Disclaimer: I was lucky enough to attend the Supernatural Minneapolis convention (#SPNMINNCON) in August 2016. Views are my own.
Now in its 13th season, Supernatural holds the title for the longest-running American fantasy series and remains one of the most popular shows on the CW Network, if not on prime time television.
And thanks to its heartfelt story and committed cast, fans from all over the world have been able to enjoy annual conventions with an awesome #SPNFamily.
So if you’re thinking about heading to your first SPN con, here’s what you need to know:
Get the Right Ticket for You
When I started planning (a.k.a. dreaming about) my first Supernatural convention, I was bummed at how expensive some of the ticket prices were, especially since I had to budget for travel costs and a hotel room, too.
While I had my eyes set on a Gold or Silver weekend package, a General weekend package still had access to all of the panels – minus one – but didn’t include the special events like the Karaoke Party and Saturday Night Concert. Even so, I was willing to trade prime seats during the panels for meet-and-greets with a cast member or two.
So you simply need to make choices that work for you if you can’t afford a higher package. In the end, you may not get VIP access to events, but trust me, you’ll still have a stellar time!
Also, be mindful that most packages don’t automatically include meet-and-greets or autograph sessions so you’ll need to add those into your costs.
Know. The. Schedule.
Most Supernatural cons start on Friday and end on Sunday night, but that varies depending on the city or time of year. Expect Creation Entertainment to release the official convention schedule from a few days to a week before.
Review it! Mark it up! Take notes!
I’m not kidding. Make sure you know when your favorite cast members are going to speak, when and where you have a meet-and-greet or autograph session, and when you’ll have some downtime to peruse vendor booths. You’ll feel a lot calmer having a handle on what happens when especially with how excited you’ll be just by being there.
And while some of the supporting cast have panels where you can line up to ask questions, the bigger stars like Jared, Jensen and Misha require you to write one down ahead of time and be put into a random drawing to be a questioner.
Plus, Richard Speight, Jr. does a simply outstanding job as an emcee. He’ll make the entire weekend go smoothly!
Meet-and-Greets are Worth Every Penny
But they happen FAST. My best friend and I saved enough money together to buy meet-and-greets for J2 (Jared & Jensen), Misha Collins and Mark Sheppard. In total, they probably lasted a minute.
Yeah, I know. But with the number of fans these boys and all the other cast members see throughout the convention, it needs to go a bit quicker to ensure everyone gets their time. The staff does a great job maintaining the room’s energy level with fun conversation and music, and they help ensure you get the meet-and-greet pose you want.
Plus, all meet-and-greets include one automatic print of your photo, which you need to pick up later that same day or the following morning. You can order more prints and digital copies after the convention from their official photographer, Chris Schmelke.
Don’t Forget to Support Super-Talented Vendors
Like other cons, you’ll have some downtime to see what’s for sale at a variety of booths. There are typical t-shirts and trinkets, but I mean it when I say there are super-talented, awesome vendors out there. There were incredibly detailed Winchester journals, hand-stitched clothing, and handmade bracelets, earrings and other beautiful jewelry, just to name a few.
I even walked around the vendor area twice and still didn’t see everything. Fortunately, many vendors have Etsy shops so you’ll be able to buy online in the future if you don’t have enough time during the convention.
What did I get? A Dean Winchester “Team Free Will” t-shirt and a lovely set of Moose/Squirrel earrings that I wear all the time.
IT’S ALL SUPERNATURAL, ALL THE TIME!
Be prepared to talk, think, breathe Supernatural. Other cons cover a wide range of topics from TV shows to movies to comic books to manga/anime and more, but at SPN cons, it’s all Winchester, all the time.
But it’s such an energizing, entertaining experience. Being in the same physical space with so many others in the #SPNFamily just validates your love for your favorite show. You get to talk about Supernatural all weekend and even see – or meet – the people that help make the characters and story possible!
From your favorite characters to why so and so didn’t have to die to favorite bloopers, and yes, even your ‘ships, an SPN con gives you one of the best ways to be with your fandom.
By no means does this list give you everything you need to know about a Supernatural convention, but it’s a start.
So what are you waiting for? Start planning (and saving)!
And don’t forget, Jared and Jensen give the best hugs. 😉