Yesterday I attended the Twisted Gears steampunk mini-con at the University of Houston. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect since it was a small con put on by first time organizers. But I wanted to go out and support it, and it was a good opportunity to have a vendor's table for the first time and present a panel on corsetmaking. I was thrilled to find that the event exceeded my expectations!
It's a really good instance of what can be done with very little. The con was held in the student center on the U of H campus, in three meeting rooms: a large room for vending and two small panel rooms. It only ran on Saturday, from 1PM to Midnight. There were about eight different vendors, and an assortment of panels on various steamy topics. I didn't get to attend any panels except the one I presented because I was vending the rest of the time, but I heard positive things about them for the most part.
Presenting my own panel for the first time was a bit nerve-wracking. When you're presenting a whole lot of information in an hour's time, it's hard to gauge how much the audience is following or what in particular they are interested in. I know ways I can improve the panel for the future, so that's good. And the feedback I got was positive, so maybe a few people learned something.
My vending experience was excellent. As a first-time vendor I didn't know what to expect in terms of sales. We did really well. I sold a good variety of items and got good feedback. I didn't sell any high-dollar items, but still made more than I expected. I also loved the experience of sitting behind the table, meeting people and talking with them about all kinds of topics. Plus I found out my husband is a really good cravat salesman!
But what was mostly nice about the event was the vibe. Almost all the attendees were Houston area locals, most already involved in or interested in steampunk, with a few college students and others thrown in. So a lot of the people there had met before and at least vaguely knew each other and it made for a relaxed, community atmosphere. I got to talk with steampunks I've met before, but I also met quite a few new people and had some good conversations.
What it comes down to is that my husband and I had a really good time yesterday, and I think the con was a rousing success! And I don't know why sitting behind a vendor's table all day makes one so tired and sore, but it does. I'm going to recovering for a few days. And then I need to get busy making more things to sell and developing some new patterns.