There is one convention I didn't go into great detail on in my previous blog post, not for lack of things worth remarking on, but rather the opposite: Havencon is one of my favorite con experiences I have had to date, and I wanted to give it a shout-out of it's own.
Now that I've worked and attended a handful of smaller shows as well as a full-scale comic con, I'm getting a better idea of the difference in atmosphere and tone which accompanies each. Scale is only one factor among many that determine the feel of an event; but I can say that thus far, the smaller shows (3,000 attendees or less) have been more enjoyable to myself personally, and I have done just as well (or better) at them as at the larger ones. And of these, Havencon was the one at which I felt I connected the best with the people I spoke with at my table, and I felt the greatest mutual reward from those personal discussions.
I think the reason for this is all there in the name-- Havencon describes itself as an 'all-inclusive LGBTQIA+ Geek and Gaming Convention', which to my own experiences is a natural combination; the wide domain of 'Geek'-ness has always been a fond escape for those who feel different, and the content itself has long reflected those experiences. Thus, Havencon was created as a space considerate of those generally side-lined, and re-orients those traits into a celebration of them. It cultivates an atmosphere of shared understanding and wonderful friendliness.
My friends and I we were almost the only few tables in a short hallway between the hotel elevators and the rest of the show, which worked out nicely! I was able to converse more in depth with those who came by my table, and it was wonderful to see my Holding Back Birds work and the meaning behind it so well received, to degrees I have not seen before. The people here really got it, and I felt re-inspired as to being on the right path with this work. To see that it has value to other people in person, and to see them willing to share personal stories of their own in turn, was an important part of the weekend for me.
For a con in only it's second year, the amount of planning and passion that the organizers put into Havencon is extraordinary. For 2017 it will be moving to a bigger and better location, and I'm happy to give it my best recommendation; you can support it's move now on Indiegogo and grab your early spot to come for next year! I for one am very much looking forward to it.