Interview: Indy PopCon

popcon_logoThis is the last week for the Indy PopCon Kickstarter! As I wrote last week, we’re really excited for this addition to the Indianapolis convention schedule.  I spoke with Shawn Smith, communications director, to get an insider’s perspective on PopCon.

1) What exactly is Indy PopCon? With all the different conventions in Indy, what sets you apart?

PopCon is a convention that we (the group behind it all) want to see. Something that is fan driven and engaging, and celebrates people’s passions but also gives them an avenue to discover new passions. Many other conventions have very specific focuses, and that’s awesome and great for people who love that focus. We want to be a bit more all-encompassing in that we invite geeks, nerds, and enthusiasts from gaming, comic books, Sci-Fi, etc and give them what they want, but also have a bunch of cool stuff in different areas that they can discover.

2) Creating a new convention is a massive project, why did you decide to start one?

Because we’re crazy.

Seriously though, it was one of those situations where we had the right people in the room at the right time, and we decided to take a shot. We have a lot of good guidance and support from others who have done conventions this size before, and our Convention Supervisor actually produced many conventions in Wisconsin years ago. As this specific group and organization, PopCon is a new venture. But we’ve got the talented people who have done plenty of them in the right places.

3) How do you stay motivated to work on Indy PopCon? How do you balance planning the con with your day job?

The motivation these days comes straight from the fans. We expected an OK response when we announced, but so many people have come forward with ideas and suggestions and assistance that it’s hard not to be excited about the potential. People are responding to what we’re doing, and that keeps us moving. As for balance – it’s always a struggle, but we push on as much as we can knowing that this could one day be our full day jobs!

4) What do you hope people get out of Indy PopCon?

Two goals, specific to the type of attendee. For people coming as enthusiasts, we simply want people to discover a new passion. Whether it is a gamer discovering comic books, or an artist discovering podcasting, we just want to expand peoples’ minds and show them something they maybe wouldn’t have found otherwise.

For those looking to PopCon in a more educational/informational way, we hope that they come to the convention as attendees and learn from others how to hone their craft, then come back to PopCon next year as exhibitors and vendors to share their progress.

5) What is your over-the-top goal for Indy PopCon 2014?

If people show up, have fun, and ultimately give positive feedback, we’ll be very happy. This first year will have its growing pains, but if people show up and like what we do, we think we have the potential to be another long-running, fun convention for Indy. Just like GenCon, Starbase Indy, Anime Crossroads, and other long-running shows that we like.

After speaking with Shawn, I’m even more excited for where this convention next year. It seems to be a convention that the casual geek (which is kind of the category I feel I fit best) will feel comfortable in, while celebrating the hardcore fans as well. I’m really looking forward to being able to learn about various fandoms and aspects of geekery I’m not well versed in. What about you? Are you planning on attending Indy PopCon? What are you looking forward to?

One Response to “Interview: Indy PopCon”
  1. sophierocious says:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

seventeen − six =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.