To me, the words ‘trade show’ conjure images of zombie-like packs of business people prowling around a convention center clutching one of those plastic vendors bags. They stop at every booth and grab all the swag they can, while assiduously avoiding eye contact. You know what I mean. You’ve been there, too. Later, after the fugue wears off and you sort your booty, reason returns and the questions begin. What are you going to do with all this useless crap? Why do you have that brochure? You have no need to purchase vermiculite by the truck load or to get your gutters replaced by solar compost receptacles. To whom can you give this pencil with the sparkle eraser? Into the trash it all goes.
Now, imagine yourself at the newest trend in trade shows – the Paranormal Convention. What’s going to end up in your bag here? It may feel a bit more like trick or treating than killing time away from the office. Of course for those readers who are already afficianados of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and comic book cons — attending a paranormal convention may already be de rigueur.
In structure, a paranormal themed convention is pretty similar to any other trade show. There are workshops, guest speakers, a vendors room and a big party where people far from home hit on each other. Of course, with this theme, the big party may also take the form of an actual ghost hunt — for a nominal fee.
For us in the Midwest, all roads currently point toward Ohio. The next big paranormal convention coming up is Extreme Para-Con 2009 in Cincinnati on December 11, 12 and 13. Info at http://www.extremeparacon.com/. In between, there aren’t a lot of local-ish choices on the calendar yet. After Cincinnati, the next one I’ve been able to suss out is in Dayton, Ohio in August of 2010. Check it out at http://www.ohioparacon.com/. There’s a more comprehensive list of upcoming events and recent passings at http://www.allconferences.com/Society/Paranormal/
So, Hello Milwaukee and Wisconsin! Is it time for our own paranormal convention? I’ve got some goodie bags that need fillin and don’t want to drive all the way to Ohio to do it.
Susan Scot Fry