December 5-7, 1997
Come explore the diversity of smofdom! Great conventions come in all sizes. Small conventions and large ones share many of the same problems and opportunities--and lessons learned cross all boundaries. Smofcon is about the art of convention running and Smofcon 15 will focus on interactivity and getting everyone included.
We promise you new and exciting activities, terrific food, fascinating
convention horror stories, a cornucopia of chocolate, an awesome program,
a wonderful con suite at the hub of the convention, and great restaurants
in a marvelous city. (Did we mention food?) Come and smof till you drop!
Smofcon Wants You!
Smofcon is open to all fans interested in all aspects of convention running.
Contrary to rumor, it is not invitational! Whether you are helping out
for the first time at your local convention or you have been a Worldcon
Chair or Division Head, there's something that you can learn (or teach)
at Smofcon. Ideas come from the most unexpected sources. Fans will be sharing
experiences and exchanging neat ideas in the hospitality suite, over meals,
and in the bar, as well as during discussion groups and panel items.
This year's Smofcon program will have a single track of general interest
items covering "Rules & Procedures", "People", "Creativity", and "Techniques".
Alongside the general program will be a second track of focused workshops
and discussion groups.
Some of the items we're considering for both tracks are:
- How to Enjoy Your First Smofcon
- Copyright Laws and Fandom
- Convention/Publisher Interfacing
- Team-building for a Geographically Dispersed Committee
- What Happens After the Convention? (for both successful and non-successful cons)
- Growth Control: Making a Con Bigger or Smaller (and Can It Survive?)
- British vs. American Con-Running Styles
- Marketing Your Convention
- Why Don't We Learn from Our Mistakes?
- Keeping Things From Going Stale. (This Old Con--Fix It Up)
- Fandom vs. the Real World
- Computers--When Not to Use them
- Ghosts and Parasites
- Blame-Free Solutions
- The Ins/Outs of Art Show Building/Running
- When to Cut Your Losses & Start Over--People, Money Or Goodwill Points
- Flyer & Web Design
- Creating a Convention Program
- Stocking a Con Suite/Den
- Securing Convention Items
- Programming Fringe Interests
- Creating a FAQ For Smofcons/Conrunning
- Mutual Dependence--(what can cons and artists do for each other?)
These are only our ideas. We want yours! So--if there are subjects that you are interested in, or a problem that you want solved, please let us know, and we'll try to accommodate you (if you help us.) We want this Smofcon to cover your interests as well as ours.
We plan to start activities late Friday afternoon with introductory items
(introducing both Smofcon and fans to each other). We do not expect everyone
on site then, but we are planning some fun things to get us started.
For Friday evening's ice-breaker event we are planning Spin City. We
need your help for this. What problems (or disasters) occurred at your
con, or at a convention you attended? We want to collect short (1-2 sentence)
descriptions, and we'll be asking people to "spin" them into a better light.
Also, if you don't have an actual disaster, why don't you invent one?
Saturday's schedule will start at 10:00 am, include a lunch break, and
continue until 5:30 pm. There will be a longer dinner break, and then we
will reconvene for our Saturday night event. We are still deciding among
several fun ideas for Saturday, so please stay tuned. Note: we are not
planning a standard "Fannish Inquisition". (This doesn't mean you're off
the hook ... come prepared to answer questions.)
Sunday will have additional programming until 4:00 pm, then we'll adjourn
to the hospitality suite for Dead Smof Partying.
Smofcon 15 is using the Doubletree
Suites in Boston, MA: every room is a 2-room suite with a view of the
Charles River and Cambridge. Right in the city, it has easy access by car
or air. Our con suite is the huge Presidential Suite. The hotel is less
than a mile from Harvard Square or MIT, and has a free shuttle to many
parts of Boston and Cambridge. Additionally, you get free cookies on check-in!
Hotel rates are $99 per night for single through quad rooms. Reservations
should be made separately with the Boston Doubletree by calling 617-783-0090,
and mentioning Smofcon or MCFI. There is a $7 (special reduced rate) daily parking
charge for the indoor garage for all of our members. Our hotel block goes
away on November 1, 1997, so please reserve your rooms before then.
Boston, Cambridge, Brighton/Allston & Somerville
There are plenty of things to see and do in Boston and nearby Cambridge.
Museums include the Science Museum, Computer Museum, and Boston Aquarium.
Harvard Square contains many stores including, bookstores such as WordsWorth,
Schoenhof's, McIntyre & Moore, Pandemonium Books, and the Harvard Coop.
The Sunset Grill, in Allston, has over 120 beers on draft. In addition we are
planning a tour of the NESFA Clubhouse for those who wish to see a local
Weather in Boston in December can be variable. It can be snowing, or as warm as 60 degrees (or more). Unfortunately, we can't predict what the
weather will be, especially as this is being written (September, 1997). We
can tell you that under normal circumstances sidewalks and roads are cleared
of snow promptly, and those of you who are used to warmer climes do not
even need to venture into the cold if you don't wish to.
