CONvergence

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CONvergence
2014CONvergence.jpg
Status Active
Genre Multi-genre convention
Science fiction convention
Fantasy convention
Speculative fiction
Fan convention
Frequency Yearly
Venue Hyatt Regency Minneapolis in Minneapolis, Minnesota[1]
Location(s) Minneapolis, Minnesota
Coordinates 44°58′17″N 93°16′39″W / 44.9712981°N 93.2773887°W / 44.9712981; -93.2773887Coordinates: 44°58′17″N 93°16′39″W / 44.9712981°N 93.2773887°W / 44.9712981; -93.2773887
Country United States
Years active 20
Inaugurated July 2, 1999 (1999-07-02)
Most recent July 5, 2018
Next event July 4, 2019
Participants 5,782 (2018)
Budget approx. $400,000[2]
Organized by Convergence Events, Inc.
Filing status Non-profit
Website convergence-con.org

CONvergence is an annual multi-genre fan convention. This all-volunteer, fan-run convention is primarily for enthusiasts of Science Fiction and Fantasy in all media.[3] Their motto is "where science fiction and reality meet". It is one of the most-attended conventions of its kind in North America, with approximately 6,000 paid members.[3] The 2019 convention will be held across four days at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[1]

Attractions[edit]

The convention is known for several attractions, which are available to members throughout the event.

Art and Merchandise[edit]

Daren Dochterman drawing Enterprise
  • The CONvergence Art Show offers items created by artists around the country. Some are available for a live auction or silent auction.[4]
  • The Artists Alley provides space for artists to offer commissioned art.[5]
  • The Dealers Room features a larger number of vendors selling crafts, apparel, or collectibles.[6]
  • The Charity Auction funds community activities provided by the Geek Partnership Society.[7]
  • Official CONvergence merchandise is available with branded goods and commemorative event apparel.

Social Attractions[edit]

The late Bob "Roadkill" Aiken dressed as Swamp Thing, with creator Len Wein, at CONvergence 2005
  • The convention is known for its themed room parties[8] hosted by community and fan groups. Each party room is unique from one another[9], each with varied themes. The walls of the convention are usually plastered with advertisements for different parties.
  • Space Lounge presents a futuristic space-themed entertainment venue with music, entertainment, and sensory refreshments.[10]
  • Several spaces for gaming are available at CONvergence, with options for board games, card games, and roleplaying games.[11] The gaming area offers LAN-based gaming, tabletop gaming, and the Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator, among other things.[12]
  • The CONvergence Teen Room is is available for members between 13 and 20 years old.[13]

Programming Areas[edit]

  • Harmonic CONvergence features live music, spoken word, burlesque, and comedy.[14]
  • Cinema Rex is a couch- and sofa-filled movie room. Running popular movies, short films, and film festivals, Cinema Rex provides drinks, popcorn, candy, and other refreshments.[15]
  • Theater Nippon presents a series of classic and modern anime with free drinks, popcorn and candy.[16]

Hospitality[edit]

Members of CONvergence have access to ConSuite, with complimentary rice and soups throughout most of the day, and around-the-clock access to candies, veggies, fruits, and chips. [17] Other hospitality rooms are also provided, such as the COF2E2 Coffee Shop[18], and the Volunteers Den with hot food for members who volunteer.[19]

Events[edit]

CONvergence runs many parallel programming tracks, filling several convention rooms simultaneously with panels, speeches, demonstrations, recognitions, and screenings.[20]

Panels[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 panels are scheduled for each day, across a wide range of topics. Most panels are group discussions in front of an audience, while others are more interactive or performance-based.[21]

Main Stage Events[edit]

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies are held on a Main Stage, as well as live performances and other events that require a lot of space.[22]

Masquerade[edit]

The signature Masquerade event is held Saturday night, displaying the best in costuming and cosplay creations, usually with short skits.[23]

Music Events[edit]

Live music sometimes occurs at the Main Stage. Dances and raves are often scheduled for the late hours in the main stage area.[24]

Mascots[edit]

The primary mascot of CONvergence is the gynoid "Connie", who is occasionally opposed by Connie's scheming younger sister, "Connie Mk. Ⅱ".[25]

Guests of Honor[edit]

Emily Hagins

Like most science fiction conventions, CONvergence selects a few special guests every year.

