What an absolute difference a week makes. One week ago I was a guest at a small fan-run convention. The day after I get home I find out that I would be working at Wizard World Cleveland that coming weekend. These cons are completely different beasts and man was I going to find that out by jumping headfirst into it.
I found out officially that I was going to be a vendor, as well as presenting on the creative stage, literally the Monday before the con. Oops. Guess I wasn’t going to have time to request of time from work for the con itself or load-in times. This required some real rearranging of my schedule, a lot of leaning on good friends for help, and a definitely some flexibility. Yikes.
Luckily, somehow, everything seemed to end up working out. Staff with the con was super great at making sure my info got up on their site almost immediately and it looked so smooth and sleek. Check-in with Wizard World was easy and efficient as well. I didn’t really see too much of con staff during the weekend…but I guess that’s ok.
One thing I really noticed about large cons like Wizard World over the smaller cons is that everything is up and running right away. Gates open and attendees pour in. Definitely no time to really acclimate to the situation, you’re just in it. But as a vendor, that’s what you want; feet in the aisles and eyes on your merchandise.
I was located in LGBT Alley, which is a new and growing feature of Wizard World conventions championed by fellow cosplayer and good friend, Alexa Heart. It’s an area of the con dedicated to LGBT and LGBT-friendly vendors. Often I find small cons to have an emphasis on diversity and inclusion and despite the seemingly open atmosphere cons have, there isn’t always a safe place for our LGBT friends. It was a super friendly area to be a part of and I really look forward to what Wizard World may do with the area in the future. Trust me, there’s a need. I really loved my aisle mates and we had a blast even in the slow times. Definitely need to work on my booth set-up though, which is fine for smaller cons or craft shows, but tended to get lost in the massive booths around me.
Now did I say I presented on the creative stage too? Oh yes, I did. So yeah, that was pretty neat. I got to present my wig care panel and I love teaching people about wigs. I always feel like I get to help remove some of the mystery of wig wearing and styling and hopefully getting someone closer to living their wig life to the fullest. Ok that sounds dramatic, but seriously, wigs are intimidating. If I can help someone feel more confident about cutting or just wearing a wig, I feel like I’m actually providing the cosplay community with the lessons I want to be more available to all cosplayers. That’s what I really love to do.
It was definitely a whirlwind of a two weeks for me, but I am so incredibly glad that I had the opportunities that have come my way. And now I’m going to go pass out for the entirety of this weekend.