Words from the President of FenSF
FenSF, Inc [the Fans Educational Network for Science Fiction], is a
nonprofit organization devoted to teaching individuals how to promote and
run amateur science fiction and gaming conventions. In furtherance of our
educational goals, we sponsor a yearly amateur science fiction/fantasy
convention called MarsCon, conduct convention training sessions, provide
outreach and assistance to other fan-run conventions, and engage in fund
raising activities to raise money for convention efforts and increase
public awareness of amateur science fiction and gaming conventions in
Each year, the FenSF board looks for leadership proposals from fans like
you who have an interest in running MarsCon. It is the duty of FenSF to
award leadership for MarsCon to a core group of volunteers. To give you a
clearer idea of what leading the convention entails, we have provided
detailed information on these subjects:
We hope that this information is helpful to you and that, at the very
least, it encourages you to volunteer and become more active in MarsCon
and other amateur science fiction conventions in the future.
Time Line for MarsCon Leadership Proposals
Using MarsCon 2019 as an example, the approximate time line for
submitting proposals, considering them, and awarding leadership is as
First heads up for letting bids for MarsCon 2018
Let bids for 2019; Bidders assemble leadership teams
FenSF board reviews leadership proposals for MarsCon 2019
Award leadership for MarsCon 2019
MarsCon 2019 Exec starts to assemble convention
Fix Guests of Honor and other details so that MarsCon 2019 may be
advertised at MarsCon 2018
MarsCon 2018 happens; Registration process for MarsCon 2019 begins
MarsCon 2019 happens; Registration process for MarsCon 2020 begins
Etc, etc, ad infinitum.
Leadership Proposal Bidding Criterion
Purpose: The information below is designed to assist you in creating a
leadership proposal or bid to run a future amateur science fiction
Philosophy: We wish to create an inviting, fun atmosphere in which
various aspects of science fiction and fantasy may be promoted,
discussed, and enjoyed. We need to both learn and teach the various jobs
required to produce such a convention. It is the duty of the Con Chair
(person) to do the following: Produce a profit for the corporation to be
rolled into subsequent years; Document all meetings and teaching
activities; Keep track of the funds; And at all times bring honesty,
honor and dignity to MarsCon and FenSF.
How to Start: You may ask anybody to be on your convention committee
(ConCom). Several bidders may ask the same person to be in any position.
If multiple bidders ask the same person to be on their committee, even in
the same capacity, so much the better. All people on ConCom are
volunteers, but you must ask everyone and get at least a verbal
commitment. We are looking for people skills, organizational and planning
skills, and leadership.
Required: The following MINIMUM information, which sets forth the core of
the Convention Executive Committee, is required on all leadership
Con Chair (Name and Address) [The final authority]
Hotel Liaison (Name)
Operations and Safety Chief (Name)
Optional: The following information is desirable, but optional for all
Vice Chair (Name and Address)
Assistant Treasurer (Name)
Assistant Hotel Liaison (Name)
Assistant Operations (Name)
All other ConCom members you may have established at the time of the
Other Information: A leadership proposal should also contain the
Proposed theme, if known
Proposed date if known
Hotel if known
Meeting and publication schedule, based on 18 month cycle
Preliminary budget based on last years of budgets
Extravaganzas or special events. If special events require extra funding,
how is this to be done.
Types of Guests, number, specific names if known
Statement or Essay:
Why I want to run the convention. (This is your opportunity to give us
some idea of your style, creativity, and enthusiasm. Style counts. Have
fun with it.)
Attach any other pertinent information you feel will help us make a
Submitting your proposal: Leadership proposals must be delivered to the
FenSF Board. The preferred method of delivery is to send by mail or
deliver in person at an official meeting three hard copies of your
List of Essential Volunteers for Running a Convention
We‘ve touched upon a few of these already, but here is a more
comprehensive list of department volunteers which we consider important
or essential in running MarsCon or similar conventions:
Executive Committee: [Other ConCom may also serve on Exec]
The con leader and final authority for the convention. Responsible for
creating an inviting, fun atmosphere during planning meetings and during
the convention itself where various aspects of science fiction and
fantasy will be promoted, discussed, and enjoyed. Duties: Prepare for and
run ConCom Meetings; Produce a profit for the corporation to be rolled
into subsequent years; Document all meetings and teaching activities;
Keep track of the funds; And at all times bring honesty, honor and
dignity to MarsCon and FenSF.
Works with and supports the Con Chair in all duties. Functions as Con
Chair when the Con Chair is off duty or absent.
Manages the budget for the convention year, pays the bills, handles
deposits, and balances the books.
ConCom [Includes Exec as well as those listed here]:
Obtains permission to show various anime titles at the convention,
develops a schedule of showings, attends to the projector, and monitors
the film room during anime showings.
Art Show Director
Sets rules and guidelines for the convention Art Show, communicates with
artists and arranges for entries and mail-in art, manages room setup and
functions during the convention.
Manages and sees to all audio-visual needs for the convention panels and
Main Stage events during the convention.
Keeps track and takes charge of donations, transports donated items to
the convention, manages volunteer staff consisting of auctioneers,
runners, and money collectors during the auction.
Responsible for maintaining current ConCom list, monitoring incoming
e-mail messages & correspondence and forwarding to the appropriate
departments. Prepares ConCom Meeting minutes and drafts convention
updates for posting on the web site.
