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The Game of Nerds Podcast Episode #21 – Tales From The Convention Floor With Jon Hicks The Game of Nerds Podcast

On this episode of The Game of Nerds podcast, I'm sitting down with our resident zombie expert and my "work-husband," Jon Hicks, to talk about our adventures on the convention floor. Before Andy was on the floor doing conventions with me, the rule was Jon had to be going to the convention for me to go. So over the past six years, we've racked up a lot of convention time between the two of us. As SDCC@Home 2021 begins this weekend, it only seemed fitting for Jon and me to talk about our convention experiences as well as tips and tricks. Before we jump into conventions, though, Jon gives us the low down on the Pokemon card situation at Target and how he's deep into old episodes of Unsolved Mysteries. I'm convinced our parents just showed us the show to behave and not do something crazy with friends. As we begin chatting about conventions, we accidentally started with the best/worst example. Heroes and Villians, Fan Fest, or Walker Stalker Con, whatever you want to call it, is a prime example of how a convention with a great idea can turn bad quickly. It's considered the Fyre Festival of conventions. Here at The Game of Nerds, we've reported multiple times on Fan Fest Events, the legal trouble of its own James Frazier, and the outcome of the now-defunct convention. But there are plenty of great conventions to talk about, San Diego Comic-Con is the most popular out of all of it. It's over 50 years old, and Jon happens to be the only one on staff who has actually attended the convention. The Game of Nerds has applied for press passes for 8 years now only to be denied by new rules and requirements every year. We talk about Jon's venture to SDCC and how it's basically impossible to do everything. Just like all the movies and shows depict, people are lining up days in advance to camp out for a single panel at Hall H. If you are too busy camping you can't really do anything else the con has to offer. Many convention attendees will get worried if they are missing days, but Jon assures listeners that there is usually so much going on and around the convention that you don't really have to worry if you are missing tickets. Jon and I detail how some of these larger conventions work via lotteries for tickets, panels, and booths. This is when having a team or a system is extremely helpful. While Jon says getting the tickets for SDCC was the best moment of his life, it was the most stressful. He only got his tickets by sheer luck and friend's helping. Would he do it again? For him, once was enough. SDCC is for the die-hard fans and for those there to make money. Larges Conventions like SDCC are known for vendors having special convention exclusives or limited amounts. Some people strictly follow these conventions to pick up the merchandise to turn around a "flip" it for profit. If you've ever heard us say "Fuck Flippers," this is where the word comes from. It's when someone buys something to sell it for more profit. This is where I discuss my problem with SDCC and how I feel it's nothing but a money grab. While it's supposed to be a fan and media event, both these groups of people aren't being represented well. Tickets are limited for fans, and the media teams who are getting "free tickets" don't even care about the event. The pandemic was a doozy for everyone, and the conventions scene is no different. Many conventions weren't sure they were going to see the light of day again. So we are aware that conventions are trying to make their money back and that conventions are indeed a luxury. That doesn't mean that they can't be accessible to everyone. Reed Pop and Wizard World were two companies that quickly pivoted when the pandemic shut down conventions. They both started offering online panels and memberships for exclusive access to events. This system seems to be working for them as people decide whether they are ready to return to unperson events. We go on to talk about ECCC or Emerald City Comic-Con.
  1. The Game of Nerds Podcast Episode #21 – Tales From The Convention Floor With Jon Hicks
  2. The Game of Nerds Podcast Episode #20 – Parasocial Relationships In Fandom
  3. The Game of Nerds Podcast Episode #19 – Cosplaying with Masked Mateo
  4. The Game of Nerds Podcast #18: Cruella & Disney Villains
  5. The Game of Nerds Podcast Episode #17 – An Intro To The MCU
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