Friday, July 25, 2008

The Networking Fallacy

Some of you may wonder why I'm not at Comic Con. Well yes, part of it is because it is #*$&*@#*-ing expensive, at least if you intend on having a good time. It is a roving mob of walking advertisements. It is... well, to be honest, none of those are the primary reason.

The primary reason is that I've been doing conventions for a couple years now, and I've learned that I really enjoy - no, love - networking at these things. I love moving from artist to artist and sharing tales of victory and woe, (and some scotch to boot.)

Here's the problem: I have met many thousands of people at these conventions. Thousands of people who are eager to hear back from me, who want to keep in touch, who want to pitch something to me, who want to hear my pitch, who give me the "please don't stop talking to me, I might have to talk to the crazed guy standing behind you in the wolverine costume" look, who exchange business cards with a grin.

Now, I am disturbingly scrupulous about writing every single one of them back. Seriously, I have an unholy ability to look through a pile of business cards as thick as my thumb and recall the conversations I had with each person- often while drunk, no less. However, no one else seems to share my unholy power. Which isn't to say that they don't necessarily remember who I am, the fact is that the vast majority of them never write back. And by vast majority, I mean pretty much none of them.

So, unless if I am there with a paid-for booth, or I am looking at it as purely recreational, though it might still be a tax write-off, I can't personally write it off as a legitimate investment. I'd love to be convinced otherwise, but it seems to me that these conventions are primarily a scam on the part of the big companies who place their promo ads and trailers, and of course those people selling you your overpriced soft-drinks. How many other events do you pay top dollar for, so that you can be advertised to. What a brilliant racket. Networking? If only.

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