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How do I make friends at ACen? How do I socialize and make friends without coming off as a stalker?

#1 User is offline   skyrune83 

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 07:19 AM

Hi everyone! This is my 3rd ACen, and I'm always excited but also very nervous... I live in the northwest burbs of Chicago, and my partner and I are looking to make new friends who are local to the area. So what better place than ACen to make new Chicago friends, right? Well, that's great and all, but I don't know how to socialize with random people without it being awkward or stalker-ish. When I try to be a part of conversations, I either come on too strong, I can't keep a conversation going, there is something going on (like a panel) that makes it not a good time to chat, I get nervous because I don't want to miss Panel X, I give people my personal contact cards but I never hear back, etc. Plus I'm not used to this kind of thing in general - in high school I was never very social, and if I tried to be, people would make fun of me for barging in on their territory.

So if I see a person or group I find interesting, what should I do? Do I ninja my way into a group, or do I make my presence known right away?
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#2 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 07:29 AM

-Go to the Double tree pool party, located in gatherings

-Go to the pizza party, located in gatherings

-Go to meet and greet, located in meet ups

-Go to any other meet up located in meet up or gatherings.

Start off the conversations slow. Introduce yourself, say hi, be friendly. If they bit go into similar conversation and don't sound hostile or rude. Respect their opinions even if they don't respect yours.

I been to Acen as long or as longer and I still can't talk to people at the cons. But that's because I am scared of people badly. I keep thinking people are like the people on /cgl/ or the internet in general >< That and I talk awkward irl and I am really really shy.

This post has been edited by The Fujoshi: 17 May 2011 - 07:31 AM

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 07:50 AM

View PostThe Fujoshi, on 17 May 2011 - 07:29 AM, said:

-Go to the Double tree pool party, located in gatherings

-Go to the pizza party, located in gatherings

-Go to meet and greet, located in meet ups

-Go to any other meet up located in meet up or gatherings.

Start off the conversations slow. Introduce yourself, say hi, be friendly. If they bit go into similar conversation and don't sound hostile or rude. Respect their opinions even if they don't respect yours.

I been to Acen as long or as longer and I still can't talk to people at the cons. But that's because I am scared of people badly. I keep thinking people are like the people on /cgl/ or the internet in general >< That and I talk awkward irl and I am really really shy.




...what does /cgl/ have to do with anything?
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#4 User is offline   Washu Takahashi 

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 08:01 AM

I always meet people in lines for guest signings/panels/dances. ^^ My friends and I will be having a conversation and someone we don't know will jump in or I hear the groups around me talking about something I know and I jump in. Sometimes you're welcomed into the conversation, and sometimes you get death glares, so you just have to keep trying :D And a surefire way to make friends that I've used at every con? Sing the Pokemon theme song/other well known anime songs while waiting in line. You'd be surprised how many people join in/how loud it can get and when you finish you can have a conversation with those who joined in or start up another song ^^ (And no, you don't need any singing abilities to do this. My singing voice sucks, but it's all about sounding like you're having fun, not sounding like the next winner of idol or something)
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Posted 17 May 2011 - 08:40 AM

View PostAlkaren Hyralt, on 17 May 2011 - 07:50 AM, said:

...what does /cgl/ have to do with anything?



I'm guessing he's
>implying
that the people there are rude.

#6 User is offline   dorkatlarge 

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 01:24 PM

I will be going to at least one Thursday evening get-together, in order to meet people. I might bring a few trade paperbacks, games, or videos to trade... but above all, I will strive to be patient with people, and have a good attitude that evening.

View Postskyrune83, on 17 May 2011 - 07:19 AM, said:

...I can't keep a conversation going, there is something going on (like a panel) that makes it not a good time to chat, I get nervous because I don't want to miss Panel X...


Makes sense. It's easy to get distracted with all the stuff going on at ACen. There's only three days, and so many people/events. Tough to talk with people for long.

