This is a guide for devMeet virgins everywhere.
devMeets are really neato things to go to but they can be a little...intimidating.
The first devMeet I attended was in the summer of 2006 and not only was I attending my first meet ever with dozens of people from the internet that I had never met before but I was also one of three organizing it!
I did not know what to expect or what to do or how it was all supposed to play out and I admit, I was nervous as hell.
So what happened? It was a smashing success. Even with rain, drama on the road with an impromptu caravan and driving all over Texas to get people it was a success. Phew! Four years later and several more meets under our belt, TexasDevMeet has become a pretty successful group for meets. Yay!
What I encounter at almost every meet is someone asking me: So, what do we do? What happens at these things? What are we supposed to do?
The answer to all three is: Whatever you want.
But what does this mean? Let's outline some important guidelines, tips and tricks to making your first devMeet experience an enjoyable one.
Very important things to remember
Every meet is different. Different venues call for different behaviors. Some are held much like cons. For instance, the 10th birthday meet in LA is a highly structured event with lots of preplanned activities and events. Meanwhile, most meets are held in a public place and are considerably less structured. Still others call to meet at a place and do an activity together such as a museum tour.
It is important to ascertain what kind of venue the meet will be held at and what the organizers are expecting of you. This means reading, carefully, any and all journal updates regarding the meet. What you do not want happening is to show up with all your art supplies to find out that you're going to be seeing a movie.
So, READ EVERY SINGLE UPDATE!
11 Easy Rules
With a little elaboration:
1) Remember that EVERY MEET IS DIFFERENT
2) Keep an open mind!
3) Don't be afraid to introduce yourself.
It's likely that very few people already know each other, and you know, even they came to meet new people so introduce yourself!
4) Feel free to bring friends or family but realize we are internet people with very diverse ages, backgrounds, and interests. It is not out of the question for someone to be dressed in a full fur suit or for there to be people ranging in age from 4 years old to 90!
5) Don't expect a highly structured event if not expressly outlined in the meet announcement. Most meets are mingling mixers, not conventions. When you get there, get mingling!
6) Don't be discouraged if there doesn't seem like a boat load of people are there. In fact, larger meets can be more impersonal than smaller ones so think of it as an opportunity to get even better acquainted with your fellow deviants.
7) Be yourself! There is no better opportunity to do so than a meet full of internet freaks.
8) Check the meet announcement journal before you leave for the meet. Take note of any directions given within!
9) Relax! This isn't high school. We are a community of supportive artists who want to meet new people and encourage growth. No one will laugh at you (unless you want them to!) Trolls don't come to meets. Even when they do, they don't do so to troll!
10) Create! Meets are a perfect time to get inspired and talk/perform your art. WE LOVE pieces born at meets. Pull out your tools and get to work, and then talk to others about art, yours and theirs. Share tips, experiences, likes and dislikes!
11) HAVE FUN! Whatever that takes for you, do it! Meets are SO not srsbsns!!