I just finally got off my lazy butt and made my travel reservations (both hotel and flight), and my convention registration's been paid for a while now; so, I'm officially obligated now to spend 4 full days in Portland, OR, having an awesome time. :-D
I'm one of just a handful of looneys who actually fly in from the east coast of the united states to the west to attend PDX, so that means, even more so than usual, I try to get my money and time's worth out of these trips. Sometimes, that means cramming in the sights and participating in everything I possibly can, and other times that means simply spending the whole time in slow motion and just relaxing as much as humanly possible. Regardless, when I fly across country, I do it to have FUN and do stuff I wouldn't normally do. Or, maybe in my case, just do lots more of the stuff I usually do. Whatever.
Definitely try to at least participate in one convention-related group activity. Dirty Brickster is a riot.
And, absolutely, introduce yourself to people. Everyone will be a little shy and reserved to begin with, that's just natural. But, don't be afraid to relax. And, have fun! Everyone's excited to be there. But, not everyone knows how to relax enough and have enough fun to do their excitement justice. The one thing you don't wanna do is go home WISHING you'd done something that you didn't. If you wanna do something, do it. If you wanna say something, say it. If you think you spot one person or a group of people that catch your interest, talk to them. Take a chance. It's worth it. Trust me.
The worst that can happen is that someone or some group looks at you funny and thinks you're weird. But, to be honest with you, WE'RE ALL WEIRD. And, there's a good chance some of the people who we consider our best friends now once thought we were total idiots the first time we met them at a LEGO con. So, no worries. Just don't be too put off if people make fun of you a little. We all make fun of each other, because we all deserve it.
I'll be making another thread, or maybe just include it in this one, about another get-together between all the FBTB members who will be attending BrickFest. So, at the very least, you can rest assured that you'll know at least a couple of weirdos there who you'll already know.