Skyrune83, if you haven't joined Meetup.com yet, then I recommend signing up for it. It's a free service which organizes all kinds of groups. No matter what your interest (politics, hobbies, lifestyles), you can almost certainly find a group near your neighborhood. I've been attending an anime group and a board game group which are part of Meetup, and enjoying both, because the groups are well-organized, but have fairly relaxing get-togethers where you can talk with individual people for more than a moment or two.

View Postskyrune83, on 17 May 2011 - 07:19 AM, said:

I give people my personal contact cards but I never hear back, etc.


Since I don't run a small business, I've never thought about giving out contact cards... If you are a businessperson or an organizer, this might benefit you. But otherwise, some people may find this off-putting.

I've struggled with depression, especially after college... and some aspects of my personality suggest I have Asperger's syndrome. But I strive to talk to other people, and ask about their interests. I figure I don't know why they're at ACen, so I try to be patient and listen to them. (These ideas are mentioned in Dale Carnegie's books, such as How to Make Friends and Influence People. Read it if you get a chance... highly recommended.)

#7 User is offline   skyrune83 

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 03:10 PM

View PostThe Fujoshi, on 17 May 2011 - 07:29 AM, said:

-Go to the Double tree pool party, located in gatherings
-Go to the pizza party, located in gatherings
-Go to meet and greet, located in meet ups
-Go to any other meet up located in meet up or gatherings.

View Postdorkatlarge, on 17 May 2011 - 01:24 PM, said:

I will be going to at least one Thursday evening get-together, in order to meet people. I might bring a few trade paperbacks, games, or videos to trade... but above all, I will strive to be patient with people, and have a good attitude that evening.

When and where are these get togethers, meetups, and parties? I did not see them on the schedule.

View Postdorkatlarge, on 17 May 2011 - 01:24 PM, said:

Skyrune83, if you haven't joined Meetup.com yet, then I recommend signing up for it. It's a free service which organizes all kinds of groups. No matter what your interest (politics, hobbies, lifestyles), you can almost certainly find a group near your neighborhood. I've been attending an anime group and a board game group which are part of Meetup, and enjoying both, because the groups are well-organized, but have fairly relaxing get-togethers where you can talk with individual people for more than a moment or two.

I actually have been on Meetup. Are you from Anime Shin-Gen? I know that was one I was thinking about joining. Are there others in the burbs too?

View Postdorkatlarge, on 17 May 2011 - 01:24 PM, said:

Since I don't run a small business, I've never thought about giving out contact cards... If you are a businessperson or an organizer, this might benefit you. But otherwise, some people may find this off-putting.

Well, I do the business cards because:
1.) They look cool.
2.) They have a link to my website on them, which has links to Facebook, my RPG, my work, interests, etc.
3.) There's never a pen around to exchange contact info, so I figured this would be a great way to resolve that. (but they have to follow through!)
4.) I have hundreds of them!
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#8 User is offline   levelsixtyseven 

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 04:12 PM

View Postskyrune83, on 17 May 2011 - 03:10 PM, said:

When and where are these get togethers, meetups, and parties? I did not see them on the schedule.


I actually have been on Meetup. Are you from Anime Shin-Gen? I know that was one I was thinking about joining. Are there others in the burbs too?


Well, I do the business cards because:
1.) They look cool.
2.) They have a link to my website on them, which has links to Facebook, my RPG, my work, interests, etc.
3.) There's never a pen around to exchange contact info, so I figured this would be a great way to resolve that. (but they have to follow through!)
4.) I have hundreds of them!


Meetups aren't runned persay by Acen staff it's self. Mostly runned by fellow congoers. Most of the info can be found in the meet up zone area in the acen forums. http://www.acen.org/...7-meet-up-zone/

Business cards are cool! I have business cards too HOWEVER I was dumb enough to not print off new business cards in time for acen. So being all professional and what not I'll be carrying a sticky note pad and pen in my pocket :]
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#9 User is offline   dorkatlarge 

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 06:49 PM

View Postskyrune83, on 17 May 2011 - 03:10 PM, said:

When and where are these get togethers, meetups, and parties?


