My Romance Reader Con(s) Adventure: Accentuate the Positive

Posted August 16, 2011 by Felicia S in Conferences / 18 Comments


I am back from my whirlwind trip!  I think this is the first time (outside of cruises) that I have been to 2 cities in 10 days. It was exhausting, fun, “squee” like (meeting fellow bloggers that I have talked to for a long time), frustrating (just don’t do drama well), and overall quite an adventure that I will remember for a long time to come!As per my blog post title, I have decided to “accentuate the positive” of my experiences at both conferences.  I will do a brief (very) negatives POV at the end but overall there is no reason to take away from the very good times that I had.  I have learned after attending quite of few different conferences that those are the experiences that you remember years after you have been to them.

I still have a few conferences left to go to this year: Readers N Ritas (really looking forward to this one) and FenCon (which should also be fun)!

This is my 2nd year to attend RomCon and was able to go this year because I won the tickets!
Things I really enjoyed:
  • Meeting fellow readers and bloggers.  This is actually my favorite thing at any conference that I have been too.  There is something magical about getting to hang out with people who read the same books as you do and getting to talk about your favorite things about the romance genre.
  • Meeting authors that I LOVE!  Seriously every author that attended RomCon this year was fantastic to the readers.  They took time inside and outside of panels to talk to everyone.  I didn’t come across a single author that was unapproachable.  How wonderful it was to hang, talk, and learn more about them as people.
  • Meeting authors that were new to me.  Honestly, my TBR grew by a ton after RomCon.  The more I talked to these wonderful creative people, the more I was curious about their books.  My pocket book may not forgive them but I will LOL
  • The panels were more creative this year!  I really had a lot of fun with the madlibs, highlander panel, gun panel, and the two teas that I attended.  Despite some timing (and hotel not delivering food to one of the teas), all of these panels were great.  I was sad that I missed the Historical Fashion Show and Strip a Hero—both looked like a ton of fun!

Highlights of my Trip to Denver:

  • Meeting Melissa B from Books and Things!  Her dogs were precious too!  Seriously she is kick *ss in person as she is online.
  • Getting to hang with Melissa S and Brandy W!  Love them, really do!
  • The Chocolate “Awesome” Sauce party in the lobby!  All 12 of us that skipped the pajama party had a blast!
  • Seeing Maggie Mae and the rest of Kenyon’s Minions again!
  • Jade Lee!  Seriously that is enough said!
  • Hanging with my friend Karen for Diner Sunday night.  I love any chance I get to go to downtown Denver.  Plus, we both enjoy going to really good restaurants!
  • Hanging with the Cover Girls!  Especially the lunch at Ted’s!

Things that need to improve (some of these are the same as last year): 

  • Organization: The timing was off on most panels and it appears more communication is needed with the hotel.
  • Location:  Having the conference so far away from other things makes it one of the more expensive conferences to go to.  Very little is actually within walking distance (Subway, Sonic, A&W, Long John Silvers) so unless you have a car it is fast food or hotel food.
  • Pricing for dinners:  $35 for any of the meals was overpriced both for the entertainment and meal itself. 
  • There were some other things but they were avoidable once noticed.

Bottom Line:  I would consider going to this conference again but it will depend on the pricing/authors and friends attending.

