If New Year’s PartyCon is different from the conventions you are used to attending, then it’s probably because our philosophy and goals are different.
PartyCon is a Celebration: There’s a lot more to our convention than just walking around and buying stuff. Music, dancing, games, and all sorts of entertainment are built into the price of admission. We have a restaurant and bar on premises so you never have to leave the convention to find something worth eating. And when midnight rolls around, we welcome the new year with a full cannonade. There’s a reason we call it PartyCon!
PartyCon is Friendly: When you come to PartyCon, you’ll notice there’s no cavernous convention hall and no rude volunteers barking instructions at you. PartyCon’s environment is relaxed and our staff is customer oriented. We are not a people-mill trying to cram as many bodies as possible so we can squeeze your wallets. On the contrary, the organizers are long-time convention-goers and vendors who’ve learned a lot from the high (and low) points of other expos. Our hotel is a partner of the event, not just the landlord, so their staff is exceptionally polite and accommodating. Some of them even dress in costume!
PartyCon welcomes families. While some activities are meant just for adults, there’s plenty for the kids to do as well, from our game rooms to Nerf duels to Lego building competitions. We’re so committed to this that, starting in 2017, each paying adult can bring in up to two children for free. Also, both the hotel and PartyCon welcome well-behaved pets!
You might think that, because it’s a party on New Year’s, things are likely to get out of hand. In our inaugural year, we had almost 300 guests without a single reported instance of theft, vandalism, assault, or any other crimes. We’d like to say it’s because we’re dedicated to your safety and enjoyment (and we are!), but really the credit belongs with our attendees and guests. Smart, well-mannered, good-looking…what’s not to like?
PartyCon has Variety: PartyCon isn’t just a comic con, or an anime con, or a steampunk con, or a sci-fi/fantasy con. It’s all those things! It’s not only for gamers, cosplayers, or collectors. It’s for enthusiasts of all fandoms! You will find vendors selling the latest games alongside rare, old toys and one-of-a-kind custom Nerf blasters. You’ll find indy artists alongside published authors alongside professional costumers and armorers and lots in between.
PartyCon is Social: Back in the old days (and I mean the old, old days when most of the people who attended WorldCon were sci-fi authors and everybody at the San Diego Comic Con wore three-piece suits), conventions were more about making connections than buying swag. Not that there’s anything wrong with swag (check out our awesome vendors!), but we feel that we lost something when this changed. Accordingly, we built PartyCon to emphasize the social aspects of geekdom.
Looking for that special someone to celebrate the new year? We have speed dating. New to the area, and wish you could find a group to game with? Sit down and make some new friends over a game of Catan or a Puzzle Fighter match. Maybe you’re an indy creator who wants to network and talk shop? Join one of our roundtable discussions and hone your craft with industry professionals. Some of our creator panels (like Brad Guigar’s session on crowd funding!) from last year are the kind of thing you’d pay hundreds of dollars to sit through at a professional conference.
PartyCon is Activities Oriented: Many cons charge you money just for the privilege of coming inside and spending more money. While we certainly encourage that, there’s so much to do here besides lighten your wallet. We’ve dedicated one of the hotel ballrooms entirely to gaming, both video game and tabletop games. We have one-on-one Nerf duels and an everyone-on-everyone Nerf battle royale. We’ve got anime video screenings, discussion panels scheduled throughout the convention, and of course a great costume contest. And, starting in 2017, we’re adding karaoke, an action figure customization contest, and a premium Lego build event.
PartyCon is Made For You: We are not controlled by the big publishers or movie studios, and we are not interested in being their billboards or mouthpieces, either. Our customers are our attendees and our vendors, and we are dedicated to serving them.
If you’re an attendee: PartyCon wants to give you the most value for your money. We aim to keep ticket prices as low as possible while still supplying the best service and the most fun events we can think of. PartyCon is selective about who we allow as vendors and guests at our event. We aim not just for variety, but relevance: we know that you didn’t come to PartyCon looking for new windows or rain gutters. As a rule, we do not sell space to unrelated businesses like BathFitters, Scentsy, Pampered Chef, or the like. Similarly, we will not waste money flying in ‘celebrities’ you’ve never heard of as an excuse to charge you more money.
If you’re a vendor or artist: PartyCon favors independent creators, small press, and local businesses. We want you to be able to make new fans and build better customer relationships in a supportive, low-stress environment. We want to give you a fair shake by keeping table prices low and offering personal attention to your problems and concerns. Ask any of our previous vendors, and they’ll tell you that we mean it.
In short, PartyCon’s mission is to provide the very best small-format convention experience in the Lehigh Valley. We hope you’ll celebrate the New Year with us and let us know if we’ve succeeded.