We were part of the first ESCAPE VELOCITY this weekend. It billed itself as a cross between a science fair and a sci-fi convention. We talked about it like it was going to be unlike any show we’ve exhibited at. Now that the weekend is done, I can tell you that Escape Velocity billed itself with one-hundred percent accuracy, but we were only partially correct in how we perceived it beforehand.
That’s not to say Escape Velocity was a disappointment. Far from it. There were simply more familiar elements to it than we anticipated. Garth and I have done many, many first-year conventions over the years and many of them have a similar atmosphere. Escape Velocity’s maiden voyage closely resembled many other successful debuts, and that is encouraging. Escape Velocity had all the trademarks of a show trying its very best to get off the ground, from the friendliness of the staff to the enthusiasm of the volunteers. The panels we spoke on were well attended considering the size of this intimate show, and more than once Garth and I marveled at the foot traffic coming through the Exhibition Hall.
It truly was a science fair combined with a sci-fi convention, so much so in the former that our first visitors on Friday were children from a local school on a field trip. They swarmed the Exhibition Hall with a combination of “this is cool!” wonder at the NASA displays and “you mean I can’t just take one of your books?” disappointment when they discovered there were no freebies at the Star Power booth. Speaking of the NASA displays, we had the opportunity to talk with some NASA scientists who were more than happy to share their enthusiasm for space. We’ll be posting a convention video akin to our AwesomeCon video this week, and you can share in their excitement.
Oh, and they had a preview gallery of some items from the Museum of Science Fiction and oh man oh man they had a stillsuit and maker-hook from the original 1984 Dune movie and was I more than a little excited okay yes I was because man that thing looked pretty awesome close up and I actually got to see a stillsuit and a maker-hook AAAAH!
Escape Velocity’s launch was, in my opinion, a success. I hope they return for 2017 and I hope they ask us to be part of it again. The show’s got a lot of potential and they’re already shooting for the stars.
This weekend we’ll be following up with an old favorite: CONNECTICON.