Pictures (just a few):
Cover Girls Lunch
Cover Girls Intimate Chat
Jade Lee on the Mechanical Bull
My gift from Melissa B!  Cowboy Duckie!
This was both my first trip to Philly (loved the city–very beautiful) and to Authors After Dark (quite an adventure)!
Things I Enjoyed:
  • Meeting fellow readers and bloggers!  There were a ton of people that I have been talking to online for years that I was beyond excited to meet.  I met at least 30 people that I had talked to either on twitter or through blogs.  Each and every one of them were beyond fantastic.  Seriously, they made me smile every day!
  • Meeting authors I LOVE!  I finally got to meet Lara Adrian.  I just about had that embarrassing “OMG I AM YOUR BIGGEST FAN” moment.  Seriously, I imagine my reaction was only a smidge better than when I met NKOTB when I was 18.  I also got to hang/meet with Katie B, Monica B, Dakota C, Melissa S, Nicole P, Jennifer E., Jess H., and Carolyn C.  Needless to say I was in Fan Girl Heaven!
  • Meeting new to me Authors: OMG there were so many!  Stephanie J, Judy F, and Kris C were three of my favs.  However there were a dozen more that just Rocked My World with how fantastically sweet, kind, and creative they were!
  • Both Light Paranormal Panels!  They were just a trip!  Seriously we were laughing way before they even started 🙂

Highlights of my Trip:

  • Getting to see all of the friends that I met last year through cons!  I am really loving getting see all my friends at least once a year.  This alone is worth going to conferences!
  • Making new friends!  Seriously, the people are what made AAD!  Every fellow reader and blogger I met was open, kind, and sharing.  I made a long list of long time friends.  They were all GOLDEN!
  • Getting to see the city of Philly!  I had so much fun visiting all the historical sites and the food places.
  • Meeting Lara Adrian and Heather!
  • The Open Bar and Room Party by Melissa S and Kris C.  I can’t believe how generous and sweet you guys are!
  • Hanging with Sylvia Day—she is just a total sweetheart!
  • Bar Time with my girls!  Yep I drank my fair share of wine!

Things that need to improve:

  • Not all meals were included (big selling point to the con from a price perspective).  The 3 dinners for Thurs, Fri, and Sat were included.  There were 2 breakfast but you had to be in the first 100 people to get those.  So plan that into your budget if attending the conference.
  • Communication of changes in schedule.  I missed several things I wanted to do because of lack of communication of the changes.  I did get a piece of paper with the room changes but not the times. I must note that I am not an IPhone user, I believe that people that were got the updates just fine through the IPhone app.
  • Steampunk Ball: I was really looking forward to it (even bought an outfit) but just didn’t get it.
  • This last one I want to preface with I understand that a big part of the problem was stress put on the organizers by the hotel not fulfilling their promisesIn fact, I would not recommend the Doubletree Hotel in Philadelphia to anyone even for vacationing.  After talking to the convention that was there before us, they ran into the same issues we were having.  However, I am a firm believer that a little kindness to your customer (aka the convention goers) goes a long way.  There are professional ways to approach issues and that was not always the case at this convention.  I had only heard great things about AAD before attending so I was a little disappointed in the treatment received both personally and witnessed. I am hoping it was just a case of to many things going wrong at once instead a true display of character.

Bottom Line:  To be honest, I really want to go to AAD New Orleans.  It has been on my wishlist since it was announced.  I was picked as a blogger for it, so I debated on whether sharing my whole experience or not.  However, I think honesty is always the best policy.  I am still on the fence on whether to base my opinion on this year alone or take into consideration all the wonderful things I heard about years past.  I have heard that this year was very different from years past and that the stress may have been the cause of the issues.  I am always willing to give people the benefit of the doubt though.  So AADNOLA is still on my list next year and I will just hope that the hotel does not put undo stress on the organizers.

Photos (only a few):
Larissa, Me, Lara, and Heather
Light Paranormal Panel
Ali and Joy
Felicia, Me, and Jen
The Felicia’s take the Con!
Y’all!  The one thing I want to point out is that no matter what issues/drama/stuff that happens at Conferences; you cannot replace the memories of meeting your favorite authors, fellow readers, and online friends.  Every conference I have been too has been worth it’s weight in gold for that reason alone!  If you ever get a chance to go, grab on and have a blast!  It is always better to remember to “Accentuate the Positive and Eliminate the Negative”!
Felicia S
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18 responses to “My Romance Reader Con(s) Adventure: Accentuate the Positive

