I have only been to a handful of conventions. I have been to three separate star-studded cons in large cities in neighboring states and I've been to a couple small cons featuring lots of vendors and a couple pros (usually comic book artists). I can honestly say that BritishFest was my favorite convention experience.
We each attended a series of workshops. Friday started out with "I Moustache You A Question" -- which was a "Sherlock"-themed open discussion about the current BBC revival. That workshop ended with a trivia contest. Husband Mark nudged me onto the stage -- thereby hammering home how very little I actually know about this great television series. That said, I earned our team a point by correctly answering "Guy Fawkes Day."
We then split up so that I could attend a self-publishing workshop facilitated by self-published Steampunk author Melissa Ann Conroy. She is the author of Steam on the Horizon and is finishing her second book Clouds of War. Conroy did a great job of walking through the resources that she has utilized to become a self-published writer -- not to mention marketer and merchant.
This is how my day continued. I managed to attend workshops on the Spice Girls (co-hosted by the 2012 Miss World Steampunk Laci Neal), "Steampunk 101" co-moderated by Ms. Neal and the very handsome Johnny Irish, and a "Torchwood!" workshop. We then listened to a band called the Brits before deciding that we're a couple of old men who need to sleep before traveling back to Iowa City the next day!
I really regret coming for only one day. We ended up missing workshops about "Red Dwarf," "Star Wars," "James Bond: 007," and "Transformers." Additionally, there was a Quidditch Game that looked really interesting -- not to mention "Doctor Who"-themed belly dancing, contests, charity auctions, a Steampunk Ball, movies, inprov, and the infamous Timey Wimey Puppet Show! Actually, there was much more than that Saturday and Sunday -- and we missed it all!
I am really hoping that there is a BritishFest II in 2015! Husband Mark and I will definitely be there and we will both make the effort to attend from start to finish. I keep thinking that it would be fun to cosplay when I return. Of course, that implies that I can find a British character with my body type who interests me and who is recognizable enough for others to appreciate. I'm thinking of hosting a poll later this week to seek input on this question.
I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who organized BritishFest. I know that it takes a lot of time, energy, and commitment to pull everything together and to roll with it when portions don't work out as planned. Everyone did a marvelous job. Thanks from Iowa City!