If you have been paying attention to my posts the last few weekends, you know that I have been focusing on conventions, including why fans attend, why should celebrities attend, what kind of activities are found there and more. Based on those discussions and based on my research, I am starting to wonder what Duranies really want in a convention. I have described what normally takes place in a convention, including activities like vendor fairs, screenings, panels, games, and more. The post which describes all of this can be found here. I also know what took place during Durandemonium 2013. For those who were not in attendance, the activities we had during the convention included get-to-know-you as Duranies games, an author’s panel, a screening of A Diamond in the Mind, games, banquet with dinner and dancing, and late night clubbing at Late Bar’s New Wave night. Were those the right kind of activities to have? Should other activities be part of a Duran convention?
When we designed Durandemonium 2013, we had ideas of what had liked in the past at other meet ups and at the first convention we attended in 2004 in New Orleans. We liked having the chance to party with fellow Duranies whether at a bar or a club. For us, that party culture is a big culture of Duran Duran culture. After all, Simon does say that Duran Duran is the band designed to make you party. Yet, I’m well aware that there are Duranies who don’t party as much as say…we might when we are together. (This is probably a good reason why Rhonda and I should live far away from each other!) Thus, for those fans, maybe partying at a club or bar wouldn’t be that important to them. A lot of Duranies are collectors and spend a lot of time and money shopping on ebay or trading with other fans. We didn’t do much with that due to space restrictions. Perhaps, that is something a lot of people really would like. We did have a raffle with lots of great items to give away. Is that enough or would people prefer a place to just buy without having to worry about winning? Maybe an auction would have been a better route to go with those cool items. It seemed to me that most of the attendees at Durandemonium liked the screening of ADITM. I know that we loved it. Is that something that should always be included? If so, do people have preferences about what should be shown?
While we did have an author’s panel, we didn’t do much with attempting to get celebrities there for obvious reasons. This doesn’t mean, though, that it isn’t important to some fans. We are aware that it does matter to people. The question is how much does it matter? Would you only attend a convention if one or more band members was there? Would you want a convention with, at least, celebrities connected to Duran in some way? Would you want a focus that is broader than Duran Duran? Maybe, you would be able to justify spending the money to go if it was focused on a few of your favorite bands. Then, of course, more to the point, how much would you be willing to spend to attend a convention with a celebrity or two? We know how much concert tickets are. Would you be willing to pay the same as a VIP ticket? More? How much more? Then again, maybe, there are some fans who welcome the idea of getting together with other fans without the band being around.
I’m aware that I am asking for people’s ideal convention. Obviously, as someone who has organized a convention and planning another one in the future, I am MORE than well-aware that everything that people want cannot happen. Convention planners, like us, have an extremely limited budget (as in nothing, zero, zip, nada) and that other elements can limit what is possible. For example, at the last convention, we didn’t have a lot of space to do things like a vendor fair. That said, I’m truly curious what Duranies really would want in a convention. What would make you spend the money and take the time to go to a convention? How much would you be willing to spend and would you be willing to travel for it?