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John and Fran Dowd have supplied us with this timeline for running an Eastercon. Updates to this document may be found on the Eastercon Yahoogroups forum

Pre-bidEdit

If you cannot do these things pre-bid, do them as soon as possible.

  • Set pre-supporting membership.

Form committeeEdit

Responsibilities traditionally represented at committee level are:

    • Chair
    • Finance / Treasurer
    • Memberships
    • Programme
    • Publications
    • Ops
    • Hotel Liaison

But they can be vested in different people - i.e. someone could be responsible for both programme and publications, or you could have two people jointly responsible for ops.

  • If not in it already, join the Eastercon Yahoo discussion group (contact Vince Doherty).

Publicise and gather supportEdit

  • Attend conventions, staffing con desk where possible.
  • Circulate fliers to interested groups, especially London fan meetings.
  • Set up website.
  • Advertise in fan publications, convention PRs etc.
  • Contact convention list-holders.
  • Collect pre-supporting memberships.

Make provisional arrangementsEdit

  • Invite Guests of Honour (secret until end of bidding session).
  • Provisionally book hotel.
  • Open bank account.
  • Recruit staff / area heads This can be left until later, and some of these may be handled at committee level, but it may be useful to think about people to take on such

responsibilities as:

    • Art Show / Auction
    • Book Auction
    • Committee Secretary
    • Dealers' Room
    • Fan Fund Liaison - especially if a TAFF or GUFF delegate is expected
    • Fanroom
    • First Aiders
    • Gophers
    • Green Room
    • Guest of Honour Liaison
    • Merchandising
    • Newsletter
    • Ops Rovers / Steward / Security
    • Promotion
    • Registration / Information
    • Speaker to Costumers
    • Speaker to Filkers
    • Speaker to Gamers
    • Special Events (Masquerade)
    • Tech Ops
    • Video Programme
    • Website

Eastercon 2 years before conEdit

Attend EasterconEdit

  • Set initial membership rate. Memberships taken at the initial rate until the next price change following Novacon are likely to be 25% of your total.
  • Attend and win bidding session.
  • Announce Guests of Honour at the end of the bidding session.
  • Run con desk.
  • Publicise con in newsletter, posters etc. where possible.
  • Attend and note any feedback / gripe sessions.
  • Attend closing ceremony / final feedback session.
  • Remind person responsible for memberships to pass you a set of address labels for all members by November.

FinanceEdit

  • Set initial budgets.
  • Discuss budgets with previous Eastercons, especially re any funds to be passed on.

November 1 year+ before conEdit

Change membership rates immediately following Novacon. Print new forms clearly stating date at which next rate change will be. Memberships taken at the new rate until the price change following next Eastercon are likely to be 20% of your total.

Issue PR1 To all members AND ALL MEMBERS OF THE LATEST EASTERCON

Include:

  • Names, biogs and contact details for committee / areas of responsibility.
  • Introductory articles / information on / by guests.
  • Information on the hotel (include general information on disability access).
  • Information on general programme themes.
  • Members since previous Easter.
  • Relevant forms i.e.:
    • Membership Forms
    • volunteers to work pre- and at-con
    • requests for table in Dealers' Room
    • requests for space in Art Show

(If the hotel is willing to commit to room rates at this point, issue Hotel Booking Forms asap.)

Attend NovaconEdit

  • Run con desk.
  • Host party or taster programme item(s) if possible.

Detailed negotiations with hotelEdit

  • Finalise room rates.
  • Establish general provision of food and drink.
  • Finalise general use of con rooms - programme, dealers etc.
  • Hold staff meeting at hotel if possible - invite people responsible for:
    • Dealers
    • Artists
    • Programme
    • Ops
    • Disabled access

Eastercon 1 year before conEdit

Change membership rates immediately following Eastercon. Print new forms - clearly state date at which next rate change will be. Memberships taken at the new rate until the next price change following Novacon are likely to be 15% of your total.

Issue PR2 To all membersEdit

Include:

  • More articles / information on / by guests.
  • Information on programme items that need pre-planning on members' part (e.g. hall costume, robots etc.).
  • Information on programme plans and use of hotel.
  • Clear closing dates for Hotel Booking and any other forms i.e. Dealers, Artists
  • Members since previous November

Relevant forms i.e.:

  • volunteers to work pre- and at-con
  • requests for table in Dealers' Room (if not full)
  • requests for space in Art Show (if not full)
  • first issue of Hotel Booking Form

Attend EasterconEdit

  • Run con desk.
  • Host party or taster programme item(s) if possible.
  • Chair bidding session.
  • Attend and note any feedback / gripe sessions.
  • Chair / facilitate / attend closing ceremony / final feedback session - in liaison with current con committee requirements.
  • Make arrangements re taking over / storing kit owned by Eastercon, i.e.
    • Art Boards
    • Laminator
    • Tech
  • Start to pull together programme and to invite top-level programme participants, liaise with special interest groups Make sure there is clear two-way communication and negotiation if necessary on:
    • The subject and type of the item
    • The (rough) timing and location of the item
    • What pre-planning is needed
    • What role participants are being invited to take
    • Whose responsibility it is to recruit other participants for the item
    • What tech will be needed / is available
    • What budget will be needed / is available
    • What one-off kit will be needed / is available

Detailed negotiations with hotelEdit

  • Finalise provision of food and drink.
  • Finalise detailed arrangements for use of con rooms - nos. of tables / chairs required etc.
  • Hold staff meeting at hotel if possible - invite people responsible for:
    • Dealers
    • Artists
    • Tech
    • Programme
    • Ops
    • Atcon publications
    • Signage
    • Disabled access
  • Begin individual bedroom booking process with hotel

November before conEdit

Change membership rates immediately following Novacon. Print new forms - clearly state date at which pre-con registration ceases, and what the walk-in and day rates will be. Memberships taken at this new rate until pre-con registrations cease are likely to be 20% of your total. NOTE this leaves late memberships / walk-ins at approximately 10%.