CONvergence Guests of Honor
Guest of Honor Known For Years Attended
Forrest J. Ackerman SF historian and collector 1999
Pam Keesey Author of Vamps! and other fiction 1999
Harry Knowles Movie critic and web entrepreneur, Ain't It Cool News 1999, 2001, 2005, 2008
Jay Knowles Web entrepreneur, Ain't It Cool News 1999, 2001, 2005, 2008
Gordon Purcell Comic book artist 1999, 2018
Gary Russell Producer of the Doctor Who audio series 1999
Neil Gaiman Author of books, comics and film 2000
Peg Kerr Award-winning author 2000
Regina Pancake Hollywood prop creator 2000
Ruth Thompson Fantasy artist 2000, 2012
Keith Topping Author of Doctor Who novels and more 2000
Go To Hell! (cast and crew) Adventure, comedy, horror film 2000
Peter Mayhew Chewbacca in Star Wars 2001, 2008
Michael Sheard British SF movie and television actor in Star Wars, Last Crusade, and many other projects 2001, 2003
Eleanor Arnason Award-winning science fiction novelist 2001, 2018
Crist Ballas Movie makeup and physical effects artist 2001, 2004, 2008
C.H. Morgan Sci-fi and fantasy artist 2001
Diane Duane Popular author of books and television 2002
Peter Morwood Sci-fi and fantasy author 2002
Mark Altman "Trekspert" and co-creator of Free Enterprise 2002
Robert Meyer Burnett Co-creator and director of Free Enterprise 2002, 2008
Nene Thomas Popular award-winning fantasy artist 2002
Daren Dochterman Designer and illustrator for over 35 feature films 2002, 2008, 2016
Adam 'Mojo' Lebowitz Author and former lead animation supervisor for Foundation Imaging 2002
Andrew Probert Production designer for Star Trek 2003, 2008
Eric Flint Author and editor of many books 2003, 2006, 2008
John Kovalic Dork Tower and Dork Storm Press, Out of the Box Games 2003, 2007, 2008
Katherine Kurtz Author of the Deryni trilogies and stories 2003
Denise Garner Romantic fantasy artist 2004
David Gerrold Science fiction/fantasy author of many books 2004
Larry Niven Author of many science fiction books, including the Ringworld series 2004
Vincent Truitner Animator and CGI artist 2004, 2008, 2018
Christian Colquhoun Physical effects artist 2004, 2008
Len Wein Writer for comics and animation, creator of Swamp Thing, Nightcrawler, and Wolverine 2005, 2008
Dr. Jim Kakalios University of Minnesota physics professor, author of The Physics of Superheroes[26] 2005, 2008, 2018
Mercedes Lackey Author of many popular novels, including the Valdemar and Bardic Voices series and folk music lyricist 2005, 2008
Larry Dixon Co-author of Mage Wars and Dariens Tale series, author of many short stories and game material and fantasy artist 2005, 2008
Marv Wolfman Writer for comics and animation, creator of Blade, Bullseye, and The New Teen Titans 2005, 2008
J. G. Hertzler Actor on Star Trek as General Martok 2006
Ken Hite Role-playing game author and designer 2006, 2008
Bridget Landry Astronomer, Jet Propulsion Laboratory Engineer (Hubble, Mars Pathfinder, and Cassini missions) and Master-level costumer 2006, 2008, 2010
Robert O'Reilly Actor in many well-known science fiction TV series including Star Trek as Chancellor Gowron 2006
Miles Teves Set designer 2006
David Weber Author of military sci-fi 2006, 2008
Greg Weisman TV and comic book writer, animation producer, Gargoyles 2006, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2016, 2018
Emily Hagins Writer and director of the zombie movie Pathogen 2007
Brian Keene Author of The Rising, Grave Conditions, The Last Zombie 2007, 2009, 2011
Bernie Wrightson Comic book artist, co-creator of Swamp Thing 2007
Lois McMaster Bujold Sci-fi and fantasy author 2007, 2017
