By event director Tea Krulos
Photos by Wendy Schreier Photography
Saturday: wow, what a day! You know, when I first thought of the idea I knew we would have a good crowd, but I was like how many people will actually show up…300? 500?
Well, it turns out about 900 showed up. Here is some notes on the day.
* Let’s start with some thank yous. Our programs got printed over a week before the con, so they were not up to date with last minute changes. Volunteers included members of the Paranormal Investigators of Milwaukee, Valerie and Stevens Point Paranormal, Kathy, Kimberly, Tammy, Ari, Shane, Tim, Paul, Cat, Margot, Rita, David B, David G, and Jim. Thank you so much for helping and in many cases doing longer shifts than I originally asked for. Allison Jornlin stepped in quickly to fill Ursula Bielski’s spot on my panel after Ursula had to cancel and her brother Mike Huberty (of See You on the Other Side podcast) helped us with some tech troubleshooting. Dan did a fantastic job doing our tech set up for the Paranormal Pub series. The Irish Cultural & Heritage Center were accommodating and helpful and I’m glad to say staff told me they were happy with the way the event went and didn’t have any incidents.
Last, and most important, I need to thank Wendy. She not only was shooting great photos throughout the day (see more of them on our FACEBOOK PAGE) but she helped with a million little details that made things run smooth.
* Thanks also to our speakers: Allison Jornlin, Mark O’Connell, Marc Eaton, Jim Sherman, Nick Roesler, Noah Leigh, J. Nathan Couch, Linda Godfrey, Melissa Tanner, Donald Schmitt (and Damien Jones and Valerie Kedrowski, who were on one of the panels). Everyone took a chance on me here and everyone was great to work with. You helped me make it happen! There is no one on that list I wouldn’t love to have back next year and I heard positive feedback on the talks throughout the day.
We gave one award this year. This was the 2015 Wisconsin Researcher of the Year Award, presented to Linda S. Godfrey in recognition of her documentation and research of paranormal case studies in Wisconsin. You can find a short blog entry on this award here: milwaukeeparacon.com/2015/06/08/2015-wisconsin-researcher-of-the-year-linda-s-godfrey/ .
* Our fantastic sponsors this year: 91:7FM, KGRA radio, CultofWeird.com, OnMilwaukee.com, The Rundown Live, Feral House and Process Media, Clark Graphics, Wendy Schreier Photography, Beyer Beware Productions. I also want to thank these businesses for your involvement: UberDork Cafe, People’s Books Co-operative, Stay Rad Screenprinting and all of our wonderful vendors (the list is still up here: milwaukeeparacon.com/activities/).
*Last, a big thanks to YOU for showing up. Donations streamed in and those helped us immensely with costs like venue rental, paying speakers some travel costs, printing, supplies, etc. We made a little extra and that money is going straight to next year’s event costs. Everyone there was a great audience. I wish I could have met and talked with everyone, but I was on the run all day.
I knew our t-shirts were pretty cool, but I didn’t expect then to completely sell out by about 3pm. People were disappointed by this, but I’ve got good news: we’re going to do a reprint. I think we are going to limit it to our popular glow-in-the dark on black shirt. We will take pre-orders online for a couple weeks, then it’ll take a couple weeks to make the shirts. We’ll arrange a pick up date and shipping options. As soon as that pre-order info is available, I will be posting it here on the site.
I want to thank people for being patient. This was our first year event and a learning experience. Overall, I think things went as smoothly as possible. There are things to consider for next year, for sure– the vendor area was too crowded, the speaker timeline was a nail biter of a tight timeline, but I think we made it work ok. As my friend put it, “having a big crowd of people is a good problem to have.” But now we have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t and I want to let you know, I always appreciate your feedback and suggestions: firstname.lastname@example.org
In the pub we had an issue showing Bradley James Kroll’s clip from his film P.I.M.: A Paranormal Documentary. Here is the YouTube link to that clip: www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvpE6gmqlsw&app=desktop
I’m also hoping Bradley will be able to screen his full doc at next year’s event, and I apologize that it didn’t go according to plan this year.
2016: WE NEED YOU AGAIN
It is just a couple days later and I am already so excited for 2016. I have a lot of ideas that I’m thrilled to share with you in the near future. Right now I’ll say that it will happen in October 2016. That is about a year and four months away, but that extra time will be used to a plan a bigger 2 DAY event. We will have all the stuff you loved this year and a whole lot more.
During the summer, I will be brainstorming on the con and what and where it will be, but I will make an announcement on dates a little later in the summer. There will be lots of opportunities next year for volunteers, vendors, sponsors, speakers/ panelists, activity leaders, etc. We will solicit all that as things begin to shape up more.
TEA KRULOS @ PEOPLE’S BOOKS JUNE 18
I want to also mention that I will be doing an in-store appearance at People’s Books Cooperative (804 E. Center Street) on Thursday, June 18, 6pm. I’ll be talking about my books, Milwaukee Para Con, ghost stories from my neighborhood (Riverwest), and future projects. People’s Books will have copies of both my books (Heroes in the Night and Monster Hunters) and quite a few titles related to paranormal topics that they tabled with (there’s a couple titles I want to pick up myself!) After my talk, I’m inviting everyone to join me at the Riverwest Public House (a couple blocks away) to have a drink and chat if you are so inclined. It’ll be fun! Facebook event page: www.facebook.com/events/1416946225297364/
Here’s a great recap from our friends at Cult of Weird: www.cultofweird.com/paranormal/close-encounters-milwaukee-paranormal-conference/
And a really fun video talking to attendees, vendors, and speakers by our friends at The Rundown Live: therundownlive.com/milwaukee-paranormal-conference-2015-6615/
Our friend Liz of Keysmash blog tweeted out updates from the con and posted a nice recap here: www.keysmashblog.com/milwaukee-paranormal-conference-recap/
See You on the Other Side recorded stories from attendees about their paranormal experiences and they also came up with a hit new song, the “Bigfoot Polka!”: othersidepodcast.com/43-milwaukee-paranormal-conference-2015/
Fun podcast from Blurry Photos about their experience tabling at the con: www.blurryphotos.org/bp-bonus-2015-milwaukee-paracon/
Our Facebook Page: facebook.com/milwaukeeparanormalconference
Our Instagram Page: instagram.com/paracon_mke/