I first learned about MechaCon V from another anime fan that I know from work. I looked at the website for the event and introduced myself. I then made an ad for the event on my forum based on info from the event forum. I touched base with the admin there, Loki, and got final clearance to post it.
It got a good response.
It was touch and go as to me going to the event but my friends Jeff and Sherry stepped up and gave me a ride to and from the event. It was in the next town over 50 miles away.
Anyway I tooled around the event and snapped a chip load of pictures and snarfed some items to bring home. BUT the point is I took part in a local event that corresponds to the subject matter of my forum. And I volunteered to help out at the next one. I talked up AnimeAppeal.com as if it was a grand baby.
Then I came straight back and posted up the pictures at AnimeAppeal.com as I had promised the people. I started a thread at the event forum that pointed to my pictures and sat back. Some of the pics stink but I put them up anyway.
Here's the thread at MechaCon forums I started: http://forums.mechacon.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2088
This is the thread at AnimeAppeal: http://animeappeal.com/forums/showthread.php?t=730
In the end, a little over 270+ views, I found my forum on page 2 number 6 on Google.
Don't mind Ren. She's my alien desktop helper babe.
But the point of all this is my going to an event that is on the subject matter of my forum, helped my forum get attention and shoot my page rank of a fairly dead forum up to page 2.
Find events that mate to your forum's subject matter and go. Talk up your forum and if you can, hand out cards with info on your forum(s). I didn't do the card thing as it was touch and go as to getting to go. But I talked so much I had to shut up after a while cause my throat was raw.
Take pictures. Be cool about that though. Ask permission and get the ground rules straight first. I got to meet Loki and we chatted for a few minutes about the event. I then asked about taking pictures. I got from the registration ladies and Loki the only thing is to ask the people first. They both said the people eat up getting their pictures taken. No one said no and I got a bunch of pics to post.
Bottom line: Invest the registration fee, take your camera, and go to an event.
I'm sure glad I did.
Thanks much to Jeff and Sherry for taking me over and bringing me back home. With out their help I could not have gone to the event.
Update: Animeappeal.com is looking at almost 400 hits on the picture thread and the thread I started at Mechacon forums is looking at hitting 800 real quick.