Issue PR3 to all membersEdit

Include:

  • More articles / information on / by guests.
  • Information on programme items that need pre-planning on members' part (e.g. hall costume, robots etc.)
  • Information on programme plans and use of hotel.
  • Clear closing dates for Hotel Booking and any other forms i.e. Dealers, Artists, Creche
  • Members since previous Easter
  • Relevant forms i.e.:
    • volunteers to work at-con
    • competition entries (e.g. Masquerade)
    • requests for table in Dealers' Room (if not full)
    • requests for space in Art Show (if not full)
    • requests for space in Creche (if not full)
    • Hotel Booking Form

Attend NovaconEdit

  • Run con desk.
  • Host party or taster programme item(s) if possible.

Continue to invite programme participantsEdit

Make sure there is clear two-way communication and negotiation if necessary on:

  • The subject and type of the item
  • The (rough) timing and location of the item
  • What pre-planning is needed
  • What role participants are being invited to take
  • Whose responsibility it is to recruit other participants for the item
  • What tech will be needed / is available
  • What budget will be needed / is available
  • What one-off kit will be needed / is available

Establish and book overall tech requirementsEdit

This can include:

  • PA systems - mikes, speakers
  • Presentation systems - screens,
  • projectors
  • Recording systems - video, audio
  • Sound systems - CD, cassette, DJ deck
  • Staging systems - staging, lighting
  • Special Events Liaise with BSFA re requirements for AGM
  • and scheduling of awards.
  • Liaise with Foundation re George Hay lecture.

January/February pre-conEdit

Issue PR4 to all membersEdit

Include:

  • Last-minute changes.
  • Information on programme items that need pre-planning on members' part (e.g. hall costume, robots etc.).
  • Travel directions.
  • Clear closing dates for Hotel Booking.
  • Policies - weapons, crashing, corkage, smoking, bare feet, etc.
  • Members since November previous year.
  • elevant forms i.e.:
    • volunteers to work at-con
    • competition entries (e.g. Masquerade)
    • requests for table in Dealers' Room (if not full)
    • requests for con tables
    • requests for space in Art Show (if not full)
    • requests for space in Creche (if not full)
    • Hotel Booking Form (if not already booked)

Can include:

  • Programme Pocket Guide
  • Read-me re food / drink / local info
  • Full Programme Book / Souvenir Book (includes ads)
  • Fanthology
  • Collection of short pieces by Guests

Plan content of registration packEdit

Typically includes:

  • Bag / envelope
  • Badge
  • At-con publications
  • Advertising material from pros / fans
  • Things to use at-con (i.e. hall costume tokens)
  • Giveaway book / magazines
  • Final briefing for programme participants
  • Voting form for Doc Weir Award
  • Voting form for BSFA awards

Communicate with programme participantsEdit

Make sure everyone is clear on:

  • What items they are on
  • Role in item - e.g. moderator, quiz host, panel member
  • What pre-planning is asked of them
  • Who else will be on the item with them
  • What tech will be needed / available

Design and plan NewsletterEdit

Plan, design, and pre-print signageEdit

Don't forget:

Use a plan of the hotel to plan placement and ensure arrows point in the right direction. Check hotel policy on use of blutack, sellotape etc.

Last month pre-conEdit

  • Design (and start to make) badges

ProgrammeEdit

  • Finalise programme grid
  • Finalise and print at-con publications (leave the Programme Guide to as late as possible)
  • Produce final briefings for programme participants Repeat information from "Communicate with programme participants" above, pointing out any changes, plus:
    • Final details of time / location
    • Whether they should go to Green Room or the programme location
    • Asking them to report to Ops asap if they will be unable to take part
    • Put into labelled envelopes and pass to Registration.
  • Close pre-con registration
  • Finalise Ops supply list

Last few days pre-con (including at hotel)Edit

  • Set up registration systems
  • Collate packs
  • Finish making badges
  • Set up tables and brief volunteers
  • Set up system for walk-ins
  • Set up system for passing on programme briefings
  • Set up rooms Dealers Art Show
  • Tech to all rooms
  • Fan display
  • Con offices (finance, ops, green room, newsletter)
  • Set up initial signage systems
  • Detailed briefing meetings with hotel staff Make sure there is clear two-way communication, that all staff have been fully briefed, and fine-tune negotiation if necessary on:


    • Food - timings, location and cost
    • Drink - timings, cost and that there is ENOUGH BEER
    • Final individual room bookings
    • Layouts for programme rooms and any changes
    • The use / redemption / payment of Gopher Tickets / Groats
    • The use / redemption / payment of Green Room orders
    • Any special arrangements for disabled access have been implemented

HAVE A CONVENTION!Edit

Post-conEdit

  • Finalise accounts.
  • Pass final accounts to Eastercon 2 years from now for publication in programme / souvenir book.

Produce membership mailing list for Eastercon 2 years from now, before November this year. Remember to include walk-ins.

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