"Let's do this!" I knew that I needed to make this year count. For weeks there have been loud rumblings of a disagreement between the Web Summit organisers and the Irish government. The result of those very public childish spats was that this was the last year the Web Summit was planned to be in Ireland, so I had to make every second count.
I arrived early for the opening address on Tuesday, ready to network with some similarly minded people, shift social dynamics, disrupt social convention, all the things these types of gatherings entail. It's hard standing out at these things, so you really need to use all of your energy all of the time; almost without trying people were looking at me as soon as I entered the room.
"Interesting choice." said a man nearby me, but he turned away before I even had a chance to respond.
"Are you sure you're in the right place?" a woman asked me, and for the first time I had doubts.
RDS, check. 3rd November, check. All of the pieces were in place, but looking around at the other people gathering I couldn't help but notice everyone else looked a little different.
"I'm very sure that I am." I slowly replied. Get confident, Dave, I screamed internally. Network, diversify your social portfolio.
I took a deep breath. "My costume is a gender-swapped Gwen Stacey as Spider-Gwen, so I'm like Spider-Man but my costume is a little cooler. Do you like it?" I pulled up the hood to made it look a little sharper.
"Uhhhmm," she appeared nervous.
"Is it too on the nose? I know it's a WEB Summit, so I didn't want to go as the obvious Peter Parker Spider-Man but this Halloween costume was all I had, then I thought a lot of the other cosplayers here would do that too, so I improvised! My friend John came as Sailor Moon."
I should point out that he did not dress as a gender-swapped version.