Posts tagged Convention
I told you it was going to happen! The first episode of Conmania 101! The first episode is about convention survival kits — specifically, what you’re going to carry all of your stuff in. Obviously this is very early, so if you can leave whatever comments you can, I will be very grateful.
If you just got back from PAX East this weekend, or went to Emerald City Comic Con last week, you might have had the chance to download The Conventionist app from Proxima Labs on your Apple or Android-powered mobile device. It just may be the greatest thing to come to a convention since Herbert “Boomer” Washington. If you’ve ever gone to a con, you know the pain in the butt of going through the convention guide book, picking out the panels you want to go to, checking to make sure they don’t conflict with each other time-wise, entering them manually into your calendar… and then you have to lug around the guide book the rest of the day. It’s not impossible, but there are more pleasant experiences.
What The Conventionist does is streamline that entire process. Download the guide for the convention you are attending, scroll through the various panels, touch them, and it automatically sends you an update when that panel is going to happen. Mix that with maps, news, Twitter feeds – it’s a one-stop all-access convention going tool!
I got to talk with Jeff Lewis, co-founder of Proxima Labs, to find out a little more about the inner workings of The Conventionist.
CONMANIA: Can you describe how The Conventionist works?
Jeff: The Conventionist is a mobile guide that makes both attending and organizing events easier. It allows you to access everything you need – schedules, maps, local restaurants and attractions, a live Twitter feed – right on your smartphone. You can make personalized schedules, program event reminders, and give feedback to the event coordinators, all through the app. Best of all, it’s completely free for attendees to download.
C: How did you develop the app?
J: My co-founders Peter, Kevin and I were attending conventions and conferences as part of our jobs for years. We noticed we weren’t getting as much out of each event as we could have and that the events were often chaotic and disorganized and lacked a way for everyone at the event to access information about what was going on. It became clear that the vast majority of people take all the materials they receive during registration and either tuck them deep away into a bag, never to be seen again, or place them in the nearest garbage can. We wanted to change this and make all the information easily accessible in one place – and thus, The Conventionist was born.
C: What’s the feedback been line, both from attendees and the conventions themselves?
J: Feedback has been fantastic. We’ve been blown away by it, really. Event organizers say that it has helped them tremendously in getting information out to their attendees and everyone who has downloaded the app has found it incredibly useful as well. We literally get emails just thanking us for the app. An added bonus is that since we offer in-app sponsorships, event organizers are actually turning a profit from using The Conventionist – they’re selling sponsorship space for much more than the cost of our service. It’s been a huge success for everybody involved.
C: Say I’m a convention – how do I get my guide in the app?
J: We work directly with event organizers: they email us the information about their event to email@example.com and we upload it directly into the app. It’s an easy and streamlined process and event organizers have been telling us left and right how much easier it has made their jobs overall. We’ve partnered with large conventions like PAX Prime, Emerald City Comicon, and Anime LA and smaller events like SacAnime – The Conventionist works great for any size convention.
C: While some conventions are cutting edge when it comes to technology, others are just figuring out how to properly use their email lists. Are you helping cons understand the app and how to get it out to their attendees?
J: Absolutely – we prepare all of our clients with a launch kit. We design them an email template to send out to their attendees, which includes our client’s branding and clear instructions regarding how to download the mobile guide. We also design a poster for our clients to place in their registration area – it even includes a QR code, those square bar codes you can read with your smartphone, so attendees can scan the image and get the guide for their event within seconds.
C: The Conventionist downloads its information in advance. If a convention has a change of schedule, will I find out about it through the app?
J: Yes. We make ourselves completely available to our clients. People call, text, or email us from their convention asking us to update the guide and we can make the changes within a few minutes. Attendees will then be prompted to update the guide the next time they use it. We’re releasing a self-service interface for clients, which will be launching in April so clients can make these changes themselves. They’ll also be able to use the interface during the initial process of building the guide.
C: The number one question I see online is if you guys are doing development for any other mobile platforms. Is it going to be coming out any time soon for Blackberry? Windows Phone 7?
J: We’ve already started development on these other platforms. We don’t have firm release dates yet, but it won’t be too long – a matter of months.
- Top Shelf Productions announced their plans for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2011. Want to see Jeff Lemire, Kathryn and Stuart Immonen, Matt Kindt and Nate Powell, in addition to being the first to get your paws on the graphic novels “Chester 5000″ and “Liar’s Kiss?” Better get your butt up north.
- Forget to get tickets for the Los Angeles Twilight Convention? Good news, there are still tickets at the door.
