Below is a list of confirmed items. Most have the participants attached. In some cases, requests to be on items are still pending, so they look light on panelists. We will be updating as we get additional information.


One thing I do need an experienced volunteer for: Maximizing social media impact of your convention
This has had multiple requests and is something most of us are lacking knowledge.

The darker side of chairing a Worldcon – issues we don’t talk about
such as having to use someone for political reasons, death of guests or staff, cost issues in working on a Worldcon, Twitter storms, etc.
James Bacon (Moderator), Dave McCarty, Sally Woherle.

Presentation Workshop
Esther MacCallum-Stewart who teaches how to make good presentations, will first offer a workshop that shows attendees three different styles that are all effective and then go over differing ways to deal with nerves, presentation styles, ways of talking, being good at being ‘yourself’,
effective body language etc.

The workshop will include videos and exercises on recognizing your strong

Following this, she will offer bidders and chairs a chance to practice their presentations in front of her
and other attendees and receive some feedback on ways to become stronger presenters.

Insurance for Conventions of All Sizes
Professional in the field and used to working with cons, Todd Dashoff will present information and answer questions.

The Effective Division Head
The job is an increase in responsibility and a different focus. DHs bothmanage an area and are part of the senior management structure of the con as a whole.
Helen Montgomery (Moderator), Jill Eastlake, Marguerite Smith

The tools to prepare for conducting a successful meeting
There’s more to just running a meeting. Preparation for it, usable agendas, and time limits will set you up for a productive meeting. With the
proper set up, what can help you conduct the most productive meeting.
Collette Fozzard, Esther MacCallum-Stewart

Spot-on Presenter Demonstration
Jennifer McElrath

The Code of Conduct Discussion
What are the issues in the current con running climate and how can it help your convention
Helen Montgomery

Branding Your Con Successfully: How to set your con apart from the competition and make it memorable
Sara Felix, Elizabeth McCarty.

Supporting World Fantasy Con
Why WFC is valuable for the community and how to support it.
Ann Marie Rudolph.

R.I.P. cons: ConStellation, Lunacon, Potlatch, Millennicon. Why are so many cons
ending and can anything be done to prevent it?
Did the ending of the cons go smoothly? Are these
cons being replaced by something new?
Ben Yalow (moderator), Judy Bemis, Bob MacIntosh

Starting a new convention
Learn from the recent experience of Mark Richards, Catelynn Cunningham, and Liz Crefin about their experiences starting HELIOsphere in New York. They will discuss the timeline, considerations in market, size, organization, and what they recommend for those of you who want to start a new convention

WSFS Business Meeting discussion: How to make it more inviting and encourage participation
Jesi Lipp

Hotel Rush: For some cons, some hotel reservations open up and are sold out within hours: Denver, San Jose
Is this a trend and what can and should be done? What in hotel contracts causes this and how can you best mitigate it with committee and attendees?
Mark Herrup, TR Renner

Con Suite and Facilities
Can what a con suite wants in terms of location and food, drink and hours work with the trends in hotel contracts? Issues continue to arise
Sean McCoy (moderator), Suzanne Tompkins, Marah Searle-Kovacevic

Technology for art shows and artists
Using technology to display art at conventions. One new idea is a slideshow of Chesley winners on a panel or table in the art show. Are there other ways to display art using tablets or other mediums at a convention? Are there ways to make it profitable for the artist, or is it just for more visibility?
Sara Felix

Grenadine software demo
Ian Stockdale

Selecting Guests of Honor
Criteria for different types of cons including local, regional, rotating regionals (Westercon, etc.), single author, world-focus, Worldcons… Creating a balanced slate: con budget constraints, synergy possibilities, diversity, adherence to convention themes (if any), and accessibility needs. Due diligence in research including social media for any issues of concern for the convention and its community members.
Ian Stockdale (Moderator), Christine Doyle

Details of making the Guests of Honor experience great for the GOH
How to ask: where to make the initial approach, how far in advance is necessary, letter of agreement and contract, what terms to include and how much detail (transportation / hotel / per diem etc. offered; type and number of program items or events or artwork or other items requested in return). Other items: GOH gifts, committee dinners, post-con thank you notes, non-convention tie-in special events, city tours, con passes and memberships for family members, friends, business associates and so on.

