We are all excited to meet one another at GeeklyCon, GeeklyInc's premier conning experience. We've talked to one other, watched some live streams, got in on some Geekly Game Night, follow one another on Twitter, all that good stuff. The internet is a great place for some low-impact, low stress communication and it is a great place to reach out and meet new people with similar interests.
I am writing this post as a reminder that real life and the internet are not the same place. As such, the ways we meet and interact in person have different social graces involved. This is not intended to be an all encompassing "guide" to in person interaction, but it is meant to let you know the most effective way to meet me, should you want to.
First off, I get uncomfortable in crowds. This is one of the major reasons why the internet can be a great way to meet people, there is an illusion of small intimate conversations a lot of the time. What does my discomfort mean to you? I can be on edge, I will appear very standoffish, and will not normally approach people I do not know. This was important to bring up first, because it shapes a lot of the following.
What is a good way to initiate contact? Please don't initiate communication through physical contact. This is more so when approaching from outside field of view. It can be startling for someone who is already anxious.
It is good to approach from the front, maybe a nice wave to get attention. Handshakes are fine by me, I will shake some serious handage (as long as you wash them after using the restroom and as needed).
Introduce yourself. As mentioned above, we may follow one another on twitter or you may know who I am, but I may not recognize your face or voice. It is weird to have someone come up and initiate conversation and not know who they are. Normally, we wear badges on lanyards, but that isn't a 100% solution to the name game.
Please do not yell across a room to get someone's attention. GeeklyCon is exciting and there are a ton of great people there, but sudden, loud noises can be startling.
Con crud is a real thing. We will all be exposed to a bunch of people, who've traveled from all around to come to this event. It is important to look after yourself. This is a mixture of hygiene (showering/hand washing) and diet. One person can cause dozens to get sick. This is less for introducing yourself and more common courtesy.
Think before you hug. Like handshaking, I'm good with hugs after an introduction. Hugs can be great, but not everyone wants to be hugged. In the past, there have been visual indicators on badges to let others know if a hug is alright, but make sure you ask before you hug. If someone does not want to hug/be hugged, that is fine, please do not take it personally.
Please take this to heart. Use common sense in social interactions. Take things slow. Feel free to add to this or comment on it. If in doubt, ask questions. We are all going to GeeklyCon to have fun and the best way to ensure an optimal experience is through open communication.
Thank you all for being courteous.