If you have Thursday night free, then you may wish to attend these *non-official* events. As Levelsixtyseven said, make sure to read about the gatherings being planned on the forums, so that you know when and where fans will be getting together.

View Postskyrune83, on 17 May 2011 - 03:10 PM, said:

I actually have been on Meetup. Are you from Anime Shin-Gen? I know that was one I was thinking about joining. Are there others in the burbs too?


I've been attending Anime Shin-Gen for a few months. Not a bad group, usually meets in Skokie on Saturday afternoons, once a month. Right now there's no similar group on Meetup.com in the Chicagoland area... as far as I know. But if you're attending a college, then ask around -- it may have an active anime club.

#10 User is offline   Kasumisty 

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 07:22 PM

Hey I wanted to add, another way to meet people is to talk to the people at the tables in Artists Alley. You'll have a captive audience, too. ;)

This post has been edited by Kasumisty: 17 May 2011 - 07:24 PM

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#11 User is offline   levelsixtyseven 

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 01:05 AM

View PostKasumisty, on 17 May 2011 - 07:22 PM, said:

Hey I wanted to add, another way to meet people is to talk to the people at the tables in Artists Alley. You'll have a captive audience, too. ;)

Oh yeah most definitely. Especially artist that sit in their booth all day. They love to talk :]
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#12 User is offline   skyrune83 

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 07:36 AM

View Postlevelsixtyseven, on 18 May 2011 - 01:05 AM, said:

Oh yeah most definitely. Especially artist that sit in their booth all day. They love to talk :]

Here is my dilemma:
I already know how to converse with girls. It has always come naturally. And most of the people at Artist's Alley are girls. I want to socialize with the guys for once. Girls in general are so much easier to talk to, and they are more passionate about the stuff that makes up an anime convention (cosplay, art, accessories, etc.). But the guys are more reluctant and shy, it seems. I'm not trying to be sexist, but I just want to be able to talk to guys for once! I'm just so nervous around them... :(
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#13 User is offline   Devi-kun 

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 07:42 AM

Just if you see someone interesting make casual conversation, if they look rather uninterested don't continue to ramble.

If they are in cosplay analyze the character first they may just stick to in character.

say hello and smile and if they reply that is usually an invitation to talk.

Key to making friends is just to just be yourself.
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Posted 18 May 2011 - 07:51 AM

View Postskyrune83, on 18 May 2011 - 07:36 AM, said:

Here is my dilemma:
I already know how to converse with girls. It has always come naturally. And most of the people at Artist's Alley are girls. I want to socialize with the guys for once. Girls in general are so much easier to talk to, and they are more passionate about the stuff that makes up an anime convention (cosplay, art, accessories, etc.). But the guys are more reluctant and shy, it seems. I'm not trying to be sexist, but I just want to be able to talk to guys for once! I'm just so nervous around them... :(


Stop by Panda Rage press and chat with Darrick. He's awesome, out going, chatty and loves to meet new people. And he's very talented at what he does. /plug for friend

Seriously, there are plenty of guys in the alley that are happy to chat. Just stop at a table that has art that appeals to you and ask them about it. What medium do you use? Hey, you know I really like this character because... How long did it take you to do that piece? Where did you get your idea for this one?

Also, the game room generally has a pretty large, captive male audiance you can make friends with if you like to play the occasional game. Just stop in and join an Apples to Apples game or something. It's a good way to get in some social chit chat.

