Faculty Scholarship


Jon GaronFollow

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

January 2017


This article is part of a series of book excerpts The Pop Culture Business Handbook for Cons andFestivals, which provides the business, strategy, and legal reference guide for fan conventions, filmfestivals, musical festivals, and cultural events.Cons use a range of labels for the people who attend the event as paid ticket holders. Whether thepeople are labeled attendees, patrons, guests, concert-goers, or customers, many of the chapters ofthis book identify how the Con organizers address these differing ticket holders and should plan andprepare to assure each group has a safe, fun, and memorable experience. This chapter focuses on theattendees and what they should do to hold up their side of the equation to assure themselves that theyhave the kind of experience they desire.The relationship between the Con and its customers is akin to a partnership. Customers shouldbe able to expect the Con to deliver on its promises and hopefully to exceed them. Similarly, the Conwill be most effective when the attendees do what is expected. As discussed below, purchasing ticketson time, treating other attendees with respect, following directions to attend programs, and engagingin cosplay with both fun and safety in mind will all help make the Con successful. When the guest andthe Con work together, then the event is at its best.Attendees should also consider what their goals are for attending a Con. Attending the mostfamous events may be a point of pride and a personal achievement to check off their bucket lists. Thelargest of these events are also incredibly crowded, and seats for the top panels within those eventsare hard to get. Smaller events will often provide much greater access to the headline panels andattractions. In addition to planning how to attend a particular event, fans should consider whetherattending a combination of events will better meet their goals. Some fans will have a better experienceby attending a variety of Cons to achieve the balance of the programs and experiences they seek.

Publication Title

The Pop Culture Business Handbook for Cons and Festivals