ConComCon 2016

June 10–12 — Portland, OR

Building Bridges

The Con–Runners' Con

ConComCon, also known as "C-Cubed" (C3 for short) is a convention for organizers of conventions across the Northwest. held anually since 1994, Past C-Cubeds have gathered fans from across Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, and other areas to learn from each other and plan on working together on science fiction, media, gaming, anime, furry,and related events in the region. We talk about program scheduling, operations, publications, registration, events, hotels, publicity, ando ther aspects of convention organizing. C-Cubed is conducted in the tradition of Smofcon, an annual gathering of the global conrunning community. One of the most important features of C-Cubed is in-person networking, where we talk about experiences with past events and recruit and offer to help with each others' events, so C-Cubed always features a great hospitality suite where people can talk and share ideas. Many years we also have a "Horror Stories in the Hot Tub" where we talk about how conventions should not have been run.

This year's theme is "Building Bridges". We are bringing the convention back to Portland and we look forward to bringing Wasington and Oregon fandom into closer contact. We are also working with the organizers of Westercon 69, being held in Portland in July; we will have some planning and information sessions for the Westercon.

Our City

Portland

Portland has a diverse culture, colorful history, and quirky reputation. Built on the Willamette River near the end of the Oregon Trail, it has always been a haven for exiles and misfits. The name was chosen by the flip of a coin, called in 1889 the "most filthy city in the United States" and at the dawn of the 20th century known as a center of organized crime. Attracting a population of nonconformists, it has become a center for creative, cultural, and technology sectors.

The area is said to be home to many groups of Wesen. Although Wesen have a questionable reputation in some places for alleged incidents of crime and violence, in Portland the Wesen are known as working in the building trades, as restauranteurs, and in many other aspects of the city's cultural and economic life. Within fandom, the Pelzträger are active in conrunning circles, and the event Furlandia is an important gathering of Pelzträger in the region.

Pelzträger in Portland
Staff of the Library

St. John's Bridge, near the entrance to the Library

Portland has also become known as a center of learning and lore. The Annex of the Great Library is now in Portland, with an entrance at the base of the St. John's Bridge across the Willamette northwest of the city center; after unfortunate events in New York, the Annex has become the only consistent point of entry to the Library. Portland is the location of Powell's Book, said to be the largest independent bookstore in the world with nearly two acres of retail space. Powell's has five locations, one of them in Portland airport, but is best known for their downtown headquarters, "Powell's City of Books" at Burnside and 10th.

Food carts are a distinguishing aspect of Portland's culinary culture, with over 800 food carts serving tens of thousands of meals daily across the city. Choices range from Moroccan to Malaysian, Turkish to Tibetan, from the humble hot dog to grilled PB&J's, Voodoo Doughnuts, Good and Evil Wraps, and other unexpected options. In some areas the food carts are gathered in "pods", for example Cartlandia on 82nd and the Latin American-themed Mercado, though the largest concentration of food carts can be found along 10th, 9th, Alder, and Washington (near Powell's main location). Tours are offered of the city's food carts starting at noon daily.

Westercon 69 has compiled a list of other unusual attractions in and around Portland and we recommend people to visit their Keep Portland Weird page.

food carts in Portland

Nearby Restaurants

In the Sheraton, one can eat at Columbia Grill & Bar or Harold's at the Sheraton. About a mile southeast is the Cascadia Station mall, and there are several restaurants there or along Cascadia Parkway; the hotel shuttle serves this area. Choices include: Subway Sandwiches, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Buffalo Wild Wings, IHOP, Famous Dave's Bar-B-Que, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, Original WOW Burger, Hot Pot 'N Sushi, and Taco Del Mar; most of these will be familiar to travelers.

Travel

Portland is a major West Coast destination with air and ground connections to many cities. From Seattle, the drive down mostly I-5 is just under three hours. Alaska Airlines flies almost 30 times a day between the two cities for about $150 return; United, Delta, and Virgin also fly this route. Greyhound runs buses three times a day from Seattle to Portland and back for $30-$50, depending on how you buy and when you depart.

It is easy to get downtown from the airpor on Portland's MAX light rail transit system. The nearest station is at Mt. Hood, 0.6 miles southeast of the Sheraton. The fare is $2.50 one way or $5.00 for a day pass. The airport area is about twelve miles from downtown, about 40 minutes away, not close enough to go for lunch during the convention, but a very easy day trip before or after.