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 07:54 AM

oh.. well if that's the case chat with me sometime I may not be local but, I'm always willing to make new friends ^w^.
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Posted 18 May 2011 - 11:37 AM

View PostKasumisty, on 17 May 2011 - 07:22 PM, said:

Hey I wanted to add, another way to meet people is to talk to the people at the tables in Artists Alley. You'll have a captive audience, too. ;)


This is *mostly* true.
The exception is when an artist is very busy with sales, or has other potential customers waiting behind you while you try and chat them up.
At that point, anyone trying to strike up a conversation becomes annoying by not letting the artist focus on people who actually want to buy one of their prints and not just make small talk.

Also, definitely check out Panda Rage. That guy is friendly and hilarious.

#17 User is offline   Kokoro 

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 11:52 AM

Here's one way NOT to make friends. Don't assume anyone who smiles at you politely, responds to a simple "hello," or answers a question you have, wants to be trailed by you the rest of the weekend. Sorry, guys, hate to be blunt, but this happens to me all the time and it's so awkward and creepy. I understand a lot of people want to meet friends at Acen, but pay attention to body language, tone of voice, etc to gauge if the other person really wants to be your BFF. And don't follow them around unless they invite you to do so or clearly don't mind. They may already have someone to walk around with, and don't really want to be interrupted. And seriously, if you appear to be following them around and keep popping up/cornering them, don't be surprised if they get angry/contact security.

If you really aren't sure whether someone wants to hang out with you - ASK. Just say, "hey, you wanna hang out for awhile?" If they don't, they'll probably make up an excuse about how they're meeting someone/busy, and then you know to let it go!
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#18 User is offline   skyrune83 

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 02:35 PM

View PostKokoro, on 18 May 2011 - 11:52 AM, said:

Here's one way NOT to make friends. Don't assume anyone who smiles at you politely, responds to a simple "hello," or answers a question you have, wants to be trailed by you the rest of the weekend. Sorry, guys, hate to be blunt, but this happens to me all the time and it's so awkward and creepy. I understand a lot of people want to meet friends at Acen, but pay attention to body language, tone of voice, etc to gauge if the other person really wants to be your BFF. And don't follow them around unless they invite you to do so or clearly don't mind.

Sometimes I WISH people would follow me around! Kokoro, what do you think you could be doing or saying that makes people want to follow you around?

This post has been edited by skyrune83: 18 May 2011 - 06:24 PM

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 07:31 PM

This year I was in costume(King Kazam) and I think that made it much easier for people to talk to me, but after takeing pictures the conversations soon died off. At those time I usually smile, wave and went on my way. I think most people assume I was in a hurry so they didnt really stop to talk to me, tho thats probably because I always walk like im going somewhere(Remember the military saying: walk with purpouse) so people dont think im lost. To be honest I was all by myself with nothing to do so I just walk back and forth between buildings all day. xD

That aside I think the forums are the best way to meet people, because in big events like ACEN there are many people that really busy going from one place to another. Check out the gathering areas, look for a gathering of a series you are really into and socialize with those poeople(while keeping it relevent to the topic of course) then you can ask to meet up with them at the con or just attend the photoshoot.

I think buisness cards are also a good idea but I dont think they really work, they are so easily misplaced and so much more quickly forgotten that people wile pulling stuff in and out of their pockets would lose them and not even remember.

You can also use the leech method, just make a friend who is REALLY outgoing and hang out with him, as he start makeing friends so will you. xD
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Posted 23 May 2011 - 08:26 AM

I always find making new friends is easiest when you open with a compliment. I mean, people are walking around with massive billboards on their bodies proclaiming their love for certain character/shows, all you need do is say "Hey, that's a great Belldandy! Which version of Ah! My Goddess do you prefer, TV or manga?" and bam, you're in a conversation.

Now, yes, some people do not like sparking conversations with random strangers and doing it in the middle of a dealer's hall while walking is a bad idea, but some of my best con memories are from lining up for an event and befriending every single person around me. Heck in the line situation you can attract other people to join in, and this is another viable friendship gaining tactic, in which you overhear a group conversation on something and just slide in. Sometimes it's appreciated, sometimes it's not. All you have to do is take a step in and see. Worst case scenario, you're a footnote in someone's con report as "that guy who kept talking about how great Kamina was while we were trying to get in to the karaoke".

