Xray the Enforcer Posted September 14, 2013 Share Posted September 14, 2013 (edited) It occurred to me the other day that there hasn't been a WorldCon outside of North America in the three years since the Game of Thrones TV show debuted. And GRRM will be a Guest of Honor at many smaller conventions over the next couple of years. As such, there are probably a lot of fans who are not familiar with the World Science Fiction Convention in particular, SF conventions in general, nor with and the Brotherhood Without Banners and our protocols for dealing with conventions, hotels and convention space.The World Science Fiction Convention, aka WorldCon, is a long-running annual convention centered around genre fiction. It is primarily a literary convention -- that means that most of the focus is on written works, most of the panelists are authors, and much of the dealers' room is filled with book sellers. That said, each WorldCon usually has dedicated tracks for media (TV&movies), gaming, filking (that is, folk singing with an SF/F bent), and costuming. It also features group activities such as "Walk with the Stars," dances, a Masquerade, combat demos, crafting, small discussion groups with authors, signing sessions and a bunch of things I am probably forgetting. There's also the Hugo Awards ceremony. And parties. Lots of parties.Unlike the big media conventions (think SDCC), WorldCon and most smaller literary SF/F conventions are fan-run. They are not for profit. And, at least in the case of WorldCon, the convention moves around to a new city everywhere to be as inclusive as possible to those fans who might not be able to afford a cross-country or intercontinental trip every year. In recent years, WorldCon has been held in Melbourne, Montreal, Chicago and, in 2014, it will be in London.Each convention has a specific convention committee (con com), which is broken down into different departments and staffed by volunteers who have specific duties and goals to make WorldCon a success. Departments include: Hospitality, Programming, Accessibility, Member Services, Facilities, Operations, Housing, etc. Each of those departments is headed up by a seasoned convention runner, who then has a support staff of volunteers (many of whom are interested in learning the ropes of convention running). The con com is our liaison to all hotels, convention space and WorldCon-associated activity.It is through these committees that all things pertaining to the convention and official fan events happen. We do not talk to hotels ourselves. We do not talk to the convention center ourselves. And that's for the best, all around. Please: DO NOT EVER CONTACT THE HOTEL OR CONVENTION SPACE ASKING ABOUT EVENTS, OR ATTEMPTING TO PLAN EVENTS.So, how does this whole thing come together? I, the current Baroness of the BWB, and the group of BWB who've proven to be reliable and gifted at con-running, do much of that preparatory work. I won't name them all, but those individuals include Fenryng (my Master of Coin), Regina, Mormont (European Castellan), Stubby (Wrangler of Wombats) and Ser Mel T. For example, when the BWB wishes to rent a suite for a party, we have to contact the right person with the con com and specifically request that.Once the core BWB team lays the groundwork, we call upon volunteers to help us pull everything together. That mostly happens at the convention, when we send one group out to shop for groceries while another group sets up the party. And so forth. So believe me, when the time comes, I'll be looking for volunteers.What is the Brotherhood Without Banners?We are a George RR Martin fan group.What do you do at conventions?We go to panels. We sit on panels. We volunteer to help run conventions, site-selection voting, and at the Hugos ceremony. We throw parties. We hang out in the bar. We hang out with each other. Some of us cosplay. Some of us are into combat demos. Some of us just really dig books.Where will GRRM be making appearances?www.georgerrmartin.com/appearances/I'll be updating this document as need be. Edited September 25, 2013 by Xray the Enforcer Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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