Accessibility issues
A discussion on how we can improve services for our attendees as trends change: e.g. the increased use of mobies at Worldcons.
Bill Thommason

Cross cultural con running
With the next two Worldcons abroad and increasing participation of con runners in American Worldcons, playing well with others and not expecting it all to be the same becomes more important. Learn some dos and don’ts for making it work.
Collette Fozzard (moderator), Kelly Buehler

How do you make software decisions for a con?
Discussion will include how much trouble will your staff have learning it vs. using the software they’re used to; what can’t the current software do and its impact on the con, price of software, changeover issues and planning.
Don Glover (moderator), Ian Stockdale, Kelly Buehler

The differences in meeting software and what factors can improve the efficiency of an SF con online meeting.
What are the pros and cons of the different software. One hint, with which software can you mute everyone but the meeting runner?
Bill Lawhorn, (moderator)

Effective use of timelines
This presentation will cover both using the software to track an effective timeline and the critical issue of keeping a concom to the established timeline. What happens when it slips, and how does a chair deal with this effectively?
Bobbi Armbruster

FANAC activities
This group has worked to collect a massive number of documents and put them online. They have a YouTube channel, and are collecting our history in new and fascinating ways. See how this is working, with examples from the YouTube channel being featured.
Jerry Kaufman will represent FANAC.

Use of open source for FANAC and other projects
Tom Becker

Discussion of how fannish charities raise money
Come and discuss how your group raises money and for what charities, and see how different cons and areas of the country deal with the efforts we support.

A discussion of how to recruit exhibitors at Art Festivals and Street Fairs for convention dealers rooms
Randy Smith.

How do we allocate and arrange space effectively
Principles for most effective set-ups. This is a very nuts and bolts item we don’t discuss enough. The hope is that we will fix this with this presentation. You will get to rearrange all the chairs in the room.
Seth Breidbart

What is a website? What do you want it to do for your convention?
Starting there will be a panel on designing sites and content.
Norman Cates, Jared Dashoff

Critiquing con websites from the point of view of the attendee
This is a hands on workshop.
Janice Gelb.

Planning program items and exhibits
What story are you trying to tell
Randy Smith.

Using CAD software and the principles for laying out an exhibit hall for traffic flow, etc.
Leane Verhulst.

Boards of Directors: how they work and the legal expectations
Kathy Bond (moderator), Sean McCoy.

Budgeting for the non-financial manager
What do you need to know to budget effectively. Bruce Farr (moderator), Judy Bemis.

Effective sponsorship development presentation
Setting up a proposal and approaching sponsors.
Kate Hatcher, Pam Burr

Selecting registration software. What are the factors to take into account in order to make reg as smooth as possible (shortest lines)
Lea Farr (Moderator), Fred Moulton, Dave Cantor

What a hotel wants from a convention Tim Duffield, catering and sales manager of the Flamingo will attend a session where he can discuss and answer questions.

Dealers room practices for Worldcon: some different approaches. Angela Jones.

How to welcome new attendees to your convention. Leane Verhulst has done this locally and at Worldcon.

Communicating between your committee and the hotel: BEOs as paperwork and how to make the sides understand what’s wanted.
A workshop by Mike Willmoth

Contract negotiation. What do you need to know when you go in, what are the skills and knowledge that help you most?
Sean McCoy, (moderator) Bruce Farr, TR Renner, Mark Herrup

Communications within a committee: what worked and what could have been changed with Worldcon 76
Kevin Roche (moderator) will be joined by other division heads to discuss.

Integrating Hugo software into the registration system for smooth Hugo voting
Ben Yalow (moderator), Dave McCarty.

The principles of how you respond to criticism / controversy / emergency as a committee.
This is an issue that has arisen for the past few years and given the ability for everyone to hear about a committee’s response via social media, it isn’t going away. Are there ways to set up committee responses to address criticisms effectively?
Patty Wells, Elizabeth McCarty, Kevin Roche

Worldcon History presentation
Kent Bloom and Mary Mormon discuss their preservation efforts and give an idea of the kinds of materials available, including the Hugo exhibit.

Worldcon staffing
An item in which the audience and presenter go through the known staffing needs for the various divisions to arrive at a recommended list of staffing levels. To be followed up by a discussion of the ways to find all those volunteers.
Patty Wells

Convention horror stories.
Get together for an evening session of telling the craziest things that ever happened to you while working a convention. Have you ever negotiated the return of a hostage pair of contact lenses?
Patty Wells and whoever has ever had to deal with the bizarre and insane at a con.


Kevin Roche, Worldcon 76 chair, will be interviewed on his recent experiences by David Gallaher.
As a former Worldcon chair, I have to say that Kevin doing this so close to his con, is courageous and valuable to us, it takes time to recover from chairing a Worldcon – Patti.

Bobbi Armbruster and Joyce Lloyd, two of the professional meeting planners attending this SMOFCon, will be interviewed by David Gallaher.
Interview will center on the experience they have gained both fannishly and professionally.