Con Suite Coordinator
Manages the convention hospitality suite, orders supplies (i.e., soda
pop, popcorn, serving utensils, etc...), arranges menu, decides upon a
theme for the room, decorates the room, monitors the room during the
convention, maintains cleanliness and replenishes supplies whenever
Develops play list, develops a theme, and DJs the Dance.
Dealers Room Manager
Communicates with grandfathered-in and new dealers, coordinates all
dealer registrations, arranges for room set-up, responds to requests for
information about Dealers Room, finalizes list of dealers for
publication, and manages the Dealers Room during the convention.
Prepares scripts, rehearses for, and performs in Main Stage events such
as Opening & Closing Ceremonies.
Fan Faire Wrangler
Arranges a time and place for an event where area fan clubs table and
share information about their groups during the convention, coordinates
the setup with the Hotel Liaison, and responds to inquiries from fan
groups interested in participating in the event.
Filk Room Manager
Manages the Filk Room and participates in the filky fun. “Filk” may be
simply defined as folk music for science fiction fen.
Film/Video Room Manager
Obtains permission to show various films and videos at the convention,
develops a schedule of showings, attends to the projector, and monitors
the film room.
Looks for and participates in activities geared toward raising extra
funds for the convention.
Recruits gaming volunteers and works with them to develop a game schedule
which may be advertised on the web site and posted at the convention.
Manages Gaming Suites.
Guest of Honor Liaison
One or two are assigned to each Guest of Honor. Assists Guests in
developing ideas for programming events and finalizing their convention
schedules, helps Guests with transportation to and from the convention or
greets them upon arrival, assists with hotel check-in and check-out,
orients Guests to the hotel, introduces them to key volunteers, assists
Guests with getting to programming events on time, assists Guests with
their autograph sessions when needed, sees that Guests have sufficient
access to meals and rest and that their questions are being directed to
the appropriate department volunteers throughout the convention.
Acts as liaison between convention and hotel, negotiates hotel contracts,
and arranges set-up for all function rooms.
Works with literary guests and programming chair to develop a schedule of
events to be held in the room during the convention, provides snacks,
creates an atmosphere conducive to relaxed discussions, and monitors room
Organizes volunteers and secures a sufficient number of computers to be
networked together at the convention for local area network gaming.
Manages the LAN Gaming Room.
Solicits paid advertisements for inclusion in the Program Book and
Develops rules, registration forms and judging criteria for the
Masquerade costume contest, arranges for prizes, and coordinates the
Masquerade Rehearsal and the Masquerade during the con. Works with
Extravaganzas and AV/Tech Head.
Music Room Manager
Works with musicians and singers to develop a schedule of performances
and events to be held in the room during the convention, and monitors the
Keeps a time line for development of the convention during the planning
stages. Coordinates training of Operations and Safety volunteers. At
the convention, responds to all trouble calls and requests for
information. Gets all messages to the appropriate departments. Maintains
a log of all problems, solutions, and notable events which occur during
Communicates with and assigns rooms for groups and individuals who plan
to throw parties at the convention.
Solicits volunteers and ideas for programming and develops program
schedule for the convention.
Programming Room Czar
Manages and monitors a particular programming room during the convention.
May introduce speakers, warn speakers when their time is nearly up,
refresh water, and see that the room is kept tidy.
Actively promotes the convention at other gatherings; prepares and
delivers press kits about the convention to news media.
Responsible for layout, design, preparation and distribution of flyers,
posters, registration forms, Progress Reports, the Program Book, and all
other official convention publications. Coordinates ad exchanges with
other conventions and sells ad space. Works with Promotions and Marketing
to promote the convention.
Registration & Database Administrator
Collects registrations, delivers collected fees to the Treasurer,
delivers information requests and information on new volunteers to the
appropriate departments, and maintains records on convention attendees.
Enforces policies to assure the safety and security of all convention
members, responds to trouble calls, trains and manages safety staff.
Sets prices for old and new convention merchandise, primarily con
t-shirts; Advertises and handles sales of the merchandise at the
Arranges for exhibits and manages the Science Room during the convention,
coordinates hard sciences events with the Programming Chair, investigates
possibilities for Sciences GoHs.
Videographer / Con Photographer
Takes video footage of programming events to share with other ConCom who
missed out; takes at-the-con photos which may be later posted to the web
Check and insure that only registered members are
permitted entry into particular convention functions.
Before the convention, contacts registered members who have expressed an
interest in volunteering. During the convention, seeks additional
volunteers to fulfill the needs of each department, keeps track of
volunteer hours, and arranges for and provides perks to volunteers who
have earned them.
Manages all content on the web site, updates old information, performs
edits, and coordinates domain registration.
*Wherever possible, department chairs and volunteers should have
sub-heads or seconds.
Please feel free to contact the FenSF Board if you are interested in
submitting a leadership proposal or if you have any questions concerning
FenSF, Inc. You may reach us via the methods listed below.
Yours in Fandom,
Arthur “Artie” Johnson,
President of FenSF, Inc.
The folks that bring you the best little con in Fandom.
“Legends In Our Own Mind”
March 1-3, 2019
Hilton Minneapolis/St Paul Airport/Mall of America
3800 American Blvd. E.
Bloomington, MN 55425
|Send questions about MarsCon to firstname.lastname@example.org, we’ll do our best to send answers!
More about MarsCon may be found at...
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarsconMpls
• FaceBook: www.facebook.com/Marscon
• Dementia: marscondementia.wordpress.com
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© 2018 and/or 2019, FenSF