Learn How to Herd Nerfs for CONvergence 2016!

CONvergence’s Nerf Herders are the volunteer team, seen around the convention wearing green vests, responsible for managing the convention’s traffic flows and lines. And whether or not a space princess or a rebel general might call you scruffy-looking, you can join their ranks for CONvergence 2016!

Nerf Herders managing the line at CONvergence 2015 A Nerf Herder Volunteer

Before you can volunteer with CONvergence’s Nerf Herders, you must first complete a short training session. Nerf Herders will be holding two open training sessions in June. Come and learn everything you need to know ahead of time to help with badging, line management, and elevators during convention.Nerf Connie

Nerf Herder Training Sessions

Training Location

GPS Event Horizon Rm. 106
Waterbury Building
1121 Jackson St. NE
Minneapolis 55413

Volunteering with Nerf Herders is a fantastic way to see the con while helping it keep running smoothly! Whether you can spend an entire shift on your feet managing a line, or you need to do your volunteering sitting down, Nerf Herders has a volunteer position for you!

You must be a registered member of CONvergence in order to volunteer at the convention. Attendance of pre-con training sessions will count towards your CONvergence 2016 volunteer hours if you complete volunteer shifts with CONvergence Nerf Herders during the convention. If you have any questions about these short training sessions, or about volunteering with Nerf Herders, please contact Nerf Herders.

If you like helping things run smoothly, you might also be interested volunteering with CONvergence Operations.

Posted in Volunteers Tagged with: , ,

Catching up with CONvergence 2015 Guests

Wesley Chu at the Sasquan 2015 Hugo Awards Ceremony

Wesley Chu at the Sasquan 2015 Hugo Awards Ceremony. via JohnO

We’re officially more than three-quarters of the way to CONvergence 2016! As we solidify exciting plans, panels, musical acts, artists, and our own cosplays, we’re conjuring up fond memories of last year’s convention and thought we’d check in with the CONvergence 2015 guests of honor to see what’s kept them busy since last July.

Science fiction author Wesley Chu’s anticipated novel Time Salvager was released just two days after CONvergence 2015 came to an end. The story about a doomed planet and an energy-stealing time traveler who struggles with addiction received stellar reviews. During the 2015 Hugo Award ceremony in August, Chu was awarded the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He was interviewed by the Taipei Times shortly before the new year.

Animation writer Nicole Dubuc was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Children’s or Pre-School Children’s Series for her writing in Spooksville. Recently, Nicole has been busy with her co-created series Transformers: Rescue Bots and was also recently elected as a trustee and secretary of The Animation Guild, I.A.T.S.E. Local 839.

Wasting no time, set designer Chad Frey spent the rest of 2015 working on the design side of an upcoming film for Open Road Productions called Sleepless Night. Starring actor Jamie Foxx and hip hop artist T.I., the movie is a remake of the French thriller Nuit Blanche and Kamal Hassan’s Thoongaa Vanam. Chad has also been working on Season 7 of The Vampire Diaries.

Charlotte Fullerton at CONevrgence 2016

Charlotte Fullerton at CONvergence 2015

Writer and story editor Charlotte Fullerton jumped right from CONvergence last July over to San Diego Comic Con, where she was a panelist in a session about TV animation story editors and head writers. Since then, she’s kept busy co-writing episodes of the animated series Thunderbirds Are Go and My Little Pony, worked Long Beach Comic Con and Baltimore BronyCon, and helped solicit applications to the second annual Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics.

Speculative fiction editor Lee Harris oversaw the Tor.com: The Imprint publication of a few particularly gripping editorials, including the announcement of a forthcoming novel by urban fantasy author and fellow past CONvergence Guest of Honor Paul Cornell, and a review of The Good Dinosaur as delivered by an eight-year-old.

Gordon smuder with rat puppet

Gordon Smuder with a rat puppet at CONvergence 2015

Puppet creator and writer Gordon Smuder launched a successful kickstarter campaign at CONvergence 2015 to fund the new puppet web series Vermin starring MST3K puppeteer and fellow past CONvergence Guest of Honor Trace Beaulieu. (And rats. Lots of puppet rats.) Vermin is now well into production and you can see some of the production photos on the Vermin Facebook Page. Smuder also supplied Stages Theater in Hopkins with a custom Woodstock puppet for their production of A Charlie Brown Christmas, and continues work on several other commission puppets.

Bryan Thao Worra at CONvergence 2015

Bryan Thao Worra at CONvergence 2015

Science writer Jennifer Ouellette has started up an exciting new chapter of her life since last summer: She’s now senior science editor for Gizmodo. She recently tweeted this Gizmodo article about the science fiction that inspired some of the world’s most well-known scientists.