Fly to Logan
International Airport; most major airlines fly here. A taxicab from the
airport should run $20-$25. Or you can call U.S. Shuttle (617-894-3100)
to be picked up and taken to the hotel. The fare from the airport per person
is $8, plus $3.50 per group for airport fees, etc.; i.e., two people traveling
together would be $19.50.
Take Amtrak or Greyhound to South Station. A taxicab from there to the
hotel should run $15-$20. Or you can call U.S. Shuttle (617-894-3100) to
be picked up and taken to the hotel (no airport fees from South Station).
Or you can take the MBTA Red Line to Central Square, and the Route 64 bus towards Oak Square.
- From Logan Airport: Take I-93 South to I-90 West (Mass Pike.) for 4 1/2
- I-90 West: Follow to exit 20 Allston/Cambridge. After toll plaza, bear
right following signs for Cambridge. Keep right, go straight through first
traffic light and turn right at second traffic light. Hotel entrance is
approximately 100 yards on right at the bottom of the ramp.
- I-90 East: follow to exit 18 Allston/Cambridge (a left lane exit). After
toll plaza, bear right following signs for Cambridge. Keep right, go straight
through first traffic light and turn right at second traffic light. Hotel
entrance is approximately 100 yards on right.
- I-95 North/South: to Mass Pike. - (Follow I-90 East directions above)
- I-93 North/South: to Mass Pike. - (Follow I-90 West directions above)
- Storrow Drive West: From Downtown Boston, keep to right side of Storrow
Drive West following signs for Newton & Arlington. Take Mass Pike/Central
Square Exit. Keep left on the exit ramp and make a wide U-turn at the traffic
light. Hotel entrance will be on your right.
As at many of the past Smofcons, there will be a resource room available
for people to see what other Smofcons have covered, and what other conventions
have produced. There will also be computers to use, meeting magazines,
hotel books, etc. Since one of our planned workshops is "Badge Technology",
we would like you to bring samples of previous convention badges. We're
also planning to have a workshop on publications in general, so please
bring samples of other convention items such as souvenir books, pocket
programs, progress reports, flyers, souvenir items, T-Shirts, gifts for
Badges, We Do Need Stinkin' Badges
Badges are not only useful for showing who is a member of the convention,
but for telling each other about who we are. We have a chance to decide
now what should be included besides names. Do you want city, state/country?
Area of expertise? Email address? Something else? Please let us know.
The names themselves will be readable from a reasonable distance. We promise!
If you're interested in hosting next year's Smofcon, please let us know.
The Smofcon 15 membership will choose the next Smofcon sometime Saturday.
Smofcon 15 Membership
Here's the list of current members. If you're not listed and you thought
you were already a member please contact us as soon as possible.
Bobbi Armbruster, Bonnie Atwood, Ted Atwood, Judy Bemis, Kent Bloom, Seth Breidbart, Ann Broomhead, K.I.M. Campbell, Nancy Cobb, James Daugherty, Kathryn Daugherty, Bob Daverin, Brenda Daverin, Gay Ellen Dennett, Dale Farmer, George Flynn, Pam Fremon, Crickett Fox, Steve Gold, Lisa Hertel, Mark Hertel, Tim Illingworth, Saul Jaffe, Walter Kahn, Deborah King, 'Zanne Labonville, Alexis Layton, Suford Lewis, Tony Lewis, John Lorentz, Gary Louie, Jim Mann, Laurie Mann, Robert J. MacIntosh, Karen Meschke, Mary Morman, Mark Olson, Priscilla Olson, Tony Parker, Sara Paul, Peggy Rae Pavlat, Kelly Persons, Ruth Sachter, Robert Sacks, John Sapienza, Sharon Sbarsky, Paul Selkirk, Kurt Siegel, Kevin Standlee, Tim Szczesuil, Mary Tabasko, Sally Woehrle, Richard Wright, Ben Yalow.
Smofcon 15 Mailing List
A Smofcon 15 Mailing list is being set up at firstname.lastname@example.org
to discuss ideas for program, schmoozing, and any other interesting stuff
that comes up. To sign-up for the mailing list send an email message saying "subscribe smofcon" to email@example.com. We will also be contacting people about being added to this mailing list.
Smofcon 15 Membership Form
To purchase a Smofcon 15 membership, complete this form and mail it to:
Smofcon 15, PO Box 1010, Framingham, MA 01701-1010.
Credit card purchases may be faxed to 617-776-3243.
Memberships $35 (US Funds) until November 17, 1997 (and will be $45
at the door).
Make checks payable to MCFI. We also accept Visa and MasterCard. Please
don't mail cash.
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