I spent last weekend in Indianapolis, at Mo*Con. It’s my second time going, and I had a great time.
Little cons–and Mo*Con, at around a hundred people, is a little con–are interesting beasts. Their size means you have a good chance to meet everyone, and the programming tends to be pretty loose. But they can also be cliquish. I went to one con when we were living in Minnesota that had around 80 people in attendance. All of whom seemed to be good friends, and not particularly interested in meeting new ones. I felt like I was crashing somebody else’s part all weekend, and didn’t have a very good time. The vibe at Mo*Con was very different though. There’s a group of regular attendees, but they’re very welcoming of new people. So instead of feeling out-of-place the first time I went, I felt welcomed. Going back this time, my second, I felt like part of the crowd.
In a way, this isn’t so different from the big cons. You can get lost in the crowd at them, or find a group to bond with. It just feels more intense– you’re not just blending in with the crowd, since there’s no crowd to blend in with.
So in general, I’d recommend little cons, but with the following caveat- it’s good to bring along a friend. That way if things don’t work out, you can just bounce and play the tourist, taking advantage of the con hotel rate.
Oh, and y’know, maybe write a little.