Baen Books Editor Toni Weisskopf won the 2015 Neffy Award for Best Editor in October. She also contributed to a David Drake tribute collection of stories and essays by top science fiction authors. Drake is one the most renowned science fiction military authors. 

Laotian American speculative fiction poet Bryan Thao Worra hasn’t slowed down at all since CONvergence 2015. In a single month alone, he published poems in Lontar: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction, Cthulhusattva and Strange Horizons as well as interviews with fiction and poetry writer Nancy Hightower and Russian poet Roman Lyakhovetsky. He’s publishing updates nearly daily to his blog.

That wraps up our overview of what the CONvergence 2015 guests have been up to since last July. We’re definitely looking forward to having Lee Harris, Gordon Smuder, and Bryan Thao Worra join us again this year!

Now that you’ve caught up with all of the CONvergence 2015 guests, why not check out our exciting slate of CONvergence 2016 guests?

Posted in Guests of Honor Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Volunteer with CONvergence 2016 Operations—Info & Training Sessions Open!

Are you the type of person who likes to have your thumb on the pulse of an event? Have you been looking for a way to become more involved with CONvergence? Good news! CONvergence Operations (also known as Ops)—the department responsible for running The Bridge and services such as Lost & FoundEmergency Aid, Peacebinding, Wandering Hosts, and more—is looking for more volunteers for CONvergence 2016!

Please come to one of CONvergence Operations’ department orientation and volunteer training sessions in the coming months to learn more about how you can get involved, and acquire the skills and training necessary to be an Ops volunteer!

CONvergence Operations Department Orientation & Volunteer TrainingConnie mark 2 making a fist

These trainings are open to all CONvergence members who want to find out about volunteering with CONvergence operations.

  • Saturday, May 14, 4:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Saturday, June 4, 1:30pm – 4:00pm
  • Thursday, June 9, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
  • Saturday, June 25, 12:00pm – 3:30pm

Geek Partnership Society Event Horizon Room 107
Waterbury Building, 1121 Jackson St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

You must be registered for CONvergence in order to volunteer at the convention. Attendance of pre-con training sessions will count towards your CONvergence 2016 volunteer hours if you complete volunteer shifts with CONvergence Operations during the convention. What’s stopping you?

Got questions about the training sessions? Click here to contact CONvergence Operations!

Posted in Volunteers Tagged with: , ,

CONvergence Welcomes Greg Weisman With Our New Fan-Featured Guest Program

Greg Weisman at CONvergence 2014CONvergence is excited to announce a new way to invite guests into our amazing convention community, called Fan-Featured Guests! Our very first Fan-Featured Guest will be Gargoyles and Young Justice co-creator, CONvergence Guest of Honor alumnus Greg Weisman! We are looking forward to welcoming him to CONvergence once again with the rest of our amazing 2016 CONvergence Guests!

Greg Weisman’s appearance this year at CONvergence 2016 is a pilot for CONvergence’s new Fan-Featured Guest program. His appearance is made possible by Hal Bichel, Christopher Jones, and “We Need Season 3” via a successful crowdfunding campaign.

The Fan-Featured Guest Program

Fan-Featured Guests are brought in by outside groups, organizations, or individuals with approval from and working directly with the CONvergence Guests of Honor Department. The funding for bringing in a Fan-Featured Guest is provided entirely by the group, organization, or individual bringing the guest and can be crowdfunded, fund raised, or privately donated.

Potential Fan-Featured Guests will go through exactly the same approval process as any other CONvergence Guest of Honor, and they will be treated with the same courtesy, honor and privileges. The salient differences are:

  • Because groups funding a Fan-Featured Guest are not bound by the same budgeting constraints as the convention, Fan-Featured Guest funding may cover an appearance fee.
  • The group, organization, or individuals bringing in a Fan-Featured Guest will be able to collaborate with the Fan-Featured Guest and CONvergence’s Programming department on said Guest’s programming and activities during the convention.
  • Groups, organizations, or individuals responsible for a Fan-Featured Guest’s appearance will be credited in CONvergence publications and web pages.

Groups, organizations, or individuals can propose potential Fan-Featured Guests that they have contacted and confirmed interest from to the CONvergence Guests of Honor department starting with the CONvergence 2017 convention cycle. Full details on how to propose a Fan-Featured Guest will be available on the CONvergence website in Autumn 2016.

