||[Apr. 3rd, 2008|12:09 pm]
This weekend I will be wearing my Continuum Foundation hat as I talk to a group of people who are running a major event in Melbourne this year. It's not actually a science fiction convention as such, but they are a fannish community of their own, and they came to us wanting advice.
The Continuum Foundation is all about encouraging fandom(s) and helping where we can. Our primary goals are to help new people find fandom, and training up the next generation of con-runners through the Continuum Conventions.
Continuum 5 is coming, by the way - 2009 - so start saving now!
One of the things I say is that if ConFound isn't doing what it can to help out, then what's the point? We have to be useful, we have to be relevant, otherwise our existence is pointless. Helping out isn't just about the big stuff, it's about the small things. Big 'Event' cons happen once in a while, but what about the in-between times?
That's what we're here for.
What is nice is that since we started the Foundation in 2005 we've been approached by no fewer than five non-Continuum related groups and events, asking for advice or assistance. Mostly what we're doing is small but useful stuff, acting as a sounding board, or offering advice (and occasionally warnings) on things like budgets, though at one point we were very close to being the parent foundation for two Australian conventions at once. It's nice that we're seen by so many groups as the go-to people.
Interestingly, two of the events have been non-SF/F related, one of those pair was a success, and the other is the one I mentioned at the beginning, a very bold, interesting concept that will be happening later this year. It's totally unlike any convention I have been a part of and I look forward to seeing how they do, certainly if attitude and professionalism is enough, it'll be a screaming success.
I'm not naming the various events and conventions here because I don't want it to look like these folks couldn't have done it without us - that's simply not true - they ran the events they wanted to, in the way they wanted to, and they would have run regardless. What we did was give them unconditional support and constructive criticism when they felt they needed it, without any agenda beyond helping others.
In many ways ConFound hasn't done as much as I'd like, but you know by this December, including our own cons, we'll have influenced or assisted seven events and conventions in just over three years.
And that's something to be proud of.