From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from CONvergence (convention))
Jump to: navigation, search
Status Active
Genre Science fiction convention
Fantasy convention
Speculative fiction
Fan convention
Venue DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bloomington – Minneapolis South
Location(s) Bloomington, Minnesota
Coordinates 44°51′42″N 93°21′11″W / 44.86167°N 93.35306°W / 44.86167; -93.35306Coordinates: 44°51′42″N 93°21′11″W / 44.86167°N 93.35306°W / 44.86167; -93.35306
Country United States
Inaugurated 1999
Most recent 2017
Attendance 6369
Organized by CONvergence Events, Inc.
Filing status Non-profit

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.


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 just under 6,000.[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 free 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.


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


Cinema Rex hosts movies, while the Anime room shows anime throughout the weekend. Both rooms provide free drinks, popcorn and candy. Cinema Rex has sofa seating. In the past, Cinema Rex provided free pizza with one of its movies, usually one starring Kurt Russell.

Main Stage[edit]

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies are held on a 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.


ConSuite serves rice and soups throughout most of the day, and keeps candies, veggies, fruits, and chips to members around the clock. [4] Other hospitality rooms are also provided, such as the COF2E2 Coffee Shop[5] and book swap library[6].


The convention is known for its themed room parties[7] hosted by community and fan groups. Each party room is unique from one another,[8], each with varied themes.


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.


During the convention, the convention offers a 'gaming area,' with LAN-based gaming, tabletop gaming, and the Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator, among other things.[9]

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 CONvergence was held at the Radisson (now the Intercontinental Saint Paul Riverfront) 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)

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

CONvergence 2012 had 5,980 members.

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

CONvergence 2013 had 6,789 members.

2014 - "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (July 3–6, 2014), 16th CONvergence with 6369 attendees, Theme: Urban Fantasy such as the Gargoyles TV series [11]

CONvergence 2014 had 6369 members.

2015 - "DoublePlusGood" (July 2–5, 2015), 17th CONvergence with 6252 attendees, Theme: Dystopias [12]

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!!!"

CONvergence 2015 had 6252 members.

2016 - "...And How Do We GET There?" (June 30–July 3, 2016), 18th CONvergence with 5928 attendees, Theme: The great vehicles and transport of science fiction and fantasy

CONvergence 2016 had 5928 members.

2017 - "To Infinity And Beyond" (July 6–9, 2017), 19th CONvergence, Theme: Epic tales of space opera!

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.[13] 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").


The convention is held at the Doubletree Bloomington – Minneapolis South.[14] The convention handles booking for the entire Doubletree hotel for the 4-day-weekend. From the 2010-2014 convention cycles, an online hotel room reservation system was established. Since 2015, hotel rooms are allocated through random lottery via pre-registrations.[15] CONvergence also has room blocks at the Sheraton and Crowne Plaza. By 2014 the Convergence room block 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 (with the exception of the 2000 convention) is held every year at the same location, now known as Doubletree by Hilton Bloomington – Minneapolis South.


  1. ^ "2014 had 6369 members, 2013 Post con report: 6789 registrations". Archived from the original on 2014-04-06. 3/9/13: 6,668 2011: 5,031 registrations. 5,980 registrations in 2012, 5,684 attendees.
  2. ^ "CONvergence". MISFITS. 2007-06-29. Archived from the original on 2005-04-01. Retrieved 2007-07-09. 
  3. ^ Smith, Rod (17 July 2002). "Geek Chic". City Pages. 23 (1128). Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. 
  4. ^ "Consuite". 
  5. ^ "CoF2E2 Coffee Shop". 
  6. ^ "Book Swap". 
  7. ^ "Room Parties at Convergence". Archived from the original on 2009-11-24. 
  8. ^ "Panoramic Photos of Garden Court and Room Parties at Convergence". 
  9. ^ "Gaming". 
  10. ^ "CONvergence 2008 News". 2008-03-18. Archived from the original on 2008-04-15. Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  11. ^ "Convergence". 2014-07-04. 
  12. ^ "Convergence". 2015-07-02. 
  13. ^ "Best Fan Convention". City Pages, LLC. 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-11-22. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  14. ^ "Doubletree Bloomington – Minneapolis South". 
  15. ^ "Convergence Room Reservation System". Archived from the original on 2009-04-10. 

External links[edit]