Overall, TwiCon was a very positive experience. In short, we had a good time. Were there hiccups? Yes. Were there things that could have gone better? Of course. It was, after all, the very first TwiCon ever, so naturally there were issues. But I have to give props to the staff for addressing issues as they arose and for doing their absolute best to make the experience a positive one. All in all, I would say they succeeded - at least from our standpoint.
All that said, here's the recap:
Daon & I got to the hotel a little later than we intended b/c I couldn't get away from the office. (Shocker, I know. But I was busy.) Needless to say, those 30ish minutes made a big difference. This picture doesn't even begin to show you just how many crazed fans were already in line when we got there!
But that was nothing compared to the TwiCon registration line in the conference center! OMG - I was SO not prepared for the sheer number of bat-ass crazy women with whom we were going to be spending our weekend. One thing going in our favor: our last names did not begin w/ A-D. THAT, my friends, was the line from hell - literally wrapping around the building several times. I had about 10 people in front of me, and Daon had fewer. Granted, it still took us a while even with so few b/c there were lots of things to check & re-check before walking away from the table: like, do you have the fee-based tickets, autograph tickets, meet-n-greet tickets, etc. And the autographs were a whole other can of worms (and several lines for which people lined up at 3 a.m. WHAT? Yeah, that's what we said!). But we did ultimately get all of our tickets.
So Conference Day 1, after standing in line for autograph tickets, we went to our first breakout session which was about the folklore involved in the Twilight series. We heard interesting facts about vampire lore from around the world. But our favorite part was the Quilleute tribe member who debunked the myths & told some great stories of her people. (Not a single story from Twilight is actually told by their people. Not a single one.) We then headed to the panel discussing the "female role" in the series. The panel was comprised of three self-proclaimed feminists who were later joined by a psychotherapist. They had interesting insights into the book - none of which I agreed with but were still thought-provoking. In the afternoon, we heard about the biology of Twilight. Being an ag major, this panel was particularly interesting to me. I have to be geeky & say that I had actually pondered how some of the events were biologically possible. And it was interesting to see that a panel had drawn many of the same conclusions I had.
In the evening, we went to the 100 Monkeys concert. (For those of you who don't know, this is Jackson Rathbone's band.) Headlining were The Mitch Hansen Band and National Rifle. The music was loud. Meh - that's about all I can say. I'm sure the acoustics in the ballroom weren't the greatest for "the experience" and I may appreciate all of them better in different settings. So I'll reserve judgment and simply say that we had an okay time. (People-watching was certainly entertaining!)
Saturday was a pretty crazy day, and after standing in lots of lines the days preceding, we weren't really sure what to expect. I mean, we were dealing with a panel Q&A AND autographs with the stars. (Yep, you guessed it, that meant more lines.) And we were expecting the fans to be pretty ruthless in their pursuit for close-ups. Thankfully, the powers that be had the same idea and they had a plan of action. The 2700-seat ballroom was seated in number order based on when we registered for the conference. Daon and I happened to score lucky numbers 93 and 100. Seating still didn't go exactly as we'd hoped. For whatever reason, they chose not to seat the center section until groups 300-400, but hey, we were pretty dang close & got some great shots. I even got a short video ... that is, before the powers-that-be realized they had forgotten to tell everyone that video was prohibitted (thus, I don't feel in the least bit bad about sharing with you the video I was able to capture before that announcement). By far the Q&A was my favorite part of TwiCon. (Well, I could think of only one thing that was better: getting to full-on HUG Peter Facinelli ... OMG! *swoon* The nicest guy EVER! And Daon says he smells good too.) The cast clearly has great rapport and they weren't afraid to cut up in front of their fans. We both felt that the Q&A was way too short but there were lots of things to fit in that day. We still got lots of good answers & had some great laughs. We were dismissed from the Q&A to the autograph lines. That was bedlem, let me tell ya. Looooooooooooooooooooong lines. But the stars were so good-natured & friendly that it was all worth it.
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We had tickets to the meet-n-greet with the stars. We were SO excited about this - just 250 of us had the opportunity to mix and mingle. Well, in the end, it didn't quite work out as we'd hoped. We didn't actually get to meet all of the stars b/c of time constraints. *sniff* We did shake hands with Jackson Rathbone (before he was shooed to the next table by his handler) and talked to Christian Serratos. Everyone else ran out of time before they got to us. BUT Peter wouldn't let his handler shoo him out of the room as quickly as the others. He lingered saying "just one more table." While he didn't actually get to sit & visit with us at our table, we did hang around long enough that we got to hug him & tell him thanks. All in all, I have to say that they all came off as genuinely nice people who clearly wanted to interact w/ the fans. That was refreshing.
That evening, TwiCon hosted the Volturi Masquerade Ball. Everyone was encouraged to dress the part. There were some stunning dresses. There also some equally interesting costumes and masks. This was people-watching at its finest!
And that was it. TwiCon closed with no fanfare. We simply slipped away unnoticed - just as the Cullens tried to do but with much more success.