For those unfamiliar with the process of running a Swancon, it all starts with one or more groups of people presenting their bid (vision of how they'd run a Swancon), to the membership, for a vote of approval.
Bidding to run a Swancon is carried out at the Western Australian Science Fiction Foundation Inc. (WASFF) AGM two calendar years prior to the year the Swancon is to be run - eg in 2011 the bidding will be for the 2013 Swancon.
The bidding is carried out as outlined in section 9 of the Constitution (Method of Election of Committee for a Western Australian Regional Science Fiction Convention) and the corresponding Regulation 4 of the By-laws (The Western Australian Science Fiction Convention). The Constitution and By-laws are available on the WASFF website: http://wasff.sf.org.au/constitution. The convention is run under the immediate supervision of, and in cooperation with, the WASFF Convention Steering Committee and, ultimately, the WASFF Board.
There is one thing that you absolutely need to do to meet the formal requirements of the Constitution - lodge a bid form with the Chair of the WASFF Meeting before the AGM commences. A bid form is available online (at http://wasff.sf.org.au/files/Convention%20Bid%20Form.doc). Of course, there is a lot more you may wish to do in order to convince the meeting that your bid is the best of those available, starting with, as a bare minimum, attending the WASFF meeting in order to present your bid and answer questions about it!"
The bid form is then presented to the members at the AGM in brief, followed by the answering of any questions (assuming you've followed our advice and turned up to present your bid and take questions!). If there are multiple bids, each is presented, questions taken / answered, and then a vote held to determine the organising committee, if any.
Here are a few tips for presenting your bid at the AGM:
- Present your theme if you have one. Sell it to the members & make them excited about it.
- It is generally better not to mention guest names. If you do have specific guests in mind, mentioning the genre should be sufficient - eg "hard SF" or "apocalypse fantasy".
- You may want to mention the size of the convention you're planning to run, and whether you're going to bid for a NatCon.
Be prepared for questions, including but not limited to:
- What are you going to do different?
- What are you going to do the same?
- How are you going to keep pricing affordable?
- Will there be X (eg Anime, Horror, Art Show, Children's Stream, Gaming, Video Stream, etc)
You will also need to inform the WASFF Chair, and ultimately the AGM, if any of your proposed core committee members have criminal convictions or are/have been declared bankrupt.
It is often practice for a proposed bid to advertise their vision, in order to encourage people to attend and vote at the WASFF AGM. However, as WASFF are responsible for the Swancon image / brand, the following should be kept in mind for preparing the bid and any advertising:
1) Bid activities should be focussed around assembling an organising committee, theme, and development of other ideas to present to the AGM.
2) Bid activities should not include fund raising or contacting external parties, as a bid is not authorised to represent WASFF / Swancon. This includes possible venues, guests, sponsorship, grant applications, etc. Given Swancon's international reputation, approaching external parties on the basis of a "hypothetical event to be held in Western Australia" is also not appropriate.
3) Advertising the bid should be limited to at the convention itself, to avoid any confusion over the actual Swancon convention name and theme. Advertising should be aimed at existing members who may then vote at the AGM. T-shirts, fliers, posters and bid-parties are some common approaches. Advertising should not be done outside of the convention itself (eg web pages, Swancon PRs, generic mailing lists, fliers or adverts in other locations).
4) Any identifiable bid advertising must clearly state it is for a bid, so as to avoid any misrepresentation or confusion.
5) The bidding group are responsible for removing any advertising, such as posters or fliers, before the end of the convention.
Happy bidding, and good luck!
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