I just did my fan-to-pro panel at Kin-Yoobi con, in Hayward, CA. My second year there – and the last presentation of my current panel structure (a new one is in development for the fall).
The panel area was noisy this year due to the architecture of the place. I had about the same attendance as last year (about ten people), and this time I was armed with increased handouts as well – all put in nice plastic folders (these will be up on the soon-to-be-added site library). The panel went pretty good – most interesting was the reaction to the advantage of having fans help you move – I guess a lot of people there had thought about or had had to relocate.
Met a lot of good folks there, chatted with one after the panel who displayed his self-created flash games (including a dynamite enhanced Tetris). He actually had them with him on his laptop – an interest idea that I think could also pay off in an interview.
The con was a bit disorganized to start, but then everything fell in line. Kin-Yoobi has a good energy to it and it was VERY friendly. People chatted, hung out with friends, or made new ones. It skewed to the college age crowd, with some older and younger fans.
A few things stood out:
- The gaming area was in a hall – this made watching games easier
- Since the campus had limited lunch facilities, the membership fees paid for a free pizza lunch that got brought in and everyone just went at it. THAT was neat and friendly – everyone just hung out eating pizza. It felt like a big PARTY.
- The dealers had a lot of fan-artists and fandom-merchandise, kind of doubling as an artists alley. Very nice
So I had fun, met some great folks, enjoyed doing my panel, and plan to go back next year time permitting! More and more I like how the con's developed an intimate hang-out-with friends atmosphere.
- Steven Savage