Like with any groups of rabid fans, when you meet a fellow Bravo watcher out in the wild, there’s an instant shorthand. Phrases like “bye wig” and “whoop it up” are tossed around. Hopeful plans for drinks at TomTom (L.A.), The Regency (New York), or Old Lady Gang (Atlanta) are made. A discussion of whether or not it’s about the pasta might end with everyone singing “Good as Gold.” Bravo has, without a doubt, turned a cable TV network into a full-on cultural phenomenon.

It’s surprising, then, that we’ve gone this long without a convention to cater to the fans that can’t get enough. That changed this past weekend, when the network hosted its first BravoCon in New York City. The three-day event—which started at $299, with plenty of opportunities for VIP add-ons—featured a mix of opportunities for obsessives to interact with the 88 Bravolebrities (that is, Bravo celebrities) who attended, including panels with the Below Deck cast, dinners prepared by Top Chef contestants, and a pop-up museum dedicated to all things Real Housewives. It was a hit, naturally: Tickets sold out quickly and, according to a statement by Bravo, “We had nearly 10,000 people come through our doors (although that counts some people more than once since some had a multiday pass).”

“We’ve been noodling around with [BravoCon] for a long time,” Andy Cohen, Bravo’s executive vice president of development and talent until 2013 and the host of Watch What Happens Live, told reporters on the red carpet before a taping of the talk show on Friday night. (An event that flush fans could spend extra to attend.) “I’m so excited that Bravo finally decided to do it.”

The fans were excited too, of course. Ashley, who came from Arizona, says she bought four tickets to the convention before she even knew who would come with her. Jim says he made new friends on his flight from Chicago to New York—he noticed a group planning their itinerary on the BravoCon app and struck up a conversation. The pack shared a cab from the airport to the hotel. For both, highlights of their weekend were the times they got to interact with their favorite Bravolebrities.

Kenya Moore, Cynthia Bailey, and Eva Marcille during a taping of “Watch What Happens Live”Karlolina Wojtasik/Bravo

That sentiment rang true for the stars as well. Every Bravolebrity I talked to over the course of the weekend described Bravo fans with similar language—loyal, passionate, and vocal were words that came up often—and cited them as their main reason for wanting to participate in the event. “Oh, the Bravo fans are so passionate,” Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kyle Richards told me. “They’re so passionate that sometimes it can be a little jarring. I remember my daughter saying to me once, ‘Mom, don’t get your feelings hurt. They’re sports fans. It’s not that they don’t love the Lakers; they just happen to love the Clippers more.’ But when they’re on your side, there’s nobody more passionate. When they’re mad at you, it’s the same, but I respect them.”


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