One of the first things you may notice about the 221b con is its diversity. Because 221b is a convention for all lovers of Sherlock. It reaches the diehard literary Conan Doyle fans who quote canon from memory, to those who can give you every theory about what happens in the newer BBC Sherlock series starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. It attracts old and young alike who mingle like they have been friends for ages. The convention also strives, and succeeds, to make it a safe and inclusive place for the LGBTQ community.
The other thing I find fascinating is that the convention was planned by people who bonded over their love of Sherlock at a Sherlock panel at another convention. They were people who shared a mutual love of a fandom and decided to make a convention for others in their fandom. This was their fifth year anniversary of the convention. Since it is a convention attended by many Tumblr users and artists, it was only fitting that they gave a nod to DashCon and had a small ball pit to play in. You could even bid for an extra hour in the ball pit in their silent auction. The silent auction had many items you could bid on from signed photographs of actors in the BBC Sherlock series, to books, to fantastic fan art. All the proceeds from the silent auction, as well as tickets from the burlesque show by Hysteria Machines, and votes for your favorite Sherlock woman (won by Molly with Mrs. Hudson coming in second) went to the Beacon Society.
The convention was full of all sorts of interesting panels. You could choose to dip into the mind of a retired Sherlock and learn about his apiary (beekeeping) hobby. They also had a Bartitsu demonstration. Bartitsu was the mixed martial art created by Barton Wright that Sherlock favored. And of course many panels and discussion about Sherlock cannon and detectives of all sorts.
If you needed a break from learning and talking about your favorite detective, Sherlock, there were plenty of other fun activities and panels planned. You could attend a Burlesque show, a Hamilton sing-a-long, or fun game show panels. There was even a secret scavenger hunt only for those who visited the Con Suite.
The artists in the vendor area were all remarkable and talented.
The staff felt the love too:
"I'm home from 221B Con and I've had a better night's sleep than I got all weekend. I have a few scattered thoughts I want to share before I have my con crash.
I just want to say that I'm so proud of what this con has turned into and I'm really glad that I get to be a part of it. It's much more successful that I think me or any of the other directors imagined.
This is a con that is so full of love and acceptance and it's all because of the awesome people who come every year to have a giant love fest and maybe talk about Sherlock Holmes for a minute. I think it speaks volumes about this con that all of our past guests would happily return. If you didn't see the video from David Nellist, you need to go over to Twitter and see it. You'll cry.
Thank you all for another fantastic year. I hope to see you all next year."
Overall 221B Con is a great convention to attend if you like anything remotely related to Sherlock Holmes. Whether it's detective novels, movies, BBC shows, Elementary, or even fanfic, there is something for everyone. If you are a geeky lady looking for an accepting positive atmosphere, 221B Con is a place you can call home.