Just be polite, listen more than you talk and let conversations grow naturally from their starting point. Also don't press on if it does seem like you're unwelcome. But people love talking about the things they adore, why would they be dressed up if they didn't. (Sometimes because they're in a group and want to fit in. Someone called me out on this 2 times during the convention when I was part of an Alice group).

Anime Cons are the optimal place for these things, I mean, the entire event is built out of ice breakers.

#21 User is offline   skyrune83 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:18 AM

So, here's how things went with me at the con...

Thursday night was pretty good, social-wise. I went to the Meet and Greet session. That went pretty well. I talked to a cool looking guy and asked about his hair (I love medium-length straight hair) and hair straightening. Then I had to rush to the registration line, because I did not want to wait in it Friday. I happened to be behind a couple shirtless guys chatting about various things. A lot of their friends passed by - and one of them greeted them with hugs - I said "aww, can I have one too?" and they did. :3

Friday was where things went downhill fast. I started off the morning in the dealer's room, and I just couldn't get myself to stop anyone and chat. But, it is as stkbayfield says, I don't think it's a good idea to stop people in the dealer's room or not. (Thoughts on that?) And there were just SOOOOO many people there so suddenly, and it was like an intimidation overload. How do I single out just one person when they all look fun to talk to?

Saturday and Sunday were more of the same. I thought that maybe I would try to sit next to someone interesting when going to panels, but again, I just couldn't get myself to do it. And ever since Thursday, I wasn't ever next to anyone in line as interesting as the shirtless guys. Some seemingly interesting people sat next to me at "Name that Anime Opening" Sunday, but one of the guys was really annoying, just shouting out stuff randomly next to my ear.

By the time the con was over, I just felt so defeated. This was my third ACen, and it seems like every time I go, I end up leaving more and more depressed. I just want to meet some cool guys from Chicago who want to hang out. So why is this so hard for me? I read a book on how to hold a conversation, I asked for advice on this forum, I prepared conversation topics, I know how to compliment people on their cosplay/accessories/hair/etc, but yet, my mouth could not open. Why can't I be the guy who yells out whatever he wants at random and nobody (except me) cares? Where do people get this courage and confidence? Is it really as people have told me - that you have to drink to take the edge off? Is there no other way?

This post has been edited by skyrune83: 23 May 2011 - 11:04 AM

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#22 User is offline   Menchi 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 08:42 PM

Not to sound like a motivational or self-help book but you can do it.

Start off simple...what do you like? I assume anime/manga/video games. Naturally this will be for future cons:

1) Post on the forums and find out where gatherings for your "thing" are, go to them.
2) FOOD. People in the con sometimes just plain forget to eat and starve like third world children (from experience). Simply a, "hey, anyone wanna grab some food?" is an easy start. Also the best conversations happen over food.

Now I don't mean to bash panels, but everyone enjoys cons differently and panels just aren't my thing. Maybe they're not your thing either. To me, a worthwhile panel is one that either:

a) Teaches you something new
b- Is hosted by a guest or industry member
c) is INTERACTIVE aka Name that OP, etc.
d) or is run by someone you know, or know to be a good speaker, funny, etc (Acen Guys come to mind)

Otherwise I stay away. Other fan panels seem to generally have (if hey don't fall into the above categories) people that are more sort of "elitist" about their "thing" and won't talk to you unless your e-peen can match theirs in terms of GaoGaiGar knowledge.

I'm a total straight edge, don't drink, and generally just stick to that advice. Dealer's room is a bad place to stop people since, well, if they are like me they are there to SHOP HARDCORE for stuff involving their "thing" and don't want added weight. On the other hand, hotel lobby is a GREAT place to meet people. People generally chill there playing musical instruments, talking, playing games etc. Where the Bards were playing music is also a cool place to meet people. I don't like the video game room too much (too dark, lot of people who have been drinking a fair amount, etc) but the board game rooms are also great. If you cosplay, cosplay gatherings are probably the #1 way to meet people of your interest.

