At the end of NADWCon 2009, during a wonderful lunch with some exhausted and very happy people, Terry Pratchett asked certain members of the core staff to offer their expertise to the next group wishing to host the North American Discworld Convention. To quote Mrs Palm, "When the guy in the black hat asks, you say 'Yes'", which is how a number of us who worked on the first NADWCon have again signed up for various roles. For example, 5 of the original NADWCon organizers will be on the newly formed Steering Committee. Yours Truly will again play her part with friends and colleagues from the Seamstress Guild. For those interested, here is the latest news on NADWCon 2011. As we speak, the Steering Committee is currently looking for bids from cities hoping to host the next convention.
Greetings, all Discworld fans and convention-goers As most of you are probably already aware, the first ever North American Discworld Convention took place in Tempe, Arizona from September 4 - 7, 2009, and was deemed a big success by guests and attendees alike Once again, I and the entire 2009 committee would like to thank all of our amazing guests, participants, committee, staff, volunteers, and attendees for helping to make the con the wonderful experience that it was. Thank you! I have linked many photos, videos, and accounts of the convention on the convention website, so if you haven’t yet seen that, please feel free to head over there and take a look: http://www.nadwcon.org.
The 2009 committee was delighted to hear that everyone had such a great time, and honored to learn that, due to the convention’s success, many are clamoring for another one! Our Guest of Honor, Sir Terry Pratchett himself, has said that he is definitely willing to appear again as Guest of Honor (health and circumstances permitting) should there be another NADWCon.
The committee has been approached by representatives of several cities interested in hosting the next North American Discworld Convention, and thus, after consulting with Sir Terry Pratchett, a North American Discworld Convention Steering Committee (to be known hereafter as The Guild of Chelonavigators) has been formed from among several folks intimately involved in the successful organization and presentation of NADWCon 2009. The purpose of this oversight committee is to:
1) determine the next convention location and organizing group;
2) offer guidance and information to the next convention committee as it prepares for NADWCon 2011;
3) maintain a consistent archive of information and data related to past NADWCons; and
4) manage any con-related funds or properties during transition periods between cons. The members of The Guild are as follows:
- Emily S. Whitten, Esq. (Chair)
- Denise Connell
- Margaret Grady
- Patrick Harkin Sr.
- Jean Tillson
- Anna M. Caggiano
Regarding the decision as to where NADWCon 2011 will be held, it has been decided to ask for bid proposals from any fan organization interested in hosting the next con. These will be carefully considered by The Guild before a decision is made and a group chosen, after which The Guild and the 2009 committee will pass the torch of our responsibility and experience as the organizers of this unique Discworldian event to the chosen group, but will remain available for consultation as a source of information, guidance, and resources.
If you love the idea of having an NADWCon in your city, and are considering proposing your local group and city as the best host for the next NADWCon, please first carefully consider both the goals and responsibilities of this convention, some of the main ones being:
- To provide a well planned, smooth and well organized, exciting and uniquely fun Discworld experience for new and old Discworld fans of all ages, as well as for our guests;
- To make the convention easily accessible and reasonably affordable for fans to attend;
- To meet or exceed the level of programming and fun experiences provided by the first NADWCon, including such staples as a charity auction, gala banquet, and Discworld Maskerade;
- To retain the Discworld flavor and culture of a Pratchett-centric convention;
- To keep proper records and responsible accountings of the planning and management of the NADWCon, and to preserve these for future archiving with The Guild of Chelonavigators.
Please also be aware that planning a convention of this magnitude requires the dedication, determination, and cooperation of a number of experienced organizers with excellent planning, teamwork, organizational and communication skills. Planning and running a convention can be an amazing experience, but please remember that it requires a lot of time and hard work, as well as a willingness to put the good of the convention first. Any group that bids for the next NADWCon should have a number of willing and experienced volunteers local to the convention location to form the backbone of their potential convention committee.
And now, for those who are interested, onward to the bid proposal process!
Bid Proposal Process
Please include all information requested below on your bid submission, which should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be as detailed as possible when appropriate, and feel free to include any additional information that might help in the decision as to why your city and organization would be the best host for NADWCon2011.
Bid submissions should consist of:
1) Name and contact information (address, email, and phone) of submitting person or organization;
2) Location (i.e. city) and range of proposed possible dates for the 2011 con;
3) Possible hotel(s) to host the con, with as much detail as possible regarding what arrangements could be agreed upon with the hotel; a Letter of Intent from the proposed hotel is recommended. Please also include information on methods, costs, and ease of travel to and from the hotel(s) proposed;
4) Names and contact information for proposed key committee members, with summaries of their past experiences in fandom and convention organizing.
a. Please list potential committee members for as many of these committee positions as possible, and any others which you expect to fill:
i. Chair; Vice Chair; Treasurer; Hotel Liaison; Guest Liaison; Programming Director; Volunteer Coordinator; Convention Operations; Logistics Coordinator; Technology Coordinator; Security Coordinator; Dealers Room Coordinator; Information and Publicity Coordinator (including maintenance of website, email listserv, and news updates); Registration Coordinator; Maskerade Director; Banquet Director; Charity Auction Director; Program Book Director; Art Show Director; Ambience Director; Hospitality Coordinator.
b. Please include one or more references who can speak to the individual’s relevant experience and qualifications; a personal statement from the individual is also welcome.
5) Estimated convention budget with breakdown of expected expenses, along with information on any start-up funds that may be available to the committee;
6) Any other information you feel would be pertinent or helpful.
The deadline for bid proposals is midnight, March 15, 2010. Once the deadline has closed, proposals will be carefully reviewed by The Guild, and a decision will be made and announced to bid applicants by approximately April 15, 2010.
Once a decision has been made, a representative of The Guild will contact the prevailing 2011 organization in order to facilitate the sharing of useful information and resources. AFTER such contact, The Guild will publicly announce the winning bid, and the 2011 committee may then move forward in planning the 2011 NADWCon.
Please let me know via the email address provided above if you have any questions on the bid proposal process. Good luck, and I hope to hear from you soon!
Emily S. Whitten
Vice Chair and Webmaster, NADWCon2009
Chair, The Guild of Chelonavigators
NADWCon2009 had approximately 1,000 attendees.
- NADWCon is an event specifically focused on the works of Terry Pratchett (primarily the Discworld series, but any of his other writings as well).
...Image: Head Librarian, Discworld