Posted in Guests of Honor Tagged with: , , ,

Artists, Musicians, and Performers! CONvergence Wants YOU!

Whether you are a graphic or media artist, musician, or other performer, CONvergence offers many opportunities to exhibit your talent for the whole community. With CONvergence just three months away, it’s time to get your applications and submissions in!

art sing CONvergence

Artist Alley

Artist Alley is back for CONvergence 2016 and applications are open! CONvergence Artists Alley is reserved for graphic artists offering commissioned art created on-demand or graphic art that they have produced for sale, such as prints or comic books. Related merchandise featuring the artist’s graphic work such as T-shirts, stickers, and buttons may also be offered. No jewelry, scarves, or stuffed animals may be sold in Artists Alley.

Find more information about exhibiting in CONvergence Artist Alley, including the 2016 Artist Alley application, on the Artists page.

The deadline to apply for CONvergence 2016 Artists Alley is June 15, 2016.

Art Show

CONvergence 2016 Art show forms are now available! CONvergence Art Show offers space to display your artwork, make it available for auction or quick sale, and to offer prints for sale. Head over to the Artists page to download the forms, and to get more information about CONvergence Art Show.

The CONvergence 2016 Art Show will accept artist forms until June 26, 2016. However, space in the Art Show is available on a first-come, first-served basis, so earlier is better.

Harmonic CONvergence

CONvergence’s more intimate venue for live music and entertainment, Harmonic CONvergence (HarmCON) is back for 2016! HarmCON features a blend of music, comedy, and spoken word performances. Applications for performers are now open.

Find more information about HarmCON, including the 2016 HarmCON application, on the Musicians/Performers page.

The early application deadline to perform at CONvergence 2016 HarmCON is April 20, 2016.


CVG-TVDo you have a movie, short film, music video, animation, recorded performance, or other video you’d like to share with the CONvergence community? Submit it to CVG-TV so it can play on the convention’s TV channel all weekend!

Technical specifications, the CVG-TV submission form, and more information about CVG-TV can be found on the CVG-TV page.

The deadline to submit video content to air on CVG-TV this year is June 10, 2016. Videos should be captioned/subtitled.

Posted in Art Show, Artists, Artists Alley, CVG-TV, Harmonic CONvergence Tagged with: , , , , ,

Happy New Year! Did you Register for CONvergence 2016 yet?

Here is to an awesome New Year! It’s time to start looking ahead to 2016 and that means making sure you are registered for CONvergence. From today, you have just two short weeks to register for CONvergence 2016 for half price and enter the hotel lottery for a hotel room in the DoubleTree, Sheraton, or Crowne Plaza.

But why stop there? Why not start your CONvergence 2016 preperation with the start of the new year? There’s so much you can do!Connie as Emma Peel

Learn About the CONvergence 2016 Guests of Honor

We have some very exciting Guests of Honor scheduled for CONvergence 2016, including authors, artists, and actors. Head over to the Guests section of the website to read all about them, and spend the next few months checking out their work!

Plan and Start Making your Costume

Whether you plan to just wear your costume around the convention, or you’re going to go all out for the Masquerade, you know that an early start can make all the difference! Why wait? Your sewing machine is calling your name…

Get your Friends Together to Plan a Room Party

Applications for CONvergence 2016 room parties are already open, and there is no time like the present to create an amazing experience with your friends, or talk to your club or performance group about promoting yourselves through a room party at CONvergence.

Check Out Year-Round Volunteer Opportunities

CONvergence is a totally volunteer-run convention, and there is always a need for volunteers to bring their skills and experience to help meet our year-round volunteer needs. Check out the volunteer positions page to see how you can get more involved with making CONvergence 2016 happen!Connie as Luke with Yoda

Join the Virtual CONvergence Convention Online

Meet and talk with other CONvergence members on one of our social media outlets! Join our Facebook discussion group, or use the #CVG2016 tag on Twitter or Tumblr.

Submit your Panel Suggestions to CONvergence Programming

Got great panel ideas after checking out a recent film release, TV show, or new book? Fortunately, there’s still time to submit CONvergence 2016 panel ideas to the programming department. But you’d better do it soon!

But Don’t forget to Register!

Just remember, register before the end of January 15, 2016 to get the best rate on your CONvergence membership! Remind your friends to do it too. They’ll thank you, and you can all spend the money you save on making your CONvergence 2016 experience awesome!

Click here to register for CONvergence 2016.

Posted in Registration & Badges Tagged with: ,

Do you have Special Skill Sets? CONvergence Needs You!