Wally Wingert Voice actor with credits including Invader Zim (Almighty Tallest Red), Bleach (Renji Abarai), and The Garfield Show (Jon) 2007, 2008, 2010
Trace Beaulieu Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Doctor Clayton Forrester and Crow T. Robot) and Cinematic Titanic[27] 2008, 2009
Mark Evanier Writer of comics and television shows 2008
Joel Hodgson Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Creator and on-air host Joel Robinson, seasons 1–5) and Cinematic Titanic 2009
Frank Conniff Mystery Science Theater 3000 (TV's Frank) and Cinematic Titanic 2009
Mary Jo Pehl Mystery Science Theater 3000 (Pearl Forrester) and Cinematic Titanic 2009, 2018
Kelly McCullough Author of WebMage[28] 2009, 2018
Dwayne McDuffie Creator of Static Shock 2009
Patrick Rothfuss Author of The Name of the Wind 2009
L.A. Banks Author of the Vampire Huntress Legend series of novels as well as the Crimson Moon, Dark Avengers and Soul Food series 2010
Jeremy Bulloch Actor with credits including The Empire Strikes Back/Return of the Jedi (Boba Fett) 2010
Paul Cornell Writer for Doctor Who (television, novels, audio), novelist and writer for Marvel Comics (Captain Britain and MI-13) 2010, 2013, 2018
Chuck McCann Veteran comedian, actor, and cartoon voiceover artist, voice of Sonny the Cuckoo Bird 2010
Jason Carter Actor, Dead Matter, Babylon 5 2011
Edward Douglas Gothic horror Fantasy musician, Midnight Syndicate 2011
Seanan McGuire Urban fantasist, October Daye, InCryptid, Newsflesh 2011, 2017
Paul and Storm Special musical performers 2011
Lynne M. Thomas Librarian, author, editor of Chicks Dig Time Lords 2011
Anthony Tollin Historian, publisher, comics colorist, The Shadow and Doc Savage reprints 2011
Catherynne Valente Novelist, poet 2011
Brian Van Camp Actor, Dead Matter 2011
Bonnie Burton Writer 2012
Jenifer Clarke Wilkes Game publications editor, Wizards of the Coast 2012
Judith Walcutt Poet 2012
Lyda Morehouse Writer 2012
Sophie Aldred Actress 2012
Sharyn November Editor 2012
Tamora Pierce Writer 2012, 2018
Charlie Jane Anders Writer and Blogger 2013
Lou Anders Editor 2013
Caitlin Blackwood Actress 2013
Bill Corbett Mystery Science Theater 3000 and RiffTrax 2013
Kevin Murphy Mystery Science Theater 3000 and RiffTrax 2013
John Picacio Artist 2013
James Moran Screenwriter Severance (film), Cockneys vs. Zombies, and Tower Block (film) 2013
Melinda Snodgrass Author and Scriptwriter 2013, 2018
Greg Guler Gargoyles character designer 2014
Marina Sirtis Demona from Gargoyles, and Deanna Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation 2014, 2018
Matthew Ebel Musician 2014
C. Robert Cargill Internet film critic, author 2014
Scott Lynch Writer 2014
Amy Berg TV producer, writer 2014
Emma Bull Writer 2014
Sarah Clemens 2014
Wesley Chu 2015, 2018
Nicole Dubuc Actress, writer 2015
Chad Frey 2015
Charlotte Fullerton Writer 2015
Lee Harris Hugo-nominated editor 2015, 2018
Jennifer Ouellette 2015
Gordon Smuder 2015
Toni Weisskopf 2015
Bryan Thao Worra 2015
Amal El-Mohtar Poet, writer 2016, 2018
Amy Shira Teitel 2016
Cam Banks 2016
Christopher Jones Professional comic book artist, attendee, and co-founder; designer of Connie and the other mascots 2016
Joseph Scrimshaw Comedian, actor, and playwright 2016
Khary Payton Actor 2016
Mark Oshiro 2016
Ytasha Womack 2016, 2018
Kristopher Carter Composer 2017
Norman Cates 2017
Eric Chu 2017
Tracee Lee Cocco 2017
Naomi Kritzer Speculative fiction writer 2017
Jai Nitz 2017
Ian Truitner 2017
Saymoukda Vongsay Poet 2017
Elizabeth Bear Novelist 2018
Lindsay Ellis 2018
Victor Raymond 2018
Lisa Snellings 2018
Michael “Knightmage” Wilson Sheriff deputy, stunt performer[29] 2018
Information Society Band 2018

