BsiPp3HCcAAzz4yRyan Pagella is a writer, comedian, actor, photographer and video editor. He is also the founder and Director of Atomic Blue Productions. You may know him as the Vice President of ConnectiCon, which is a multi-genre convention that is held in Hartford , CT, in which over 13,000 members attend. Thankfully Ryan was willing to take time out of his busy day in order to answer some questions.

Mr. Incredible: Can you tell us a bit about the ConnectiCon?

Ryan Pagella: ConnectiCon is a massively multi-genre convention that celebrates everything geek. We are not a thematically specific convention such as anime or comic books. We celebrate everything from sci-fi, video games, anime, comic books, cartoons, etc.! We are also a family friendly convention and encourage everyone to bring their families to the convention for a personal experience.

Mr. Incredible: How do you decide what goes into the yearly ConnectiCon?

Ryan Pagella: All of the programming for ConnectiCon is confirmed by a large staff of managers who run each department individually. Generally, we base our events on what is topical and nostalgia. Depending on the type of event and department, it is handled by each department manager – For example, Panels & Workshops receive hundreds of panel submissions every year and they must pick what is likely to biggest draw for their events. Cosplay HQ decides on Cosplay events, such as the Dating Game, Death Match and Masquerade, and choose topical themes every year.connecticon_2013__slenderman_by_juream-d6djkxy

Mr. Incredible: Now not only did you have the event at the CT Convention Center, but you also had things going on all over downtown. How hard was it to get everything together in order to do that?

Ryan Pagella: This is our second year branching outside of the Connecticut Convention Center and Downtown Hartford Marriott! Our biggest expansion was at the Hartford Hilton where gaming took place this year. It’s always a challenge to add a new venue every year, especially when it’s not right next door to the convention center and there is definitely a learning curve. As we continue to expand, then we are required to use more venue space which is a logistical challenge, but that is why we have a dedicated staff and team!

Mr. Incredible: How do you go about getting guest for the event and making sure schedules don’t conflict?

Ryan Pagella: All of our guests are handled by guest relations department. They manage bookings, contracts, scheduling, etc. The key to it all is having our 3 Guest Relations managers verify the guests schedules so nothing conflicts. Scheduling is the key to everything!

Mr. Incredible: Who have been some of your fav. guests to bring to the ConnectiCon?

Ryan Pagella: We are always excited to bring in all guests of every kind every year! In the past, we’ve had sci-fi stars like Marina Sirtis and Tahmoh Penikett, voice actors like Rob Paulsen and Jim Cummings, online media guests like Nostalgia Critic and Marble Hornets, authors like Brandon Sanderson, anime stars such as Chris Cason and Lauren Landa, etc. It’s hard to choose a favorite because we have such a wide variety of guests to offer something for everyone!

Mr. Incredible: How hard was it to make sure everything in the Convention Center run smoothly?

Ryan Pagella: With a venue as large as the Connecticut Convention Center, it’s important to have a team that is ready for any type of situation. We have an Operations team which oversees everything that is happening at ConnectiCon at all times. If there is a fire, they take care of it. If there is a lack of equipment, they take care of it. It’s up to all of the departments to prepare for the convention in advance, but it’s the Operations team that allows the convention to run smoothly at ConnectiCon.

Mr. Incredible: What are your goals for the future of the ConnectiCon?

Ryan Pagella: Our biggest goal for ConnectiCon is to continue to expand and to offer more to the community every year!

Mr. Incredible: What do you feel separates the ConnectiCon from the other conventions?

Ryan Pagella: The biggest difference between ConnectiCon and other conventions is that it is not thematically specific. It’s not anime. It’s not video games. It’s not Star Wars. It’s not Star Trek. We celebrate everything here, no matter what it is and most importantly, everyone can be themselves no matter what they are interested in or who they are. We have a strong community for both equality and embracing everything geek here at ConnectiCon!9272_10201364205585538_321432866552170033_n_500_283

Mr. Incredible: How important is social media to what you want to do with the ConnectiCon?

Ryan Pagella: The social media has become one of the most vital parts of ConnectiCon as the market for it has expanded over the years. The social media is definitely a much different beast to wrangle! Currently, the Vice President and Panels Manager handle everything regarding the social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram. The key is to post every day and make sure that information trends for the members to easily find!

Mr. Incredible: Thank you for taking time out to do this interview. Is there anything else you would like to tell the fans and readers?

Ryan Pagella: Thank you for interviewing me! And remember, at ConnectiCon, you can be whoever you want to be – This is a community where we celebrate everyone and everything, so bring out your inner geek and have a fun time!!

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