Convention Issues

If you’re new here, you may not have noticed that I maintain (well, try to, anyway) a listing of writer-friendly science fiction conventions, which you can normally find a link to up top. Because of the qualifications I look for when adding these conventions, most of what I include are smaller, fan-run conventions (though not all of them are “smaller.” Dragoncon constantly under-reports its attendance figures, and they claimed 70,000 attendees last year; that’s on the list).

That usually makes for a good, fun convention. But, as someone who tries to maintain a certain minimum amount of information on these conventions, it also frequently means their websites are one man operations, which may or may not have any oversight. This can result in convention listings with rather amusing omissions from their listings.

For example, take Ro-Con.  Ro-Con, the successor to the now retired Pi-Con, notes on its website that it will be catered to by the hotel restaurant (though it is not described as the hotel restaurant; you would only know this if you were familiar with the hotel), La Luna of New London.  Here’s the kicker:  Nowhere, on the website, do they mention where the convention is actually held!  (I will note that, several months after I found out about this convention and contacted the staff to find out where it is being held, they started mentioning it is in “Southeastern Connecticut,” but it still doesn’t list the hotel it is being held in).

College-based conventions rarely have informative website.  Take, for example, JohnCon, a science fiction convention based in Johns Hopkins University.  You will note that they claim they will be hosting their 2016 convention in “Spring.”  Nothing more than that, even though it’s already January.  At least they give me that much warning — I’ve found a few conventions which don’t update their website for almost a year, making me wonder if they’ve shut down operations, only for them to announce the new dates a week or two before the convention actually happens.  I understand it, sort of, with these collegiate conventions — they probably get most of their attendees using flyers on campus, and so any attendees they might get from their website are a secondary concern — but it does complicate things when I only update every other month or so.

Worse is MonsterCon.  I know there is an actual event called “MonsterCon,” and that it takes place in South Carolina at some point over the course of the year.  They run so many lesser events, however, that they somehow have forgotten — for at least the last two years — to include the actual MonsterCon on the MonsterCon website; I’m only certain it’s been going on because I have facebook friends who somehow were able to figure out when and where it was and were able to attend.  (I believe they were actually invited guests; I’m not sure how anyone else figured out when it was).

But at least it has a website — there are a few conventions I try to track (The Tidewater Alliance’s Galacticon, for example) that only ever get mentioned on Facebook.  We all know how reliable Facebook is, right?  These are usually smaller, one-day conventions, but not always — SciFiCon VA is a 3-day convention based out of Staunton, Virginia, and the only website I’ve ever been able to find for them is their Facebook page.  I wasn’t able to list their November convention because I didn’t hear they were holding it until the first day of the con; I tried following them on Facebook, but I never got the event notification.

This is the sort of thing I have to deal with maintaining the event calender.  So, if you know of a convention I’ve left off of this calender and you think it belongs here, please, PLEASE let me know.  Especially if it’s a smaller one, a one-day convention, a convention based out of a college, a convention that updates only on Facebook, or whatever else.  You don’t have to run said convention, or be on staff, or have any connection whatsoever with it — if all you know about it is that it exists and it’s not on this list, please let me know.

Obviously, this blog was not the next blog in the “This Book Cannot Make Any Money” series, but was instead prompted by the convention calender update.  Next week, assuming I don’t have any news about “In Forgery Divided” (I’m hoping for some news any day now),  I’ll resume that series, but I hope you’ll be pleased with the calender update in the interim.  Happy (belated) New Years, everyone!