Well, Amazon Prime’s first season of The Wheel of Time has come and gone. I might write a more in-depth post on my thoughts on it closer to the season 2 premiere, but overall, I’d give it a B; there are some pacing issues and messy writing moments, but it’s visually gorgeous and the cast is incredible, so I’m still hyped for the next season. Most of my WoT-related attention right now, however, is focused on JordanCon. I was lucky enough to snag a press pass this year, and while I won’t know what nifty stuff that gives me access to until a little closer to the event, I’ll hopefully have some more fun content to share with you soon!
If you didn’t see my post from last summer, JordanCon is a fantasy/sci-fi convention centered around the works of Robert Jordan. Last year’s attendance was limited to 500 because of Covid, but this year’s attendance has significantly increased. Chances are several of these new con-goers are folks who were introduced to the Wheel of Time series through the show.
If you’re one of them, check out some of my advice below to have the best JordanCon experience possible!
1. Arrive a day early and leave a day late
While the con officially runs Friday-Sunday, lots of people arrive at the hotel the Thursday before. It’s a great opportunity to settle in, get over any jet lag, and if you’ve never attended before, familiarize yourself with the hotel and meet other attendees milling around the lobby. If you can’t make it Thursday, though, don’t worry; Ebony, the incredibly sweet New Member services director, will be giving 20-40 minute tours of the con areas on Friday at 9 AM, 10, AM, 11 AM, 12 PM and 2 PM and Saturday at 9 AM.
There will also be a New Member Mix and Mingle event on Friday at 7 PM. And while the convention officially ends Sunday afternoon, lots of people stick around until Monday, which makes the transition from “super fun convention mode” to “boring real-life mode” a little less jarring.
2. Bring food to your hotel room
While there’s a nice restaurant in the hotel and plenty of places within walking distance to eat or get delivery or takeout, buying your meals every day can get expensive. JordanCon has something called a Con Suite, where they provide food throughout the day, but the organizers aren’t sure what that will look like yet, so It’s a good idea to keep some easy snacks and meal options in your room. The hotel rooms don’t have microwaves, but they do have mini-fridges, so things like sandwich fixings, fruit, and granola bars are all great options. That said, definitely take advantage of some of the restaurants in the area too (the dessert case at Cafe Intermezzo is a thing of beauty).
3. Plan which activities you want to attend ahead of time
Even with limited attendance last year, there were a couple panels I really wanted to check out that were full by the time I arrived. With an even bigger crowd this year, you’ll definitely want to take a close look at the schedule to decide which events you can’t miss and give yourself enough time to arrive early and snag a seat.
You can check out the schedule here: https://www.jordancon.org/jordancon-2022/schedule/#events
4. Collect ribbons!
One especially fun con tradition, and a great way to meet people, is collecting ribbons. There are official event ribbons (designating vendors, directors, program participants, and volunteers) and “fun” ribbons, which can be created and handed out by anyone attending the con. You stick them on the bottom of your con badge using the adhesive on the top of the ribbon, and each additional ribbon is added to the bottom of the previous ribbon. Some people will give ribbons to anyone who asks, and some will require you to complete a task or say a password or secret phrase in order to get one. Either way, collecting them is a great way to get to know people and get a free, memorable keepsake of the weekend!
5. Don’t be intimidated if you’ve only seen the show and haven’t read the books.
While not everyone who’s read the books loved the show, most fans I know, and most people I met at JordanCon last year, are just happy to have new WoT-related content that will hopefully get more people into the source material. You won’t be judged if you’re attending the convention because of the show and not the books. There are plenty of panels this year specifically about the show, from episode breakdowns and reviews to coverage of the music and costumes.
And while the convention is named after the series’s author, there’s still plenty of non-WoT-related content to enjoy. Between the general fantasy/sci-fi panels, authors’ alley, gaming, vendors’ hall, cosplay contest, karaoke contest, and dance party, you can have plenty of fun without knowing anything about the Wheel of Time books.
Check out some of the photos Laura took at JordanCon last year:
Do you have any other JordanCon first-timer questions? Or if you’ve attended before, what other advice would you give new members? Let me know in the comments!