On November 3, 2018, the first-ever West Side Mini-Con at Nanakuli Public Library happened! The Last Outpost of Hawaii was the main organizer of the event, bringing in local vendors and artists. I went to help the public library but also to observe. Unfortunately there were many hiccups that I took this as a lesson on the pros and cons of having a pop culture event at the public library. Nevertheless, I enjoyed talking with the vendors and patrons who attended the event with gusto.
The library counted a little over 100 people who attended the four-hour event, from 12 pm to 4 pm. The library had a table outside promoting library services and books while their Friends of Nanakuli Public Library were fundraising by selling snacks and drinks. They’re a friendly group who value seeing the newest library in the Hawaii system flourish!
- Plenty of attendees were dressed up and happy a pop culture event like this was held in Nanakuli as many events are held in town, which can be over an hour drive with traffic.
- Parents and kids were happy that the event was held at the public library. A few said they were able to check out books and have fun, making it a family fun day for them.
- Due to the layout, it made attendees explore the meeting room (separate building from the library) as well as inside the library thus being able to experience everything.
- Schedule of panels kept changing/no official schedule given to attendees.
- Attendees were asking who the “local celebrities” were as they weren’t properly headlined on the advertisements.
- Tabletop room was crowded.
- Miscommunication on all fronts, from vendors (an artist was told they were to do a talk but admitted they were not prepared due to not being told beforehand) to staff (there were plenty of helpful staff but due to the schedule changes, not everything was communicated well and had a domino effect leaving attendees unhappy) and online (3 different Facebook events were created for West Side Mini-Con causing discord).
For a first time event, it wasn’t too bad. The main thing is that the attendees had a good time. Despite the hiccups here and there, most families were happy that an event came to fruition while some expressed this could have been executed better.