Inside Skepticon – Signin’ on the Dotted Line

For our first adventure in making a Skepticon, let’s take a look at the contract with the hotel and convention center that we sign (not in blood, honest!). Exciting! After choosing a weekend to party, this is the first real step in getting this show on the road. In a later post I’ll say more about our home of the last three years, the Springfield Oasis, and why we keep coming back.

So, what’s in the venue contract? It lays out what convention and hotel space Skepticon is reserving. It says how much Skepticon needs to pay for that space, and when. On the convention side it’s easy, we just take over the whole place! It’s comfortable to have it all to ourselves, and not have to worry about sharing with a holistic crystal faire or finance industry festivale. (We’re sure they’re nice people.) (more…)

Inside Skepticon – What Do Skepticoneers Do All Year?

Hiya, Skepticontown! Skepticon 10 is a mere seven and a half months away, and already the organizers are hard at work making it a reality. What’s that you say? You always assumed that we hibernated from December to October, stirring occasionally to ask for donations?

It’s a plausible hypothesis, seen from the outside, but the truth is that to put on a Skepticon (or most other major conferences) requires a year-round effort from our hardy gang of volunteers. Okay, we might press the snooze button through the month of December, but after that, we promise that we’re awake and doing the things.

In fact, planning for a Skepticon begins before the previous Skepticon goes on stage. Venues book up a year or more in advance, and to get our weekend in November, we need to get on their calendar by September the year before. We’re also brainstorming on our theme, and reviewing to figure out what we can do better. Sounds pretty easy, but don’t forget that at this point we’re also panicking about the inevitable last minute problems for the current year.

Maybe you’re curious about what the Skepticoneers are doing all year. Good! Curiosity is one of the most important characteristics of a skeptic. Before volunteering with Skepticon, I had volunteered at some national and local conferences, but never really had an understanding of the work that goes into an event of this size. This year, to satisfy those with similar curiosity, I’m going to blog about it as we go. Stay tuned for an inside tour of Skepticon 10.

P.S. Yes, we are going to ask for donations. And if you really want to lighten our stress levels, please donate to our legal defense fund!