Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chicon's Coming!

Chicon 7 is this year’s World Science Fiction Convention, which will be held in Chicago over the Labor Day Weekend. While it’s not the biggest sf convention, it is good sized; this year, they are expecting about 5,000 people.
I’ve attended several World Science Fiction Conventions over the years, but this year will be a little different for me. This is the first year I am working the convention as staff.
I’ve worked as staff at various regional conventions, and those always have a lot of meetings where people discuss possible plans, decisions are made and staff members get to know each other. I’ve known for quite a while that staff for World Cons includes a fairly stable cadre of people from around the US, possibly from around the world. Locals fill in a lot of the remaining staff positions, and new guys – like me – are given a chance with whatever holes remain. But how, I wondered, did they ever get together to have a meeting?
Thankfully, they have modern conveniences. I have received countless emails (meaning, I haven’t bothered to count them). I have studied shared documents on the internet, once I had access to them. I have participated in departmental meetings by skype.
This weekend, I went to Chicago for an ‘all-hands’ meeting. This meeting started Friday afternoon, and continued into Sunday. There were, at a guess, 50 people in attendance, and this was only a portion of the staff. For instance, the department to which I belong has at least a dozen members, but only 3 of us were there. They don’t have as many meetings, but when they do have one, they try to cram as much into it as they possibly can.
I had fun, listened a lot, and learned so much, it’ll take me a couple days to sort through it all. I have a lot more confidence in my ability to handle the one little piece of the convention that is mine to plan.

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