Amazing Stories

ANNOUNCING AMAZINGCON® (Very Preliminary)

At Boskone this past weekend, two of my presentations were backed by a standing banner that had this printed on it:

Here’s the full image:

Photo  © 2019 by RK Bentley, RKBStudios.com

That’s me behind the table and in front of the banner; I believe that I am watching Erin Underwood negotiating her way back behind the table. Seated next to me is author S.L. Huang, and behind her is Suford Lewis of NESFA.

On the table in front of me are, approriately, considering that was a “meet the publishers” event, copies of the most recent issues of Amazing Stories and several of our best of the year anthologies.

The photo was taken either at the very beginning or towards the end of the event. Boy, I sure am getting to be an old man….

Oh. AmazingCon you say?

Well. Hosting a convention under that name has always been part of the mix here at Experimenter. Seems someone else thought it might be a good name for some other amazing things (though not nearly as amazing as Amazing) and so I re-applied for the mark which had originally been applied for in 2015. It was recently granted under an “intent to use” grant and, rather than keep on paying the fees to maintain that status, we decided to put it into actual use, by introducing the concept at a well-attended regional convention.

What is AmazingCon? Our intentions right now are to roll it out as a one day “microcon” locally, branch out to other regions of the US and Canada (and maybe even Mexico) and then transition it to a multi-day hybrid convention that combines the best aspects of media shows and traditional conventions, with an eye towards exposing fans to the wider world of Fandom.

The rollout at Boskone was done deliberately because that convention has a really good crew of people working on it and we’re looking to staff up.

The micron itself? A one day affair, consisting of two panels, a catered lunch break, a mini-dealers room and art show, bringing in two regionally popular guests, open to attendance of between 100 and 250 (max), designed to appeal to two distinct but related audiences: local folks familiar with the GoHs who would like a more intimate experience with them and local fans who want to experience a traditional convention for the first time, without having to commit to a full weekend, the travel and lodging requirements and etc.

This is currently a test-case, is expected to take place in Manchester, NH (or relatively close by) and is expected to happen in a 2020 time frame.  (Very local helps keep associated expenses down.)

We expect to replicate nearly everything a traditional, weekend long convention does;  there’ll be membership badges and registration, panels with Q&A, an opening and closing ceremonies and even what we’re calling A “Dead Dog Dinner Party” for our GoHs, staff and selected members of the convention.

Although subject to change as things evolve, a draft schedule for the event looks like this:

9:00 am Registration Opens
10:00 – 10:40 am Opening Ceremonies
10:45 – 12:30 pm First Panel
12:30 – 2:15 pm Lunch (catered in place)
2:15 – 4:00 pm Second Panel
4:15 – 5:00 pm Closing Ceremonies with Q&A
6:00 – ? pm Optional Dead Dog Dinner with Guests (attendance limited)

Experenced con runners might ask – how are you going to get registration done so quickly?  Well, in this case, it’s just matching attendee to packet as everyone will have pre-registered.  Con runners might note the lack of down time between events…that’s because it’s really just one event, in a single function space and we’ll segue from item to item.  And yes, there will be breaks, informal ones just like we sometimes do during panels.

And remember – preliminary.  We fully expect things to change between now and our formal announcement of the scheduling of the very first AmazingCon.

Hope to see you there!

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