This community and this con are really diversifying, esp since people cosplay stuff like Dr. Who, american comics, non-VG/anime/otaku chars, etc so I know it may be hard to find people who like your "thing" but focus that lens with pinpoint accuracy, and maybe if there isn't a gathering for your thing (say...you really like Super Sentai shows and don't think anyone else does) make a topic and you'll probably find that more people share your interests than you thought. Good luck at future cons and don't give up.

This post has been edited by Menchi: 23 May 2011 - 08:43 PM


#23 User is offline   davebb 

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 09:33 PM

Well I sorta cheat, since I'm one of the Medics I get to pretty much chat with ALL my congoers, unless they are of course too drunk to stand up or remain conscious or those who are such in an emergency I need to act quick with them and get them loaded up on an ambulance for their own safety. One of the things is smile. Don't force it, make it a genuine smile that you are happy to be where you are and have a positive attitude. Back when I was in grade school I was alone, then same thing in high school, except for a few people from chess club. Though in an environment like Acen it gets easier since hey, its one of my favorite things. Back when I first started going to ACen before I started staffing back in 2008 (so we are talking acen 2005-2007), when I was waiting in lines to be at a panel or an event, or heck, back then when they had lines for registration, I would strike up a conversation with the people around me. Not only did I form a few friendships from them, but it made the time go by faster. I sometimes didn't even realize that we moved a 2 whole rows waiting in line. So for me, don't be aggressive, but as someone stated, respect the opinions of others and just put yourself in a good mindset. If you make yourself feel comfortable talking with others, you will send some of those good vibes over to them, too. Don't put on a front, just be natural.

Oh ya as people at Acen forget to bathe, don't become one of them. That will surely scare off many people. And food was mentioned above. Have some sorta timewaster with you (like FLUX, or some other small quick game you can fit into your pocket while you wait in line). People like to have fun, and games can be a good ice breaker.
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#24 User is offline   skyrune83 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 09:00 AM

View PostDevi-kun, on 18 May 2011 - 07:54 AM, said:

oh.. well if that's the case chat with me sometime I may not be local but, I'm always willing to make new friends ^w^.

I couldn't find you! T_T

View PostKeans, on 22 May 2011 - 07:31 PM, said:

That aside I think the forums are the best way to meet people, because in big events like ACEN there are many people that really busy going from one place to another. Check out the gathering areas, look for a gathering of a series you are really into and socialize with those people (while keeping it relevent to the topic of course) then you can ask to meet up with them at the con or just attend the photoshoot.

Well, that worked for the Thursday Meet & Greet, but I dunno - it seems like often people cop out at the last minute, and I end up wasting my time...

View PostKeans, on 22 May 2011 - 07:31 PM, said:

I think business cards are also a good idea but I dont think they really work, they are so easily misplaced and so much more quickly forgotten that people wile pulling stuff in and out of their pockets would lose them and not even remember.

I must be the only person in the world who actually follows up with business cards. They are like GOLD to me. If I had the business cards of the cosplayers I took pictures of, or from the people at the Geek Jobs panel, I'd be a happy camper right now. But instead what always happens is I give my cards to people I happen to talk to for a minute in an act of final desparation. But guess what? Nobody ever follows up with me!

View PostKeans, on 22 May 2011 - 07:31 PM, said:

You can also use the leech method, just make a friend who is REALLY outgoing and hang out with him, as he start making friends so will you. xD

But wait, I thought leeching was considered stalking? And I guess I'm scared people will notice me and think "who's this creep hanging out with us?" Is this really what people would think of me, or am I still in my high school mentality of 10 years ago?

