Programme Items

Items marked (R) are in the Function Room named 'Roman', those marked (V) are in the room named Viking.

Note: Official closing time will be 5 pm Sunday but we'll probably run two or three items after this for those who are staying on.



16:00 - 17:00 History of York.
A talk by a local historian.
20:00 - 21:00

The year in review.
What problems did last year reveal? What is new in conrunning ?

Todd Dashoff (M), Peter Jarvis , Deb Geisler,Tom Whitmore,Tim Illingworth
21:00 - 21:30 What kind of Conrunner are You ?
Come to Margaret's item and be told. (Hint, you should be able to work out what kind of conrunner Margaret is.)
Margaret Austin
21:30 - 22:30

Welcome to the Con, Mixer Event and Competition.
Come along and try your hand at out at a friendly competition. (Hint, you may want to check on the first and the previous items).

All welcome.


10:00 - 11:00 (R)

What is always the same about cons ? Why don't we handle these things more efficiently?
What are the pure mechanics of conrunning? What can you plan to do in the easiest way possible to give yourself time to concentrate on the difficult stuff ? Why do we keep reinventing the wheel for the easiest things and ignoring the hard ones?

Many of the things which appear difficult to the new conrunner are problems which have been solved over and over again. Often the solutions are the same but just as often immense amounts of committee time and argument are devoted to discovering that. Introduction by Ian Sorensen followed by discussion.

Ian Sorensen (Introduction), Martin Hoare, Tony Parker, Craige Howlett
10:00 - 11:00 (V)

Who do we want to attract to cons and how? (note day and time change)
We want to bring in enthusiastic new members for SF conventions but we don't want to become a pure entertainment event for ticket buyers. How do we do that ?

Laurie Mann(M), Claire Brialey, Chris O'Shea, Kathryn Daugherty
11:00 - 12:00 (R)

Publications, the Cinderella of Conventions
What should Convention publications be trying to do? How does the advent of the web affect this ? For SF conventions, publications take up a great deal of their budget and their effort. Despite this, many attendees often cannot remember if they have received a PR or not. In early days the PR from your local convention or the Worldcon was a major point of contact with the rest of fandom. In the era of the web and even of commercial SF news magazines should we be rethinking our whole approach to convention publications.

Steve Davies(M) Mark Plummer, Deb Geisler, Scott Dennis
11:00 - 12:00 (V)

I wish I hadn't done that !
Advice on conrunning with the benefit of hindsight. In the spirit of 'Conrunners Anonymous' everyone is encouraged to confess their sins of omission, commission and addiction.

Tom Whitmore(US), Martin Hoare(UK)
13:00 - 14:00 (R)

Psychology and group management.
What should we consider when using personality tests? What is the psychological theory behind them? How are they created and do they measure what they are meant to? A quick guide to the science of psychometrics.

Michael Rennie
13:00 - 14:00 (V)

"Amateurs talk of Tactics, Professionals talk of Logistics"
How do you plan the development of your convention in detail? What should a convention timeline look like for various sizes of convention? In particular how do you lay out the timeline for the three years of a modern Worldcon? How do you then recruit people to implement it ?
When working on a larger convention than they a previously used to many people feel intimidated by the size of the job. Often it is impossible to see 'the big picture' and people retreat to running their own area as best they can. Can a clear timeline make it clear what everyone has to do and when ? Can it even reduce the number of people used by not recruiting hem until it is necessary ?

Vincent Docherty (Introduction), Elaine Brennan, Andrew Adams, Kent Bloom
15:00 - 16:00 (R)

Combining panelists to make the ideal item.
What is the best way to mix people to make a good panel ? How do you produce entertaining fireworks without any on stage explosions? The panel is at liberty to criticise the way they were selected, but in that case they have to buy the committee a drink instead of the other way around.

Priscilla Olson(M), Colin Harris, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Bridget Bradshaw
15:00 - 16:00 (V)

Fringe fandoms & cons. What works and what doesn't?
How do you integrate fringe fandoms with your convention?

Mary Kay Kare(M), Sue Mason, Mike Pins , Giulia de Cesare
16:00 - 17:00 (R)

Building the Convention Committee Dream Team
What combination of personalities and jobs produces the ideal committee? Do the personalities of your committee affect the type of convention you run?

