As you may recall, last year, there was a concerted effort by a couple of folks in California to organize the first ever ASMR convention. It was an idea that had a lot of merit and caused a lot of buzz within the community, but ultimately proved too difficult to pull together and was cancelled before it really got off the ground.
At the time, I remember there being a lot of comments on the Kickstarter site from those who were interested in the prospect of a convention but didn’t feel it should cost money, didn’t like the location it was being held in and a myriad of other complaints too numerous to discuss in a single blog post. The bottom line is that it didn’t come together and it confirms for me that you have to walk before you can run and sometimes you have to crawl before you can even stand on your own two feet.
As someone who had been contacted to appear at this event, I still think the concept of an ASMR convention is still a good idea, though I think it maybe wise to start small and build over time. Most libraries have a community room that can be booked for local events and what better way to keep such an event low cost than by booking a community room. No, you may not have killer lighting and sound people, but some of the original ASMR videos were made with nothing more than a cell phone camera so I think we can forgo some of the bells and whistles and still have a nice event.
I also imagine there are some ASMRtists who live locally and might be willing to come out in order to build their audience while promoting ASMR awareness. While we all know many of the bigger names, my guess is there are countless others just getting started who have plenty of tingles to offer and if the drive isn’t too far out of their way, it may just be worth their time and effort to present. If you ask nicely, you may also be able to get a more well-known ASMRtist to film an exclusive greeting or short trigger video for your event. (Because she couldn’t travel outside of Canada yet, Ilse Blansert did that for the launch of our book and it was well-received by everyone!)
Another way to garner some additional presenters would be to contact a nurse or someone in the health care profession who experiences ASMR and can talk about the subject from a clinical point of view. Other thoughts for ASMR presenters may be hair care professionals who experience the phenomenon, teachers, or hypnotherapists who can lend some additional credibility to the event.
You really don’t have to have a lot of sponsors or a huge promotional budget for a low-profile event either. If you are using a library room, you’ll be listed in their calendar, you can write a short press release and send it to some area papers and you may even ask your librarian to showcase a selection of books, audio books and videos that could be considered ASMR-related materials (e.g. Bob Ross Joy of Painting DVDs, guided meditation CDs, etc…) You might also be able to get a local bookstore to partner with you and offer copies of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to ASMR for sale at your event as well. For the record, I am not writing this simply to promote my book…I was commissioned to write it by the publisher and do not make any royalties off of the sale of it.
My point is, that ASMR gatherings are still a very good idea and something that can bring about a whole new level of awareness to our community. There is a way to make it work and please as many people as you can without looking as though you are profiting from the event and keeping the whole thing manageable. I encourage you to go for it. This is something I plan to do more of this year and I am in hopes that I will not be alone. Until next time….tingle on.