Quite frequently I get asked the question: How does one find out about fan events? Sometimes people ask out of mild curiosity and other times it is because someone has a genuine interest in what kinds of fan events there are. As an active fan, I make a point of going to as many conventions, panels, screenings and Q&A events I can squish into my busy schedule. But, as any fan can tell you, there is no one place to find out about fan events. It is a strictly a hit or miss kind of thing. Over the years, I have met other fans who share information about websites and events that they know and occasionally I get lucky and stumble across an announcement for one. But it can be frustrating thing to be a fan and simply not know where to find information about fan events.
So in hope of providing a cheat-sheet to help pinpoint events fans might be interested in, here’s a list of websites that I recommend for anyone wishing to enter the fan-realm and see what it is all about:
CREATION ENTERTAINMENT: One of the biggest convention planners is Creation Entertainment, who hosts a multitude of fan events throughout the year in a whole array of cities. I highly recommend this kind of convention as celebrities are very accessible and for fairly reasonable prices you can get autographs and pictures with the celebrity of your choice, and sometimes you can even get special opportunities to mingle with the celebs at a breakfast or dessert event.
Currently, Creation is hosting a series of conventions for the movie “Twilight” (called Twi-Tours). Creation also regularly hosts conventions for such classic sci-fi shows as “Star Trek” and “Stargate,” as well as fan favorites like: “Supernatural” and “Firefly.” Their annual Grand Slam SCI-FI Convention is also another particular favorite.
COMIC-CON: This is another major convention which is held annually in San Diego, but there are also smaller versions held in the San Francisco/Bay Area each year called Wonder-Con and APE. The San Diego Comic-Con is a must-attend event for anyone who is interested in sci-fi/fantasy films, TV shows, books, comics and anime. However, while these are extraordinary events with cool panels and great Q&A opportunities, it is not always possible to get photos with celebrities or autographs due to the sheer size of these conventions. So do not plan to attend a convention like these with hopes of meeting your favorite star.
Just last year alone, the convention featured panels on: “LOST,” “Heroes,” “Smallville,” “Supernatural,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Fringe,” “Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles,” “Torchwood,” “Doctor Who,” “Primeval,” “True Blood,” “Dexter,” “24,” “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog,” “Dollhouse,” “Stargate,” “Chuck,” “Pushing Daisies,” and a wide array of films ranging from “Twilight” to “Star Trek.”
PALEY CENTER: The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills also hosts an annual two week event called the Paley Festival which showcases television shows that deserve special recognition. Additionally, throughout the year, both the Beverly Hills Paley Center and its sister-center in New York host special screening and Q&A events. But, as a heads-up, in order to be alerted to their frequent panels and events, it is best to become a member and get on an email list as seating can be limited. Thus, it is a good idea to know in advance if there is an event/panel you might be interested in attending.
This year’s Paley Festival featured panels on shows like: “The Mentalist,” “Desperate Housewives,” “90210,” “True Blood,” “Dollhouse,” “Fringe,” and “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog.”
LA TIMES: Every year in the months preceding a significant awards ceremony, like the Emmys or the Oscars, the LA Times likes to host special screenings so that voting members can see the TV shows or films up for awards, and get a chance to talk to some of the stars and creative-talent behind it. Fortunately, it appears that these events are now being opened up to the general public and for those who sign-up and get there early, you too can get a FREE seat for one of these events.
The LA Times is currently hosting screenings for TV shows such as: “In Plain Sight,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “The Shield,” “Rescue Me,” “The Cleaner, and “Sons of Anarchy.”
OTHER CONVENTIONS AND EVENTS: The above represent just a fraction of all the events, screenings and conventions available for fans, so I have compiled a list of other fun and significant events worth checking out:
- Gallifrey One
- Texas Frightmare
- Labyrinth Masquerade
- New York Comic-Con
Again, these are not the totality of events, but rather a starting place on where to go to get started on one’s journey as a fan in mingling both with celebs and other fans alike. The entire experience can be rewarding and exhilarating. So come and get involved in the fun!