1 November 2011

Those who attended last year's Smofcon in San Jose will recall the con programme was decided by the members during the mixer event.  We plan to try something different this year having both an open space element to the programme as well as the more traditional element.  Our aim is to have about half a dozen programme items decided by members at the con itself.  We'd also like to generate a similar number of items through an online discussion over the next couple of weeks.  With this in mind we've created an area (click on 'propose programme item' in the menu on the left of this section) where you can enter suggestions and start a dialogue with both other members and the committee.  We would ask that you suggest a succinct title for the programme item you've come with as well as explaining its purpose and objectives.  If it's a topic on which you would like to speak let us know why (eg you have a lot of experience in this area; you don't have experience but you have an interest in the topic; you are going to have to do it next year at the con you are working on and would like to learn).  Please also let us know who you'd like to see on the panel/workshop and why.   If you prefer to e-mail us privately regarding any aspect of your suggestion please use this address:

The function space we will be using comprises room 5 which can seat 130 theatre style, room 1/2 which seats 80, room 3 which seats 30 and room 4 which is being designated as a social area.   So, please feel free to suggest specialist interest items as well as topics which are likely to appeal to all.

We'll close the online discussion on 18 November to give Martin and I an opportunity to incorporate the best items generated with those we've come up with and to finalise the schedule.  Whilst we can't guarantee to use all of your suggestions we will consider each and every one with those fitting best within our theme of "communication and culture" being given priority.

By way of example we've included a few of our own suggestions.  

Margaret Austin



September 2011

The programme will have the typical SMOFcon shape of Friday Afternoon/evening till Sunday afternoon, with main programme and at least one alternate stream and space for workshops and other special meetings.

The last couple of Smofcons have had a 'bootcamp' during the day on Friday. We do have space for this and we're happy to hear any suggestions for topics and volunteers.

It’s a bit early to talk about content, but we’ll probably have a focus on motivation and behavior, such as 'Why we (want to) run conventions' and related topics such as working styles and managing volunteers. 

Other ideas we are considering include:

  • Given the likely international attendance, with conrunners from across Europe expected to attend, we’ll also look at the relationship between small local fan groups and conventions and the problems they may experience working on larger conventions like the Worldcon.
  • Why is Holland like a convention? The Dutch are surrounded by other countries with different languages and cultures but turn this into an advantage by speaking many languages and seemingly absorbing the best from the cultures around them.
  • A popular session in York was an introduction and history of the city, and we’d like to do similar…not forgetting New York was originally New Amsterdam!
  • The Dutch celebrate Sinterklaas – Saint Nicholas eve - on 5th December which is the Monday after the con. Sinterklaas is the traditional celebration for children, with parties and presents and so is the big Dutch family Christmas event. Many people will celebrate it on the evening of the 4th as it is the weekend, and we would aim to have sort of fannish version on the Sunday evening after the formal programme has closed. We might call it SinterSMOF.