Buying stuff in their dealer’s/exhibitor’s area made up a small piece. Most of the stuff being offered were collectibles so anyone in finding something to add to their private collections had a field day.
What really made up the bulk of the Celebration V experience had to be the fan interactions. The R2-Builders came together internationally for Celebration V and outfitted a very large room with all the wonderful droids its members had created over the years. As well as several facades that complemented their mechanical men. The 501st legion had a similar sized room that allowed them to show off the costuming work their members have done along with appropriate set pieces to go with them. Fan built props were in abundance. The Rebel Alliance had a substantial area on the exhibition room floor and they too had fan-made costumes, props, and displays. All with members of their particular groups ready and able to answer questions about what they do, why they do it, and how someone new can get involved. Different chapters of the various groups had display areas in the exhibition hall; from a T.I.E. fighter and Millennium Falcon interior brought over by the Belgian 501st chapter, to life sized models of Jabba the Hut for Slave Leias to hang out on. Even Disney brought in some of their Star Wars props from Hollywood Studios and had them available for photo opportunities.
What can Omaha conventions take from this? We need to provide more toys for local fans to play with. Unfortunately no one convention can build all the props and displays that could be used over the course of a convention weekend. We have to rely on the local fan groups to help us with them. OSFest has had major contributions in this respect from both the R2-Central Builders and Brad Edmonds & K.I.T.T. While we built a TARDIS front façade, I am made to understand that the other three walls may be added by next year. Thanks Moose!
But there are other fan groups throughout the Omaha area. What would you like to see added to the convention scene in Omaha? What can you build and bring to conventions or parades? What would you like help getting started with? OSFES should have the resources to at least point you in the right direction and offer you a place to exhibit your creation. Fan feedback can be great, give it a try!