up with an idea that works for you. Enjoy the con :D
Anda
# Anda 2016-01-30 04:17
Thank you so much Eilf. You too enjoy the con and have a blast :)