I’ve been attending conventions for over a decade. Each event has always had guests, panels, or gathering to keep my interest or busy. And with so many conventions mixing fandoms, everyone can also enjoy their time and have fun without feeling left out or bored. But one group I’ve noticed that isn’t always interested or has their attention grabbed; chaperones for minors. Of course over time parents/guardians learn about and even begin to enjoy these fandoms. But what about in the beginning?

This past November I attended my first Dr. Who fan event, LIWho, but not as a regular attendee. I escorted my 12 year old nephew, Frankie. He is a big fan and I had promised to take him to an event since it was very unlikely his parents would accompany him. Luckily I have some base knowledge of the genre thanks to to friends and other conventions.

It was strange, attending panels that I had zero knowledge about the topics, seeing merchandise that was unfamiliar and unappealing, waiting in line to meet guests that I had no idea who they were, and seeing cosplays that only grabbed my attention for esthetic reasons not who or what they were. I don’t want to say I was bored, but I was definitely not having the best time I could.

Luckily I could still feel the excitement and energy of a con even though my attention and interest was not constantly kept focused. The look of joy on the other attendees’ faces as they interacted with each other, guests, and staffers. The most evident was on my nephew’s face. In the beginning Frankie was hiding his excitement but as the day progressed it was obvious in his mannerisms he was very happy to be there. He wanted to meet specific guests and attend their panels.

Attending an event for the sake of someone else is a difficult position to be in. You do not have any knowledge of what is going on around you but you are trying to keep control of the situation. The main thing is to go with the flow and you’ll either eventually learn more about the subject/topic and grow to enjoy it yourself or hold out until the child is old enough to go on his/her own (I don’t mean it in a condescending way). The chaperone position at a convention/fan event is tough but is worth it in the long run, it’s worth it for the child.

You can view our LI Who 3 album on our Facebook Page

Photo Credit to Ernie Layug

Posted by The Fan's P.O.V. on Monday, November 16, 2015