A friend of mine recently said something along the lines of, “hey, I go to conventions, and I still don’t understand more than half the lingo!” I care a lot about making conventions inclusive and accessible, so this seems like a great opportunity to share some intel. Here are some terms we came up with that might need explaining…
the 5-2-1 rule – This is a somewhat infamous guideline for attending conventions. The idea is that you get at least 5 hours of sleep, 2 meals, and 1 shower every day during the convention. You can’t make up for a lack in one category by doing extra in another; 3 meals will in no way forgive a lack of shower or having fewer than 5 hours of sleep at con. Please follow this guideline if you go to a convention. You, and everyone else around you, will have a better time than if you don’t observe the 5-2-1 rule.
code of conduct – A code of conduct is a set of expectations for behavior at the convention, usually written and adopted as policy of the convention by its staff or leadership. It should be communicated to all attendees well in advance of the convention and it should be applicable to all members (including staff, leadership, guests, etc.). Ideally, a code of conduct includes specificity on how unacceptable behavior is defined, clear information on what to do if unacceptable behavior is witnessed or experienced, and what might happen upon the convention receiving a report of said behavior. In addition, many people have co-signed John Scalzi’s policy on codes of conduct, which is very related reading.
conchair – The conchair is the most common term for the person at the top of the leadership for a convention. If there are multiple conchairs, they are called co-chairs. An assistant conchair is considered the next level down on the org chart, and is sometimes called a “vice chair.” Continue reading