Frequently Asked Questions


SMOFcon is an convention held every year to help organisers of science fiction conventions to share their knowledge and experience with their peers.

  • SMOFcon has only been outside the US 3 times so far out of 28. Also the last non-US SMOFcon was York in 2001, chaired by KIM Campbell, who many of you no doubt remember. Ten years is a nice anniversary and 2011 would a good time to bring SMOFcon again to Europe.
  • After 2011 it is likely that many of the same people who would run the SMOFcon would also be working on the London 2014 bid, and we’d rather not wait till 2015 or later to bring SMOFcon over.
  • Well, it’s the capital of the Netherlands, and as you know it has has a recorded history of only 1000 years, although there is some archeological evidence that visiting Roman soldiers enjoyed the nightlife too much. So no change there.
  • It is a major, vibrant, international city, with excellent and affordable restaurants of most every cuisine and many hotels. A city designed to be walked around, but with some of the best public transport if you don't feel like it.
  • The city also has many art, tourist and other attractions to keep you informed and amused, depending on how much time you have away from the con, and how much fun you can handle (or afford). These include the Rijksmusem, Hermitage Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, Anne Franck House, and for those with very specialized interests - no not what you were thinking! – the museum of bags and purses. Amsterdam is also the ‘Venice of the North’ with its large network of canals.
  • The centre of the city has excellent shopping. We recommend the chocolate.
  • English is spoken fluently by almost everyone.
  • The city, like the rest of the Netherlands, has a ban on smoking in all indoor places. That’s nicotine of course. You could also visit the special licenced smoking places, if you really want.
  • Amsterdam’s airport, Schiphol, has direct connections to numerous North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific cities. Given the volume of traffic there are often good deals to be had on flights. The airport is only 15 minutes from Central Amsterdam by rail from its dedicated station below the main terminals. The train service from the airport runs to Centraal Station, just in front of the Hotel. The service is very convenient, costs less that EUR 4 per trip, and runs 24 hours, (6 times an hour at most times, and hourly between 1-5am.)
  • Last, but no means least, we expect that there would be a very big turnout of fans from across Europe who don’t get the US based SMOFcons.

We will run on the traditional first weekend in December, which would be Friday 2nd till Sunday 4th December 2011.


The Park Plaza Victoria is the hotel for the SMOFcon, and they’re keen to have us. It’s a very grand looking hotel which is also the first building you see when you walk out of Centraal Station.

It’s a 4-star deluxe with many facilities and over 300 rooms. We have booked a block of function rooms in its own wing of the hotel. The Garden Wing comprises 5 rooms – Hyde Park 1-5 - the largest of which can hold 150, and three of which can be combined if required. They also have a mixing/social space in the middle, and the entire block would be dedicated only to us all day and night.

Room rates are 110 EUROS per ROOM per night (plus 5% city tax). The exchange rates are very volatile currently, but this rate is comparable to recent large city SMOFcons, especially when the cheap local transport is factored in.


Yes. The hotel have agreed to provide free WiFi internet access to all convention members.

In Europe the social element of conventions is handled via the hotel bar rather than a consuite, but having a central social space is very important for SMOFcons, so we will set up something suitable, and we’ll also work with the bids and committees who often contribute to catering at SMOFcons to see what’s possible.


SMOFcon 29 will be chaired by Vincent Docherty who has a long history of con-running, including co-chairing Interaction, the 2005 Glasgow Worldcon.

He has assembled a core team so far, and he's ably supported by Dutch fan Paul van Oven, who also identified the hotel and who sits on the committee of the Dutch SF Society who also support idea of the SMOFcon. Margaret Austin and Martin Easterbrook have agreed to handle programme, James Shields is handling the website, Steve Cooper will be the UK agent (and we expect many fans from the UK would attend) and Spike and Janice Gelb are also helping.