By Edward Nawotka
The Twilight phenomenon continues unabated and some fans have turned entrepreneurial.
Last year, 19 year-old Becka Grapsy, a student at Penn State University, and Bailey Gauthier, a twenty-something Canadian (aka, vlogger “NoMoreMarbles”), who banded together to circulate an online petition among Twilight fans asking about interest in a convention and gathered some 10,000 names. The result caught the interest of North Carolina-based freelance book publicist Becky Scoggins, who then formed a company to organize TwiCon.
The first event took place last weekend in Dallas, Texas. Some 3,000 fans bought tickets at $255 each (for an approximate gross of $765,000) to attend Q&A sessions with stars of the films, academic panel discussions about vampire biology and feminism, and attend a “Volturi Masque Ball” — a Venetian-style ball modeled on one from the books. Fans ranged in age from teens to septuagenarian widows — one of whom told the Dallas Morning News that Twilight helped her get over her husband’s death.
Scoggins said that interest in the event was so strong, two more TwiCons have already been planned for 2010, one in Las Vegas and another in Toronto. Scoggins had also looked into taking TwiCon to Germany, but the expense proved too high.
“Our biggest goal for this year is to make sure that Stephenie knows we appreciate her,” said Scoggins, prior to the opening of TwiCon. “We’re not trying to make money off of her, we just want her to know that 3,000 fans got together to talk about her books. To even think that people are getting together to talk about books feels really good.”
BOOKMARK: The TwiCon site for news of upcoming events.
WATCH: MTV’s coverage of the event.
READ: More about it at the Dallas Morning News.