Yesterday it was announced online that Megacon was coming to Tampa. Whoo hoo, right? Well, normally I’d be all for a new convention coming to the area. But in this case, I’m not. Why? Well, let’s go back in time. 35 years ago a local fan group started a small convention that we know as Necronomicon. I first attended this convention back in 1987 and loved it. I’ve not missed a single day of this convention since that first weekend. In 1989 I met my future husband at the convention when I approached him at the midnight dance and asked him to dance. A year later, at that same convention, on the dance floor, he asked me to marry him (I said yes). In 1992 we began helping to run gaming and eventually took it over and have been running it ever since.
Necronomicon is not a large convention, but it’s one that is run entirely by volunteers and we do it because we love this con. We have anywhere from 700-1200 people each year. We support a fantastic local charity called Kids and Canines and donate between $5000 and $10000 each year to them. We’re a not-for-profit convention, and we can’t do it without the fans who come each year.
Flash forward to yesterday. Several of our regulars messaged me about this big announcement that Megacon had in their program book in Orlando this week. They’re coming to Tampa to the Convention Center…October 28-30, 2016 with some HUGE names, namely David Tennant. That’s AWESOME…BUT wait, Necronomicon is that same weekend at the Grand Hyatt in Tampa. We’ve had these dates already booked for over 3 years. Someone asked me, “Can’t Necro just move to another weekend?”. No, we can’t, we have signed contracts for those dates, so for good or bad, we WILL be on the same weekend as Megacon Tampa Bay.
I liken this a little to the movie “You’ve Got Mail“. We are the small local bookstore (fitting as we have authors as our guests of honor most years) and Megacon is the big box store that’s coming into town and looking to put us out of business. Now, I’m not saying they picked that weekend with the intention of hurting a 35 year old convention, but even if it wasn’t done with malicious intent, the results will be the same. This will hurt us. I just hope it doesn’t kill us.
I love Necronomicon, it’s like a big family reunion each year. Some of the people we see there each year, we only see that one time, but it’s such a feeling of home coming to walk into the hotel and see all those familiar faces. I can’t even envision a year without this event.
Several people have made comments that we’re two totally different events and it shouldn’t hurt us. I really can’t see how that would be possible. Hell, I’d want to go to Megacon Tampa if it were any other weekend. I’d love to see David Tennant in person, I’m a HUGE Doctor Who fan and he’s one of my favorites. Even if half of our members just decide to go to Megacon one day, that is a lot of money out of our convention, a convention that relies on that membership to support our charity and to continue to run each year.
Maybe we could get everyone to write to David and tell him about Necronomicon, maybe we can get him to come drop in and see our little convention while he’s here, wouldn’t that be a hoot?
I really really don’t want to see Necronomicon die because this huge convention, with deep pockets and big name actors, comes and sets up shop on the corner of our town, basically across the street from us, on the same date.
We’re just now gearing up to launch the gaming department for this year, including working on a webpage redesign. With it being our 35th anniversary we’re planning all kinds of fun surprises and events and want this to be a fantastic convention.
Want to see who all will be at our con? Check out http://necrofl.com/
Our main guests of honor this year at Necronomicon are Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due. We’re also excited to have fan favorite (and my personal favorite) Timothy Zahn returning again this year.
If you’ve not been to Necronomicon, it’s a great convention for your money. Pre-register for only $40 for all three days. We have trivia contests, talent shows, kid’s programming, costume contests, tons of gaming (usually 100-150 table top games over the 3 days and no additional fees to play) and LARPs (no additional fees), LAN room (no fee to play), panels, autograph sessions, fully stocked Con Suite (hospitality room) with food/drinks (no fees), Friday night beer tasting party (no fees – see a trend here?), dealer’s room and art show (fees to buy of course), Ice cream social, ending ceremonies with a lot of free stuff given away and much much more. We’re like a family reunion of 1000 people, come for the events, stay for the friendships you develop. The advantage to a smaller convention, you don’t feel like you’re a small fish swimming upstream, you can get into the events that you’re interested in without having to stand in line for hours ahead of time.
Be sure to check out our local charity Kids and Canines that we support each year.
Feel free to share this blog and help get the word out about our small convention. Help us fight against the big boys who would put us out of business without even knowing we’re here.
—Heather Dryer – Necronomicon Gaming Director
This post was made during a bout of insomnia at 4am in the morning, I make no promises to the clarity of my rambling thoughts.