Conventions FAQ

FAQ = “Frequently Asked Questions”

Terms of Reference

:?: What is Con?

:!: Our Con or convention is the most exciting thing most of our members do in any given year. Its visiting a new city, visiting a decent hotel for 2-5 days, hanging out with a colourful group of games and puzzle loving people from the ages of 10 to 90. Con is what you want it to be. In the words of some, “Con is a few days with other people from my planet.”

:?: When is Con?

:!: 2nd weekend in July, approximately. There are actually some other gaming things during other weekends in July, so our weekend is determined in concert with those other events. The dates and alot of other info for currently planned and past gatherings are on this website at our convention page.

Occasional mini-/regional-/etc. gatherings are common. You can get the latest low-down at our convention page.

Activities at Con generally includes a Host's reception, a lively Friday night program, two “official” Cryptic Crosswords, competition on Saturday afternoon, and a Main Event on Saturday night. During Con, there is always (24 hours a day) Games. Meals are provided and are always excellent, often local, cuisine.

:?: Where is Con?

:!: Different place every year; approximately alternates east and west coast, but tends to be east coast more than west. You can get the latest low-down at our convention page.

:?: How much does attending Con cost?

:!: Well, that depends on things like how long you stay (longer =⇒ more), how much you do outside of Con ( more =⇒ more), how many people you share a room with (more =⇒ less) and how far and fast you travel (more =⇒ more). The spring announcement will put a price on most of the things, and how many people like you enough to share accommodations (as many as six or more to a room isn't unheard of) all influence things.

Now, how old you are and how enthusiastic you are about games tells you something about how much time you actually NEED a room. It is not uncommon for people to be awake from Thursday night until early Saturday AM, then nap during the business meeting, to rise about noon for the competitive solving Saturday afternoon and remaining awake until the convention disbands on Sunday afternoon. Not that you have to be young and rabid for wordplay to enjoy con. But, some people like to sleep, and others think Con is too short for such a silly practice. Those are the people with eight people not really using a room.

Only one person is “comped” for Con: our devoted editor. Everyone else (organizing committee included) pays full fare. And despite living “in town,” the committee generally stays in the hotel for the duration.

:?: Where in the world do I find out about this stuff?

The Enigma has all the announcements in about the February issue. Following issues contain more details, options and promotions. They are generally also available in the area of our convention page.

We have a private sign-up for Con in our Convention Attendance page Members only. The people who are attending can post information about when they are arriving, are they sharing (or looking to share), and other trivia such as games being brought. This is all in addition to signing up and sending money to the Con Organizers.

Convention Activity

:?: So, when does stuff happen?

  • Three months after Con (Oct), The Enigma prints the financial statement of how Con did.
  • About a month after Con (Aug), you get your Con photo and the final communications from the Con Committee.
  • Sunday of Con finishes just before noon so everyone can check out. A few people stay an extra night or two, but most will be at home Sunday night.
  • Saturday night is lots of fun games and “the main event” while Saturday afternoon is competitive solving. Saturday AM is the business meeting.
  • Friday night is a variety, generally non-competitive program. The two official cryptic crosswords are available.
  • 2nd weekend in July, Con happens.
  • Thursday before Con is the host's reception somewhere (often a home) for the early arrivals. Nom tags are available before the party.
  • Week before con has early arrivals, touristy things, and lots of social things.
  • A month before con (Jun): deadline for payments to the con committee.
  • Three to four months before con (Mar/Apr): prices are final and distributed; you can now send money for con. The “theme” for competitive flat solving is announced.
  • Five months before con (Feb), activity and most details are announced.
  • 1 year before Con, the committee makes a promotional presentation to the attendees of the >previous< convention. Contracts are often signed, budgets start to be discussed; sub committees for “the main event” at Con are begun.
  • 2 years before Con, the membership attending the Saturday AM business meeting selects a city/committee for a convention 2 years later.
  • 3 years before Con, a group of krewe gather and some silly person suggests hosting a con locally and the rest look in disbelief as someone takes the idea seriously and a potential host committee is born. Sometimes, just one Krewe thinks to themselves “Con here would be fun” and fails to realize the enormity and absurdity of the task and a potential Con Host emerges.

Hosting a Convention

:?: Who actually plans what?

:!: Every convention is a little different. In general, you can expect:

  • The Con Host [Committee]. There are one or more krewe who

manage the hotel, the food, the reception, some local activities, promotions, collecting cash, and stuff. Note: the hosting committee looks after all the business of Con.

  • Program Team. There are a few krewe who manage the “program”

of events; they make sure all the “official activities” are going to work, how much time is allowed, who is the spokesperson for each activity and the like. If it is an organized, recreational thing, the program team covers it.

  • There are some extra, 'unofficial' things, too. Lots of games in the

hospitality suite, extra puzzles and plenty of social-solving trips for most cons.

:?: How do I host a con?

:!: You need to attend at least one convention and promote it. You need to make a presentation at the Saturday business meeting, too. And you need to be around two (or more) years later to be a host.

We have a lot of stuff for con hosts; the previous hosts have written Con Hosts' Guide Members only to making your convention successful.

:?: I just heard the convention will be in my city in a few weeks; how do I get involved?

:!: If its only weeks away, you're probably too late for anything but attending and maybe some of the last minute legwork. All the big decisions about hotels and stuff are more than a year in the past; even the budget is pretty final 7 months or so before Con.

So, if you want to be involved, keep in touch with the local Krewe and get involved as early as possible.

Of course, you can always add some puzzles, some energy, and some fun to the mix in lots of 'unofficial' ways, too.

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faq/cons.txt · Last modified: 2007/07/22 16:43 by kite
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