Timeline[edit]

The idea for CONvergence began at a room party held 20 years ago at the Minicon 33 event, where 500 pre-registrations to CONvergence 1999 were collected.[30] The planning team celebrated the one-year-to-go mark with a picnic on the weekend of July 4, 1998.

CONvergence Timeline
Date Event Theme Location Member Attendance
July 2 – July 4, 1999 After All, It's Just a Party[31] Inaugural convention Bloomington Radisson South Hotel 1,398
July 7 – July 9, 2000 No one can tell you what CONvergence is … you have to experience it for yourself[32] The Matrix and similar fiction Radisson, Downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota 1,533
July 6 – July 8, 2001 Curioser and Curioser[33] Alice in Wonderland and similar fiction Bloomington Radisson South Hotel 1,615
July 5 – July 7, 2002 If Adventure Has A Name…[34] Indiana Jones and classic adventure themes in speculative fiction Bloomington Radisson South Hotel 1,679
July 4 – July 6, 2003 Time Flies[35] Time travel Bloomington Radisson South Hotel 1,709
July 2 – July 4, 2004 Out of the Shadows[36] Mystery and Noir, the dark side of speculative fiction Sheraton Minneapolis South[37] 2,014
July 1 – July 3, 2005 Snikt! Bamf! Thwip![38] Super-heroes and comic books Sheraton Minneapolis South 2,283
July 7 – July 9, 2006 Boldly Go.[39] Space exploration, such as Star Trek Sheraton Minneapolis South 2,434
July 6 – July 8, 2007 Creature Feature[40] Monsters, Aliens and inhuman characters Sheraton Minneapolis South 2,549
July 3 – July 6, 2008 Ten Years 1999–2008[41] Anniversary of Tenth CONvergence Sheraton Minneapolis South 3,102
July 2 – July 5, 2009 This Con Goes to 11[42] Humor in Science Fiction and Fantasy, also the 11th CONvergence Sheraton Minneapolis South 3,894
July 1 – July 4, 2010 Bring on the Bad Guys[43] Villains Sheraton Minneapolis South 4,737
June 30 – July 3, 2011 Tomorrow through the Past[44] Steam punk & retro Science Fiction Sheraton Minneapolis South 5,031
July 5 – July 8, 2012 Wonder Women[45] Female creators and characters of Speculative Fiction DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington 5,864
July 4 – July 7, 2013 British Invasion[46] British creators and characters of Speculative Fiction DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington 6,291
July 3 – July 6, 2014 A Midsummer Night’s Dream[47] Urban Fantasy, such as the Gargoyles TV series DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington 6,118
July 2 – July 5, 2015 DoublePlusGood[48] Dystopias DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington 6,057
June 30 – July 3, 2016 … And How Do We GET There?[49] Vehicles and transportation DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington 5,693
July 6 – July 9, 2017 To Infinity And Beyond[50] Space opera DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington 6,477
July 5 – July 8, 2018 Natural Twenty[51] Anniversary of 20th CONvergence DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington 5,782
July 4 – July 7, 2019 The Next Celebration Reboots and re-imaginings in Science Fiction Hyatt Regency Minneapolis

Reception[edit]

In 2008, CONvergence was voted "Best Fan Convention" by the City Pages arts/alternative newspaper.[52] 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").

