Wow, that’s kind of mouthful isn’t it?
Conventions and events from small to large, sci-fi to anime, steampunk to ren fests, and book fests are great and a lot of fun. The energy is upbeat, the people amazing and (in the case of conventions and ren fests) the cosplay is great.
That said, in any large crowd of people there are going to be those who aren’t quite as wonderful. Much as it would be nice if everything was perfect at these events, it isn’t always. Harassment happens, people get overwhelmed, companions become lost from each other, etc.
Many of us who attend conventions and events, whether we are authors, vendors, or exhibitors offer our booths or tables as a safe zone for those who are feeling uncomfortable because of the attentions of others, feel they are being followed in an unsavory manner, have become lost from their companions or just need a place to rest.
In the case of the latter, we offer them a place to step away from the crowd and get their bearings. In the case of the first few, we offer a place where people will pay attention and watch out for them, even to the point of sending someone to locate security if need be.
Where the large crowds of people at these places are part of the fun, they can also be easy to become lost in, or overlooked in.
The problem arises when convention and event goers don’t know which tables and booths are safe zones. With this in mine, myself, Suzanne Dome, and Linda Halley founded the League of Tables. We created a Facebook group (HERE) where you can learn about it, read through a list of suggested policies to keep you and those who seek your table sage, and sign up if they wish your table to be a safe zone. One of our members created a simple, easy to recognize logo to be posted at safe zone tables so those in search of one can find it.
It’s our goal to eventually have our logo and have participating tables and booths at every convention nationwide so that anyone who feels the need to seek the safety of a LoT table can easily find one. Because everyone should have a place to go if they need it.
Conventions and events are wonderful places where people can find others with similar interests and generally have a great time. LoT just wants to make sure every has a good time and in the rare event someone is having a problem, they have a place to turn to.
Happy and safe eventing!