I don't have much of a need to join with a group and socialize. I have no issue with meeting folks and/or striking up conversations, but I prefer to just let it happen. I also have no issue with asking if anyone minds me sitting down at an empty chair at a table. Last year, I joined several tables, met several people, and got to know a couple of folks well enough to go to lunch with them. So, socially, I had a good time.
I do observe human interaction and behavior. So, in regard to the quotes above and for what it is worth, my impression of the painting tables at the last year's Reapercon was that about half had clearly been claimed by groups and that individual seats had clearly been claimed by individuals -- for the entire Con. It seemed there were a couple of clusters of tables, where a larger group claimed more than one table. As pointed out above, the venue required that one had to establish a spot to put their belongings, unless one wanted to hike back and forth from their car -- which I did with my purchases.
From body language and facial expressions, members of a number of groups appeared to know each other very well and seemed, intentionally or not, to not be interested in others outside the group. Also, if just one member of a group appears to be unfriendly or hostile, whether they are or not, the signal is that that table is not open to others. So, pending some sort of large sign indicating that a table or group of tables are happy to welcome Forum members, I'm guessing that folks who don't already know other Forum members are going to need to cowboy up and introduce themselves. One the ice is broken, I'll bet it all works out.
Absolutely. And well said. I probably talked to a dozen people over breakfast last year.
What I said above about exclusive tables did not apply at all to breakfast. People were openly welcoming. Something about sharing food together.