View PostMenchi, on 23 May 2011 - 08:42 PM, said:

2) FOOD. People in the con sometimes just plain forget to eat and starve like third world children (from experience). Simply a, "hey, anyone wanna grab some food?" is an easy start. Also the best conversations happen over food.

Well, I dunno how that one would work. Since I tend to be larger than the people I want to hang out with, I might be perceived as the "Chouji" of the group. Not a good first impression...

View PostMenchi, on 23 May 2011 - 08:42 PM, said:

Now I don't mean to bash panels, but everyone enjoys cons differently and panels just aren't my thing. Maybe they're not your thing either. To me, a worthwhile panel is one that either:
a) Teaches you something new
b- Is hosted by a guest or industry member
c) is INTERACTIVE aka Name that OP, etc.
d) or is run by someone you know, or know to be a good speaker, funny, etc (Acen Guys come to mind)

I agree wholeheartedly. I only go to panels hosted by a guest I am interested in (none this year...), panels that teach me new stuff (dating tips, etc.), or panels that are entertaining (Whose Line, Name that Tune, Cliptomania, etc.). Were you at Name that OP? I was there, but I wasn't sure how to just go find a person I liked and go talk to them while loud songs play.

Also, in general, I was thinking of running my OWN panels in the future. My current ideas:
1.) Name that RPG Tune -> like Name That Anime Tune, but with console RPG themes.
2.) RPG Maker - Make your own games -> My version of the RPG Maker 2003 panel.
3.) I Can Has Friendz? - A panel towards the end of the con, where people can exchange contact info and interests.

In all cases, I plan to encourage my audience to exchange contact info and use the forums, because it seems like everyone has such a good time at the con, and then they leave and everyone has con depression because they wish they could see those people again sooner than a year.

View PostMenchi, on 23 May 2011 - 08:42 PM, said:

I'm a total straight edge, don't drink, and generally just stick to that advice. Dealer's room is a bad place to stop people since, well, if they are like me they are there to SHOP HARDCORE for stuff involving their "thing" and don't want added weight. On the other hand, hotel lobby is a GREAT place to meet people. People generally chill there playing musical instruments, talking, playing games etc. Where the Bards were playing music is also a cool place to meet people. I don't like the video game room too much (too dark, lot of people who have been drinking a fair amount, etc) but the board game rooms are also great. If you cosplay, cosplay gatherings are probably the #1 way to meet people of your interest.

Wha? The Spoony Bards were here? :huh: Completely missed that...

And yeah, I did play Apples to Apples with a fun group of people, but when I had to go, there's no real way to retain those friends. How do you tell everyone "Hey, I'm going now. Let's do a Vulcan Mind Meld and suddenly know how to contact each other after the con!"?

I was cosplaying, as Matsushita from Angel Beats. But I need to choose more popular cosplay. As it is, Matsushita is a very minor character in an apparently unpopular show.

View Postdavebb, on 23 May 2011 - 09:33 PM, said:

One of the things is smile. Don't force it, make it a genuine smile that you are happy to be where you are and have a positive attitude.

Heh, I struggle with this a lot. When I pass people that I find attractive or interesting, I keep doing this goofy grin. Instead of grinning like a goofball I should be stopping them to take their picture or something.

View Postdavebb, on 23 May 2011 - 09:33 PM, said:

Oh ya as people at Acen forget to bathe, don't become one of them. That will surely scare off many people. And food was mentioned above.

Ah yes, food. Well, it's extra hard for me because I'm on a diet. I've been overweight since I was in middle school, and it pretty much took a quarterlife crisis to convince me to finally lose the weight for REAL this time. And I've lost 40 pounds this year! :happydance: But as a side effect, I tend to be more "emo" all the time because I'm not filling my stomach as much as I used to. But if I do eat more, I'll be "emo" about how I shouldn't have eaten that. So it's kind of a lose-lose situation.
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#25 User is offline   gc!? 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:03 PM

I have the exact same problem and it does bother me. I seem to have this belief that I'm interrupting people and taking away their time if I try to talk to them. It's even a problem for me to ask cosplayers for pictures, and I don't know why. I'm a photographer and I've worked with models in the past and given them directions, and for whatever reason I get intimidated. Cosplayers DO expect to get their pictures taken, right?

