HerdCon Event Brings Campus Together


Shauntelle Thompson

Two cosplayers at HerdCon

Sarah Davis, Staff Reporter

The presence of pop culture flooded Marshall’s campus on Saturday, March 25, with the annual HerdCon convention. HerdCon, an event that launched in 2019, provides the community with opportunities and activities to channel one’s interests with fandom and pop culture.

 The mission of Marshall’s pop culture convention is to make a point of educational diversity, according to an organizer of the event.

“It’s to let people know that Marshall is engaged in more than just teaching people how to do this and that and this and that, but also expanding our cultures,” said Heather Lauer, librarian and organizer of HerdCon. 

Lauer enjoys many aspects of HerdCon, but especially the impact it has on the community.

“It is amazing. Getting involved with the students, seeing their faces light up from the concepts of the cosplay [and] seeing vendors,” she said. 

Lauer also expressed her gratitude to her coworkers that aided in this year’s convention, describing them as an “amazing team.”

This year’s HerdCon featured an array of food trucks, vendors, panels and games. Special guests Justin and Dr. Sydney McElroy hosted a live episode of their podcast, Sawbones, to those in attendance. 

One vendor described the HerdCon community as a family.

“We see these people at all kinds of cons around,” said Nikki Bird, artist and HerdCon vendor. “The con family is wonderful, and I am so impressed by how they have this,” she added. 

Bird, along with her daughter, has showcased her creations at numerous conventions, including HerdCon, for many years. Much like her business, she has seen HerdCon thrive from its debut.

“The way it has grown- and the community coming in supporting it- it’s amazing, and we’ve had a lot of fun,” she said.

In addition to the showcases, HerdCon put on a cosplay contest and live music concert. The contest held five categories, ranging from just-for-fun to advanced cosplayers.

One notable feature of HerdCon is its free admission to the public. This is made possible by various sponsors, the most prominent being Marshall University’s Office of the President and the West Virginia Library Commission Center for the Book.