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Posts Tagged ‘Programming’

This is the third in a semi-regular series of answers to some of the most common questions we receive about Farpoint convention. If there’s a particular question you’d like answered, please let us know either here on our blog or by sending an email to us at contact at farpointcon dot com.

Question: What happens after the convention is over? When do you start planning for the next year?

Answer: While the convention is over for our members on Sunday evening, Farpoint continues for us another few weeks after. There are final bills to pay and we spend time evaluating the weekend looking for ways to improve our convention. Part of that evaluation includes reviewing feedback we get from our members at the Open Committee Meeting held Sunday to close the convention. The ideas we receive at the meeting and from your emails help us make changes to better serve our convention members. This year’s feedback also includes the insightful information from our Guest Survey. Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to the survey and/or attend the Open Committee Meeting.

One of the final bills we pay is the bill to the hotel, which covers our the sleeping rooms we pay for and their services during the weekend. We also confirm our contract for the next year at the same time. Good news! The rack rate for 2015 will stay at $125.00/night (plus taxes), the 5th year in a row with no price increase.

We take a few weeks off through mid-March and begin planning for the next year in April. Planning starts by evaluating potential celebrity guests for the next year with the goal of having at least one name confirmed in time to be announced at Balticon on Memorial Day weekend, with additional celebrity names set by ShoreLeave in early August. We also start booking author, scientist, podcasters, live performers, filmmakers and other guests during this same time frame. We also plan our “publicity tour” of other conventions in the region to publicize Farpoint convention.

Active planning for convention activities begins mid-summer. We generate ideas “in house” based on our own interests, and we also accept ideas from members. If you have an idea for a panel or program, please send a description of your program idea to us at programs at farpointcon dot com. Your idea will be classified into one of our program tracks (science, new media, children/youth, authors, movies/TV, or live performances) and the manager of the track will be in touch with you to continue making arrangements. Anyone submitting a program idea should be aware that while we make every effort to stage your idea as presented, we reserve the right to make changes such as combining your idea with a similar one into a single event. We do this to maximize our resources (time, room space, equipment) and avoid duplicating panels.

As you can see, a lot goes on behind the scenes from late February through our first “publicity tour” event at Balticon each May! We appreciate your feedback on each convention and invite you to Save The Dates for Farpoint 2015 – February 13-15, 2015.

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We’ve been posting announcements and previews of events coming up at Farpoint on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Farpoint-Convention/171777342838129. We started last week and are continuing from now until Farpoint next month. One thing to note – dates and times may change between now and the final schedule publication in early February so make sure to double check the final schedule.

The week of 1/5/14 to 1/11/14, we’ve learned about:

– A panel discussion from our Media track: “The New Doctor: A Major Change of Prescription”. This panel was originally scheduled for Friday but now looks to be moving to Saturday 2/15/14.

– There will be a presentation by Dr. Inge Heyer on “The Mysteries of Mars” by Dr. Inge Heyer, Saturday 2:00 pm

– Fun and NEW on Sunday at 11:00 am – a Swing Dance Workshop with Iver Cooper. If you went to the one at Balticon, you know how much fun it will be.

– All weekend in the Game Room: Gaming Miniature and Model Contest with Beginner, Intermediate and Expert categories. Awards on Sunday at noon.

– Our wonderful Art Show goes on all weekend, featuring artists from around the country. The Art Show will feature the “Buy It Now” option with most pieces and pieces with 3 or more bids will go to the Art Auction on Sunday at 10:00 am.

– A Charity Auction will be held Friday evening as part of the Opening Ceremonies to benefit the Julien Fleming Memorial Fund and Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter. Friday items will include drinks with Phil LaMarr on Saturday evening.

– Need costume help or advice? Come to the Masquerade Presentation Clinic, Saturday 12:00 pm

Follow us on Facebook to get your previews first!

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This is the second in a semi-regular series of answers to some of the most common questions we receive about Farpoint convention. If there’s a particular question you’d like answered, please let us know either here on our blog or by sending an email to us at contact at farpointcon dot com.

Question: What kind of convention is Farpoint? Is it a media convention? Autograph show? Comic Con?

Answer: Good question!

Farpoint is a science fiction convention organized by volunteer fans for the fan community, staged annually in February. We consider the fan the true guest of honor and strive to reflect the variety of fan interests through our mix of programming and guests. Every fan, no matter their age, sex, ethnicity, orientation or personal interests, is welcomed and encouraged to participate as much or little as they care to in the activities. We want our fan members to make connections with us as an organization and with each other, and to learn more about their current or new interests.

What does this mean? Farpoint is planned and organized to reflect as much of the diversity of our members’ science fiction interests as can be scheduled in a three day weekend. The diversity of fan interests means that we include some of the best features of all kinds of conventions. We offer 200+ hours of programming on topics ranging from books and authors, science, comics, gaming, costuming, art and artists, etc., etc., etc. across the diversity of science fiction topics and universes. Farpoint showcases local live performers, writers and artists to introduce them to new audiences. A large percentage of our programs are organized and staged by other fans. We are glad to welcome program contributions from our fan members!

