Until last week, I’d only attended crime fiction conventions. Entering the world of horror was an intriguing prospect, although it was apparent from the start that horror conventions are quite different from events like Bouchercon and Left Coast Crime.
One of the strengths of horror conventions is that they are multimedia. This means that there are no author panels, but there are featured author guests, along with actors, directors and artists.
While a crime fiction convention will feature a large room for booksellers, Creature Feature Weekend had an array of vendors ready to tempt you to buy everything from jewelry to artwork to horror variations of popular board games.
The crime fiction organizers capitalized on the genre to ensure that the décor set the tone throughout the entire hotel space allotted to them.
The organizers also did a number of other things to create a sense of community, such as Saturday night bonfires outside.
There were also plenty of curiosities to check out and even sit in, if you dared.
The event was hosted in a hotel near a large movie theater, and the convention partnered with the theater for screenings where directors talked about their movies.
And there was plenty of time to chat with the authors who attended as featured guests, including Brian Keene, Mary SanGiovanni, Kelli Owen, Bob Ford, Somer Canon and Wesley Southard.
Although we didn’t get to take in the entire convention this year, what we did experience of the event was enough to entice us to start discussions about how we can get involved next year, and what other genres can learn from horror about how to put on a compelling con.
I personally liked the multimedia approach. I think it also took some of the pressure off of the authors, so that they didn’t feel like they needed to perform or entertain by being on panels. Perhaps some author panels would be a worthy addition in future years, but that really wasn’t the emphasis for this event. There was a lot of hanging out, chatting, bonding over the genre and people’s art.
If you’re looking for an excellent convention for next year, this is one that is sure to grow and gain a worthy reputation as one of the not-to-be-missed horror cons in the U.S.