So you want to be a Community Guest? Read this first.
First of all, it’s important to understand why a convention brings in community guests. The simplest way to answer this is because the convention wants more attendees. Just like with Voice Actors and other Guests of Honor, we want to bring in people from the community that attendees want to see and meet in person. That said, when considering who to invite as a Community Guest, we take several things into account:
- How popular is this person/group? This is a bit of a given. If we’re going to put forth effort and/or cost towards inviting a Community Guest, we need to be able to justify it by believing that additional people will buy badges to offset that cost.
- What will the Community Guest do for us in return? At the very least we expect that our Community Guests will promote the convention and their attendance just as much as we’re promoting them. This is another way the size of their audience factors in. In addition, guests that post extensive coverage of their time at the convention on sites like YouTube are more favorable, as this benefits the con.
- What will the Community Guest want from us in return? The simple fact is that not every convention has the same budget, and the budget that a con has is probably lower than you’d expect. The minimum that an approved Community Guest will receive is a complimentary badge and promotion on our website, social media, and in the con book, and these things cost money and/or the time of the con staff, which is just as valuable as cash. If the guest is asking for the con to provide rooming and/or transportation or other compensation, this will factor into our decision greatly.
- Why do they want to be a community guest? This is just as important as the other things. If someone wants to be a community guest because they want to promote or otherwise help the con or the community, that is a plus. If someone just wants to be a Community Guest because it may make them more popular, that is not a plus. We can usually tell the difference pretty easily – one’s track record typically speaks for themselves.
STILL want to be a Community Guest? Carry on, then!