  1. R.A. Vaughn

    Late to the party, but I wanted to drop you a note to say I really enjoyed meeting you. I had a great time chatting at dinner Thursday night. Hopefully, we'll meet up again in Chicago. Rayna Vause/R.A. Vaughn

  2. Sylvia Day

    It was so awesome hanging with you at AAD! I plan on going to New Orleans, too. I've always wanted to visit the city and being there with other readers and writers sounds like heaven to me. We'll have to snag a bottle of wine and catch up, but hopefully I'll see you in Chicago before then. 🙂

  3. Danielle Gorman

    Great post. I completely agree with you on the AAD post, especailly about the Iphone app comment. I had the same problem since I can't use the app on my phone. I think all of the drama was worth it because I got to hang out with some truly amazing people. I definitely want to go to NOLA and see everyone again. =)

  4. Aurian

    Sounds like you did have a great time mostly. I heard whispers about a convention thingy in Germany perhaps, next year summer. Well, Germany is not that far to drive from Holland, so I will definately be there if it is true. I'd love to meet authors and other book addicts like myself.You did not mention the books and swag you scored 😉 Are those notebooks filled with signatures?

  5. Missie

    Despite the little bumps, I'm glad you had a good time overall. I agree with you about kindness going along way, and it sounds like the stress just got to be a bit to much for all involved. BUT if you do decide to go to AADNOLA, please let me know. I'd love to see if I can swing that, too. And I'm still so jelly that you got to meet Lara Adrian. 🙂

  6. Twimom227

    GREAT POST sweets!! I agree with you on the AAD section 100% and I LOVED meeting you! I am pretty sure that I'm going to still go next year to NOLA… and I will need a bar buddy!

  7. Amused

    Wow overall these sound like amazing and totally worthwhile experiences. Thanks for sharing and teaching me about two new conferences!

  8. Jessa Slade

    I ate more A&W root beer floats in that one weekend than in the whole rest of my life.Any big gathering is going to have issues, I think. Your determination to have a good time regardless is key, and most of the people — authors and readers — I hung out with seemed to believe exactly that. I really want to do NOLA. Only I plan to eat too many beignets instead of root beer floats 🙂

  9. Paranormal Haven

    I'm so jealous right now! Hmmm maybe I can photoshop myself into the picture of Larissa Ione and Lara Adrian with you…….Glad you had a great time. I'd love to go to RomCon one year but for now I'm trying to save up for RWA next year. We'll see if I get there. This time with Athenna. She's still a little upset I went to Comic Con without her. Steph

  10. Aisle B

    Felicia what an amazing time you had. Thank you for bringing us in and letting us live it through your enthusiasm. Girl Merci buckets :)PS love the smiles that radiate across all the pic. Chick who read are pretty powerful in my book 🙂

  11. Ali

    Felicia! It was great meeting you at AAD 🙂 Ooh, and I see my pic, too… I don't look half bad in that one, lolI plan to go to AAD next year. It is true that this year was definitely different than last, so I'm going to give it another go :)I can't wait to see you at Readers 'n 'Ritas!!… hmm, I'll have to look into FenCon, too 🙂

  12. Melissa (Books and T

    I agree with you on everything about RomCon. Having it in LoDo would have rocked! There would have been so much they could have done and included the Tattered Cover (indie book store) in it as well. As far as me kicking *ss… I know you hinted about something that happened. Did you know if you were still having problems, I would have kicked her *ss? I was trying to hide the fact that I was so interested in what you gals were saying. lol ;D Oh and I would love to go to AAD in New Orleans. I went through there in passing once and it was so fun.I LOVED meeting you! Hope we can get together again sometime!!

  13. Paper Cut Reviewer

    Hey Felicia! Romcon really looked like a lot of fun! I'm happy you had a good time and perhaps I will attend next year and join in on the fun =)

  14. KB/KT Grant

    I was so so SO happy to have the chance to see you again! :)Mho is kicking my butt for leaving him behind. He so wanted to snuggle with you in your hotel room.