Archon Recap >> The Good, The Bad & The Smelly
Even though it's a very, very small convention (especially when compared to the likes of GenCon or Origins) it has a faithful following, and the daily Archon newsletter that there were more event registrations over the course of Friday and Saturday than during previous years -- I'm not sure how/if that directly relates to attendance, but good for them.
Archon has a pretty heavy focus on costumes and masquerade events. There were a lot of people in costumes of some sort. A lot. At GenCon, I'd wager that fewer than 2% of the overall attendees got dressed up (in one way or another). At Archon, I'd guesstimate closer to 10% -- which is pretty significant.
Unfortunately, many of the costumed people are overweight, overage and trying to pull off looks they really shouldn't. I'm glad you have self confidence and a good self image, but I really don't want to be subjected to seeing 50 year old women weighing 200+ pounds wearing Sailor Moon or skimpy belly dancer outfits.
And please, people, bathe. The unfortunate strongest similarity between Archon and GenCon was the smell. My olfactory senses still haven't recovered.
In a quirk of coincidence, however, I ran into some folks I wasn't really expecting to see there. Sure, there were the dozen-odd people from other local gaming groups or a few folks who recognized my BGG badge, but I also ran into two people I met through my real job...
First was an intern for a local video production company, who was competing in the masquerade events (as a Starfleet officer, then Professor Snape from Harry Potter, and she had a few other home made costumes as well). She was certainly the pleasant exception to most of the costumed folks there -- cute, well groomed, in a well-made and tailored costume, and pleasant. Did I mention she was cute?
Then I also ran into someone I've met at some Business Marketing Association meetings, and had talked to enough that we thought there might be a potential business opportunity for us to work toward. So finding out he's into gaming (and for him, specifically, comic books) was a real boon. In fact, he had a booth at Archon, to promote his new comic book, Damned. I picked up a promo copy and read through it, and it's pretty neat -- I wish him all the best. And now that we know we have something in common away from the office, I'm looking forward to working with him and getting to know him better. Tres cool.