Transition to Minneapolis[edit]

Convention organizer Convergence Events, Inc. sent an announcement to CONvergence members on June 16, 2018. The announcement indicated changes to the party rooms at the 2018 convention, due to concerns from the hotel management.[53][54]

On the same day, CONvergence Events, Inc. announced that the following year's convention would be hosted at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, after being hosted in the same Bloomington location since 2001.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "CONvergence 2019 Will Be At the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Minneapolis". Convergence Events, Inc. 
  2. ^ "Budgets and Reports". Convergence Events, Inc. Convergence Events, Inc. Retrieved 11 July 2018. 
  3. ^ a b "Archive | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  4. ^ "Art Show | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-17. 
  5. ^ "Artists Alley | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-17. 
  6. ^ "Dealers Room | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-17. 
  7. ^ "GPS Charity Auction | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-17. 
  8. ^ "Room Parties at Convergence". Archived from the original on 2009-11-24. 
  9. ^ "Panoramic Photos of Garden Court and Room Parties at Convergence". 
  10. ^ "Space Lounge | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  11. ^ "Gaming | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-17. 
  12. ^ "Gaming". 
  13. ^ "Teen Room | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-17. 
  14. ^ "Harmonic CONvergence | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  15. ^ "Cinema Rex | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  16. ^ "Theater Nippon | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  17. ^ "Consuite". 
  18. ^ "CoF2E2 Coffee Shop". 
  19. ^ "Volunteers Den | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-17. 
  20. ^ Smith, Rod (17 July 2002). "Geek Chic". City Pages. 23 (1128). Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. 
  21. ^ "Panels | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  22. ^ "MainStage | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-17. 
  23. ^ "Masquerade | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-17. 
  24. ^ "Dances & Raves | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-17. 
  25. ^ "CONvergence Lore | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-17. 
  26. ^ 1958-, Kakalios, James, (2009). The physics of superheroes (Spectacular second edition ed.). New York, N.Y.: Gotham Books. ISBN 9781592405084. OCLC 318411479. 
  27. ^ "CONvergence 2008 News". 2008-03-18. Archived from the original on 2008-04-15. Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  28. ^ Kelly., McCullough, (2006). WebMage (Ace mass-market ed ed.). New York: Ace Books. ISBN 0441014259. OCLC 70685248. 
  29. ^ "Michael "Knightmage" Wilson | AnimeCons.com". animecons.com. Retrieved 2018-07-12. 
  30. ^ "CONvergence". MISFITS. 2007-06-29. Archived from the original on 2005-04-01. Retrieved 2007-07-09. 
  31. ^ "CONvergence 1999: After All, It's Just a Party | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  32. ^ "CONvergence 2000: No One Can Tell You What CONvergence Is, You Have To Experience It For Yourself | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  33. ^ "CONvergence 2001: Curiouser and Curiouser | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  34. ^ "CONvergence 2002: If Adventure Has a Name… | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  35. ^ "CONvergence 2003: Time Flies | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  36. ^ "CONvergence 2004: Out of the Shadows | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  37. ^ Johnson, Richard L. "The Radisson Hotel South in Bloomington, Considered a Flagship of the Radisson Chain, To be Rebranded Sheraton; Radisson Founder Curt Carlson Built the 565-room Hotel in 1970 / January 2004". www.hotel-online.com. Retrieved 2018-07-12. 
  38. ^ "CONvergence 2005: Snikt! Bamf! Thwip! | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  39. ^ "CONvergence 2006: Boldly Go | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  40. ^ "CONvergence 2007: Creature Feature | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  41. ^ "CONvergence 2008: Ten Years | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  42. ^ "CONvergence 2009: This Con Goes to 11 | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  43. ^ "CONvergence 2010: Bring on the Bad Guys | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  44. ^ "CONvergence 2011: Tomorrow Through the Past | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  45. ^ "CONvergence 2012: Wonder Women | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  46. ^ "CONvergence 2013: British Invasion | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  47. ^ "CONvergence 2014: A Midsummer Night's Dream | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  48. ^ "CONvergence 2015: DoublePlusGood | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  49. ^ "CONvergence 2016: ...And How Do We GET There? | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  50. ^ "CONvergence 2017: To Infinity and Beyond | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  51. ^ "CONvergence 2018: Natural Twenty | CONvergence Convention". CONvergence Convention. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  52. ^ "Best Fan Convention". City Pages, LLC. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-11-22. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  53. ^ "CONvergence 2018 Party Room Restrictions From the DoubleTree by Hilton | Convergence Events". Convergence Events. 2018-06-16. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 
  54. ^ Regan, Sheila. "Bloomington DoubleTree bans some alcohol at CONvergence 2018 | City Pages". City Pages. Retrieved 2018-07-11. 

External links[edit]