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Programme Items by Ian Sorensen

I decided a while back to take some time off conrunning and try to spend more time going to programme items at conventions. I can't say I've been to all that many in the past year, but I think I saw enough to convince me that there is a definite "sameness" to much of what's on offer. I think that the problem is not so much having the same item at each convention nor that the same people, the reliable performers, crop up again and again. No, I think that it's simply laziness on the part of programme designers who look at past conventions and lift an item here, an item there, and perhaps never think up one genuinely original idea. In an effort to help with this problem I've listed as many different types of programme item and setup as I could. The first list is thematic and may simply spark some thoughts which challenge your assumptions on the format of a particular item. The second list is an idea generator - take one word from each column (2 or 3 words from column 3) and see what you get.

Talk personal experience, writing, publishing, TV, radio, films, art, space, science, technology, religion, philosophy, politics, fandom, fanzines, conventions
Panel reviews, round-robin, brains trust, personal experience, writing, publishing, TV, radio, films, art, space, science, technology, religion, philosophy, politics, fandom, fanzines, conventions
Interview one to one, one to many, many to one.
Workshop writing, publishing, TV, films, art, space, science, technology, fandom, fanzines, conventions, costume, one hour, many hours, plenary session, output
Reading individual, group, own work, others' work.
Quiz serious, fun. Pre-selected contestants, spontaneous selection, specialised subjects, teams, individuals, mental, physical, TV/radio or parlour format, novel format
Game serious, silly. Pre-selected contestants, spontaneous selection, teams, individuals, mental, physical, mental+physical, TV or radio or parlour format, novel format, static, requiring floor space
Competition pre-convention, during convention, physical, mental, written, artwork, costume, model, serious, humorous, mass participation, individual, specialised, open, gaming, by invitation, indoor, outdoor, machine dependent, sporting
Auction art (graphic, models, sculpture), books, fanzines, memorabilia, mixed.
Audio Visual slides, slide/talk, slide/tape, audio, video (TV, video projection, video wall), film (8, 16, 35mm), technology, science, model, artwork, costume,
Theatrical music, drama, dance, comedy, cabaret, disco, concert, trial, debate, simulation, re-enactment, fashion show
Social event party (theme, no theme, open, by invitation), wine/beer tasting, food tasting, banquet, picnic, religious service, disco, dance, drinks party (theme, no theme, open, by invitation), dinner, lunch, supper, tea party, bid party, sponsored party, birthday/anniversary party
External guided tour, museum visit, cinema, theatre, exhibitions, town trail, treasure hunt, shopping

Idea Generator

Event type Talk panel interview workshop quiz competition reading game auction audio-visual theatrical social external
Subject personal experience, writing, publishing, books, comics, TV, radio, films, art, models, space, science, technology, religion, philosophy, politics, fandom, fanzines, conventions, costume
Format reviews, round-robin story, brains trust, one to one, one to many, many to one, plenary session, TV/radio format, parlour format, novel format, static, requiring floor space, drama, cabaret, disco, concert, trial, debate, simulation, re-enactment, fashion show
Style serious, silly, fun, pre-selected contestants, spontaneous selection, specialised subjects, teams, individuals, mental, physical, mental+physical, mass participation, specialised, open, by invitation, indoor, outdoor, machine dependent, sporting, gaming, party

Index

This page updated on 09 July 1999