CONvergence

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CONvergence
2014CONvergence.jpg
You know Big Brother. Wait till you get a load of Little Sister!!!
Status Active
Genre Science fiction convention/fantasy convention/Speculative fiction/fan convention
Venue DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bloomington – Minneapolis South
Location(s) Bloomington, Minnesota
Country United States
Inaugurated 1999
Most recent 2014
Attendance 6369
Organized by CONvergence Events, Inc.
Filing status Non-profit
Website
convergence-con.org

CONvergence is an annual convention for fans of Science Fiction and Fantasy in all media: a 4-day event with more than 6,000 members.[1] This fan-run SciFi convention is held annually at the Doubletree by Hilton Bloomington on the first full weekend in July in Minnesota, United States.

Happenings[edit]

A panel of experts (including cartoonist John Kovalic, far left, and author Brian Keene, far right), debate who would win in a fight: Frankenstein's Monster or Cookie Monster.

CONvergence runs many parallel programming tracks, filling several convention rooms simultaneously with panels, speeches, demonstrations, recognitions, and screenings.[2][3] It is one of the most-attended fan-run conventions in North America, with paid attendance exceeding 6,500.[citation needed]

The convention is known for several unique attractions including Cinema Rex, a couch-and-recliner-filled movie room; Theater Nippon, featuring anime; Connie's Space Lounge, a music and entertainment venue; COF2E2, a coffee bar; CONsuite, hospitality and food; Harmonic CONvergence, which features musical acts; and the Dorian Gray Memorial Literary Lounge, a reading-and-writing setting.

There is also gaming (board, card, and roleplaying), an art show, an art auction, a dealer's room, all-night bardic music circles, and dozens of room parties of various themes. The walls of the convention are usually plastered with advertisements for different parties.

Panels[edit]

Multiple tracks of panel programming are provided in the plaza and atrium meeting rooms.

Theatre[edit]

Cinema Rex hosts movies, while the Anime room shows anime throughout the weekend.

Main Stage[edit]

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies are held on the Main Stage.

The highly regarded Masquerade is held Saturday night, displaying the best in costuming and cosplay creations, usually with short skits.

Music events are also held on the main stage.

Garden Court[edit]

Various events are held in the huge indoor Garden Court, which also serves as a mingling area. The east side of the Garden Court & pool area contains the Consuite rooms on the upper level, and other hospitality rooms on the lower level, such as the CoFFee bar and book swap library. The Garden Court is surrounded by two levels of Cabana rooms, north and south which serve as party rooms during the convention.

Parties[edit]

The convention is famous for its themed room parties[4] given by various community and fan groups. Two levels of cabana rooms surround a pool and activity area,[5] each with varied themes.

Mascots[edit]

The con's mascot is the gynoid "Connie", who is occasionally opposed by Connie's scheming younger sister, "Connie Mk. II".

An inflatable tyrannosaur named Rex serves as Cinema Rex's mascot and is often involved in the Masquerade as well.

Annual themes and guests of honor[edit]

The number in parentheses after each guest's name is how many times they have been a CONvergence guest of honor as of the year in question.

1999 - "After All, it's Just a Party"

2000 - "No one can tell you what CONvergence is... you have to experience it for yourself." (The Matrix and similar fiction)

(this is the only CONvergence not to be held at the Bloomington Radisson/Sheraton/DoubleTree. This CONvergence was held at the Radisson in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota)

2001 - "Curioser and Curioser" (Alice in Wonderland and similar fiction)

2002 - "If Adventure Has A Name..." (Adventure themes in speculative fiction)

Daren Dochterman drawing Enterprise

2003 - "Time Flies" (Time travel)

Christian Colquhoun

2004 - "Out of the Shadows" (The dark side of speculative fiction)

The late Bob "Roadkill" Aiken dressed as Swamp Thing, with creator Len Wein, at CONvergence 2005

2005 - "Snikt! Bamf! Thwip!" (Super-heroes and comic books)

2006 - "Boldly Go." (space exploration)

(Originally, Gary Russell had been scheduled to attend but had to decline due to conflicting obligations)

2007 - "Creature Feature" (horror and monsters)

Emily Hagins

2008 - "Ten Years 1999-2008" (10th CONvergence)

(Originally, Bernie Wrightson had been scheduled to attend as one of the many returning guests of honor for year ten, but was unable to do so at the last minute.)