Tom Whitmore(M), Michael Rennie, Kent Bloom, Martin Hoare
16:00 - 17:00 (V)

US v UK practice.
You say tomato. Do we actually do things differently or not? Three pairs of fans kick off the discussion by comparing conrunning practices from the US and the UK in different parts of the convention.

Vince Docherty, Mark Olson (Planning and Legal), Margaret Austin, Marcia Illingworth (Personalities and Practices), David Cochrane, Jim Mann (At Con)
21:00 - 23:00

Bidders Inquisition.

Presentations for Smofcon, Torcon, Noreascon, UK in 2005, Los Angeles in 2006, Kansas City in 2006, Nippon 2007


10:00 - 11:00 (R) Management styles (note day and time change)
Fans who work in different management cultures discuss how these can be applied to conrunning. The panel includes fans working in: commercial project management, the British Civil Service, Publishing and the Military.
Mark Olson(M), Claire Brialey, Colin Harris, Simon Bradshaw
10:00 - 11:00 (V)

Dealing with difficult programme participants, and other amusements
What do you do with the programme participant from Hell? How do you protect the rest of your wonderfully crafted convention programme from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune?

Janice Gelb (M), Priscilla Olson, Teresa, Nielsen Hayden, Jim Mann
11:00 - 12:00 (R)

The Conrunner's Apprentice.
How do we get people to graduate from attendees to gophers to staff? Is an HR department for conventions a practical idea? When you have to build a concom from scratch how do you recruit people? If you could give them extra training what would it be?

Michael Siladi(M), Pat McMurray, Jenny Quin, Erik Olson
11:00 - 12:00 (V)

How does your local fan group interact with your local convention?
How does the local fan group change when the Worldcon comes to town?

Ian Sorensen(M), Deb Geisler, Joyce Scrivner, Joni Dashoff
13:00 - 14:00 (R)

Launch Thunderbird 2.
How do you rescue a con that is in trouble?

Vincent Docherty, Tom Whitmore, Jim Mann, Judy Bemis
13:00 - 14:00 (V)

Spreading the knowledge
What sort of items about con running could we have at smaller cons? What can we publish about conrunning ?

Ian Sorensen(M), Bjorn Tore Sund, Michael Siladi, Ben Yalow
14:00 - 15:00 (R)

Design the perfect convention venue.
What is absolutely indispensable? What can (should) we do without? Is the ideal venue an hotel? A holiday camp? A cruise liner? L5?

Claire Brialey, Mark Olson, David Cochrane, Marc Gordon
14:00 - 15:00 (V)

What can be different about cons ?
How much can an Eastercon or a Worldcon have a different character? What is left to give your convention character after doing the things that are expected of every convention, particularly if your convention is one in a series?

Kim Campbell(M), Bridget Bradshaw, Mark Plummer, Deb Geisler
15:00 - 16:00 (R)

Do we need an Information Technology policy for fandom? (note day and time change)
The committees of large conventions now exchange a lot of electronic information. A number of tools have been written by fans to help with programme design. Few of these tools, or the commercial tools which many people use, can easily exchange data with each other. Most conventions now experience hardware and software failures at the most inconvenient times. Should we uyse software less or can we manage it better ?

Martin Easterbrook , Mary Kay Kare, Elaine Brennan, Andrew Adams, Simon Bradshaw
15:00 - 16:00 (V)

Item left blank to cover a topic that emerges as important during the con.

16:00 - 17:00

Convention Review.
What worked, what didn't, what should next year learn from this?




UK budgeting workshop

Dave Cooper

Alternate Worldcons (note day and time change)
European countries generally lack Convention centres with US style large hotels nearby ? Does this rule out most of Europe from bidding for a Worldcon ? Some European SF conventions have taken over a mixture of facilities in the centre of a city. Some larger non SF events such as such as The Chocolate Convention and the Montreux Jazz Festival take over major parts of the city they are in. Could this ever be a possibility for a Worldcon ?


UK Data Protection Workshop

Andrew Adams

Psychology Workshop
Can psychometric techniques tell us what makes a good committee member? Sparks (and others) looks at what kind of traits we need in committee members and asks if we were to create a questionnaire what should it be asking? If that can be agreed then why not do it!

Michael Rennie