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Trotcon 2012 Report

Posted: August 4, 2012 16:16:29 • 1094 words

I don't usually write con reports anymore, but this is a special case, because I've never had such a great experience at a new con. Depending on your definition of a "con", this was somewhere between my 23rd and 35th con, ranging in size from under-100 meetups to the 20000+ attendees of Hamvention. Trotcon was arguably the best small con I've ever been to, but also one of the best con experiences I've ever had, period. So thank you, everyone, for making this rock so hard.

Vinyl Scratch Portrait
Fluttershy and Pipsqueak
Flim Flam Portrait
Cup O Joe - Fluttershy Latte Art

Highlights

Despite being dead tired on Friday night, after having a lot of issues trying to leave and a grueling drive, I spent a little time hanging out in the hotel lobby, meeting a few people and chatting. It helped me get into "con mode" after a crappy day, and it was nice to meet Starshine and others upon arrival, despite being pretty loopy from lack of sleep. I wanted to do more, but sleep was calling.

I was quite impressed with the talent in the dealer room, lots of fantastic artists in there. I've been to small cons that had like one good artist in the whole room, so kudos for attracting so much talent :-)

I went to quite a few panels too, more than I usually do, lots of fun programming at this con. The furry panel was especially enjoyable, and even though I knew what the premise would be in advance (neener neener :-P ), the Mythology panel was one of the big highlights of the con for me.

Dinner on Saturday was fun, I joined a small group heading to Barley's, where I had the most mind-blowing BLT sandwich I've ever experienced. It may sound like a silly thing to include in a con report, especially since it's almost a $10 BLT, but it was THAT amazing.

My Sunday started with MyLittleDashie dragging me into the #Twitterbronies panel (almost literally), which was pretty cool. I was the one who was pulled up front toward the end, who played @mlp_Rainbow on Twitter until fairly recently. It was pretty awesome, and I'm glad everyone enjoyed it.

The Sunday night after-party rocked too, I was in the giant group that took over the dessert cafe up the road from the hotel.

Photography Panel

The Con Photography panel on Saturday was the first time I've ever participated in a panel at a con, and to say I was nervous is an incredible understatement. I'm very shy about meeting new people, and public speaking is not a strength of mine, but I felt I had something to contribute, so I did it. Turnout was low, I estimate there were about a dozen attendees who weren't close friends (the three-member peanut gallery in the front row), and those attendees weren't there at the same time, but everyone who came seemed to enjoy it. Presenting it was fun, once I got the hang of it, and while the smaller group changed things up a bit, it was one of the biggest highlights of the entire con.

For those who didn't make it, I may be able to put it up as a video. Failing that, I'll at least re-write it in essay form and put it on my website.

Also, I brainstormed with Foal Papers on the way home, to take advantage of his exceptional teaching skills, and I have some ideas for future cons to expand the photography-related programming into something more interactive/fun, and also more educational. Now I just need to figure out what cons I'm attending next :-P

Photography Of The Con

Unfortunately, I didn't get as many photos of the con as I feel I should have, considering that I did a panel about it. This is largely my own fault; Trotcon was my third con in the last month and a half, and the other two were huge events with large open spaces (Bronycon and Anthrocon), so I had gotten used to doing a ton of candid photos. Trotcon's con space was arranged in a fairly linear manner, without many large open areas, so my usual preference for candid shooting didn't work out very well.

On the plus side, I did more experimentation than I did at the last two cons, trying various new things. I even did some flash portraits, something I normally never do, and got a few decent ones that way.

The dance was probably the best photo opportunity I had all weekend. There weren't a lot of people dancing, but the ones who were dancing were very into it. After awhile, I even switched to a close-up lens and got right in there with them, which is about the closest I'll get to actual dancing. Even if I only get a few truly great shots out of it, it was a really fun event to shoot.

I'm still working on post-processing my shots, something I'm not very fast at, but I expect to have them uploaded by the weekend. Check them out here, or the Trotcon Flickr group.

Low-Lights

The panel schedule being unfinalized until the day of the con was troublesome, but that's already been addressed. I will say, however, that building lunch and dinner breaks into the schedule would be a Very Good Idea. I doubt I was the only one who had to skip fun things for meals.

Having the con space open longer next year will be a big plus. As I said above, I'm very shy about meeting new people, and with my roomie spending Saturday night working on some writing, I spent much of Saturday night twiddling my thumbs after returning to the hotel. Also, having the dance at night, instead of at 6pm, would make a lot more sense ;-)

Lastly, the dealer room layout was a little screwy & crowded, and with a number of popular tables next to each other in the same corner of the room, it created quite the traffic jam Saturday morning. It thinned out later, though, and having it open the whole day/evening was pretty awesome.