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Old September 21 2009, 06:09 AM   #1
vampgrrl
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Location: Poppycock
Creating Scifi Cons

What does it take to start a scifi con anyhow?

It had occurred to me after DragonCon, that it was odd that New Orleans didn't have a scifi con. However it does attract some in the steampunk crowd as well as goths (and there was a now defunct PirateCon last few years).

There are a lot of smaller cons out there....anyone have experience with this? Just wondering (as were a few of us out, last night in the Quarter were discussing it as well)
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Old September 21 2009, 06:18 AM   #2
sojourner
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Re: Creating Scifi Cons

Small Cons are dying out. The social aspect has been taken over by the internet. Big cons are turning into trade shows more than the fan based gatherings they used to be.
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Old September 21 2009, 06:34 AM   #3
vampgrrl
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Re: Creating Scifi Cons

I might buy that in terms of comic con but DragonCon isn't very corporate, plus to gain the backing of the hospitality industry would be fairly easy here in New Orleans. I know people (plus it is such a big industry, ie. convention business here...).

PirateCon (which I wasn't involved with at all) died out supposedly because of inept and corrupt leadership (or so I was told) but even that had picked up a lot of local support. So instead of being negative...does anyone have experience in this realm to consider or put forth?
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Old September 21 2009, 06:44 AM   #4
species5618
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Re: Creating Scifi Cons

Toronto has a big corporate con (FanExpo) which attracts 50,000+ people, but there's also a much smaller fan-run one called Polaris...I went to my first one this past summer and it was amazing. I made some good friends there, reconnected with old ones and generally did the con stuff during the day and got stupid drunk in the hotel with other fans at night.

Yes, there aren't as many guests, and they're not going to be able to attract a Shatner or Nimoy, but there were actor guests like Michael Hogan, David Hewlett and Claudia Black. Because it was a small con, you had way, way more interaction with the guests (hell Hogan was at the hotel bar partying with fans, signing stuff for free and generally posing for any and all photos...he was great).

It was an awesome time (better than FanExpo, which is also good but in different ways) and I and many others plan to be back next year.

A good person to talk to is Toronto Trekker who posts here now and then...he's one of the Polaris organizers and I imagine he would have a ton of good advice regarding creating a con.
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Old September 21 2009, 02:33 PM   #5
stonester1
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Re: Creating Scifi Cons

vampgrrl wrote: View Post
I might buy that in terms of comic con but DragonCon isn't very corporate, plus to gain the backing of the hospitality industry would be fairly easy here in New Orleans. I know people (plus it is such a big industry, ie. convention business here...).

PirateCon (which I wasn't involved with at all) died out supposedly because of inept and corrupt leadership (or so I was told) but even that had picked up a lot of local support. So instead of being negative...does anyone have experience in this realm to consider or put forth?
Exactly. Plenty of non-corporate small cons out there. I don't buy that they are dying out. The internet may affect them, but it won't kill them.

People are still ftf creatures, and we geeks love to congregate, meet like minded individuals.

Typing text on a page is fun, but no substitute.
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Old September 21 2009, 02:34 PM   #6
barnaclelapse
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Re: Creating Scifi Cons

As long as it's not an Anime convention in Virginia/DC, then I'm happy.

There's enough of those.
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Old September 21 2009, 07:13 PM   #7
Tom
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Re: Creating Scifi Cons

If you want good guests to draw a crowd you need money! Your main costs will be the Hotel (if you do it at a hotel) and then your guests. Any decent size con you should have at least 100,000 grand before you start out. If you do it the right way you may make a little money but not a lot.
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Old September 21 2009, 07:52 PM   #8
Alpha_Geek
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Re: Creating Scifi Cons

There are a few small cons still around, but many have gone the was of the @ party.
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Old September 22 2009, 02:35 AM   #9
JINXED
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Re: Creating Scifi Cons

If you're looking to start a convention business, I strongly recommend you get a job with one of the more successful convention groups already in operation and learn the ropes.

Google FedConUSA and Jumpcon if you want to how it's NOT done.
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Old September 22 2009, 04:42 AM   #10
pookha
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Re: Creating Scifi Cons

you might find this of interest..
http://bestofneworleans.com/gyrobase...id=oid%3A35040

in the past there have been conventions in new orleans.
it has even hosted two world cons that i know of.

crescent city con was mostly a fannish literature sf convention but did have some media guests too.

this ia opposite of dragon con that really highlights the media and has a little side lit sf part too it.

also fandom was affected by katrina.
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Old September 22 2009, 05:48 AM   #11
clint g
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Re: Creating Scifi Cons

I would imagine that one of the best ways to start a club would be through a college club or some such. I know at my school in Buffalo, a few of the...well, for lack of a better term, geek clubs...joined forces and started a rather small con. Last I checked they were trying to join forces with other colleges in Buffalo to create a larger con
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