Minicon 49 Progress Reports

Occasional news and reports about the progress of Minicon

Progress report 2 (Winter 2014)

Download a PDF copy of PR2.

Progress report 1 (Fall 2013)

We sent PR1 by e-mail, which is the form shown below, and as a postcard. Here is the postcard version: front, back.

Minicon 49 Progress Report 1 — April 17½-20, 2014

Author Guest of Honor
Catherynne M. Valente
Author Guest of Honor
Janny Wurts
Artist Guest of Honor
Don Maitz

Greetings! This is the first of two progress reports from Minicon 49, our latest in the long line of Minicons,to be held this coming Easter weekend, April 17½-20, 2014, at the DoubleTree in Bloomington, MN. This Minicon will be much like recent ones, features panel discussions, readings, signings, costuming, the Medallion Hunt, films, gaming, an art show, dealers, kids' programming, teen-run teen programming, a science room, filk and folk music, a well-stocked consuite and bar, room parties, and various special events.


Pre-registration is open until March 17.

  • $40 for adults
  • $20 for students (13-20)
  • $10 for kids ages (6-12)

Children 5 and under are free and don't need to be registered, but if they are, they get a nice pre-printed badge. Supporting memberships are $15 and are convertible to a full membership for an additional $40 at the door.

You can pre-register online or you can print a form off the website to mail in.

At the door rates will be:

  • $60 for adults
  • $25 for students (13-20)
  • $15 for kids (6-12)
  • Still $0 for children (0-5)

We'll have Thursday/Friday-only memberships for $30, intended mostly for new people who aren't sure if they want to attend the whole con. They are upgradable to a full membership at no penalty: just another $30.

If you register at the door on Saturday, the adult rate for the remainder of the con is reduced to $45; on Sunday, $20. If you plan to attend on Saturday, it's cheaper to pre-register. We do that on purpose!

Memberships are transferable at no cost (but are not refundable). To transfer, e-mail .

We are working on a project to reconstruct older historical registration data. Can you help us by filling out a survey?


Our reg forms give you the opportunity to add a $10 donation to your normal registration fee. Please consider this if it is within your budget. We use the money to help keep our base rates down so that more people can afford Minicon.

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We are in the same hotel as we have been for a number of years, the DoubleTree Bloomington (formerly the Sheraton, formerly the Radisson). We had seriously considered switching to a different hotel for this year, but in the end, we found that our current hotel is the best deal out of hotels that meet our needs.

Both traditional and poolside cabana rooms are $92 if you book by March 15 and $99 thereafter. To book, go here, or call the DoubleTree at 952-835-7800. If you plan to run a room party, book as normal and then send your confirmation number to .

Why get a room?

Besides the obvious benefits to you, you should get a room because it is Minicon's biggest funding source. The more rooms we buy, the less our function space costs. Last year, we would have saved $1500 if we had booked 24 more rooms. Help us keep membership rates down by filling our block this year!

PLEASE, please do not book your room through a travel agency or discount site. These will not contribute to our room block. While you may save a few bucks, you cost Minicon (including yourself in future years if we have to raise reg rates) many times your savings.

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Ride Share

Help save the planet! and maybe a few dollars. Plan on car-pooling and ride-sharing to and from Minicon this year. If you have skills that can help connect and coordinate participants, or ideas for incentives, please contact Laramie Sasseville .

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What the heck does April 17½-20 mean?

It means that Minicon 49 is a three and a half day convention. Right. And what that means is that on Thursday night we will open the consuite, bar, and a full registration desk. Some other departments may also open Thursday night. Programming and other activities will start a bit earlier on Friday; see Progress Report 2 for details.

As far as the consuite/bar and registration goes, this is actually not all that different from what we've been doing in recent years, except it probably hasn't been widely noticed that Minicon really has been starting on Thursday for a while now. The differences for Thursday this year will be (1) more food and (2) you can register at the door.

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Minicon will continue to have excellent panel discussions, readings, demonstrations and other events. If you'd like to suggest a topic, find out about how to volunteer, or attend the October 19th Programming Brainstorming session, please see the programming page on the Minicon Website.

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Minicon is run entirely by volunteers. Please join us. We greatly appreciate the gift of your time. E-mail to participate. We're all in this together!

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Progress on Perfecting Our Room Use

We're going to stick with the same basic con layout in the hotel as last year, with some minor alterations.

Gaming is going to move back to the "garden court" (i.e. in the big open space near the pool) rather than being tucked away in the back corner of a hidden hallway. The advantage to that back corner is that it is a nice big lockable room, but we think we like the openness better.

With that back room now available, we can split Rumpus Room programming into younger-kid and older-kid activities as needed.

We are also going to re-tool the teen lounge. Last year we put it in one of the rooms that adjoin the consuite. The room itself may have been ok, but unfortunately it contains the nearest bathroom to the consuite, which resulted in lots of non-teen use of the space. We'll figure something better out for this year.

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Rumpus Room

The Rumpus Room will return this year. This open activity room will run throughout Minicon 49, starting at noon on Friday. We will have scheduled programing for all ages from toddlers on up. The Rumpus Room will also house the Craft Swap. Please bring your excess stash and trade for some new treasures! We will have tables available for your browsing enjoyment open throughout the con.

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Art Show

As usual, the art show will feature science fiction and fantasy themed 2- and 3-dimensional art, with consideration for entries of audio-visual media. Most likely we will have art-related programming in the art show space, something that has worked well in the past.

Youth art space will be especially promoted, with no hanging fees (up to a limited number of pieces). We have plenty of space for artists and would like to encourage anyone who has a large number of pieces to hang to attend. Detailed information for artists wishing to display and/or sell art will be sent out with Progress Report 2 and will be posted to our web site when it is available.

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Hello and welcome again my Fellow Gamers! We have a lot in store this year!

We are adding miniatures to our library of games …namely D&D Dungeon Command and HeroClix. I plan to personally run an event of each over the weekend.

We also will have our expansive board game library as well as our video game collection.

Additionally, we will be hosting a couple of casual Magic: the Gathering events. More info on that to come.

Finally, we always welcome you to bring your favorite game as well. Our group is more about community than scheduled events. I have had more fun (more often than not) in a great pickup game of something.

See you at the con! (More to be announced soon...)

— Matt McMillan, Minicon 49 gaming head

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More About Minicon

If you are interested in learning some gory details about Minicon's finances, please check out the article "Minicon Budget and Such" in Rune #87, and "Musings on the Cost of Conventions These Days" in Rune #88.

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Advanced Warning: Minicon 50

Minicon 50 will be held Easter weekend 2015 and will be 4 days, April 2-5. We will have Jane Yolen, Larry Niven, and Brandon Sanderson as author guests of honor, Adam Stemple as music guest of honor, and Tom Doherty as publisher guest of honor. We will again be at the DoubleTree Bloomington.

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Progress Reports

As in recent years, this progress report is primarily sent by e-mail to save money. The second progress report is primarily sent on paper because you probably actually read it then. But we send both by e-mail or paper as necessary, so you should get both if we have either sort of address for you. If you would like to change the way you get your progress reports, please let us know at .

You will get Progress Report 2 if you are a member of Minicon 49 or were a member of Minicon 46, 47 or 48. To stay on the mailing list if you weren't at any of those Minicons, you need to at least buy a supporting membership.

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Minnstf, the Minnesota Science Fiction Society, is Minicon's parent organization. If a few cons a year isn't enough fandom for you, check out Minn-stf's bimonthly house parties (called "meetings"). Upcoming parties are listed on the Minn-stf site and in Einblatt. We are also running a small convention called METHODCon on Oct 18-20. For more information, check here.

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