ConnectiCon — which is slated to go off the weekend of July 10-13 2014 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT — is a membership-based organization, that is run by a very dedicated all-volunteer staff. The event is (in its own words) “The only massively, multi-genre pop culture convention, in New England.” To be sure, the convention endeavors to revolve around all things pertaining to pop culture and goes way out of its way to encompass as many genres of pop culture in as big a way as it possibly can. Traditionally, the event attracts over 10,000 people to the Hartford area annually, and there are plans to expand to other venues in downtown Hartford this year. ConnectiCon was the proud recipient of the Bring It Home Award from the Greater Hartford Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
Perhaps one of the most interesting things we’ve observed about ConnectiCon is that at most comic cons some 10–20% of the attendees participate in cosplay (that is to say dress up as their favorite heroes) at ConnectiCon, it seems to be the other way around, where only approximately 10–20% are not in cosplay. This presents a completely different and quite interesting vibe to the show, truly making it a very unique experience to attend.
The event itself was founded back in ‘02 by a group of friends who were — at the time — attending the University of Hartford and were involved in campus club known as The University of Hartford Science Fiction and Fantasy Guild (“The Guild”). The group, having embarked on numerous treks across the U.S. to various other fan events, determined that an convention closer to home that met their varied interests, would work out much better for them. They then went on to found their own convention in Connecticut that would be dedicated to the many genres they each enjoy (board games, sci-fi, anime, video games, card games, comics, etc.). As you can clearly see, like the multiverse that encompasses them, the list of which the show represents, continues to exponentially expand. This, of course, has lead to its designation as a “Massively Multi-genre” convention.
The Guild’s President, Mathew Daigle was a regular convention-goer beginning in 1997, and was the initial proponent of the idea of creating a multi-genre convention in Connecticut. He used and fully developed the concept for his senior project as an Entrepreneurial Studies major. After the project was completed, he proposed to his friends that they should actually go and make the convention a reality! Needless to say, they did just that.
The very first ConnectiCon was held at the University of Hartford campus in July of 2003. It hosted just over 800 members in its first year. As the convention grew, it eventually moved to the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, Connecticut, which opened in the summer of 2005, and ConnectiCon was one of its initial events. The convention has been held there every summer since, and has grown to encompass the entire center, the attached hotel, as well as other venues in downtown Hartford for one weekend every year.
In addition to hosting the annual members’ convention held in Hartford each summer, ConnectiCon also offers monthly member appreciation events at their headquarters in Newington, CT. These monthly events are held on the 2nd Saturday each month from 10 a.m.–10 p.m. and feature console gaming, film screenings, tabletop roleplaying games, board gaming, Magic: the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh, and other convention-related events. These monthly events are a great venue for members and fans to get together on a more regular basis, and in a more intimate setting than a large convention.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing comicbooks for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular comicbook articles and reviews.