Scott D. Parker
I’ll not bury the lede: I’m attending Bouchercon 2016 in New Orleans.
For the first time, the stars have aligned that will enable me to attend this convention I’ve heard so much about and seen lots of photos online.
Part of that alignment is proximity. New Orleans is driving distance for me, a Houstonian. Thus I get to eliminate airfare. That’s a win. The convention lands in Dallas in 2019 so that’s certainly driving distance. Now I’m wondering what Houston has to do to get on the list. Has Houston ever hosted Bouchercon?
Another part of the alignment is time off from the day job. I’ve got some days banked, so I decided to use them. I won’t be there Wednesday night for Noir at the Bar. I’m driving over on Thursday. I have to get my boy to the carpool house by 6:30am, so I’ll be heading out soon thereafter. I’ll miss most of Thursday’s panels but I’ll be there by late afternoon and into the evening. That’ll enable me to be at the Opening Ceremonies. That sounds fancy. What’s the attire?
I have to be honest here. I’ve “met” so many folks online over the past eight or so years, but have met only a handful face-to-face. I can’t wait to meet y’all live and in person. It’ll be a blast!
So, folks, I’m a Bouchercon Freshman. Tell me all the tips about this wonderful convention. What do I need to know going in to my first Bouchercon?
Scott, there's always a "first Bouchercon" panel, often named Bouchercon 101, on Friday morning, and it's worth the time to attend, but an experienced guy like you will already be running into friends and...panels are voluntary. Some love to go to them, others are there mostly for the chance to see old friends and meet face-to-face those virtual ones. I like a mix of both, and you'll find your meal sharing schedule ("let's have lunch" will fill. I always like to take a tour of the hotel and look at the hotel map first thing, walk around and get a feel for the layout. Go to the book room. Then just hang out (let people come to you, it's what the badge is for) or start going to panels.
I know people who don't go to any, but I go to quite a few, I want to hear what the people have to say. Most of all, just enjoy yourself.
I think you might miss that Bouchercon 101 panel, Scott, since it's early Thursday morning. But I went to it in Long Beach, which was my first time and although it's very encouraging, mainly they are just telling you not to worry and to have a good time. Another tip is, yeah, make plans, but then feel free to break them. There isn't really a wrong way to do it.
I knew just a couple of people non-virtually when I got there, but the fact is that it is such a friendly crowd that even if you don't find your virtual friends right away, you'll probably meet ten more people you never knew before right away. At least that was my experience and I am fairly shy and retiring.
I'll be there, but if I don't see you, have a great time!
Richard - Thanks for your insight. I like the meal sharing schedule. I plan to attend a good number of panels. When I attend comic book conventions, that’s my favorite part. I’ll also have to call the Marriott and determine the parking situation.
Sean—Make plans, but then feel free to break them. Love this! I can certainly do that as well! See you in NOLA!
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