HerdCon Expands to Two Days to Feature More Events


Shauntelle Thompson

Students also cosplayed during last year’s HerdCon.

Bex Law, Student Reporter

HerdCon 2023 is expanding to a two day event on Marshall’s campus from Mar. 24 and 25 with live podcasts, cosplay competitions, vendors, table top games and more. 

Over a year’s worth of preparation goes into HerdCon events, said Michelle Alford, Marshall Library information systems technologist. Alford and Heather Lauer, assistant professor and librarian, are the co-chairs of the planning committee for HerdCon. 

In previous years, HerdCon has been a one day event with a sing-along event the evening prior to “get people excited,” Lauer said. 

However, this year HerdCon will be kicking off on Friday, Mar. 24 with a live podcast recording by Justin and Syndee McElroy. Both the McElroy’s are Marshall alumni and the co-hosts of the podcast “Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine.” Limited seating will be available at this live recording, with live streaming available.

HerdCon began in 2018 because Alford and Lauer’s co-worker Monica Brooks expressed a need for a convention in Huntington that is affordable and accessible. 

“It is very unique that this is a free event, and that is very important to us,” Alford said. 

HerdCon will have many vendors, panels, board games and tabletop role playing games available. There will also be robots provided by local girl scouts and drones provided by RCBI. 

The event will also feature both a cosplay competition and a cosplay exhibition. There will be several categories for the cosplay competition, including youth under 12, novice, master, and more.

Lauer said the cosplay is something she is most looking forward to. Typically, the cosplay competition is held in the Shawkey Dining Room; however, HerdCon may need to make other arrangements this year. 

“It was an absolute madhouse,”  Alford said, describing the event from last year. “We had people packed wall to wall. All the seats were taken. People were standing in the door frame and peeking in from the hallway. It was crazy.” 

In the final moments of preparation, Alford and Lauer expressed the need for volunteers, especially student volunteers. 

“You can volunteer for everything,” Alford said, “from hanging up flyers around town, to taking a monitoring shift during the con. It is really fun and we need the help.” 

Those interested can find more information regarding volunteer sign-up, schedule of events, guest speaker announcements and more  on HerdCon’s social media pages and at www.marshall.edu/herdcon. They can also find more information on Instagram at @herdconwv or by searching “HerdCon” on Facebook.