We always invite celebrity guests to Farpoint to give fans a chance to meet some of their favorites. Like our programming, our celebrity guests are drawn from the diverse offerings of science fiction media outlets. We choose to keep the number of celebrity guests to 3 or 4 most years in order to allow space in the schedule for program offerings created by our fan members. This can mean that an individual fan’s TV show or movie interests may not be reflected in our celebrity guest lineup one year, but fans can be assured that the overall program schedule for each year includes discussion topics and presentations on favorite shows and movies even if a representative celebrity could not be accommodated that particular year. Fans can also be assured that “missing” a celebrity from a popular show or movie in a particular year means that the Farpoint committee will include those “missing” shows/movies in the celebrity lineup very soon. For example, our celebrity guests for our 20th anniversary celebration in 2013 were drawn from the worlds of “Star Trek”, “Chuck”, “Once Upon A Time”, “Revolution”, “Breaking Bad”, “The Guild”, multiple animated series and internet media. For 2014, our celebrity guests represent “The Walking Dead”, “The Mist”, “Futurama”, “Samurai Jack”, “TMNT”, and the diverse worlds of Alan Dean Foster’s science fiction novels that includes the original “Star Trek Logs” series of books. Next year, who knows? We always welcome ideas for guests (celebrity and otherwise), so feel free to send us your ideas!

Our 2014 program schedule will be published around February 1st or 2nd. Please take a look at it when it comes out to see the wide range of activities for all fans to enjoy. We challenge each of you to try out a new program or event this year. Who knows? You may find a new favorite! We look forward to seeing everyone soon!

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Hello fellow FARP Fanatics! Here’s an update on what’s going to happen at Farpoint Convention, February 14-16, 2014.

1. Don’t forget to pre-register! Your early registration gets you a lower number in the autograph line for Melissa McBride and saves you money since at the door prices will be higher. Register online through our website, www.farpointcon.com or you can print the flier from our website and mail in your registration. Pre-registration deadline is January 31, 2014.

2. Book your hotel room! You should call the hotel directly at 410-252-7373 for reservations. Our beloved Crowne Plaza is in the middle of negotiations to align with another hotel group, which means that going through the IHG website or other online booking tools may not work properly. Calling the hotel directly is your best bet. Hotel deadline is January 15, 2014.

3. Make your plans for Friday! Activities will be starting at 1:00 PM and go all the way through to late night. There will be panels in our Media (Movies/TV), Authors and Science tracks, gaming at Hal’s Place, and our evening Pajama Party as part of our Children/Youth track. Friday’s main attraction is our Opening Ceremonies, which start at 7:00 pm with a Cocktail Party and continue with the presentation of the Volker/McChesney award for service to fandom, the first of our Live Charity Auctions and a live performance by Prometheus Radio Theatre with special guest stars Melissa McBride and Phil LaMarr. There will be a cash bar in the ballroom; the hotel’s famous pasta bar service will also be available for an additional $25. You can add on the Cocktail Party food now, or decide at the door (numbers at the door may be limited). Late night Friday will feature the Farpoint Book Fair where you can meet your favorite authors and Vic’s Place karaoke featuring the Pack Ratz.

4. Be there on Saturday for all the fun! Saturday programming will start at 10:00 am and go all the way through to the wee hours of Sunday morning. We’re very excited about this year’s slate of panels and events in our Authors, Media (Movies/TV), Science, New Media (Filmmaking, Podcasting, Webcomics, etc.), Children/Youth, Costuming and Live Performances tracks.  Don’t forget the Masquerade Saturday night, with our second Live Charity Auction taking place at halftime! There will workshops and demonstrations in the atrium, club meetings, game shows, talks, gaming, Art Show, panels and more. The final schedule will be published around February 1, 2014 to give you time to make your plans for the convention.

5. Don’t forget Sunday! Sunday programming will start at 10:00 am and wrap up with the 5:00 pm Open Committee Meeting. This is where you get to sit down will the Farpoint committee and talk with us about the things you like at the convention and things you’d like to see for the future. Some of our best ideas come from this meeting, and we’d love to see you there. Panels and events in all of our program tracks will be going on all day until the start of the Open Committee Meeting. The Art Auction will take place on Sunday morning. A new activity this year will be a Swing Dance Workshop in the atrium conducted by author guest Iver Cooper. It was a big hit at Balticon this year, so if you missed it there you can catch it at Farpoint.

6. Volunteer for a panel! We have a preliminary list of panels and we are now looking for panelists. If you would like to receive a copy of the list, email us at Programs@farpointcon.com.

7. Get your costume ready! Our Masquerade will be held on Saturday evening with celebrity guests Melissa McBride, Phil LaMarr and Alan Dean Foster among the judges. We will be staging Costuming/Masquerade panels this weekend to help you focus your Masquerade presentation and learn new costuming skills.

