Reaching Out to Our Community: TarValon.net at JordanCon 2016
Author: Nymala Ingasy
There are many reasons why someone would take a weekend to travel to another city (or even another country) to go to a convention. Some people go for friends, some for the opportunity to cosplay their favorite characters and show off their handiwork, some go to party, and some go for the opportunity to be among like-minded people who enjoy the same things that they do. The fans of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time are no different, in fact, we're pretty typical in that sense.
However, even though there are several online communities dedicated to one or more aspects of Randland, not everyone is aware or is a part of one of them. This year, Tarvalon.net and the White Tower decided to get a table at the JordanCon to highlight what it is that we do and what we stand for as a community as a whole.
The table at JordanCon was in the main hallway right by the entrance to the dealer's hall and the art show, so we were in a high traffic area. It was staffed from 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday in hourly shifts, though some people just stayed longer or hung out for a little bit to socialize. At the table, we had buttons and bookmarks to give out, and the opportunity to win an awesome inscribed beer stein in a contest. When I was there, some people who came by weren't aware of our community, some had been part of the community long ago, and some simply perused, took a button or a bookmark and wandered off again. The questions they asked ranged from live events to integration to the college scholarship that TarValon.Net offers.
The opportunity to reach out to our wider community, attract new members, and showcase who we are and what we do was a great one. I can't speak for my fellow volunteers, but it filled me with a large sense of community pride to show ourselves off and let people see who we are and what we represent. Stressing our strong commitment to live the Servant of All philosophy both online and in our communities really impressed those who stopped to talk even for a moment or two. I truly hope that we have tables at JordanCon and similar cons in the future and that our outreach to our community continues to grow in years to come.
Tar Valon Times Newsletter Version