I ran my first large scale event when I was 17. The Boy Scout Council in NW Florida had become a bit agitated that my Troop managed to win most every seasonal scouting competition in our Council region. So to keep us from competing, they asked us to staff an event. I LOVED it. I immediately requested permission for our troop, kids mind you, to design and run our own regional event. After a bit of wrangling at the adult level, they agreed, and my troop and I went to work.
We had a blast.
It went so well that they tasked us with running the upcoming regional Encampment. I was solidly hooked on event planning.
Then I attended CoastCon with my longtime friend Steven Yoder, my task, be a boothie for his vendor booth at the show. I was my first Fandom event, and I felt as if I had found my people. Steve and I commenced scheming on ideas to run an event in Fort Walton Beach and in a few short months Hurricon was born. Steve let me run LARP gaming the first year and soon enough being core staff on several Gulf coast shows was not enough.
So I built my own show Conclave. You've likely never heard of it. That's ok, you've seen the results of things we designed. We hosted a weekend long FPS PvP DOOM ladder for cash. I reached out to ID software, told them what I wanted to do, and got them hooked on advertising their games through conventions. I also reached out to a little company called Wizards of the Coast that had recently premiered a game called Magic the Gathering and got their permission to run a $1000 cash tournament, this too had never been done. WOTC sent several senior staff members out to see how we did it and gauge response from the fanbase. They also played in our ridiculously huge weekend long World of Darkness LARP, open to all creature types, Co-GM'd by Sam Chupp (The designer of Werewolf). I don't recall everything the WOTC guys played, (they were running the Camarilla LARP club at that point) but I recall one of them was playing his sanctioned 4th Gen Toreador who's art was war. Good times.
Conclave ended up being a one-off event because I moved to Colorado shortly thereafter. After a short hiatus from the convention scene I built Colocons, a fandom event planner club and the Opus Fantasy Arts Convention, I ran Opus for 5 years then sold it so I could focus on the band.
For over a decade the band kept me in Fandom events, but as a guest. Even though I wasn't running events I didn't stop thinking about them, I critiqued every show I ever attended and learned as much as I could from their various successes and failures.
So, now here we are in 2019 and I find myself gearing up to work at and on conventions again.
I was drafted by DragonCon 2019 Security to be the brute squad or some such.
I have been designing programming for and will be at the Evil Expo in January.
And... I am working with the Tampa Bay Tourism Board to find a date for an Evil Expo here in Florida in summer/fall 2020.
As details arise the events I am putting together will have their own pages here.