The Rise of Conventions

A convention is a place where many people with shared interests meet together. If you can think of it, there’s probably a convention for it.

These events have been steadily growing in popularity over the past decade. This is most likely because of three things:

  1. People are starting to desire more meaningful experiences
  2. People want products that contribute to their personal interests
  3. The Internet has increased the popularity of subcultures

Just look at the attendance numbers for Anime Boston, a Japanese pop culture convention.

In 2003 Anime Boston’s total attendance was 4,110 people.
After 12 years, in 2015, the convention drew in 27,150 people.

That’s a huge difference.

Subcultures and Connections

People attend conventions because they desire a meaningful experience. A convention provides an opportunity for people to connect with those who share their niche interests.

There are many people who live in remote places who might have trouble finding others with similar interests. The internet has exposed them to a niche subculture that they’ve become a part of.

Take videogame players for example. Many gamers connect with people via multiplayer matchmaking. This causes a lack of face to face, real-life interaction. Videogame conventions give gamers an opportunity to experience the subculture they’re apart of in real life, rather than behind a screen.

My Experiences

I’ve been to a few conventions and each one was a unique experience. This includes: Anime Boston, PAX East, and FEECon.

Anime Boston was filled with cosplayers and various meetups. There are crowds of people buying merch and many wonderful artists.

PAX East is a gaming convention where I was surrounded by videogames. I saw tech companies like Discord, Twitch, Microsoft, and many more. Seeing these big digital companies in real life for the first time was exciting. While I was there, I also met an employee that worked for one of my favorite game development companies.

Pax East is packed with people!

FEECon is a convention that celebrates freedom and flourishing. It’s annually hosted by the Foundation for Economic Education. Wearing business casual attire, people interacted with each other and discussed world-changing ideas.

I met some amazing people while I was there.

A group of Praxis people I met up with!

I recommend you consider going to a convention. It’s an incredible opportunity to both indulge in your interests and meet new people.

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