8. Get your autographs! Melissa McBride from The Walking Dead will be signing at a formal session on Saturday and Sunday. The line for these sessions will be organized by your badge number. Each convention member will receive one signature on an item they present for signing at no additional charge – this is part of your registration! Weekend members will get one signature on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday and Sunday members will be one signature on the day they attend. Melissa will also be available at other times throughout the weekend to sign/sell additional items and take at the table photos. Cost for additional signatures and items will be announced closer to the convention. Phil LaMarr from Futurama/Samurai Jack/TMNT will be signing throughout the weekend. He will be charging for his signature and will accept either items you bring or an item you purchase at his table for signing. Phil will also be available for at the table photos. The price list for Phil’s signatures will be announced closer to the convention.

9. Budget for the Charity Auction! We are going to have some amazing goodies available at our Charity Auction to benefit The Julien Fleming Memorial Fund (our official charity) and the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter. I’m going to let our Charity Auction department give the details soon, but here’s a hint: we have something special from NASA and not one- not two- but THREE private celebrity experiences to auction off! There will be two Live Charity Auctions, one Friday night during the Opening Ceremonies and one Saturday night during Masquerade, plus a silent auction staged in Chesapeake 3-5 along with our Art Show. Your generosity is always appreciated.

10. Donate An Hour! Would you like to be a part of the convention happenings? Do you have an hour to spare? Well your one hour can be a big help to keep things running smoothly at the convention. Volunteers get a FARP t-shirt and raffle tickets for a daily prize drawing limited just to our volunteer corps. Email us at Volunteers@farpointcon.com for information, and thank you!

11. Show Off Your Miniatures and Clear Out Your Closet! Hal’s Place Gaming Oasis is hosting a Miniatures Contest this year! Hand painted miniatures and models of all types, from members of all skill levels, will be accepted for display in the Game Room throughout the weekend. Final judging will be held Sunday, February 16, 2014 at noon. There will be 3 skill level categories – beginner, intermediate and advanced – with an award for each category. AND the Gamer’s Flea Market will again be held in the Game Room during the convention weekend. Used games and supplies will be accepted for sale/swap throughout the weekend at $1.00 per item. Sales proceeds go to the individual seller. The selling fees will be donated to our charities, The Julien Fleming Memorial Fund and the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter.

12. Follow Us For The Latest News! We’re on Facebook (Farpoint Convention), Twitter (@FarpointCon), and on our web blog (https://farpoint.wordpress.com). Our convention website is http://www.FarpointCon.com.

13. Have Fun At The Convention! We are grateful for each one of you who joins us for the convention weekend. There will be 200+ hours of events from Friday to Sunday and we want you to be satisfied that we have put on the best show possible. Thank you as always for your continued support of Farpoint Convention and we’ll see you soon!

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Hal’s Place Gaming Oasis at Farpoint 2014 will be hosting a Miniatures Competition during the weekend. Handmade miniatures and models of all types, from members of all skill levels, will be accepted for display in the Game Room throughout the weekend. Final judging will be held Sunday, February 16, 2014 at noon. There will be 3 skill level categories – beginner, intermediate and advanced – with an award for each category.

The Gamer’s Flea Market will again be held in the Game Room during the convention weekend. Used games and supplies will be accepted for sale/swap throughout the weekend at $1.00 per item. Sales proceeds go to the individual seller. The selling fees will be donated to our charities, The Julien Fleming Memorial Fund and the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter.

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We are pleased to announce the addition of Alan Dean Foster, IAMTW Grand Master, as a guest at Farpoint 2014! Alan will be at Farpoint Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and will be signing at no extra charge.

Foster’s work to date includes excursions into hard science-fiction, fantasy, horror, detective, western, historical, and contemporary fiction. He has also written numerous non-fiction articles on film, science, and scuba diving, as well as having produced the novel versions of many films, including such well-known productions as Star Wars, the first three Alien films, Alien Nation, The Chronicles of Riddick, Star Trek, Terminator:Salvation, and both Transformers films. Other works include scripts for talking records, radio, computer games, and the story for the first Star Trek movie. His novel Shadowkeep was the first ever book adapation of an original computer game. In addition to publication in English his work has been translated into more than fifty languages and has won awards in Spain and Russia. His novel Cyber Way won the Southwest Book Award for Fiction in 1990, the first work of science-fiction ever to do so. He is the recipient of the Faust, the IAMTW Lifetime achievement award.

Alan’s next project, The Moaning Words, is scheduled for release very soon – before Halloween! The Moaning Words is a game at the crossroads of books and video games. It is set in the infamous Cthulhu Mythos, The Moaning Words is a tribute to a writer he is deeply in love with: H.P Lovecraft. It will be a free to play game, available on smartphones, tablets (Android and iOS first), and web browsers.

You can keep up with him on his website, http://www.alandeanfoster.com.

Alan Dean Foster

Alan Dean Foster, photo courtesy Michael Melford

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“De Baisch will be conducting Farpoint’s first-ever speed dating session on Saturday evening at 7pm. Participants will meet several people throughout the course of the hour and perhaps might make a match in the process! If you’re interested, please email De directly at julianbaischir@yahoo.com.

Given the timeframe (one session from 7-8pm), we have room for 15 men and 15 women who are at least 18 years old. There is absolutely no cost involved, but the payout is a fun and interesting event that just might land you a date for the Ten-Forward dance 🙂

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