Welcome and a special thank you to the wonderful people who have agreed to work on programs and share their knowledge.

This year’s Smofcon program will look a little different in format. We have looked at doing fewer traditional panels and more presentations, workshops, discussions as well as birds of a feather.

We have often seen that the people in the audience know as much as the people at the front of the room and want to acknowledge this by having a discussion leader in a group where either attendees have useful knowledge or want to learn something and have useful questions.

The layout of the hotel, with more smaller rooms, lends itself to trying some small items we normally don’t get a chance to do, but can be critical to a con. One example is Todd Dashoff talking about insurance for conventions of all sizes. These are items best described as small, but it can kill your con if you don’t get it right.


Vince Docherty will be continuing The Chair Workshop but has also graciously agreed to do a larger presentation due to demand. Both will talk about effective management as a chair.

However, the workshop will involve Vince working with participants in advance and be more in-depth. Since the purpose of Smofcon is to educate the people running our conventions, we’ve decided that the workshop will first be opened to chairs and prospective chairs. For example, three people who’ve already written me about attending are chairs for the next two Worldcons: James Bacon and Norman Cates and the upcoming NASFIC/Westercon: Kate Hatcher.

Chairs and prospective chairs, please, in the next week write to with your request to attend Vince’s chair workshop. We’ll see how many spaces remain after that and will fit in people up to Vince’s limit.


Janice Murphy set a tone by offering to take notes at Bill Tomasson’s discussion on accessibility issues.

If you see something in the programming list that you know you will attend, offering to help by taking notes will make it easier for us to put useful information up on the website following the convention. To volunteer for note taking, write to