I think the problem I have is fear. Rejection, not being cool enough, not having good conversational skills, and whatever else. Another thing is that I'm extremely reserved and behaved - a lot of people show much more energy than me and perhaps that's not really attractive to people. I don't drink either, btw.

Not to hijack your thread, but maybe you share similar issues. There's some good advice in this thread so far!

This post has been edited by gc!?: 24 May 2011 - 12:15 PM

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#26 User is offline   skyrune83 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 12:22 PM

View Postgc!?, on 24 May 2011 - 12:03 PM, said:

I have the exact same problem and it does bother me. I seem to have this belief that I'm interrupting people and taking away their time if I try to talk to them. It's even a problem for me to ask cosplayers for pictures, and I don't know why. I'm a photographer and I've worked with models in the past and given them directions, and for whatever reason I get intimidated. Cosplayers DO expect to get their pictures taken, right? So, dunno what the problem is.

I think the problem I have is fear. Rejection, not being cool enough, not having good conversational skills, and whatever else. Another thing is that I'm extremely reserved and behaved - a lot of people show much more energy than me and perhaps that's not really attractive to people. I don't drink either, btw.

Not to hijack your thread, but maybe you share similar issues. There's some good advice in this thread so far!

Wow... everything you said is exactly how I feel. It's like, there's a "flow" to the people of the con, and I guess I feel like who am I to interrupt that flow? I dunno, it's weird. I think the combination of naturally being an introvert, being an outcast in school due to being heavy early in life (and other issues which are, ahem, not forum-appropriate :eek: ), and growing up in a very controlling household where manners and self-control were top priority just makes for awkward social situations. I mean, come on, who would have thought anime would blossom into such a huge community of people who are not total douchebags?! I know I finally have a place to belong, but old habits die hard.

This post has been edited by skyrune83: 24 May 2011 - 12:23 PM

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#27 User is offline   davebb 

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 01:27 PM

gc!? and skyrune83. I think you guys just started forming your own group between the 2 of you. Now expand it. :)
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#28 User is offline   Perseid 

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 08:27 PM

People are probably going to disagree with this, but here's something you might consider: Perhaps ACen isn't really a place to meet friends. A lot of people come from all over the midwest. I live about 3.5 hours north of the con, for example. Would you want to be friends with me knowing I live so far away? Con-buddies, sure, but real friends? Probably not.

Since you actually live in the Chicago area, surely there are anime/Japanese culture related things you could do that don't involve 20,000+ people from who knows where.

#29 User is offline   skyrune83 

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 08:33 PM

View PostPerseid, on 30 May 2011 - 08:27 PM, said:

People are probably going to disagree with this, but here's something you might consider: Perhaps ACen isn't really a place to meet friends. A lot of people come from all over the midwest. I live about 3.5 hours north of the con, for example. Would you want to be friends with me knowing I live so far away? Con-buddies, sure, but real friends? Probably not.

Since you actually live in the Chicago area, surely there are anime/Japanese culture related things you could do that don't involve 20,000+ people from who knows where.

Thank you! Subconsciously, I was thinking the same thing, but I never mentioned it. I agree completely. And I find that I have lots of friends I meet up who are from other parts of the midwest, but I have very few from Chicago, who I could ask to come hang out once in a while or come to my birthday party.

This post has been edited by skyrune83: 30 May 2011 - 08:34 PM

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#30 User is offline   davebb 

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 02:31 PM

In a way it is a networking location, too. Especially if there are photographers and models who meet up. For me I've made some very good friends on here one of which I consider one of my best friends. So it just depends on who you meet up with and how your friend chemistry works with each other.
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