Our Hotel

Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel

8235 Northeast Airport Way ยท Portland, Oregon, 97220
Reservations: 888-627-7163
Rooms: $119 (plus applicable taxes 14.5%)
Parking: $10 (self-park)

The Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel is a comfortable hotel less than a mile from the airport. A shuttle is available to and from the airport (if you don't feel like the walk), and the shuttle also takes guests to restaurants and shopping nearby, depending on availability. Complimentary WiFi is offered to guests in rooms and lobby areas. This pet-friendly hotel welcomes dogs up to 40 lbs. (call about other pets). Roim rates are good from June 7 to 15; please reserve by May 10 to ensure availability. When reserving a room, please give the reservation desk the name of the event, "ConComCon", and confirm the rate with them when you reserve. All areas of the hotel are wheelchair-accessible and there are rooms with accessible bathrooms. The Columbia Grill restaurant opens for breakfast at 5:30 AM (6:00 AM on Sunday) and is open until 1:00 AM.

Program

Fri 5:00 PM
Garden A
Stopping Silos!
Siloing -- the isolation of departments within your organization -- is one of the key warning signs that stagnation is starting to settle in. Unfortunately, some amount of it is inevitable, because who wants to have to track every little detail of what everyone else is doing? Here are some tips for ensuring your departments continue to work effectively together without requiring everyone to be at every single meeting.

th' buni

Fri 5:00 PM
Garden B/C
Recruiting and Retaining Staff
One of the biggest every convention has, over time, is burn-out. Every convention, every fandom, needs a steady influx of new members to keep the community alive and growing, or it risks stagnation and collapse. Come share your ideas for how to turn fans of your event into willing participants, and how to turn one-time volunteers into long-term partners.

Ari, Kathy

Fri 6:00 PM
Garden A
Designing Hospitality
How do you determine what Hospitality set-up is right for your convention? Many factors go into determining what sort of offering you can provide your attendees, from budget to headcount to agreements with the hotel. This is a panel about figuring out what's best for your con and how to achieve it.

Habgard, Celine

Fri 6:00 PM
Garden B/C
Cons Helping Cons
In which we discuss a framework for helping conventions fill gaps in their staffing needs by reaching out to other conventions for help in areas where they're well-suited to share, as well as provide mentoring opportunities for new staff who're eager to learn.

Ari

Fri 7:00 PM
Garden A
Year-Round Engagement
Conventions happen once a year. How do you stay in touch with your attendees outside of the convention? Most conventions have a website, but is that enough? Explore the possibilities of keeping your guests looking forward to your event all year long.

th' buni, Marah

Fri 7:00 PM
Garden B/C
Crisis Management
There's an old sci-fi proverb: the only thing faster than light is bad news. When a real crisis happens, con staff need clear guidelines for communicating with attendees and the public during the event, and afterwards. Seasoned operations staff with professional crisis management experience share their thoughts on how to communicate when something goes seriously wrong.

Sally, Ari, Lea Rush

Fri 8:00 PM
Garden A
Hotels - They Are A-Changin'
The economy has improved, and hotels are changing how they're doing business. Cons need to understand the changing nature of negotiations now that hotel spaces are less likely to need our business.

Sally

Fri 8:00 PM
Garden B/C
Kickstarter and Crowdsourcing
OrcaCon has successfully used both IndieGogo and Kickstarter to help fund and launch their event, and they're not the only con who has. They're here to share two years of data with regards to what works and what doesn't for using crowdsourcing techniques to fund conventions.

Barry, Donna

Fri 9:00 PM
Garden A
The Unbearable Lineness of Reg
Registration is one of the few areas of your convention that you can guarantee everyone will visit, and they will do so early in their experience. This is why it's so important that registration be a good experience for your attendees. Come talk about ways to make registration as painless as possible, share your ideas for improving the process, and help us all make this critical function suck a little less.

Ari

Fri 9:00 PM
Garden B/C
The Fate of RainFurrest
RainFurrest was the Pacific Northwest's local furry convention. Founded in 2007, 2016 was to be its tenth anniversary... until suddenly it was cancelled. One of the founders and the year's chair will lead a discussion on what happened in the lead-up to RF2016, the lessons to be learned for any con, and what comes next for the local furry fandom.

Gene, th' buni

Sat 10:00 AM
Garden A
Recruiting and Retaining Staff
One of the biggest every convention has, over time, is burn-out. Every convention, every fandom, needs a steady influx of new members to keep the community alive and growing, or it risks stagnation and collapse. Come share your ideas for how to turn fans of your event into willing participants, and how to turn one-time volunteers into long-term partners.

Ari Kathy

Sat 10:00 AM
Garden B
Year-Round Engagement
Conventions happen once a year. How do you stay in touch with your attendees outside of the convention? Most conventions have a website, but is that enough? Explore the possibilities of keeping your guests looking forward to your event all year long.

th' buni Marah

Sat 10:00 AM
Garden C
Cons Helping Cons
In which we discuss a framework for helping conventions fill gaps in their staffing needs by reaching out to other conventions for help in areas where they're well-suited to share, as well as provide mentoring opportunities for new staff who're eager to learn.