2009 - "This Con Goes to 11" (Humor in Science-Fiction and Fantasy, also the 11th CONvergence)

2010 - "Bring on the Bad Guys" (12th CONvergence)

  • L.A. Banks - Author of the Vampire Huntress Legend series of novels as well as the Crimson Moon, Dark Avengers and Soul Food series.
  • Jeremy Bulloch - Actor with credits including The Empire Strikes Back/Return of the Jedi (Boba Fett)
  • Paul Cornell - Writer for Doctor Who (television, novels, audio), novelist and writer for Marvel Comics (Captain Britain and MI-13).
  • Bridget Landry (3) - Jet Propulsion Laboratory Engineer (Hubble, Mars Pathfinder, and Cassini missions) and Master-level costumer.
  • Chuck McCann - Veteran comedian, actor, and cartoon voiceover artist, voice of Sonny the Cuckoo Bird.
  • Wally Wingert (3) - Voice actor with credits including Invader Zim (Almighty Tallest Red), Bleach (Renji Abarai), and The Garfield Show (Jon).

2011 - "Tomorrow through the Past" (13th CONvergence) CONvergence 2011 was the last event held at the Sheraton Minneapolis South before it changed brands to Doubletree on July 12.

2012 - "Wonder Women" (14th CONvergence), Theme: Female creators and characters of Speculative Fiction

2013 - "British Invasion" (July 4–7, 2013), 15th CONvergence, Theme: British creators and characters of Speculative Fiction.

CONvergence 2013 had 6,789 members.

Latest[edit]

2014 - "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (July 3–6, 2014), 16th CONvergence with 6369 attendees, Theme: Urban Fantasy such as the Gargoyles TV series [7]

CONvergence 2014 had 6369 members.

2015 - "DoublePlusGood" (July 2–5, 2015), 17th CONvergence, Theme: Dystopias [8]

  • Connie Mark 2 - In the tradition of running the convention with volunteers, Connie Mark 2 has stepped up to run the convention: You know Big Brother. Wait till you get a load of Little Sister!!!

Four-day convention[edit]

CONvergence kicks off on the Thursday before the first full weekend in July. While this can occasionally overlap the 4th of July holiday, some of the best firework viewing in the twin cities is on the 22nd floor of the DoubleTree hotel's north tower, which all members have access to.

The 2008 event was the tenth CONvergence, and the convention theme was the addition of a fourth day of events (Thursday, July 3, 2008) added to the schedule. The four-day schedule permanently replaced the three-day schedule.

In 2008, CONvergence was voted "Best Fan Convention" by the City Pages arts/alternative newspaper.[9] It has appeared in "Best of the Cities" in each year afterward until 2011 (when no award was given for "best fan convention" or "best annual convention").

Hotels[edit]

The convention is held at the Doubletree Bloomington – Minneapolis South.[10] The convention handles booking for the entire Doubletree hotel for the 4-day-weekend. Since the 2010 convention cycle, an online hotel room reservation system[11] was established. CONvergence also has room blocs at the Sheraton and Crowne Plaza. By 2014 the Convegence had expanded to eight hotels in the area, with most events being held at the DoubleTree hotel.

The convention began in 1999 at the Bloomington Radisson South Hotel and is held every year at the same location, now known as Doubletree by Hilton Bloomington – Minneapolis South.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2014 had 6369 members, 2013 Post con report: 6789 registrations". 3/9/13: 6,668 2011: 5,031 registrations. 5,980 registrations in 2012, 5,684 attendees.
  2. ^ "CONvergence". MISFITS. 2007-06-29. Retrieved 2007-07-09. 
  3. ^ Smith, Rod (17 July 2002). "Geek Chic". City Pages 23 (1128). 
  4. ^ "Room Parties at Convergence". 
  5. ^ "Panoramic Photos of Garden Court and Room Parties at Convergence". 
  6. ^ "CONvergence 2008 News". 2008-03-18. Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  7. ^ "Convergence". 2014-07-04. 
  8. ^ "Convergence". 2015-07-02. 
  9. ^ "Best Fan Convention". City Pages, LLC. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  10. ^ "Doubletree Bloomington – Minneapolis South". 
  11. ^ "Convergence Room Reservation System". 

External links[edit]