Convergence 2008 Report

July 12th, 2008 | by Sqotty |

Convergence 2008 was a wild, fun, and, at times exasperating time. Most of the time it was a very up convention, but they did run into some problems, some of which can be attributed to growing pains. Not surprising as the Con grew by about 400 attendees over last year. That’s growth as big as some of the small cons. We’ll hit the numbers later in the report.

KAG was well represented with elements of most of the Cold Death Quadrant, including the IKV Black Thunder, IKV Rakehell, and the IKV Phantom Cat. The crew of the Rakehell were to be found everywhere, which comes as no surprise as it is the local ship.

Qob, Qe’Pa and Chris put on a panel introducing fans to the Warrior’s Tongue, covering basic pronunciation, grammar, phrases, and resources available for continuing education. All three were involved in last year’s production of A Klingon Christmas Carol. They also touched on the challenges they faced in adapting Dickens to the Klingon culture and getting it right. For those who missed the play, they are going to perform it again this year.

I participated on three panels dealing with films: The influence of the Western on SF; non-SF genre films to see; and whether or not remakes and sequels are a good idea (generally – NO!). Of those panels, I would have to say the non-SF/Fantasy/Horror films people should see was the most successful. Surprisingly I was the only panelist to prepare a list to hand out. (I set it up at 4AM a couple of days before the con.) I have my list posted on my blog, for those interested. There were many films not on my list (that should have been), and a lot of good ideas were thrown out. The idea for the panel was not to talk about the great classics people should see, but films that are considered good films ad are favorites.

Mordok signed up for several Trek related panels, but as they were opposite other commitments, I ended up missing them.

Bridget Landry of NASA’s JPL was one of the Science Guest of Honors. She’s a long time friend, and although I missed her panels this time around, I know what she is capable of. If you know of a convention that needs a Science Guest, put her on your short list as she is the original double threat: science professional and master costumer.

The gust list for Convergence 2008 was extensive as this was their 10th convention and they invited pretty much every guest of honor they have had over the years. They even had many honors for the late Michael Sheard.

Convergence continues to be a huge party convention with three party floors and about 40 parties. Yes, that’s right – 40 parties. The party themes ranged from Trek to gaming to Egyptian, and many others. The Rakehell hosted the IKEA party at the Rutting Tribble. What’s IKEA you ask? Imperial Klingon Excavation Association. Pith helmets, archaeology digs, and Scotch were in abundance.

The interesting thing about the party scene is that the bulk of them are put on by groups (mostly clubs), not other conventions (there are some of those as well). Some of the party rooms are simple in their presentation, while others are far more complex (like the Egyptian party room and the Nokomis rooms). Most fall somewhere in between.

The IKV Rakehell also put on a performance of “Waiting for Kahless”, which was billed as being the lead-in to closing ceremonies.

Convergence still remains a well-run con, despite some growing pains and a few other issues. They do a lot for the community, including a outreach program to one of the local schools that brings in their kids as a field trip for special programs on the first day of the con. This year there were 52 students who spent the day learning about conventions and meeting the guests, including Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and Bridget Landry. This was also up from last year’s 34 students. The backing organization is also planning on sending a deserving student to Space Camp, most likely next year.

Attendance this year broke the 3000 mark by quite a margin (over 3100 people)., and the hotel was booked solid and overflowed into two neighboring hotels. The TGI Fridays next to the conventino hotel sold out half of their menu, and that’s after ordering extra to cover the convention. Looks like Convergence was a big success on many counts.

This article is crosss-posted, with photo gallery and videos at the Cold Death Quadrant Website:

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