I was wondering if anyone was gong to the 2011 national Barbie doll collectors convention or has ever been to one in the past? I plan on going to the 2012 convention and was wondering if anyone had any info on it. I hear it is going to be held at the Hyatt Regency in Orange county Califonia but thats about all I know. I understand that it is customary to buy your table mates a doll. Also wondering about what I need to pay for right away any tips would be greatly appriciated, I would hate to show up and have no clue as to how things work.
Hi Gwen: I am going to 2011 and have been to 3 past conventions. I also plan to go to 2012.
Basically the info you have is the info we have. Until 2011 convention is over the 2012 convention is kind of in the background. They will give you the date, location and theme, but the little details will not really be known until the famous "Packet" is released. That gives all the information about sub themes for the various dates and the types of events, etc.
The first thing to do is to sign up for the covention Yahoo group. There isn't much going on there right now but any official notices will be sent through the group and you can begin to communicate with fans who are interested in going.
It is not customary to buy your table mates a doll. There is an optional custom that you can give gifts of your choice to your table mates at each table event, or one table event. It is entirely optional and up to the convention goer. That being said, there are table mates that exchanges dolls and many elaborate and fancy gifts. A lot of these convention goers have sat together for years and kind of go all out. But you should give when you want and if you want. You usually get a range from no gift to a doll. You just have to bring what you are comfortable with. Some people give gifts from their home state or country, while others give Barbie items or items that relate to the theme of the convention.
Since the 2012 theme has already been announced you can start thinking of gifts so you might have some expenses now. The first real expense should be the convention ticket itself. I think it's around $395 but you will not know the cost until the convention applications are released. They are not released until after the last night of the 2011 convention. They are given to attendees and then uploaded to the yahoo group shortly after, in which case you would have to print out 3 copies and mail in with full payment by check or credit card, or money order too (not sure about that). All applications are counted because conventions do have maximum ticket availability. This varies from year to year but can be 700 to 1000. Anyhow, if the number of applications are less than the available spots everyone is in and their credit cards or forms of payment are processed and they are notified that they are in. Applications are continually accepted until the tickets are sold out and a wait list is started. As people cancel you can move up on the wait list.
If the number of initial applications exceed the number of available tickets then all the applications are picked by lottery and all the rest of the applications go into the wait list. This way it doesn't matter if you mailed in your application or turned it in at the convention everyone has a fair chance to attend.