It’s certainly proving to be a rainy, dreary Saturday in Rockville, but that doesn’t seem to be doing anything to dampen Intervention-goer spirits. This is my fourth year attending Intervention, The Premiere Showcase of Online Creativity, out of its five years running, but it still feels like something very new and refreshing experience.
This morning, I attended Onezumi’s panel on marketing. I’m very bad at marketing, and have come to grips with that (and for anyone who needs evidence of these claims, I invite you to look at my inability to really use hashtags all that well). Like with many of the events at Intervention, I feel as though I got a lot more out of it than the short blurb provided in the events program.
Two quick asides before I move on, though. One: this post will be written largely on my Surface 2, but then completed via the WordPress for Android app so I can add pictures in. Please, please, let me know if the formatting shits all over itself in that transition. I doubt it will, but who knows. Update: the number of technical difficulties this post saw could probably go toe-to-toe with the number of explosions in a Michael Bay film. Point two: yes, this is a One Hundred Days of Blogging blog post. I sincerely doubt anyone is particularly concerned about it not following my standard format from the past nearly-fifty days.
I lied. Three points. This is all me speaking very candidly. These are all my opinions, and though it is often shocking when I have nice things to say about something I cannot stress enough how this is all one hundred percent how I actually feel on this subject. No smoke-and-mirrors sneakiness here. Just some doofus who moonlights as a writer and his particularly uncooperative computer (please stop moving the cursor, Aperture Surface, as you are helping neither of us in doing so).
Please understand I cannot possibly do Oni’s marketing tips justice by paraphrasing, even though she was still partially asleep. Key points to focus on were that it’s important to be honest in marketing, understanding that you are marketing yourself far more than your product, and that kindness is a must. Not doing it justice. What I can say, and I hope this does both Oni’s marketing panel (and Intervention as a whole) justice, is that this was a strong reminder on why a convention/conference like Intervention matters for the independent creator community.
Everything for indie creators, their fans, the gamers and geeks and all the terrific people who make the annual pilgrimage to Rockville for Intervention, comes back to supporting one another. Kindness is key. It’s not about bringing art here to make money, or to become some superstar over the course of a weekend. It’s about meeting other people who want to create awesome things and spread awesome into the world. I’ve made multiple trips into the vendor room already, and already plan on going back at least once more before the weekend’s over, and it is absolutely packed–wall-to-wall–with tremendously talented, enormously passionate artists. No one, or at least as far as I can tell, comes here with the end-goal being to make it rain hundred dollar bills from atop their hotel room bed (or desk if you’re feeling bold and trust said desk’s durability in such a situation). It’s not about monetizing your art; it’s about making invaluable connections with other artists, helping each other out, and spreading the awesome. Kindness begets kindness, and the world could certainly benefit from at least a little new awesome here and there.
There’s really something to be said about the community Intervention has built in only five years. The best way I have described it, I think, is that it’s one big, extended creative and fun family, that may be more than just a touch crazy, and once a year we all get together to talk about what makes our worlds, on the individual and group levels, better places. I’ve talked about the magic there is in talking to someone about their passion; magnify that by a billion and you’ve got a fair understanding about Intervention. It’s all about enabling people by equipping them with information and assistance for making whatever they love doing most become something they can continue to do while juggling other real-world responsibilities.
As someone who has gone to other cons, but can no longer bring himself to do so, I say this much as loudly as I can: there is no exclusivity to Intervention. There’s always that little bit of worry I’ll get here and have the same feeling of outsider-status I had at anime cons, only to find myself back in the same accepting community I left behind the year before. There’s the common sense of purpose in wanting to share art and games and have a generally great time, and no one really seems to care who you are or what your job outside of the con happens to be; it’s all about what drives artists and gamers and so on in their down-time. The job-that-isn’t-a-job-but-should-be sort of thing.
I’ve still got a good deal of my Saturday con experience left, and I am both excited and sad because that means we’re at about the mid-point. Excited because there are a lot of great events left, but sad because I know that Sunday afternoon will creep up far more quickly than should be acceptable.
Even if you never set foot in the Rockville, MD, Hilton to experience Intervention in person (and I dare say you’d be missing out if you don’t) it’s still very possible to live with the Intervention mindset. Be honest when it comes to presenting yourself to others. Spread kindness, even in situations you may see no return from it. Do awesome things and be awesome. The rest tends to work out from there.
Really, I can’t even begin to speak highly enough about Intervention. It’s something that needs to be experienced. I’ve still got a day and a half to do just that, and so I wish everyone else a pleasant weekend. It’s about time I wander down to the dealer’s room. Again.