FFXIV: Fanfest Watch Together
Posted on August 2, 2023 by Aywren
It’s been several years since I’ve attempted to put together any kind of event in FFXIV. I did so now and then, with help, back when I was the FC leader for Knights of Memory. Since I passed that torch on, and took on the quieter life hosting a tiny friend FC on a RP server, I’ve been more about attending events than organizing them.
Much of this is because I’m just plain out shy. Going to events, even art parties, is sometimes stressful due to social anxiety (though once I’m there, I’m usually okay).
But something about this FFXIV Fanfest pushed me to set something up.
Maybe it’s because it’s the 10th year anniversary of the game. Maybe I was still silently bitter at the fact that I tried and tried to get tickets, but failed.
However, from the sound of how the event turned out, maybe that was for the better. Not only was it hosted in Vegas in the middle of summer and during a heatwave, but apparently it wasn’t the best organized event in terms of lines and seating.
Not to mention, I had the unexpected massive cost of having to replace my entire air conditioning unit last month. So, the cost of making the trip out to Vegas wouldn’t have been great knowing now how much was going to come out of my pocket for other things.
A Watch Together Idea Is Born
Anyhow, this isn’t about how I didn’t get to go to live Fanfest, but rather what I decided to do instead. I dusted off my RP Alt’s venue – Amon’s Tea and Tomes – and set up what I called a Fanfest Watch Together.
I extended the invite to folks associated with Amon on Tumblr and Twitter, gathered some goodies to give out as door prizes, crafted a bunch of high-quality tea, gathered a bunch of Allagan snails, and waited for the day of the Fanfest live stream.
This was just meant to be a chill, non-RP event where people could have a place in game to chat about the reveals in the Fanfest live stream. People were welcome to come and go as they pleased throughout the first day of the festivities. And that was that!
How Did it Turn Out?
I was nervous!
I had no idea if anyone would show up.
I was simultaneously worried too many people would show up.
I didn’t know if the door prizes I’d gathered would be wanted, or if it was just stuff no one would care about. I tried hard to keep the prizes on theme (Allagan), but I also picked up some newer stuff, such as the sunglasses from the new Variant dungeon.
In the end, the Watch Together had about 15-17 folks throughout the day, mostly centered around the Keynote and the announcement for Dawntrail. I felt like this was a perfect number – enough for people to feel like part of a small group, but not so many as to feel overwhelming.
We did keep the doors open throughout the day, and three of us remained by the time the cosplay show wound down – which was the last of the stream for the night.
The prizes were enjoyed! I was happy about that! And I even got complements on how I’d gone out of my way to get various prizes for the event. Very happy that I feel like most anyone who showed some interest was able to walk away with something, even if it was just a Tome of Frivolity.
My anxiety was misplaced. Everyone was super nice and chatty. In fact, I couldn’t have asked for a better group of folks to share the experience with.
Amon also got so many signatures in his guestbook! Not something I was thinking about when hosting, but a BIG bonus as I love guestbook signatures!
All in all, it was a fun and fulfilling little gathering. I’m not sure that I’d make it a common thing, still, as I tend to be shy, and have little practice in running events. Especially RP type events.
However, the casual gathering experience was nice and certainly bolstered my confidence. If you happen to be reading this and attended the Watch Together, thanks for making it part of your Fanfest experience!