The popularity of sci-fi shows such as “Supernatural” or “Vampire Diaries” has created a market for conventions where fans can meet, get an autograph with, or get their picture taken with their favorite television star. For those fans of “Vampire Diaries” who are wishing to do just that, here are a few things to remember when attending a convention for the show.
Tickets for Photo Opportunities Sell Out Quickly
When it comes to the major stars of the show, Ian Somerhalder or Paul Wesley , you need to get your ticket as early as possible. There are times when tickets sell out months in advance, so it would be prudent to buy your ticket as early as possible in advance. The tickets aren’t cheap either with photo opportunites with Wesley and Somerholder going for $99 individually, or $169 for a picture with the two. There are also a few rules to remember when posing with the stars (no groping for instance), but for the most part fans were happy to have their picture taken while being embraced by either of the two stars.
Conventions attract a Female Fans almost Exclusively
While conventions for such classic sci-fi fare as “Star Trek” might draw more than a fair share of male fans, “Vampire Diaries” is almost strictly a female affair, and judging from the size of the autograph lines, a good number of those fans are there to see or meet perennial bad boy Ian Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore) whose popularity eclipses that of his co-stars by far. The fan base is so skewed that few of the show’s female cast members typically attend. An exception to that will be the attendance of Candace Accola (Caroline Forbes) at the convention in Chicago in April of 2013. That’s not to say that actress Torrey DeVitto (Meredith Fell) doesn’t accompany husband Paul Wesley to some of these conventions and be default also ends up on the list of stars attending the convention.
Actors Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley are Nice Guys
While Hollywood actors can sometimes carry a star size ego around with them, most fans who got a chance to pose with or get an autograph from Paul Wesley or Ian Somerhalder went away impressed with how nice they were treated, even when the actors were nearing the point of exhaustion. This was especially true of Somerhalder who ended up signing roughly three times as many autographs as his co-star at the convention in Orlando in December. Most female fans were also impressed that both Somerhalder and Wesley were better looking in real life than on television.
Cell Phone Cameras Won’t Do
Given the size of the conventions and that additional photo opportunities are almost exclusively limited to the Question and Answer segment of the show, bringing with you your cell phone camera is not the best of ideas. Those fans who ended up with the nicest pictures are the ones that brought a good professional camera and a zoom lens with them, as getting close to the stars was almost impossible.
Question and Answer Segment Well Worth Attending
Though it will cost you extra, the Question and Answer segment of the convention is well worth attending. Both Ian and Paul have a good rapport with each other and revealed details about their experiences on the show. For example, in the Orlando convention, Somerhalder revealed how he injured his ACL in a stunt and how Wesley picked on him for being “a wimp” until the extent of the injury was revealed to him the next day. Though some of the personal details are less than impressive (both actors picked former Director Stanley Kubrick / as someone they would have wanted to work for), the Q&A session manages to maintain an air of freshness to it that makes it one of the most enjoyable part of the convention.
Be Prepared to Wait in Long Lines
Unless you are there to meet a low tier co-star, be prepared to wait in endless lines for just about everything. There are long lines for the photo opportunities, picking up your pictures, getting an autograph, or even attending the Q&A session (where sitting may be limited). So bring along a snack and come ready to wait in line for hours at a time. That said, autograph lines move along at a brisk pace and everyone gets through.
Best to Bring a Friend with You
Those female fans that seemed to get the most out of the experience are those who brought a female friend with them. The experience lends itself more to a “girl’s night out” than it does a date. However, for anyone who doesn’t understand the hysteria that accompanied an Elvis or a Beatles concert, a “Vampire Diaries” convention may give you some insight into such female group dynamics.