Selecting Panelists and Early Bird Rates and Guests Oh My!

Putting together convention programming is kind of like herding cats.  I think.  Maybe herding wombats. 

Okay, I’m being dramatic.  But it does require some hard decisions to be made.  Since last November, I’ve been heading up programming for Context 27.  And that includes one huge mandate:

My job – and the reason I’m really excited about this – is to make the con worthwhile for people attending it even if they never go to a workshop.   I am working to ensure that the “basic” experience is top-notch and worth every penny.

Context – unlike, say, *cough* Comic-Con *cough* – is not about the profit.  It’s about the people and the experience.  The folks who run it are just like the people who attend.  But if the ConCom doesn’t pay attention to the bottom line… well, that could get bad.

Here’s the skinny:  I’ve already got more people applying to be panelists than I have panelist slots… and we are still more than seven months out.  And believe me, I know how hard it can be to apply and not make it onto panels, or to not be invited back despite having been a panelist for many years.

Believe me, my droogs, I know. And that’s why the next sentence is so important:

This isn’t just a writer’s workshop.  This is Context. 

Context is small enough that you actually get to talk to the people you want to see, and big enough that it attracts the people you want to see.

Aside from making sure the panels are top-freaking-notch, I want to make sure there’s plenty of space and time for everyone there to actually get to sit and talk and relax and talk shop and party instead of just running from panel to panel.

Whether you’re a fan, writer, publisher, editor, student, or curious bystander, with guests including Jonathan Maberry, Betsy Mitchell, Lucien Soulban, Jennifer Brozek, Monica Valentinelli, Sharon Short, Maurice Broaddus, Jerry Gordon, Jason Sizemore, Ferrett Steinmetz, Laura Resnick, and Geoffrey Girard (and MORE!), Context is going to be a place where you want to be. 

Even if you don’t go to a single panel.

The discounted Early Bird rate for the weekend ends after this weekend, so get thee over and take advantage of it right now:

And I’ll see you at the con!

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