reCONvene – A Few Hours Is Not Enough

Over the years, I attended conventions of different length – from one to five days. Still, most of them are rather longer than single day. This year, I visited Wirtualkon and recently I attended reCONvene. The first thing I can say is that it was too short – I will try to explain why later in this post.

A Reason To Attend

I would probably not attend reCONvene if not for two reasons. Firstly, it is a sister event to Boskone which I wanted to attend for some time now. I am not sure if and when it will be possible for me so I decided to at least have a glimpse of how NESFA runs conventions. Secondly, it was chaired by Erin Underwood and I wanted to attend her event.

Picture with an inscription. Text starts with 'Wlecome to reCONvene 2020' and follows with convention details. Picture shows a person and a robot overlooking city landscape.The header from reCONvene Faceebook event.

So, on Friday before the con, I bought the membership (earlier I somehow missed the information about the registration) and I waited for Saturday. Because of the time difference, reCONvene did not last from morning till afternoon but from afternoon till night for me – yet this was really convenient I didn’t have to wake up early.

really strong Programme

I must say it here – the reCONvene programme was really good. Of course, not all of the items were equally interesting to me but in general I found those few hours really absorbing. I had to decide which items I’d skip as I wanted to have some time for social interactions (not to mention eating my supper). All in all, I attended four programme items plus the feedback session at the end of the con.

A slide in the presnetation. It shows mainly text explaining how to behave during a panel and how to use Zoom and Discord.Small explanation was displayed before each panel. I believe it was quite useful.

If I would have to choose one thing that turned out to be the best during the convention, I would say it was the ‘Building BIG Structures in Space’ talk by Les Johnson. The topic was really interesting and the presenter was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. I was greatly impressed by this lecture. Don’t understand me wrong – other items I attended were also amusing but this one was simply superb.

What to do more?

I completely missed the Board Gaming part of the con. Firstly, because I don’t use Board Game Arena that functioned as a gaming venue and secondly because I wanted to devote my time to other aspects of the con. I managed to talk a bit with other fans on Discord – both in writing and with voice chat. Part of those conversations took place before the official beginning of the con. Socializing with fellow fans was great – as it usually is for me. I only regret I didn’t have more time to do it.

Screenshot showing first few channels in reCONvene Discord server.
I got quite used to the fact that socializing takes plakes mostly on Discord.

It may be surprising that such a short event had proper Art Show.  Still it was there and I must say I was really impressed with it. The Art Show was available through the website and one had to use the password provided in the e-mail from the convention. There were many artists present and their work was really astounding. I did not decide to buy anything but I spend some time browsing through the gallery.

Day is not always the same

When I was writing the Wirtualkon report I mentioned it was too short. It was similar with reCONvene. The convention lasted for six hours of programming plus one more hour for the feedback session afterwards. When I compared it to some other – one day long events, it appeared to be slightly shorter. For sure, the fact that I staffed some of the other ones means that they felt longer to me. I am also sure that the virtual format makes it feel shorter as I don’t have to travel, prepare and so on. I should also mention that it is faster to talk to people in person then in text what comes with the more time for social interactions.

a slide from presentation showing 'Thank you for for attending' text. It contains also logo and 'Don't forget to check out' section listing Book table, Art Show, Gaming, Discord and Schedule.In case someone missed other aspects of the con there was a short reminder after the panels.

Despite it being too short, I really enjoyed the event. I was satisfied with the programme and amazed by the Art Show. The option to meet other fans is also very important and I am happy I was able to experience it. I regret that there was no badge available for attendees but even though those small issues existed, I can recommend the event to others should there be next edition of it. And after seeing this ‘teaser’, I want to attend Boskone even more than before.

My next post will be a report from Columbus 2020 NASFiC and it will be published on 16th September.

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