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SMOF News, volume 1, issue 16
More on program participation, and news in brief.
How to Convention: Program Participation (Part 3)
Previously in this series I discussed how to get on the program under the sf convention model and the media convention model. Once you’re on the program, you’re all prepared for your talk, and arriving at the convention, now what?
The convention should send out some standard information for all program participants within a week or so before it starts. It can be overwhelming, so here are some key items to look for:
Where do you pick up your badge? Is it at the main registration desk, or somewhere else entirely? Is there a special line you’re supposed to be in?
Do you need to check in anywhere else? Sometimes you will need to collect an info packet which may be at registration, or the program office, or at the green room if there is one.
Is there a green room? Some conventions will provide a space where panelists can meet up ahead of panels, or just take a break and have a snack. (Some conventions will have one but reserved for the guests of honor only, in which case you won’t hear about it anyway.)
Who do you go to if there’s a problem? For instance, if the equipment in the room doesn’t work, who fixes it? Find out where the program office is, or if there isn’t a separate one for program, where the operations office is. Make sure you know how to get to it before an urgent problem develops.
How long is your timeslot actually? If one set of items is scheduled at 10:00, and the next is scheduled at 11:00, they aren’t actually 60 minutes long. The convention should let you know when you should stop to let people cycle in and out of the room and get to the next items. If a time isn’t mentioned, assume 10 minutes before the end of the time block.
Some additional tips that can make your program item go smoothly:
Find the room it’s scheduled in ahead of time. Take a look around. Try standing up at the front of it. Unless that’s going to make you even more nervous.
Use your setup time. If items are scheduled with explicit setup time rather than back-to-back, show up as early in that time as you can. Even if you only need a minute to hook up to the projector, this allows time for you to discover that the specific cord you need isn’t there, or you can’t figure out how to turn on the microphone, or other minor disasters that can be resolved quickly by program ops. It also reassures people that the item is actually going to happen when they come in and see somebody ready to run it.
Eat something beforehand. Even if it’s just a snack bar. Food energy will keep you going better than nervous energy.
Get yourself some water. You’ll need it. If there isn’t a pitcher of water on the table at the front of the room, there will usually be water stations in the program rooms or the hallways, or at least someplace to fill a water bottle.
If there’s a microphone, use it! Even if you know how to project your voice, don’t use up valuable energy when technology is there to help you.
It’s customary to end these tips with an exhortation to remember to have fun. Honestly, that comes with practice. If you’ve never spoken in front of a group of strangers before, it can be nerve-wracking, and it may not be until you’ve gotten back to your house or hotel room and taken a deep breath that you can look back on making it through your first program item with a sense of accomplishment. Savor that pride, though, and try again at the next con, and after a few times you’ll be amazed at how comfortable you’ve become and how, yes, you’re having fun in the moment.
Voting for the 2022 Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund has opened. TAFF provides travel funds to one selected person per year to travel from North America to Europe or vice versa for fannish purposes. The current race is for someone to come from Europe to attend the 2022 Worldcon. Ballot with candidates’ statements here; more here.
Weekend of December 17-19
DisCon III, the 79th World Science Fiction Convention, Washington, DC, USA
TwinConRPG (gaming), London, UK
Sac Gamers Expo (video games), Sacramento, California, USA
Power Up South Bend (video games), South Bend, Indiana, USA
Holiday Matsuri (anime), Orlando, Florida, USA
Con+Alt+Delete (anime), Rosemont, Illinois, USA
AnimeFest 2021, Dallas, Texas, USA
Comic Con Revolution, Ontario, California, USA
Fan Party vol. 5 (media), Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico
Weekend of December 24-26
Weekend of December 31-January 2
Comic Market 99 (amateur comics), Tokyo, Japan
Painted Desert Fur Con: Neo Tokyo (anthropomorphic), Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Ikkicon (anime), Austin, Texas, USA
OKiCon (anime), Norman, Oklahoma, USA
Weekend of January 7-9
Shadowcon XXV (relaxacon), Memphis, Tennessee, USA
GAFilk 2022 (music), Atlanta, Georgia, USA
SuperMAGFest (gaming/videogame music), National Harbor, Maryland, USA
OrcaCon 2022 (gaming), Bellevue, Washington, USA
Animé Los Angeles 17, Long Beach, California, USA
Taiyou Con 2022 (anime), Mesa, Arizona, USA
Anime-ZAP!, East Peoria, Illinois, USA
Fan Expo New Orleans (media), New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Weekend of January 14-16
Chattacon XLVII, Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
Na Meji Nevidnega, Ljubljana, Slovenia
GenghisCon, Perth, Australia
Arisia 2022, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
MarsCon 2022, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
COSine 2022, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
DeCONpression 17 (relaxacon), Columbus, Ohio, USA
Waypoint Norwescon (relaxacon), online
HexaCon (gaming), Broomfield, Colorado, USA
Midwinter Gaming Convention 2022, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
SCARAB 2022 (gaming), Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Siege of Augusta XXXI (miniatures gaming), Augusta, Georgia, USA
SaltCON Bryce (boardgames), Bryce Canyon, Utah, USA
Further Confusion 2022 (anthropomorphic), San Jose, California, USA
Anime Impulse, Pomona, California, USA
Ichibancon 12 (anime), Concord, North Carolina, USA
OtakuFest (anime), Miami, Florida, USA
Central Florida Comic Con, Lakeland, Florida, USA
Puerto Rico Comic Con, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA
Wintercon (media), Jamaica, New York, USA
The best (terrible) office holiday party date story of all time (Ask a Manager)
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