Area is a common name for a department in a convention. Unsurprisingly, areas are run by area heads.
Larger areas may have a complex management structure of their own. The area head (also sometimes called a department head) normally has policy and management responsibility for the area and is usually considered a concom member rather than staff.
Areas normally do one thing. Some are large and complex (e.g., art show, services, and Hugo Ceremony) and some simple (e.g., pocket program, gopher hole, photography). (Note that "simple" does not mean "easy"!)
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