Editor’s note: This article covers Miclpea’s experience planning and submitting for a panel at Denver Comic Con.
I am a total fan of the SYFY Channel television show, The Expanse. I truly believe it is the greatest science fiction show of this generation. With this in mind, you can imagine how ecstatic I was to attend the two-episode premiere of season two at the Alamo Drafthouse in Littleton, CO!
While attending this showing, I met two other fans, Rachel Watson and Ashley Campbell, who enjoyed the premiere as much as I did. I asked them to contact me if they wanted to take part in a fan panel for The Expanse at Denver Comic Con. Well, they surprised me and emailed me later that they were interested in participating in a fan panel. This started the process for applying to Denver Comic Con to put on the panel.
First, I needed to know what we had to do to develop the best application for the fan panel. Fortunately, I had previously taken part in a panel at Dragon Con on genre television and I had observed a fan panel about The Expanse at the same event. I knew that we had to be prepared and, ideally, we wanted to have a visual presentation to enhance the experience of the panel. So, being a good former government employee, I decided to prepare a PowerPoint presentation to go with our fan panel.
I went to the Denver Comic Con’s website to see what was necessary to apply for a panel at the show. Thankfully, the application process for the panel on their website was easy to navigate. However, the hard part was knowing how to sell the idea of The Expanse fan panel when there were possibly hundreds of others applying for panel slots. Again, I was fortunate as I knew someone who had his panel approved for presentation at San Diego Comic Con, Leonard Sultana, and I was able to ask him for advice.
I had contacted Leonard previously about submitting a fan panel request for WonderCon. Leonard had provided a great sample of how to complete a write-up for a fan presentation and his write-up gave us insight into what we needed to sell our idea for a fan panel. Rachel, Ashley, and I incorporated our love of the show into our application, but we also made sure we were educating our audience about the show. Education is one of the core principles of Denver Comic Con.
We submitted our application in February of 2017. We heard back from the committee, who had reviewed the request, in late March. They understandably requested more information about what we planned to do for our panel; fortunately, we had prepared a full PowerPoint presentation by this point. The application online allowed us to send links to video presentations but it did not allow us to upload any type of file (PDF, Word, etc.) with our original application.
Our PowerPoint aimed to educate the audience about aspects of the show that are usually hidden from the audience. We identified the writers, showrunner, and visual effects personnel. We included details about where additional information about The Expanse could be found on the web. I sent the committee a copy of the PowerPoint as well as a list of questions we had prepared to facilitate the conversation. They seemed satisfied with our response because a month later they approved our request for The Expanse fan panel!
The whole process was a lot of hard work and planning by a lot of people but it was worth it. Remember: preparation is essential. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from people who have had panel applications accepted. It really helps. Also, do not give up. I was turned down for fan panels at WonderCon and Emerald City Comic Con before Denver Comic Con accepted my application. Remember that any success makes it easier to apply to other Cons for a panel.
We are scheduled to present our panel on June 30th, at 6:00 PM in Room 605 at Denver Comic Con. I hope to see some of you there. If you cannot attend the panel please check back to this site for my post-con report where will provide a summary of my experience as the moderator of The Expanse Fan Panel – Bridging The Expanse.
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