- MTAC in Nashville revealed a veritable slew of guests. I don’t know any of them. Hopefully you do.
- Larry “G.I. Joe” Hama had to cancel out of Emerald City Comicon for health reasons. And now, because I have one, here is a picture of me with Mr. Hama and a G.I. Joe thermos I had him sign.
- Creation Entertainment’s Official Vancouver Stargate SG-1/Atlantis Convention has updated their page with tentative show schedules and guest appearances. Including Robert Davi. He was in “Goonies.” Make sure you do the Truffle Shuffle for him.
- C2E2 in Chicago released their exhibit hall floor plan. It is still tentative and subject to change, but you have a month to figure out how to most efficiently spend your show floor time.
- Derby City Con in Kentucky announced a new guest, Aracana Comics writer John Barker.
- Horror Realm Con in Pittsburgh announced their show schedule.
- Sandiego.com wrote a really snotty article about how tough it is to get Comic Con International tickets. True, but they wrote it in a really insulting way. I’m not advocating anything nasty, but if you want to leave some feedback, be my guest.
That’s it for today. Check in tomorrow for the latest batch of con news.
Gary Stern, owner of Stern Pinball, the only manufacturer of pinball games left in the world, will be a guest at the Texas Pinball Festival March 25-27. In addition to a presentation on the future of Stern Pinball, Stern will be holding a questions and answer segment, as well as an autograph session.
Are you planning on going to C2E2 or Orlando Megacon this year? Just by pre-ordering your tickets, a portion of your payment can be donated to the Hero Initiative, the first-ever federally chartered not-for-profit corporation dedicated strictly to helping comic book creators in need.
All you need to do is order your tickets through the specific links below, and a portion of your ticket money will be donated to the charity at no cost to you. You’ll get all the fun of a comic con, plus the knowledge that you are helping out creators in need, some of whom are the very reason you are at that comic con. So go be a hero!
Happy Sunday Con Maniacs,
Here we have a unique event that I am so glad is out there, Gaylaxiconwhich occurs May 13-15, 2011 at the Holiday Inn Select – Perimeter, Atlanta, GA. Gaylaxicon is the annual international Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Convention for gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered people and their friends!
This event and network has been around for a long time. In 1986, the Gaylaxian Science Fiction Society (GSFS) was formed in Boston. That September, as a result of folks gathering at Worldcon, they began a national group called the Gaylactic Network. Elected board members and officers, along with many other volunteers, administer the Network. Since 1986, the Network has had up to 12 affiliate clubs. The affiliates are locally oriented, regionally based, autonomous clubs with their own leadership and membership. Currently, affiliates are located in Boston, Washington DC, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Niagara Falls and Toronto.
In 1988, the Network and GSFS sponsored Gaylaxicon, the very first LGBT science fiction convention, in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Our first Guest of Honour was J.F. Rivkin.
Through Gaylaxicon and other activities, the Gaylactic Network pursues the following goals:
To promote science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and other related genres (SF/F/H) in all forms, with particular attention to materials of interest to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) people.
To provide forums for LGBT people and their friends to share their interest in SF/F/H.
To promote the presence of LGBT elements within SF/F/H and within fandom.
To promote SF/F/H within the LGBT communities.
Through Sci Fi the Gay community is supported. I know Dr. Who would be proud as am I. Let me know what you think. Do you have a GLBT friend who would enjoy an event like this? I would love to hear from you. Contact me at Magid@raybin.com
John Barrowman would make a great guest for this event. I worked with him in 2008. He is just as good as man in person as you would expect. I’m looking forward to his return to Torchwood…
Have a great Monday everyone. I’m off to another galaxy with the Doctor and Captain Jack! Who knows what adventures we will get up too…
Hello Con Maniacs,
Icon 35 is a Steampunk themed event that is held at the Cedar Rapids Marriott 1200 Collins Road N. E.
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402. Head on out to this great event if your into Steampunk. They have a masquerade ball, an art show as well as some very talented fan artists and bloggers.
I would love to see and post some of your great costumes. Send them Magid@raybin.com
Send me an email with what you want to hear about at cons? Remember this is your site…
I have got to go watch South Park, I am dieing to find out Mysterion’s secret and who will stop the Coon…
Look at this great pic taken by Alex Babs of the goodies you get for attending the Jemcon event. Wow, if every event gave this many goodies we would all be trying to geet to every event we could…What do you think Con Maniacs? Does getting these kinds of goodies for attending make a difference to you? Let me know at Magid@raybin.com