This is where the Chair stands up and tells everybody it's all over. It's nice to go out with a bang, it gives everyone a feeling that the convention has really finished-even if you've got more items on afterwards.
At Helicon in 1993 they closed with a 3-screen slide-show of about 200 photographs taken throughout the convention (an idea borrwed from Noreascon 3, the 1989 Worldcon). It was an awful lot of work, but it went down extremely well.
At Orbital in 2008 a projected slideshow of digital photographs taken during the convention was shown as people entered the main hall for the closing ceremony.
Things to say includeEdit
- Thank the guests for coming and for being wonderful. It's customary to present them with a memento, like a plaque or a glass or something.
- Present any prizes that haven't been presented previously.
- Tell people when and where the Dead Dog Party is being held.
- Thank everybody who worked on the con. This is fraught with peril. If you miss people out, they will be upset. In 1992, Sou' Wester's chairman omitted to thank the Newsletter and was promptly roasted in a special edition. In 1999 we asked everybody who had worked on the con to stand up and then gave them a round of applause. I still don't know if this was felt to be acceptable, but at least we tried.
It is almost traditional to accidentally leave out some major group or person during these thanks so that bitterness and resentment will be the result!
- Ask for volunteers to help tidy up the hall/hotel after the ceremony, especially the technical equipment.
- Quite often a raffle is drawn for prizes donated by publishers, authors, dealers and other groups.
- Any last minute announcements about the hotel
- the amount raised for charity
- announcements of lost property
- often a collection is made for hotel staff (but some conventions just make a payment out of convention funds instead)
- everyone is thanked for coming and helping make this such an enjoyable convention
- It's traditional for the Chair to hand over responsibility for the con to next year's chairman at this point. Give them the DCM badge or something. Now you can relax.
Things not to doEdit
- Don't congratulate yourself and your committee on what a wonderful job you've done. It's tacky
Steve Davies wrote most of the above article ... some people think it's fine for the Chair to thank the other members of the committee and senior staff for their hard work and then for the Chair of the next year's Eastercon to thank the Chair of this year's convention.
- Don't go on too long.
- Don't try and make excuses for problems. It's too late for that.
It is very common to schedule a "Feedback to next year's convention committee" programme item for after the Closing Ceremony.