Gene Sally

Sat 11:00 AM
Garden A
Contract Negotiations
Much of the business of con-running comes down to contract negotiations. Most conventions will have a hotel contract, but there are also vendor relationships to consider, as well as possible sponsors and advertisers in the mix. You want to provide a good experience for your partners, but you also want to get the best value you can for your dollar. Come share your negotiation tips, strategies, and warnings.

Kathy

Sat 11:00 AM
Garden B
Starting A Convention
There's a lot of information available on running a convention, but how do you start one? This panel discusses the steps long-time con-runners have used to get first-time conventions off the ground.

Lea Rush Sally

Sat 11:00 AM
Garden C
The Fate of RainFurrest
RainFurrest was the Pacific Northwest's local furry convention. Founded in 2007, 2016 was to be its tenth anniversary... until suddenly it was cancelled. One of the founders and the year's chair will lead a discussion on what happened in the lead-up to RF2016, the lessons to be learned for any con, and what comes next for the local furry fandom.

Gene th' buni

Sat 12:00 PM
Garden A
Bigger Isn't Always Better
Everyone loves to talk about numbers, as if they tell the whole story. In this panel, we explore the idea of convention growth as a metaphor for success, discuss some of the issues unique to big conventions, and look at alternate frames for determining the long-term health of a convention.

th' buni Sally

Sat 12:00 PM
Garden B
Games at your Convention
Every convention can benefit from creative tools for attendee interactivity. That is, from games. The question is, how? Donna and Barry from OrcaCon, the PNW's dedicated tabletop convention, have some ideas.

Gibbitt

Sat 12:00 PM
Garden C
Crisis Management
There's an old sci-fi proverb: the only thing faster than light is bad news. When a real crisis happens, con staff need clear guidelines for communicating with attendees and the public during the event, and afterwards. Seasoned operations staff with professional crisis management experience share their thoughts on how to communicate when something goes seriously wrong.

Sally Ari Lea Rush

LUN 1:00 PM
LUNCH
LUNCH
LUNCH

LUNCH

Sat 2:00 PM
Garden B
Official SWOC board meeting
This is the board meeting for SWOC that is held every year at ConComCon. New members will be elected to the board and officers will be chosen.

SWOC Board

Sat 3:00 PM
Garden A
The Unbearable Lineness of Reg
Registration is one of the few areas of your convention that you can guarantee everyone will visit, and they will do so early in their experience. This is why it's so important that registration be a good experience for your attendees. Come talk about ways to make registration as painless as possible, share your ideas for improving the process, and help us all make this critical function suck a little less.

Gibbitt

Sun 3:00 PM
Garden A
Designing Hospitality
How do you determine what Hospitality set-up is right for your convention? Many factors go into determining what sort of offering you can provide your attendees, from budget to headcount to agreements with the hotel. This is a panel about figuring out what's best for your con and how to achieve it.

Marah James

Mon 3:00 PM
Garden A
Cons that Never Happened
Why do conventions not happen?

Sally Gene Gibbitt

Sat 4:00 PM
Garden C
Rules for Open Space
ย 

Jason

Memberships

Register for ConComCon 2016
$35.00 membership
Badge Name (optional)
Convention(s) You
Volunteer With (optional)

Membership is $35 until June 8.

When you complete payment, your payment receipt from PayPal is confirmation of your registration. Our registrar will also send an email confirmation, though we will have a few days' delay before the payment confirmation is forwarded to us.

Please direct questions to ConComCon Registration.

About us

We're Recruiting!

We expect a few of our regulars to help out, but we would be happy to have new people help us out. ConComCon is a small, friendly event and it's fun to lend a hand. At this early stage, we could use help with putting together the program, we'd like someone to handle registration badges at the con, and a couple folks to help with the hospitality suite would be great. Send us an email if you'd like to join our crew.

Committee

Chair Sally Wöhrle
Webmaster Alexander von Thorn
Social Media Marah Searle–Kovacevic

ConComCon

ConComCon has been held annually since 1994 across the Northwest, often in Seattle but also in Vaf ncouver, Spokane, Portland, Snoqualmie Pass, and other locations. Please see thopast ConComCons (and other past SWOC events).

SWOC

SWOC, founded as the "Seattle Westercon Organizing Committee", was established in 1990 to organize Westercon 46 in Seattle (hence the name). Since then it has run three more Westercons, the 2005 NASFiC "Cascadia Con", and the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention "Sasquan" held in 2015 in Spokane with the largest total membership in Worldcon's history.

SWOC holds its annual general meeting e list at ConComCon, where the board of directors and corporate officers are elected. Members of ConComCon can become voting members of SWOC.

For more information, visit the SWOC website or send us an email.