Okay, so that sounds a little bad. But it's not really the drunken shenanigans I long for, as awesome as those are--it's Wincon itself. Wincon is a place I miss all the time, starting from when I hug the last person goodbye and only ending when I have my first fangirl sighting in whatever fabulous city we've ended up in the next time. I've been missing Wincon since 2008, and I'm so super psyched that I finally get to come back and see everyone in New Orleans. :D
A little bit of history: When I went to my first wincon, it was 2007, and I had never been to Los Angeles before. I'd been chatting with some of the people I would be rooming with, and I knew a lot of other people who were going by acquaintance or reputation--at this point, SPN fandom was tiny compared to what it's grown into--but I'd only ever met one of them in person before. I had very little idea of what to expect, except that it would be AWESOME.
And then I got on a plane to come to Wincon, and when I arrived at the hotel, I knew that I'd come home.
See, Wincon is like a giant slumber party with about a hundred (give or take) of your closest friends. From the moment you get there--maybe even in the airport--the fangirl spotting starts. We fill the hotel rooms, crowd the ballrooms during panels and events, and take over the lobby. (Pro tip: if you have a laptop, bring it. We'll probably kill the hotel internet within about ten minutes of everyone getting there, but trust me, you'll most likely want it anyway.) It's a safe space where almost anything goes, as long as no one's actually naked in public, and no matter what you're into fannishly, there's a good chance that someone else at Wincon will also totally love it. You'll say and do things you never thought you would: I'm generally pretty quiet, but when I enter fangirl space, I inevitably find myself wearing aluminum foil hats and having loud discussions about safe anal sex. (If neither of those things sounds appealing to you, fear not--not everyone at Wincon is the people I hang out with. XD)
Also! There are PANELS. At the Baltimore con, I was on a panel about CW RPF, which was SUPER fun and got some good discussion going, and was also followed by the inaugural tinhat parade. Anyone can be on a panel, and now that it's a panfandom con, we still want to talk about things like Jared and Jensen's trufax love and the epic tragedy that is Dean Winchester, but we ALSO want to talk about (for examples made up off the top of my head) the moral ambiguity of Harry Potter, the real life applications of White Collar, and how superheroes are totally awesome even when their canons make no sense. :P There are also panels about the technique of our creative efforts--the ficcing, arting, vidding, and so on that we use to inspire each other all year long. Even apart from panels, I can't even tell you guys how many crack bunnies I have scribbled down in various places from Wincons past, just from talking with people and being excited about our craft. *\o/*
Other things that are fantastic: volunteering/hanging out at the registration table (and stalking your friends), the annual vid show, group SPN viewings, and did I mention we tend to take over the lobby with our awesome? ALSO THERE IS BAD FIC IDOL. WHICH IS NOTHING BUT PURE FABULOUSNESS. Always warn for leopard sex, guys. ALWAYS.
And yes, if you are of age and wish to do so, there tends to be a lot of communal drinking. Especially once Winprom gets going. *shifty eyes* If you're not into that, the con is ABSOLUTELY just as fun sober. I just mention it because that's what I plan to put in some quality time doing. :DDDD Roadhouse ftw!
So come to Wincon, guys. Let the cuddle piles, mass karaoke, and 2 am waffle runs work their magic on you. And if you find yourself wanting to start a fangirl commune in order to keep Wincon going full time, don't be too surprised. That's just part of the experience. ♥
ETA: C'mon, you know you want to share your Wincon story with the world. DO IT DO IT DO IT. (Peer pressure, another part of the fangirl culture.)