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Author Topic: What makes a steampunk event?  (Read 1560 times)
FightingDrag
Gunner
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United States United States


« on: July 01, 2011, 08:59:05 am »

I know of a place, with classic style steam trains, in miniature.

what else would i need to throw a con?
I cant/dont know of/find a con near me in cali.    im in central.    LA and SF are both a 4 hour drive from me in both directions lol.

Any ideas/suggestions to throw a shindig ppl would be interested in?
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TimeTinker
Rogue Ætherlord
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United Kingdom United Kingdom


Steampunk Facilitator MVSS


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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2011, 09:55:16 am »

To throw a convention you need to:

1. Find a suitable venue - if you are expecting people to travel to the con they will need accomodation.  Is this affordable? Catering? Spaces for features and traders etc?  Helpful staff?
2. Make sure that you can organise and afford enough features to attract people to the convention.  Plan these and put them in place. Work your costings out carefully and DO NOT expect to make a profit on your first year. (This may mean a leap of faith from you since you may have to financially underwrite a loss personally.)
3. Get the message out there and inspire people that it would be worth attending.  it is not enough to just post on the internet.  You have to be prepared to travel, meet people face to face and inspire them - get them passionate about attending.
4. Make sure the event runs as well as it can.

Cheaper and easier options to get the ball rolling include punknics, flashmobs etc.  These are also good precursors to a larger event.
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Fraulein Flieger
Snr. Officer
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United States United States


machinafatalis
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2011, 08:43:52 am »

Live Steam mini train places are not that unusual in California, so I doubt people would travel very far. It does sound like a fun place to organize a steampunk meetup (picnic, day trip, etc) rather than a whole con. Also the steampunk con business is getting very crowded so yours would have to really stand out in some way (like having a premium destination like New Orleans). I would focus on getting Central Coast steampunks together for monthly events and building from there.

it might seem like LA and San Diego have SO much going on in steampunk, but that wasn't always the way. When we first started here in SD (mid 2008), it consisted of a having a dinner at a local mexican place and having about 10 people show up. Then came picnics, croquet matches, tea time in the park, and other free public events. Mostly we did a lot of networking with our local costumers, historic reenactors, historic sites and online. Now we have a steampunk community, throw a monthly club night, just had a con and look forward to creating events in places outside of San Diego. It took us 3 years to get from dinner to a convention and successful club night and we live in a city of 1,300,00 people. I think you can make some fun successful events, but it's going to take the support of your "local" steampunk community.
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Steamax
Deck Hand
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Spain Spain


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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2012, 09:39:46 pm »

I think what makes a steampunk event is people and apropriate activities.

I belong to the staff who organized the III Steampunk Convention in Spain. Past sonventions I colaborated in the RPG games organization.

The origin of this Convention was SteampunkSP forum meeting that was about 80 visitors. This event was made in a mmmm... something like a public leisure center.

Second year, Convention was about 400 visitors and staff could had a grant to rent a better place (anyway, it was another public leisure center, but bigger, of course).

Third year, 2011, (when I have joined to the staff Con), we have some problems with money... (you know... crisis) and we get about 600€ from steamers donations. Anyway, there was about 600 visitors. This may same a poor goal, but this Con is the bigger steampunk event in Spain.

In all these events, most important was people (dozens of dressed steampunkers) and, of course, activities (conferences (writters, university professors, artists...), rayguns duels, moustach contest (we have 5 participants! xD), steam engines, gadgets, ilustrations, pictures exhibitons).
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Captain
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.


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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2012, 11:15:36 pm »

I wondered about the same thing: http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,31326.msg701967.html#msg701967 (poll is still open)

Why settle for miniature trains when California has real steam locomotives left: http://www.roaringcamp.com/
http://www.sacramentotours.net/?event=offer.type&productType=TRAIN&mpt=8073&gclid=CN2K_PC7xq0CFQp9hwodL0xTgQ
http://www.dochemp.com/steamrides.html

My personal suggestion is to make sure that there are semi-organized opportunities to socialize and meet new folks like a LARP-lite, formal dance ball, random seating at a high tea, etc...  This is especially important to those of us who have to fly 600+ miles to get to the nearest SP con and do not know many people.  A formal dance ball should be proceeded by (relaxed) dance lessons. 

Alaska has some wonderful steam trains, 1890s towns (Skagway), and paddle wheel boats (Gold Rush era) that would make fantastic SP con settings but I suspect that they would be the greatest SP cons attended by six or less folks.   Undecided

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-Karl
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