Convention idea: Minicons

The roundup of convention ideas is here.

I'd like to talk about another way to put professionally-oriented events in your conventions.

Try a Minicon.  Not the small robots from the Transformers series (there's a geek ref), but running smaller conventions INSIDE another convention.

A Minicon, in short, involves


  • Giving the Minicon a specific space to themselves and perhaps a timeframe they have to use it.
  • Giving them publicity alongside your regular convention publicity (and vice versa).
  • Having a team that is independent or semi-independent running the minicon – they may be part of the larger staff or only involved in the minicon.
  • Making sure that the membership to the Minicon is part of your regular convention membership or an easy-to-pay extra charge.

Doing a career Minicon for conventions would be easy – you put together or find an interested team, ensure they have resources, track their progress, and go.  If your convention is big enough, you can probably just make an entire group out of existing interested staff and attendees.

The advantage of the Minicon is:

  • A group is dedicated to it.  More than a career track, the Minicon lets the planners focus on specific events and unusual needs a track may not address.
  • It provides extra publicity and draw for the convention as you have an outstanding special event.
  • It can act as a "seed" to a future convention that may evolve on its own (if you want that).
  • It has a bounded geographic area so people interested in it can find it easy.
  • It lets you abstract events from other convention events, which may be useful if the career Minicon requires unusual events (tours) or resources.  These can then be planned for by a dedicated, focused team.

Again this may not be for everyone, but if you want to do some career events, and a career track isn't something you want to do or doesn't reach all your vision, give a Minicon a try.

– Steven Savage