This is not my first convention, have attended events of various sizes but I don’t think I’ve ever been to something as large and as focused as World Con. I did a Dragon Con back in 2010 but this is more about SFF book fandom and I’m quite excited to be part of it.
I’m attending just to soak up the atmosphere but also I’m there to meet new people and make new friends and to do a tiny bit of self-promotion as I try and expand the reach of this site and the podcast. I am also incredibly shy, I get anxious and I feel awkward to I’m going to share some tips with you that I have gleaned from past events that will help.
- use the app the convention app is there to help you plan your time – do not expect to see everything you want to have backups ready in case the room is full or something else happens.
- Be respectful. If someone is wearing a costume, please ask before you take a picture, you will get a better picture if you have consent and an agreed pose.
- I find small talk can be excruciating so I try and plan a few things in advance. This might be complimenting someone on a costume or an accessory they are wearing but not in a way the other person finds creepy.
- Ask about their involvement in fandom and where their interests lie. This is a great conversation starter.
- Sometimes people don’t want to talk to you for any reasons accept this and move on. Sometimes people need a while to recharge and maybe they just can’t deal with someone new yet.
- If you are at a signing, try and think of something to say to the author that you loved about their work or specific element in the work, it will give you both a moment to remember.
If you know being social is hard work for you, plan breaks and don’t forget to eat or drink.
What are your tips for talking to new people at cons?
What do you do to fight the imposter syndrome?