April was a bit crazy month for me. I did what I promised myself not to do. Namely I attended four conventions in a row. Corflu, Eastercon, Lajconik and KONgres (which I will summarize here). Funnily the last in the series was a convention for Conrunners. I was a bit afraid I will be too tired to enjoy it to the full extent but fortunately it was not the case!
Although KONgres was beginning on Saturday there was a party in the convention pub/bar on Friday. Night. I decided I will skip it. Later I thought I would spend there just a minute to greet people. And in the end I decided to stay shortly. At least I managed to meet my third resolution on that matter.
Samples of convention ‘currency’ that were brought to one panel.
KONgres is moving to different city every year. In 2023 it was held in Skierniewice. The city is nice and the pleasant weather made it even nicer. The only flaw is almost complete lack of accommodation options. The organizers prepared a sleep room for members (opened from Friday). Yet as I am still in a pandemic mode I decided not to sleep in a big room with multiple other people. Instead I looked for some place to stay. Although the selection was very little I found a reasonably priced place. It was only a few minutes away form the convention venue and even closer to the pub. The bad side was the entry phone. During first night it decided to ring three or four times between 2 and 7 AM for no apparent reason. The next night we disconnected it to be on a safe side.
Friends and Memories
The most important aspects of KONgres to me were meetings with friends and programme. In fact this is true for most (if not all) cons I attend. The social aspect of KONgres was the more important one. I met many friends – some of whom I haven’t seen in a long time. We discussed multiple topics – fandom, conrunning, trips and excursions etc. It was a good time! I also got the chance o meet in person some people whom I have known only via internet so far. And last but not least I met some people for the first time.
Well picture is not convention related but on my way from convention venue (visible on the left) to the pub i got the great opportunity for a shot showing Moon and Venus.
I was very glad to re-connect a bit to the M&A part of Polish fandom. As some of you may recall my fannish adventure started with manga fandom and conventions. Although later I moved to the SFF part of it I kept the M&A fandom in my heart. Being able to re-connect a bit was valuable. I was mainly asking questions and listening to what has happened over the last few years. And the changes were huge!
Here is a good moment to thank Moricon team for treating us all with a lunch in a nearby restaurant. Thank you so much!
I loved the social aspect of the con. I may even say I indulged into it (despite not staying for long in the convention pub). Yet I didn’t forget about the programme. I had the chance to both learn and talk about my experience. The item that I enjoyed the most was a talk by Ceti on “How to chair a con and not go insane”. It is years since I chaired the con for the last time (it was KONgres 2019). Also every time I was chairing a convention it was very stressful. So the topic was close to my heart and I hoped to learn a lot. I did and I also got a book recommendation to read (which I am doing now). For now I am not sure when I will be chairing the con next time but I definitely want to do so.
Ceti giving valuable tips on chairing a convention.
I participated in three programme items. Yet two of them lasted for two hours so it was quite a lot of programming for a two-days long con! First one was a discussion about changes to Polcon – our natcon. I was a moderator so most of the work was on the others. A pity that one panellist didn’t make it to the con as he had different views on the topic than the rest of the panel. Then I was a panellist on the panel about cons held in hotels. As I wrote some time ago in Poland most conventions are held in different venues. I was speaking basing on my experience as a member. Well a member who organized way too many conventions not to spot certain aspects. I enjoyed this item and was very glad to learn from my fellow panellists! Last but not least together with Rynvord we gave a presentation of Worldcons in general and Glasgow 2024 in paricular.
Looking forward to the next KONgres
I enjoyed the con a lot. To my knowledge it was the biggest KONgres so far (with around 150 members). The team of Skiercon who took care of KONgres this year did a great job! I would love to attend Skiercon but I won’t make it this year. Yet I hope to be able to attend KONgres next year. This time it will be held in Gniezno!
Panel held on a stage in the main room.
You can find more pictures in my FB gallery.
The next post should appear in a few weeks.