Last weekend I had the privilege and honor to work with Starbaby Enterprises on behalf of FanBolt on The Virtual Pop Expo Carpet. While there’s been a handful of attempts at online conventions, The Virtual Pop Expo was unique in that it became the closest approximation of the traditional con experience but virtually. More importantly, however, is the impetus: An integral part of the pop culture convention eco-system is the vendors and exhibitors who’s entire livelihood is the con circuit. While many people have lost a few weeks to 2 months of income so far during this crisis, the impact on those small business vendors is far greater: upwards of 80% annual income is lost with no timetable for the return of these events in their traditional sense.
So the focus of the Expo was using engaging content to drive people to a unique virtual exhibit floor where we have hundreds of vendors awaiting convention traffic. They assembled a pretty fun and diverse set of panels and AMAs ranging from Tara Strong, David Dastmalchian, to current stars of The Walking Dead and the Fantastic Beasts films like Dan Fogler, Cooper Andrews and Ross Marquand. Star Wars fans were in for a real treat as well. Ashley Eckstein of Clone Wars and Her Universe also made an appearance as well. Guess who got to chat with her?! Go on. Guess.
Alright, I’ll tell you, it was me! Granted I only had about five minutes with her (she was on a tight schedule) but she was lovely and everything you would want from Ashoka Tano. If you’re like me, your days in quarantine have been spent spiraling downward in the plethora of content that Disney Plus has to offer; the final season of Clone Wars being at the top. That series finale was epic and well worth the wait (if you haven’t seen it, get off Tik Tok and go watch it immediately). While I had her we chatted briefly about virtual cons, Star Wars, Her Universe, and the importance of mental health. I must warn you, Zoom and sound were a bit touch and go. Damn you technology!!
Keep Calm and Watch On!