Is anyone on here in touch with the people at HP Education Fanon, Inc. (http://www.hpef.net/forums/showthread.php?t=1)? It seems like they have gone through a lot of the same issues as we are, including trying to find a location for a convention that is one of its kind and drawing people from all over the country. Since we're talking about a similar target audience, they might have some experience people who are interested in helping out, or at least answering a list of questions like "How do you decide where to hold each convention?" "How much did you first year cost?" and most importantly for us right now "Where did you get the start up capital for the first convention?"
I know a lot of us on here have some experience with running and starting conventions, but I certainly have no idea how to start one on a nation-wide scale. It was one thing when I started a local anime convention, because some things are were just default - location, target audience, marketing strategies. Trying to figure out how to plan a convention that people across the country are interested in is a different matter for me at least.
Just my thoughts.