Connie as Uncle SamCONvergence is a unique event run by hundreds of volunteers who donate their time, experience, and expertise throughout the year. This convention and everything it offers is truly a labor of love and the result of a living, thriving community effort. As such, we are always on the look out for volunteers to join our small con running army who have special skill sets and can help the projects and systems that make the convention what it is run smoothly, delivering the best possible experience for all CONvergence members.

Volunteer job listings are always available on the Volunteer Positions page and we encourage members who wish to lend a hand to check that page. However, the CONvergence Convention Committee currently has a significant need for a few special skill sets to ensure CONvergence 2016 goes off without a hitch:

Ruby on Rails Developer

Job name: Convention Software Developer
Time Frame: This is a preconvention position. The majority of work will be completed January-May
Time Commitment: approximately 5-10 hours per month
Description (What’s involved):
We are expanding the small team of volunteers responsible for development and updates to the web-based software application that is used by several departments to maintain the convention log and coordinate convention running activities.
Special requirements / training: Volunteers will ideally have the following level of experience in order to be successful in this role:

  • minimum of 5 years experience in software development, preferably in a web application environment
  • 1 or more years of experience with Rails or similar web framework
  • 1 or more years experience with Ruby 1.9 or later
  • Experience with Git, Mercurial, or SubVersion source control system
  • Experience/comfort working in a small software development team

If You Like: Working with code and other people who like working with code!
Contact: Operations

Television Broadcast Specialist

Job Name: Broadcast Specialist
To oversee the operation of CVG-TV before and during the convention
Description (What’s involved):

Activity Level:
Moderate – you will be active in setting up and running the broadcast equipment for CVG-TV during the convention, as well as activities related to producing content for CVG-TV leading up to the convention.
Hints (tips for staying comfortable on the job): Ability to multi-task, track projects, and manage people will help you succeed in this role
Special Requirements/Training: 
Experience with broadcast TV and/or closed-circuit TV systems is necessary. Knowledge of CART is helpful. Experience producing original content is preferred.
If You Like:
Television production and broadcasting, multimedia communications
Contact: CVG-TV / Video

Graphic Designer/Illustrator

Job name: Staff Artist
Hours needed: Average amount of hours per new artwork is 20 hours. This can vary depending on complexity or type of work.
Description (What’s involved):
You will be creating art and graphics for posters, banners, t-shirts, souvenir guides, and posters. Artists are needed to put together simple flyers as well as create complex works. All artwork will be: science fiction/fantasy-related; rated G – PG; quality checked and revisions will be requested if necessary. Most artwork will feature CONvergence mascots.
Special requirements / training:
Must have your own copy of and be able to use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator proficiently. Experience with creating work for print or t-shirts a plus, but not required; this can be taught. Working knowledge of Adobe After Effects or Flash is not required but a plus.
Hints (Tips for staying comfortable on the job.):
Keep communication up. This is a life saver on this job. Whether all is well or something is crashing and burning, the team would like to know. Creation of art is hard, but we’re all in this together. Remember, all volunteer hours are done before the convention for this position.
Activity level: Steady from January to March.
Ages: Adult (18+)
Contact: Creative Services

Project Manager

Job name: Publications Project Manager
Hours needed: 5-10 hours per week, mostly before the con, although some during the con may be needed.
Description (What’s involved):
Meet with Directors and staff to guide publications of banners, signage and banners for the convention.
Special requirements / training:
Must be able to use Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator well. Also experience in managing a team. Poject Management software experience a plus, but not necessary.
Hints (Tips for staying comfortable on the job.):
Keep communication up, this is a life saver on this job.
Activity level: Occasional from August to December. Steady from January to Convention.
Ages: Adult (18+)
Contact: Publications

So, can you lend a hand? Go ahead and contact the department in need directly. Maybe you know someone with these skills who would be interested in helping make CONvergence go? Pass this on to them! Remember, it is the unique volunteer culture and the generosity of CONvergence volunteers that makes this event and this community what it is. Even if your skill set isn’t listed above, please do keep an eye on the Volunteer Positions page and contact any department where you think you’d be able to help. We would be honored for you to bring your skills to the convention!

Posted in Volunteers Tagged with: ,

Are you a Professional or Expert Interested in CONvergence 2016?

Connie dressed as Rimmer from Red DwarfCONvergence would like to invite any and all pop culture, publishing, gaming, and media industry professionals, as well as qualified experts on science, culture, art, history, technology, and other topics to apply as a CONvergence 2016 Invited Participant!

