Discon 1 Guide: Summary
11.01 The first thing you must do: get a hotel which has enough meeting space, enough bedrooms, reasonable prices, and a management that's interested in having you. If you don't have these in your town, forget it. If you do, you've got your biggest problem solved.
11.02 Set up a program, but don't try to stuff too much into the time available. For a big, high pressure con, consider a Friday thru Monday con. For a small con with few speakers available, consider doing practically nothing on Monday.
11.03 Keep track of what you've spent and what you expect to spend; what you've received and expect to receive; and consult the balance before spending for anything new. When in doubt, don't spend. With the $3 membership fee (I'm talking about North American cons, now) you can expect to break comfortably ahead of even. With a $2 fee, you'd sweat blood.
11.04 Don't depend on the auction to balance your books. It can be a comfortable source of extra money, for -- as an example -- a set of Proceedings. And don't try to sell too many items in the time available.
11.05 If you want Proceedings, ask every speaker who normally works from a written speech for his manuscript, and ask beforehand. Even if he just works from notes, try to get them; they'll at least help in spelling hard words.
11.07 Arrange things so that the costumes at the costume ball can be seen and announced; many costumes depend for their effectiveness on having their names announced. A band isn't necessary, but it helps, especially if they're set to play appropriate fanfares for the various costumes.
11.08 Publish a good set of progress reports and program book -- don't be ashamed to put out a good, legible job of mimeography if you can't afford offset printing -- but don't work yourself to death over the program book before the con begins.
11.10 And, finally: if each member of the con committee feels the other members of the committee are working harder than he, and that he ought to do a bit more to catch up with his share, then you've got a successful committee working on a sure-to-be-successful con.
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