This weekend marks the inaugural Ladies of SPN Convention – a fan-run Supernatural con that seeks to feature exclusively female guests, be they from the cast, crew, or fandom. But it needs your help.
The con still needs donations to make sure it can operate to its fullest extent and perhaps even return for a second year. Convention chair Cora Idle spoke to The Geekiary about the first ever Ladies of SPN Con, and the challenges of trying to put together a major convention that is both affordable and fun.
How long have you been planning Ladies of SPN Con? How did the idea for the convention originally come about?
Actively, since last year. Passively, I had been turning the idea of a fan-focused convention around in my head almost as long as my local group has existed; we got our start in 2013.
Tell us about your guests! It seems like the actresses are really enthusiastic about this convention!
Trust me, I’m just as blown away. It’s so obvious that both the actors and fans have been craving this opportunity. Making contact was the easiest part, and (as a fan myself), realizing how approachable everyone is made me feel much more confident.
I’m bummed that a few of our earliest supporters have had to cancel, but I’m happier that it’s because they’re in demand. That’s one of the most important things that I have wanted to address with this event.
Besides all the awesome guests, what else is going to be happening at the convention?
We’ve got a few really awesome treats from some amazingly generous donors for silent auction, we’ve got an acoustic concert the evening of our first day, we’re even planning a few small games for people to dig into. Pin the Protective Tattoo on the Hunter, anyone?
Has it been challenging planning a con like this? Have any of you hosted a con before?
I could write a book on the challenges. I’ve done local events before, like a fandom camping trip and cosplay photoshoots, but this is by far the biggest event that I’ve tried to put on. I can only hope that the reward is equally great.
I know you guys are in a last minute push to make sure this con succeeds. What can people do to help this one and any potential cons on the future?
I think people seem to forget that any event is a transaction. You can’t expect, say, a barista to hand over a free Frappuccino when you walk in the door. There has to BE a door in the first place. Good coffee, equipment, trained baristas, and a good amount of foot traffic and word of mouth need to exist before even the IDEA of free coffee can happen.
Basically what I’m saying is, I’m not sitting on a mountain of cash and have actors waiting in the wings to get on the docket. Can’t promise to pay folk if I don’t have money, and I can’t get money unless I can guarantee that the actors people want to see are present. It’s a vicious cycle. I don’t have investors or advertising funding. I’m doing this out of my own pocket if I don’t hit my marks. And just for a little perspective, I work full time delivering pizzas to pay my bills. I have over 35k in student loan debt. I can barely swing a Gen Admission pass at That Other Con.
For anything like a huge event such as this, expect nothing and be willing to give your all. Without support, events never get to the first day. Think in terms of the long game instead of instant gratification — yeah, we can’t get Kim, Bri, Ruth, or Emily Swallow this year…but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to come. It means we, the event organizers, can’t afford them yet. If we’re successful, we’ll be able to ask next year (assuming there is a next year). And it’s not as if instant gratification can’t be found at Another Con.
I wanted so desperately to offer a budget-friendly but still awesome event. That’s why we’re offering the live streaming video. Fandom already provides its own attempts, but we will have a dedicated person to film it and a website to host it on so that the attendees can focus on being PRESENT at the con instead of watching it through a phone camera lens. I wanted to make tickets affordable, which meant offering a space large enough to keep them low; only, we didn’t hit the mark so we lost the deposit on the venue, changed locations, and are eating the costs we clearly can’t afford. Our vendors area is small, but mighty, and their attendance only happens if the crowd is there to buy things. See the vicious cycle there, too.
So donate. Buy tickets. Buy shirts. Buy autographs and photo ops, even if they’re not The Big Six. ESPECIALLY if they’re not the big six. That’s what brings people back and allows events to happen again.
You can learn more about the con on their Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter accounts, but the important thing to do is to spread the word and give what you can. If you want to see more conventions like this, you need to support the ones that pop up!
Author: Jamie Sugah
Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.
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