Many fantasy and science fiction authors have expressed an interest in meeting together for either or convention or conference, and I’ve been putting some thought into this. First, let me address what I see as the difference between a convention and a conference.
Convention: A fan-focused event where there are panels, vendors, events, cosplay, and games. Some of this would involve content aimed at writers and their needs, but it would mostly be about fans gathering to enjoy their favorite speculative content together.
Conference: A creator-focused event where there are panels, breakout sessions, classes, and a sales area. All the content of this sort of thing would be geared toward the attendees’ growth as creative people.
What I envision is starting all this off with a (likely very small) conference, and if that grows enough, some day, the conference could grow into a convention. The conference would need to be volunteer led, and for the most part, volunteer taught, with the small exception of providing a stipend and reimbursed expenses to the keynoter. The key is, I want to keep the costs down! How many of us already don’t attend writer’s conferences because of the staggering out-of-pocket?
To be more specific, I think an all-day Friday and Saturday event is what I am going to begin designing for the late summer or early fall of 2013. One of the first questions I need to address is this: location. Should it be more of a retreat, where we utilize an out of the way setting, even perhaps a camp?
Or should it be more like a mini version of traditional conferences–at a hotel in a metropolitan area.
Both events would have similar content. A few classes/panels, some breakout time into little critique groups, some modest meals, a fun extra or two.
So here’s what I need from you, good readers…if you were inclined to attend a mini-conference, would you prefer:
Camp/retreat setting or metro hotel?
Late summer or early fall?
Would you be interested in volunteer teaching or hosting content of some sort?
Comment below with your answers, and I’ll be hugely grateful.