CONvergence 2016 Invited Participants…

  • Are willing to participate in a minimum of 3 panels or events during the course of the convention.
  • Will be listed under “Also Appearing” on the CONvergence website.
  • Will have their name listed in the CONvergence 2016 programming guide.
  • Are welcome to publish PDF press releases regarding their current work and their CONvergence appearance on CONvergence’s website.

Some invited participants support the convention by purchasing memberships. If a CONvergence 2016 Invited Participant would like a complimentary membership, CONvergence will also cover their membership badge.

To be considered, click here to apply by December 15th, 2015. Invited Participants will be contacted by January 10th, 2016.

Members do not need to be Invited Participants in order to participate in CONvergence 2016 programming, as the entire membership is encouraged to participate in panels during the convention! Click here to submit panel ideas to CONvergence Programming, and stay tuned this Spring for panelist sign-ups!

Posted in Invited Participants, Panels, Programming Tagged with: , , , ,

Convergence Events Open Meeting October 17, 2015

Do you have questions or concerns about CONvergence 2016: …And how do we GET there? Perhaps you have suggestions for things you’d like to see the convention or organization try, or policies to adopt? Maybe you’d just like to learn a little more about how Convergence Events operates?

Great news! The Convergence Events board of directors would like to invite you to join them for an open meeting!

Convergence Events Logo

Convergence Events Open Meeting

When: Saturday, October 17, 2015 at 4:00pm
Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington, Atrium 4 or 6
Address: 7800 Normandale Blvd, Bloomington, MN 55439

Talk with the Convergence Events board of directors, ask questions, give feedback, and get a brief update about the annual convention.

Attending Convergence Events open meetings counts towards the two official committee meetings required for CONvergence member voting rights in Convergence Events elections. You can read more about voting rights requirements in the Convergence Events bylaws here.

Hope to see you there!

The next open meeting will be at the DoubleTree by Hilton Bloomington on January 17, 2016. The January meeting will be our annual meeting of the membership and will include our Board of Director Elections. More information, including the time of the meeting, will be posted closer to the meeting.

For more information on the 2016 Election, please visit our Convergence Events Website.

Posted in Announcements

Suggest Panels for CONvergence 2016!

Got some great ideas for panels? Are you interested in contributing to CONvergence 2016’s programming slate? Yes? Great! Because our annual Programming Brainstorming Session is right around the corner and we’d love to see you there!

A panel at CONvergence 2015When: October 10, 2015, 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Where: Crowne Plaza Bloomington
Room: A-E-I-O 
Address: 5401 Green Valley Drive Bloomington, MN 55437

You don’t have to have been on a panel or run a panel before to contribute panel ideas. We want panel suggestions from all walks of our diverse and vibrant community! That means you!

For those who are not aware, many of our programming ideas for the next convention are generated at this upcoming October session. Once we have a list of ideas, we proceed to enter them all into our database. By February 1st, our list of ideas goes live and we invite CONvergence members to volunteer as panelists and moderators. For more information, check out our panel scheduling page.

JOFCon Session

This year there will also be a CONvergence Programming Brainstorming Session at JOFCon! As you may be aware, CONvergence is completely volunteer-run and managed. Journeypeople of Fandom Convention (JOFCon) is all about what goes into putting on events like CONvergence; it is a gathering to discuss how we make volunteer-run conventions happen, and how to organize, nurture, and improve our con running communities! CONvergence has partnered with JOFCon and we are excited to let you know about this very cool event. The day and time of JOFCon’s CONvergence Programming Brainstorming Session will be announced on their website.JOFCon Minneapolis-Saint Paul logo showing a platypus wearing a fez

When: October 9-11, 2015
Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Minneapolis Park Place
Address: 5401 Green Valley Drive Bloomington, MN 55437

JOFCon has both full weekend and single-day passes available, and we encourage you to check it out if you’re interested in what goes into making an event like CONvergence.

For more information and to register for JOFCon, click here to go to the JOFCon website.

Can’t make a Brainstorming Session?

If you can’t make it to a brainstorming session, we encourage you suggest panels online via our Panel Suggestion Form!

Additionally, If you already have specific ideas for panels that you would like to see, present, or run yourself, please send them to us via the web rather than saving them for the brainstorming session; it’s faster and easier than trying to dictate while a roomful of people are waiting. You are welcome to both submit panel ideas online AND attend the brainstorming session!

Panel suggestions will be accepted until March 1st, 2016. However, they really should be in by February 1st, 2016 to have a good chance of making it onto the CONvergence 2016 schedule.

Posted in Community Partners, Events, Programming Tagged with: , , ,
Connie reclining