So, I'm getting a look at convention planning up close--not having to do it personally, but someone I see at work all the time is the chief coordinating host of a travelling con named SUnMaRC (the crazy capitalization is on purpose).
It'll be here in the first quarter of 2013, and the host is starting to get more and more anxious about all of it. I've had a look at the scheduled events and ideas for other activities, and it made me think: what are the ingredients to a good con?
There would be obvious differences between this, which is an academic convention, and a furry con, which has some buying, selling and trading. But there are some similarities: both feature talks and presentations and panels, and both give "ordinary" visitors the chance to show off what they can do.
And of course different individuals are going to have different reactions to how a con went. I thought the first AZ Fur con was a blast, but I've heard (here and there) that a few people weren't happy about some thing or another. How much of that was really under the organizers' control? I went to no events, only spent a little bit of time shopping in the dealers' floor, but it was still a good time because people were coming and going, mingling and talking.
Can that be bottled and captured somehow? Or is there something else that a con (not necessarily only a furry con) should have?
Well, some stuff that helps a con be more successful is dedicated people running it, and those people having some experience in the con running aspect is super helpful. A lot of the staff for AFC have been running and helping run other cons before we started up AFC. Oh! Another good thing that really helps a con out...working with other cons! You can get more experienced help, poss do trades on ads and other things, and just have someone be there to back you up when something gets thrown at you from left field. I don't know many cons that don't have that rushed feeling right before the actual event starts. There are things that are out of the convention staff's control. For AFC, the hotel popped a few surprises on us at the last second and we just had to roll with it and do our best to make sure our attendees had as much fun as possible. :) There are so much more involved in making a con happen, I suggest hopping in and helping a con or two out and see the inner workings of conventions. Conventions LOVE volunteers! :D
Last edit: 17 Dec 2013 00:44 by Mara. Reason: typo :p
I wonder if they've done anything small but memorable...like putting something cool in a "Welcome" pack, or having some kind of artwork on the name tags they'll be handing out...not furry themed, exactly, but something else flashy that they'll want to keep when it's done.
I think they did a "con report" the first two days, too, with pictures of some of the events and participants and the upcoming day's schedule (kind of like a newspaper, it was only two pages).
Are there other little things that make some cons anyone's gone to stick out in memory more than others?