November 14, 2007
Here comes Smofcon!
Dear Smofcon Member:
MCFI looks forward to welcoming you to Smofcon in just a few short weeks. We're eager to share an excellent, productive, thought-provoking weekend with everyone.
Smofcon 25 looks to be the biggest Smofcon ever – we expect somewhere around 200 members! This includes several first-time members and all 30 students in Deb Geisler's Events Planning course at Suffolk University. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to all of this year's newcomers! SFSFC awarded two scholarships again this year. Thanks to their support, Eemeli Aro is coming from Finland and Maurine Starkey from California. I-Con in Stony Brook, NY, is sending a full team. Other first-timers and Smofcon regulars hail from Japan, Australia, England, the Netherlands, Canada, 27 U.S. states, and 31 different towns right here in Massachusetts. (Some of them are very different....) We truly are fans coming from near and far to share our convention-running experiences and to learn from each other.
Hilton Boston Logan Airport
One Hotel Drive
Boston, Massachusetts, 02128 United States
MCFI is using a wiki to aid our Smofcon planning. Visit smofcon25.wikispaces.com to see or join in the sausage-making.
Smofcon email list: see lists.sflovers.org/mailman/listinfo/smofcon to subscribe.
The Smofcon room block at the Hilton is full. The Hilton is offering rooms at higher rates that are competitive with what's currently available at other airport hotels. Please see the hotel website mentioned above for additional information if you still need to reserve a room.
If you have Hilton Honors Gold or Diamond status and are willing to have your upgraded room blocked near the consuite to help serve as a mundane buffer, please contact Ben Yalow or Smofcon. Thank you!
Through November 30th, if you have a Smofcon room reservation that you are not going to use, please contact Ben or Smofcon rather than cancelling the room directly with the hotel. We've already been able to transfer a handful of rooms to members needing them, and we have people waiting for a few more. In December, make any necessary cancellations directly with the hotel to ensure you avoid the cancellation penalty. (Check your reservation confirmation for details.)
Pre-registered members can pick up badges from Lisa Hertel in the 9th floor Smofcon suite from 4 –10pm Thursday, and from Mark Hertel on Friday starting at 10am. Full registration (sales and transfers as well as badge pick-up) opens outside the New England Ballroom at 3pm Friday. All Smofcon members in attendance are welcome to a free T-shirt featuring Bill Neville's Smofcon Planeteers artwork as a special gift from OffWorld Designs. Many thanks, OffWorld!
Everyone we're sending this letter to already has a Smofcon membership. But just so you know, at-the-door memberships are $70. They're now available online through the Smofcon website and will be sold on site.
We'll have D-I-Y ribbons at Registration so you can identify (and promote) your home convention and also indicate a con-running topic you'd like to learn more about at Smofcon. We hope you like your enclosed membership card and that you'll bring it with you to the convention.
Priscilla Olson and Edie Stern expect to post the program schedule by Thanksgiving.
They are still looking for more people to do short, 10-minute presentations on Saturday afternoon. The idea is to share information about something that has worked well for at your local convention. It can be an idea for a piece of equipment (such as sign holders), a way of organizing, a resource to use, a new type of program item, etc. – anything that you think might be useful/helpful to other con-runners. If you're willing, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Program invites you to bring copies of hotel contracts you'd like reviewed – and convention publications, especially ads and flyers. Please bring your function space layouts – the bigger the copy, the better. We'd like to post several of those in the consuite, especially layouts from recent and upcoming Worldcons. Please contact us by the end of November if you have electronic copies and we'll print some on the large format printer at the NESFA clubhouse.
Is there anything else from your convention that you'd like others to look at, comment on, or admire? Bring it along!
A note about liquid refreshments
The consuite will serve a wide variety of non-alcoholic refreshments and the hotel will also set up a bar serving bheer and wine Friday and Saturday nights. The Hilton has promised us a good selection of Sam Adams varietals, so the bheer should be drinkable and the wine likewise. Smofcon is picking up the first few hundred drinks; after those are consumed, the bar will operate on a cash basis. The consuite staff will have drink chits that members can exchange for alcoholic beverages on a "one drink at a time, please" basis. Thanks in advance for helping this go smoothly and using the chits fairly. (No chit hoarding, please. Like other consuite refreshments, they're meant to be shared.)
We run conventions, but can we collate?
A schedule overview should be included in this mailing, plus a brochure with directions to the Hilton. If they go astray, you can find the information through links on the Smofcon website.
Bring us your cheese!
Smofcon members are coming from across the country and around the world – please consider bringing a pound of cheese, cured meat, or other regional specialty to share in the consuite. If you're coming from outside the U.S., keep import regulations in mind to avoid having your treat confiscated at the border. It'd make a tasty story, but we'd rather taste the goods. We'll stock a good quantity of New England's finest and have cards readily on hand so you can indicate the origin and other information about the goody you bring with you. We'll have a preference poll on the cheese (among other weird polls throughout the weekend). Many thanks and good eats.
Smofcon thanks Anticipation, the 2009 Montréal Worldcon, for hosting dessert and more before the Fannish Inquisition on Saturday night. We also thank the Australia in 2010 Worldcon bid for hosting breakfast upstairs Sunday morning.
If you or your convention would like to sponsor a special hospitality event at Smofcon, please contact us by the end of November.
See you soon!
This is the fun part – helping the pieces and people who make up a Smofcon all come together. The even bigger fun starts as soon as we all descend on Boston. Just a few more weeks....
In the meanwhile, we'll post any last-minute updates to the Smofcon 25 website and the Smofcon email list.
Thank you for joining Smofcon! Many more thanks to all who have already offered their help and ideas – you really get that participation is what Smofcon is all about!
Chair, Smofcon 25