Our big day had finally arrived! Our first ever LibraryCon was just getting started. If you are interested in all of our planning please check out my previous post here. Be sure to read my managers three part blog post and give her a follow. She has some awesome posts and ideas. We thought it would be fun to have two different perspectives on LibraryCon since it was such a huge program. I had planned to have all of these written last week but was delayed by my Homestuck party and Cosplay Prom that happened in the teen department this week. My fall self was kinda nuts to plan 3 major programs in a one week time period. Live and learn! On to the show:
Friday was spent setting up and assigning tables in the concourse and our other big rooms. We set up the auditorium to have a small stage for our panelists and lots of chairs. In addition to set up we wanted to do a kickoff night for the con. We invited my dear friends from the local Webseries: Drifter. They came and screened their 1st season. Afterwards they did a Q & A with the attendees. We had a smaller crowd that night (30) but all of them were super attentive and had really good questions. One family with teens made sure to watch both seasons before they came! The teen girls loved the series and were really excited to get autographs from the star. I was really excited to see so many teens in the crowd!
Saturday: The Big Event!!!
I don’t think that Sarah or I slept the night before as we were both so excited. We didn’t really know how many people would attend but we were hopeful that no matter what the numbers everyone would have a lot of fun. We had a great mix of things for people do and see. Our guest list was pretty awesome:
- Bethany Hagan- Landry Park and Jubilee Manor
- Holly Schindler– Ferel
- Chris T. Acadian– The Shifter
- E.M. Ervin– Wake up Call
- Ben Reeder– Demon’s Apprentice
- David Faught
- Nate Howard
- Ryan Wheaton
- Jared George
- Adam McLaughlin
- Nicholas Ladendorf
Local Geek Blogs and Podcasts:
- Comic Cave
- Eternal Armory
- Garrison 66 – Star Wars Costumers
- Datooine Base- Star Wars Rebel Costumers
- Meadowmere Colony of Larpcraft
- Visionary Guild- Gaming group
- Anna Colston- Cosplayer
- Breanna Hassinger- Cosplayer
- Heroes Alliance
- Costuming Guild of the Ozarks
Fandom Stars Early: Geeky Storytime
The first event of the day was a Geeky Storytime that was run by Sarah. If you are curious about the format please check out her recent blog post here. It was loads of fun and there were about 30 people that came. The best part was watching the kids toss the Tardis on the Parachute to the Doctor Who theme song! It was epic!
We had three panels for LibraryCon and could have easily had more. Since this was our first event we wanted our guests to have time to visit all the tables and come to panels. Next year we plan to do something every hour to fill the time. Plus, we might add a few sessions on drawing for the kids and maybe another storytime.
Our first panel was the most successful: How to Cosplay. I think the timing (1pm) was nearly perfect and we had over 70 attend. The group that presented was a mix of seasoned cosplayers and new cosplayers. We also had a variety of ages on the panel. It was a ton of fun getting to hear about how they got started and what their all time favorite costume has been. Next year I want to have a small slide show so they can show off what they make. The audience was very engaged and asked lots of good questions. If you ever do a Con at your library be sure to include a Cosplay panel. It is a popular topic for all ages!
The Second Panel featured our lovely authors. We ended up with a smaller crowd but still had good audience interactions. We did allow signings and sales afterwards and many teens were excited to get the books. Next year we would like to add some indie authors to the mix. We did feature two local authors Ben Reeder and E.M. Ervin in our Author/Illustrator room. They were a really fun pair and could be found joking with the teens and shooting the illustrators with their Nerf guns!
For our final panel we brought together all of our Illustrators. They talked about being in the business, how to get started, and the process of being an artist. It was a fun session and had a pretty good turnout. Next year I would like to do a drawing session with them. I think that will pull in some of our younger crowd and really get them interested in the process of illustrating web comics, comics, and art.
I have to mention my two teen artists that grabbed one of the tables and started drawing. These two girls are lots of fun and very talented.
During the con we had lots of people show up in costume. We did have a rule about weapons. This was because we did not have the staff to make sure things were fake and not real. We also asked that everyone wear family friendly costumes. If you have been to a con you know why I asked this! If not.. lets just say some people consider paint and seashells to be enough coverage. It was a ton of fun to see all the creativity from guests and our special groups. Here are some of my favorites:
Our final event was a screening of Midwest in Panels and a Q & A with the owner of Comic Cave, Josh Roberts. We had a very small crowd and thankfully had Josh present at the beginning. I think it was the timing because most of our table guests had wrapped up for the day so there was not a lot going on. Still we had 10 people stay for the movie. Josh is a great guy and was a real trooper to stay and present for us.
Overall we had around 400+ people for our very first LibraryCon! I think that it was a great success and I am already planning LibraryCon 2016. We only had a few tiny set backs and everyone seemed to have a great time. Check out Sarah’s blog about what we loved about our event and what we would change. If you are considering doing this at your library I highly encourage you to take the plunge! It is lots of fun and it really brings together your community.
For me the best part was seeing the smiles on the faces of the patrons that came that day. Many did not know what we were doing and it gave us the opportunity to share the magic of all things geeky. I also enjoyed the interactions and antics of our special guests. They all knew each other and it was like a big geeky family reunion. Everyone got along great and there were lots of laughs.
Stay tuned for more pictures from the con and check out Sarah’s blog for her perspective on the day.
(This article was written by Staff Writer Valerie Bogert~ Because of life events, she was unable to post it so I posted it for her)