FlameCon is a convention created by GeeksOut to serve the LGBTQ community. This was the third year for the convention, and has grown from a single day event to a full weekend spectacular.
I missed the first two cons due to scheduling, but finally got to attend this year as an exhibitor. And it was my first time exhibiting ever. To say that I had lots of feels about this is really underselling it. I had an awful time getting to the convention the first day due to NYC’s frustrating weekend subway maintenance.
When I finally arrived, the Convention runners were great about getting me in and ready for opening. Since this was my first convention, I had some ideas about how to set up my booth, but putting it together proved to be a challenge. Thankfully, I had someone to help me present all the materials together in a coherent sense.
I have been to a few comic conventions before and I am glad that there is a con dedicated to LGTBQ community. I do think that there are some areas that they could improve on. I understand that they want the whole experience to be fun and casual, but I think that with a little more structure the fun atmosphere they desire could come across more organic rather than the “forced fun” feeling that purveyed the hall.
I also wondered how they decided to place each exhibitor where they did. It seemed very haphazard and without much planning. Another missed opportunity were the headliner guests. They were put in far away corners, and there was no signage letting the convention goers know where they were.
The panels were very interesting and the topics were well discussed. They assembled truly diverse panelists and their knowledge and experience was enlightening. I didn’t get to attend all the panels since I was manning my table, but the two I did go to were really great. I am very glad about how inclusive and thoughtful GeeksOut handled the entire con, and I give high marks for their kind consideration for everyone attending the convention.
One of the highlights of FlameCon were the cosplayers and on both days the Cosplay Parade was an experience! Special recognition goes to the Phoenix Namor, the two Dazzlers, the two Ursulas, some great Wonder Women, and Supergirls. I kind of regret not pulling out one of my cosplay outfits, but that wasn’t the focus of the weekend for me.
As for my table and promoting the various material I had, it was a challenge. Mainly because I had to get over my inherent shyness and really put myself out there. I am proud of the work I have, but I have always found it difficult to speak about it. I do think I grew and became more confident to speak to people stopping by. A good friend of mine talked me down from the ledge, saying that in his convention experience, I did a good job and to just smile and be inviting. Good advice and I aim to take it with me for my next convention.
Overall, I am glad that I’ve gotten through my first con and I look forward to more Con experiences. And I hope to bring my TGL crew along with me to the next convention wherever that may be!