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The ConChair is the Convention Chair, the highest-level Executive in charge of most SF conventions.

The ConChair recruits a Treasurer, an Assistant ConChair, and Heads of Departments for the convention committee. The Conchair is responsible for setting (and keeping the convention within) the budget, and works with the Hotel Liaison to negotiate the contract(s) with the hotel and other facilities, if applicable. The Conchair typically runs convention committee meetings, but should be sure to delegate taking notes.

Throughout the year, the Conchair facilitates Concom meetings and online discussion. The Conchair produces a plan with goals and a schedule for the year running up to the convention, and is responsible for making sure important deadlines are met. The Conchair should actively stay in contact with all members of the concom to make sure they are not failing silently or suffering from life issues or Burnout. The ConChair should also maintain or have someone maintain a contact list of the whole Concom and distribute it, along with the committee structure, to the whole committee, so members of the committee can contact one another when they need to and need not go through the ConChair.

In order to support these functions, a ConChair should have a thorough grounding in all the operations of the convention. Paths of promotion within the convention committee will vary from convention to convention, but optimally a ConChair has worked in more than one area of a convention before they attempt to Chair it.

During the Convention, a ConChair should be accessible to solve problems and make decisions that require their authority. They should spot-check throughout the Convention to make sure things are running smoothly, Concom and Staff are eating and sleeping as much as they need to, etc. For the most part, however, if the ConChair has done their job correctly in the run-up to the convention, and delegated as they should, during the convention there is not that much for them to do.


17 months out

  • Consider Guest of Honor philosophy.
  • Make sure Hotel Search is in process.

16 months out

  • Begin attending important cons to schmooze potential Guests of Honor. Depending on timing of Worldcon and/or NASFiC, you may need to do this sooner.

15 months out

  • Appoint Guest Of Honor Liaison.
  • Invite potential Guests of Honor.

14 months out

  • Appoint Advertising Designer.
  • Deadline to get Guests of Honor, location, and date of con to Advertising Designer, so they can get an ad to the Souvenir Book Editor on time.

13 months out

  • Appoint Registration Head, so you have someone to sell year-ahead memberships.
  • Appoint other staff who will need to function at the previous con. In particular, consider appointing a Volunteer Coordinator or a Dealers Head.

12 months out

  • Attend previous con. Schmooze everyone. Be sure not to make implicit promises if you have not decided on your appointments.
  • Use feedback from Gripe Session and Debrief and consider thematic and structural changes to the con.
  • Appoint Promotional Parties head.
  • Appoint Assistant Conchair(s) if using strong assistant model

11 months out

  • Appoint Treasurer.
  • Articulate budgetary vision to Treasurer.

10 months out

  • Finalize any changes to the concom structure.
  • Appoint any staff who you want to have direct input into the budget.

9 months out

  • Appoint Programming Head(s) if you have not done so already
  • Schedule concom meetings for the entire year, and announce the schedule
  • Shepherd budget process to a first draft.

8 months out

  • Appoint staff for larger areas or divisions if you have not done so already
  • Shepherd hotel space allocation to a first draft.
  • Shepherd budget to a final draft.

7 months out

  • Shepherd budget through approval process.

6 months out

  • Appoint any remaining direct reports.

5 months out

  • more coming