Tom Stidman is the first ever Fan Guest at Katsucon. A staple in fandom for over a decade and highly involved with local conventions, he had four panels this year covering various materials. He did an excellent interview with Otaku Journalist before Katsucon XX so I just wanted to catch up briefly with him.
The Paper: Tell me about your Katsucon as a fan guest.
Tom Stidman: It’s my best Katsucon. Absolutely fun. I only had to do panels so [it was] very relaxing. It also served as a testbed for me in making better panels. It’s a great place to learn to make panels for bigger cons.
TP: In your interview with Lauren (Otaku Journalist), you set out to provide “high quality programming” and being “a good representative to fandom”. How did you think you did?
TS: I did well on programming. I didn’t just want to do a Q and A, I wanted to bring more…I should do more. I promoted the con beforehand by reaching out [to the media]. I donated items to the charity auction. There’s always room to improve. It’s a learning experience.
TP: If you could do it again, what would you change if anything?
TS: [Exhales and ponders a bit] I may not change anything. I learned stuff that can translate into conrunning. Definitely won’t change the experience.
TP: What specifically did you learn that can translate over to running a con?
TS: I am sorry I cannot disclose details.
TP: No problem. Last question. What was the best part or moment of Katsucon for you?
TS: It’s hard to pick a best moment. There’s so many…. best to interact with folks, meet people, the other guests. Freedom is also great. Besides panels, I could do other things. Time is not on your side as a conrunner. It was much easier… I got to relax with friends.
Readers can find out where else fandom takes Tom via Twitter.