by David Stinson

(posted April 4, 1995 to rec.arts.sf.fandom, with the words "distribute freely")

After some of my recent postings about problems I have seen from inside of working Cons, people have asked me for some of my working opinions and answers. From experiences in working cons, here's a few of my rules I live by for them. Feel free to distribute them to those who are interested in running Cons.

My rules for doing these things (use those that are applicable to you):
  1. Make sure you have the film room straightened out (especially with the projectionist).

  2. Make sure that your displays are properly protected from prying hands (full time security when open, locked when closed and quite often FULL-TIME security even then).

  3. Pay for the important things (hotel, facilities, guests) with as much of the payment as possible up front, as much as possible. It makes working with them MUCH easier. (And they'll forgive a lot under those circumstances).

  4. Make sure that your people can think on their feet AND ARE RESPONSIBLE. If they can't do the job, they're wasting everybody's money and your time. And are endangering the success of your Convention. Another helpful aspect is wherever possible, assign your people to areas of their own interest. It keeps everybody happy because they don't tend to get as bored in that circumstance - and can help attendees in that area who have questions).

  5. Remember that the first responsibility of the Con committee is to make the Convention successful for the ATTENDEES, then to make a profit. It's them you're doing the Con for, not you.

  6. Have fun while doing it (if at all possible) - that's one reason why you become a con staffer). AND NOT JUST TO GET IN FREE. (Let's face it, it IS the truth).

  7. Keep your convention staffers and special businesses distinct from each other. Otherwise MAJOR problems can and often will occur.