I-CON Here

Hi all this is Blaine from ICON Science Fiction, Inc. , Long Island NY. I am currently managing  the authors track for I-CON 27 (http://www.iconsf.org/).  I-CON itself is a large multi-media convention, supporting media, authors, gaming, anime, comics and many other interests. For next year I-CON 28, we are working on having a focus on YA authors. So we would be glad to help out in anyway possible..

Let us know!! and come to the Con..


  • brian_s

Think about working with anime cons


I'm the Vice Convention Chair of Ohayocon, which is a yearly anime convention in Columbus, Ohio.  I saw this mentioned on Boing Boing and thought this was a really good idea.

I've been to both anime conventions and literary science fiction conventions, and it seems that today, the kids are overwhelmingly going to the anime conventions.  Our convention attendee's average age is probably somewhere around 15-16.

I know there sometimes is tension between the two types of conventions (I've heard people in both types disparage the other), but I don't think there has to be.  There's a lot of things that both conventions have in common, and I think it would be in everyone's interest for anime and science fiction conventions to try to do more together.

One suggestion would be to find your local anime convention, and offer to host some young adult science fiction programming - talking about authors, various series, etc.  The deep dark secret about most anime conventions is that they're often starving for good programming.  If someone were to present an idea for programming that sounded interesting, and would be moderated by someone who is very familiar with the subject matter, I think it'd have a very good chance of being added to the schedule.  You could also contact the convention with the names of local authors, etc. and see if they might consider inviting them as guests.  You're less likely to get anime conventions to bring in sci-fi guests from other places since they'll be focused on getting guests from the anime industry, but a local guest might be doable.  (Just make sure you contact the CONVENTION and not the potential guest if you don't speak for the convention.)

If anyone from Ohio would be interested in trying some science fiction programming at the next Ohayocon, please let me know and I could see if I could get it added.  Unfortunately we just had this year's convention a couple of weeks ago, so the next one wouldn't be until 2009.

Hey neat

Wow - what a great idea! I'd love to see this happen - read tons of Andre Norton when I was a kid, and am still re-reading it though I'm over 50.

But I'd like to complicate your life.

This isn't "A" convention. This is a family of conventions, held at different times, in several major cities. If you hold a single convention it will have a very limited impact. The problem is at least North American in area - probably worldwide. What should be put together is a skeleton, on which local artists/writers/attendees can add their own variations.

And if there is one held in Toronto, I'll probably volunteer. I've worked Ad Astra, Toronto Trek, FilKONtario, and Torcon 3 in the past.

  • Current Mood
    happy happy
Default - To Create is to Live - Eglanti

Con Demographics

I've thought of getting the location ball rolling by scouting hotels in my area (gotta start somewhere), but I don't know what I'm looking for in terms of # of hotel rooms, number and kinds of meeting spaces, etc. I'm posting in order to start this ball rolling. Do we have knowledgeable guesses on how many people would be a reasonable attendance goal, and how that translates into picking a hotel to fit that attendance?
Ada  Lovelace

(no subject)


A lot of conventions have been put on. There's a mountain range of Oral Tradition among the veterans ("SMoFs", though the word is used in other ways too).

The last thing you need is to spend money and energy on a problem which is solved, or relearning skills (like hotel negotiation) which we have masters of.

Last I knew, though it's been a while, there was a SMoFs listserv, with a lot of good people on it. Please start networking with the people who already know how to do what you want to do.

I'm not trying to tell you how to do your con, but there are mechanical considerations which are the same for everyone. How do you budget for your hoped-for number of people when you don't know if 20% or 80% will join at the door, after you've already spent most of what you have to spend? You probably want to set up a 501-c(3) to be the official sponsor to limit liability.

(Frankly, I'm not sure how self-conscious to be. I may be old enough to be grandfather of one of your target demographic, but I've been to a lot of cons, too, and have seen remarkable things. (A personal favorite is the Worldcon where someone said, "It's raining in the Art Show."

(Seriously, I want you to have the best shot of getting this done that you can. And Reinventing the Wheel can be way too expensive.)
Chibi Dragon
  • crisi83

Possible Cross-Convention Support

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.


The Wonderful World of Grants

Hello, everyone!

First off, I have to ask you all to bear with me if this doesn’t entirely make sense—I’m sick, it’s late, and overall my head isn’t working at 100% :B

Alrighty, ladies and gentlemen! We’re all of the opinion that we want to see this con happen sometime in the near future. As with any great undertaking, the one thing we’re going to need more than anything else to make this work is that silly little thing called money. And unless somebody quite rich decides to take pity on the poor writers and fans, there’s only one real way that we’re going to get the money for this—and that’s through grants.

