This is a DRAFT document.
Welcome to the call for bids for alt.gothic Convergence! You’ve thought for years about having Convergence where you wanted it to be, so now’s the time to share your thoughts, hopes, and dreams. Please take a moment to read the details below and ensure your proposals are ready on time. The more information you can provide the better but the c*b*l is ready to help you.
The key dates are:
- Call for venues open: 2018-04-15 (US tax day)
- Submit your proposal by: 2018-05-01 (May Day)
- Voting period: 2018-05-21 through 2018-05-29 (US Memorial Day)
- Event dates, in calendar 2019.
About alt.gothic Convergence
Convergence is an annual gathering of net.goths, attended by 200 to 400 people. It’s normally 3 days; Friday through Sunday, with optional or unofficial events and happenings on a few shoulder days. Expect your hotel block to allow at minimum Wednesday check-in to Wednesday departure.
The overseeing committee (“the c*b*l”, a core group of old hands involved in the organization of Convergence for decades) will first look at the details you have provided on venue and housing. We are keen to keep the cost of attending within reasonable prices. Bids with costly venue hire, very large numbers of musical acts, above-market hotel costs or in particularly pricey locales will increase the level of sponsorship required in order to keep the ticket price down. We suggest targets of double queen rooms at no higher than $120 per night, and a weekend event pass/badge price point of about $60-75. If you’ve got need to exceed this, be prepared to explain why. For event pass prices, a skeleton budget will aid immensely in justification.
Following this, we will then look at the other details as set out below. Foremost, we look for a bid that we have faith will be able to succeed. For example we may want to assess how well your group will handle communication with the c*b*l, and with the public. They are, after all, your potential clients.
To submit a proposal (bid), send it to Carrie Monster, at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Details about you
- The name of the group or individual(s) applying.
- The metropolitan area in which Convergence will be held
- Details of how we can contact you.
- A short impression how the Convergence would look like.
- Supporting details for any special aspects of your event. If it’s in a remote resort, the c*b*l should be told that. If it’s on a boat, the c*b*l should be told that. If it’s in a place that charges a general admission and is otherwise open to the public, the c*b*l should be told that.
As per the judging criteria below you may also want to provide details about your experience running events (small or large) and how your local community can help make Convergence successful.
Venue and housing
You may want to use our template for this section (create a copy via “File > Make a copy…).
Typically a Convergence is attended by 100 to 300 people. The music venue has had capacity for all badged attendees (paid attendee, Convergence staff, band/DJ performing that night) plus venue staff on duty. Individual day passes may be sold such that those do not exceed the venue capacity. It’s not required that all nights are held at the same venue, which means the capacity for a given night can be different from others.
Housing should be arranged as a block booking at a local hotel. Typical room counts for Convergence are around 80-100 rooms for typically four nights. Shoulder nights will increase the number of nights sold under the block, but by how much is going to depend greatly on how much interest in doing other things locally you can generate. It’s ideal if the venue and hotel are within reasonable walking distance of each other (about one mile by surface streets) and the distance between is actually walkable (sidewalks exist and are in good condition, area reasonably safe for paired people to walk together after the venue has closed, etc). If further than walking distance, please describe how attendees will be expected to get to and from the venue: Will shuttles be provided and how will those be budgeted for? How often will they run? Is there public transit between those point? How late and how frequently does it run? What’s the fare? Is taxi a valid option, due to traffic or other events in the area, and what’s a typical fare between venue and hotel at the time the event would let out? Additional events in and around the hotel will provide additional draw of attendees: some past events at hotels have included: Friday afternoon Meet’n’Greet, often combined with badge pickup; fashion show; vender bazaar, art show; after-party space (check noise permissions) or “con suite”, operational spaces for organizers to work.
- An estimate of the costs of the venue and housing per night.
- Details of the proposed venue and hotel (name, address, venue capacities, availability of rooms for hotel-based events).
At this point in the process, the c*b*l doesn’t expect fully detailed contracts, or all line items accounted for, but letters of intent from hotel and venue describing roughly the spaces and services to be provided and an estimate of pricing will be considered good.
Details about the location (optional)
Information about the city/region (transport, accommodation, tourist attractions, etc) helps to give an idea of the potential number of people who may attend Convergence. For example, locations within one hour travel of a major airport serviced by low-cost airlines are likely to attract more international attendees than locations that are difficult or expensive to get to.
You may wish to include details about:
- Transport to the city/region (train stations, airports, long distance bus services).
- Transport within the city (between the city center, the main hotel and the venue, and other attractions).
- Availability of additional accommodation close to the venue or main hotel in the event of selling out the housing block.
- Interestingness of the city (tourist appeal, business appeal, locations of closest and best pharmacies, medical facilities, liquor stores and late-night food options).
- Any events held in the city directly before, after or same time as Convergence.
- Ideas for community-building activities (Are there any large scale spaces that may be appealing, such as ghost tours, cemetery tours, places that serve formal tea, oddball museums?).
Who should apply? Anyone or any group that wish to host the Convergence can apply to the c*b*l to be considered as a bid to be voted upon by the net.goth community interested in voting. You do not need to represent a whole nation or city – rival bids from the same geographic area are allowed, but we encourage co-operation between nearby groups.
What is the job of the local bid team? The local organizers of the winning bid will be responsible for hosting Convergence, with the aid and counsel of the c*b*l. You’ll be managing contracts and bookings, coordinating volunteers, promoting the event locally.
The local bid team will be the local experts. You’ll need to select one or more potential venues, and collect quotes for the venue and other local vendors such as catering, wifi service, hotel discounts. Previous experience in organizing large events is beneficial but not mandatory. The c*b*l has people that have organized prior Convergences, some far more times than they’d consider sensible, and they’re very willing to offer advice, suggestions, and sometimes are even able to recommend others nearby who are also long-term Convergence attendees.
Are the dates set? No, the date for Convergence is not set yet. Though Convergence is in general a late-spring or summer event, consider the entire calendar year and select a time and place that would be best for the conference. If you can be flexible and multiple dates / venues will be equally suitable, please indicate so in your bid package. If there are other exciting events occurring in your city then you may want to propose holding Convergence before or after these.
Is the Convergence format fixed? No, the format is not fixed. Some Convergences have been very hotel-focused, some have had multiple venues, some have had beach parties. Your bid does not necessarily need to have any particular format but if you make changes to the typical format please provide a compelling case explaining how the new format will work.
Do we need to have a venue confirmed? No. You don’t need to have a venue or hotel confirmed. However, having a provisional “yes” (A Letter of Intent) will be an advantage. Providing at least one budgetary venue bid is a strong advantage.
Can we provide details on more than one venue option? Yes. If you have identified more than one suitable venue you can provide details on these. If, during your research, you found only unsuitable venues you can state this in your submission as it may still help to give us an idea of expected costs and your ability to work help organize Convergence. A Convergence in a hotel ballroom has happened before, too.
What size should the organizing committee be? The recommended size of the local organizing committee are about 5 people to handle all issue regarding the venue, housing and other organizational issues that require local knowledge. The local team will be part of a bigger organizing team. So you’re not on your own….