Bidding and actually putting on a Convergence are two very different animals.
This page contains some suggestions from prior committee chairs and members that will help you as you actually plan a wonderful Convergence for all of us to attend!
THIS PAGE IS IN PROGRESS. MORE STUFF COMING.
It is a good idea to have more than one Convergence chairperson. Two is good, three is better. Each chair can be responsible for certain aspects of the event, and during the actual event, you will need to have an official person who can make decisions in several places at once.
Assembling Your Committee
- Experience counts. The more Convergence veterans you can get on your committee, the better, because they know what this party is about.
- Don’t hesitate to ask former chairs and/or committee members for advice. They love Convergence and are usually more than happy to help you.
- The_C*B*L is not some big scary entity in the sky. They’re real people with a royal bumload of Convergence-planning experience among them, and they are there to help in any way they can. Use them.
- If you have friends on the committee, make sure that they are people who won’t get their feelings hurt if you have to be the bearer of bad news. Also, be sure that these friends on the committee aren’t people with whom you will feel weird about sharing bad news. Friends are great, but they’re people, and sometimes they do stuff that could hurt the event. If you think your friendship might be hurt at some point during the planning process, it is better not to have them on the committee.
- If someone isn't doing his/her job, give 'em the boot. Don't hesitate on this. It will save you nightmarish situations.
- Being on the planning committee does not magically make you Scene Royalty. Anyone who signs on to plan a Convergence hoping for this outcome is NOT someone you want on the committee.
While it is not required that you register your Convergence as an LLC, it is a very smart thing to do. An LLC protects you if something goes wrong. LLC registration fees vary from state to state, and you do not have to register as an LLC in the state in which your party is taking place, but you do need to have a person (or company) that is willing to accept service on your behalf in the state in which you register. (Example: C9 Las Vegas was a Nevada LLC, but C15 Long Beach was a Utah LLC.) This does not make that person liable and they don't even have to be a member of the LLC, just someone you trust to accept the papers on your behalf and tell you that you're being sued should the worst ever happen. (Though as far as we know, this has never happened!)
Money Money Money
For the love of all that is and is not holy, get someone who knows what he or she is doing to manage your accounts! This makes all the difference. Srsly.
Most committees in the past set up a business account with a bank. This allows you to have business credit cards for charging deposits and other expenditures.
An alternative to a business bank account is to set up a business account on PayPal. The C15 committee did this, and it worked quite well. The PayPal business account lets you use a debit card to make your deposits and purchases, giving you 1% cash back on all debit card transactions. There are two drawbacks to this: 1) The business account must be attached to an existing PayPal account (meaning that someone will not have personal use of his/her PayPal account for the duration of planning and until all debts are paid), and 2) committees must either have a nest egg in the account before laminates go on sale or wait until laminates are on sale and money is in the account before putting down deposits on venue space, etc.
Contracting with the Hotel
- Start with a small block, but arrange for expansion if needed. Most hotels require that a group sell 80% of a room block, and you don't want to be financially responsible if you block more rooms than attendees fill.
- Not everyone will stay at the official hotel. This is another reason to start with a small block.
- A hotel may ask if you want to use a rooming list or a block where guests call in individually to make their reservations. You want to use the latter option. Rooming lists for a group like Convergence are a royal pain and will most likely cause committees migraines and unnecessary drama.
- Hotels will generally comp one room for every X number of rooms booked in the Convergence block. We suggest using these comps toward a free or discounted suite for committee use. You will need the space for storage and work.
Some committees have personalized the laminates. Others have left them blank so that attendees can personalize them themselves. Whether or not your committee does this is a personal decision, but issuing blank laminates makes the check-in and laminate transfer processes a simple matter.
Laminates can be put in plastic sleeves and run through a special laminating machine individually, or they can be put en masse through a laminator that spits them out in a flimsy sheet, requiring much cutting after the fact. The individual sleeve method tends to yield a better laminate.
Laminate sleeves come in different thicknesses. 7 or 10 mil are the most heavy-duty.
The C15 committee purchased 10mil laminating sleeves from a So Cal company, but they do mail order, and their prices are very good. Lamination Depot
Everyone loves a souvenir shirt!
There are a few ways to do shirts. One is to gauge how many people will buy shirts and then have that many printed up. This allows shirts to be sold at the event, but it requires out-of-pocket expense for the committee, and if not all of the shirts sell, you're stuck with them and out that money.
An alternative to this is to use a company like Shirts101, which takes pre-orders online and then ships the shirts to the committee for distribution at the event. If you go this route, you will not have extra shirts to sell at the event, but your committee will not have any out-of-pocket expense (people order from and pay the company directly), and you won't have unsold shirts left over. If there is demand for more shirts afterward, you may choose to do a second run, where people can have their shirts sent directly to their homes. Shirts101 will send your committee a commission check if you sell more than the agreed-upon base run. The contact at Shirts101 is Dan Okelberry, and he's made of WIN!
SighCo is another shirt company that has printed Convergence shirts and is run by some C* veterans. If you're going for the option to sell shirts at the event rather than pre-order, this is probably your best bet. They're familiar with C* and what it wants/needs.
Regardless of which method you use, make sure you consider comfort and size. Women's shirts should go at least to a 3x, and men's should go at least to 4x.