Now, from looking at the profiles of some other similar conventions, it looks like a lot of these conventions have one overarching organization that pretty much runs things, along with a few smaller sponsors. Of course this varies from con to con, but it’s never a bad thing to have multiple sponsors. If we want this con to be long-running, however, it might be worth it to consider establishing a permanent, overarching organization that will oversee the con itself, as well as any other little offshoots we might try (this of course is thinking way in the future, but it’s something to chew on). Having an organization to handle the set-up and oversight of the con itself will likely make our jobs a lot easier—and it will also make it easier to get both not-for-profit status, and a grant to make this con happen.

The grant-writing process is a long and relatively complex one—and it is also best done, I have discovered, when done collectively. There are also several steps involved. The first one is not to look for funders, since how can we look for funders when we don’t even know what our goals are?

The first thing we need to figure out is—who are we? What are we doing? What are we going to contribute? How will we, and therefore the convention, help ourselves and help others? All those pesky little existential questions that keep us up at night, lol.

The step after that is to determine our own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This is called a SWOT analysis and is used by pretty much everyone in the business world (and this includes not-for-profit). What are our strengths—who do we have who is willing to work for us? How will this convention help people? What experience do we have? Weaknesses—what internal problems do we have to contend with? What can we improve upon. Opportunities--what opportunities are out there that we can exploit? What do we intend to use in order to make this work? What can we use? Threats—what external problems do we have to contend with? (Heh, this last one should be easy—dates, money, location, other conventions).

It’s only after we know who we are, what we want to do, and how we intend to do it that we can start to look for funders. There are many types of funders and grants that we can find and use, but at this point I’m thinking that foundational funders are going to be our best bet (of course this can change in the course of our development—you see why finding funders always comes last?) When I say “foundational funders” I mean funds from good-works foundations (like the Red Cross, though I doubt we’ll get money from them, haha) who are willing to donate money to a cause they like. Guidestar is a good place for basic information about not-for-profits, and has information about the forms needed to apply for not-for-profit status as well as how to find good funders. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s The Catalog of Federal and Domestic Assistance, always a good place to hunt down federal grants. But as I said, we’re probably going to want to look at foundational grants, at least at this point in time. And while finding a funding partner is going to be the last thing we do when drafting a grant proposal, it would be good for some of you to check out these sites or find out what you can on the web, just to familiarize yourselves with the process.

As I said before, the grant-writing is best done collectively. Therefore, at this point I’d like to ask for anyone willing to help in drafting a grant proposal. Experience is definitely appreciated, but anyone willing to do research, make phone calls, talk to people or generally go hunting will be enormously helpful. A word on my own experience, which in all honesty isn’t that much to bark about—I’m a Junior in college and just got out of a semester-long course on grant-writing, in which I and three other students drafted a 43-page grant proposal for an alternative high school in Ithaca, New York. We’re still waiting for word on whether the grant was approved or not. I’m also a writer by nature (though more creative than technical), and I have pretty extensive knowledge about the process itself and how to go about it. From what I’ve seen on this community already, there seem to be a few people with substantially more experience than I, and I would like to hear their opinions on this matter.

So! Anyone willing to go through the grueling process of proposal-writing, or anyone who can devote a little time or information, leave a comment and we can talk things out. I have a lot of confidence in this, everyone—I’m sure we can make this happen!

(Long post is long)

Any people for programming?

Hmm... I'm not sure, I'm probably jumping the gun a little bit, but I guess I might as well ask. Has anyone considered the programming staff for this convention?

Such as, Do you wanna be on it? do you wanna run it? do you wanna give input? anything like that...

I was also wondering how the whole, getting the concept into more like.... reality... thing was going lol.. Sorry I suppose I'm too lazy to go through all the posts, but none of them seemed to expressly deal with my questions specific.. ^__^; hope this post isn't a bother... <3
  • smoooom

Joining in a little late

This is such a great idea, I'd love to participate in the planning and such, My family and I would love to attend, but that will depend on a great deal.

I do have a selfish motive here as well, I'm a filker, and I have lots of experience organizing and running filk at conventions. Expanding the understanding of filk is important to those of us who are filkers. It's not just new words to old tunes badly performed and written, there is a wealth of talent and imagination in the community. I'll try and stay off my hobby horse, because this is a great idea and Iwant to help with it.