Monday, July 11, 2016

Road To SDCC 16 : How To Talk To Strangers In Line



SDCC Planning takes a lot of time and determination. So often getting friends to committ to an event six or eight months in the future can be difficult. So because of that I've attended many SDCC's on my own. 

Cons on your own allow you a lot of freedom, you can change your schedule instantly and not have to worry about notifying others. SDCC lines allow you the opportunity to make new friends.  Over the years I've met tons of people in line. Some I've helped guide through the perils of the Hasbro line, Others have given me swag tips and party info, and one even told me the fate of one of fandom's famous scoundrels six months before The Force Awakens opened.

So here are some tips on starting up a conversation with other con goers:

Smile

I know,I know, telling you to smile can sound a little pushy, but a brief smile is a great sign of openness to the virtually thousands of people you will be milling about during the con. Besides you are attending one of the biggest pop culture events in the United States, how can you not be smilling?


Body Language Check 

Fanboys & Fangirls can be a little introverted. Also SDCC days are long and tiring. If the person next to you has their hoodie up and earbuds in, they probably aren't looking for  conversation. So check out others around you who might be more open to conversation. Also as the days of the convention roll on people become a little cranky from lack of sleep and thus become less chatty.


Conversation Starters

The great thing about cons is that attendees wear their fandoms proudly. So  here are some topics you can discuss:

Comment on Someone's T-shirt

Ask them about what Panels/Exclusives they are going for

What Parties they are attending


Avoid The Conversational Darkside

We are all Passionate in our fandom, but passion can often lead to judgement and angry debates. Yes as fans we are entitled to our opinions but getting into fan fights with someone you just met doesn't bode well for new friendships.

So avoid these fandom land mines in initial conversations:

Marvel vs DC

Star Wars Prequels

Star Wars EU vs Canon

"REAL Fans"

Also tone down the SDCC complaints. Every year I hear people complaining about the lines, the amount of people and the dreaded " SDCC should move to ..." . Yes SDCC can be challenging . You will not get into all the panels you want or exclusives you want but you CAN have a great time if you let yourself.


Uncomfortable Connections

This is a possibility, especially for women. I've had guys start seemingly innocent converstions only to turn borderline creepy later on. 

Luckily lines move and there are many ways to bow out of a conversation that isnt going anywhere. However never accept being disrespected. 

Keep In Contact

If you really hit it off with someone in your line coversations, see if the are active on social media. Exchange twitter handles, instagram  tumbler etc.


Send your new contact a message when you can, a quick tweet to see how their con is going etc.

Reaching out to otheres reaps tremendous rewards. I have tons of meetups coming during my 2016- 2017 cons because I took the initiative and started line coversations. Good Luck!

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