About the Con
What is a science fiction convention? Basically, a weekend-long party for SF fans and geeks from around the country, or even further afield. It's a great opportunity to make new friends and catch up with old ones. There's an extensive programme of SF-related events to watch and/or take part in, so it is possible to sit and be entertained for the whole weekend without saying a word if you're so inclined, but it's even more fun if you actively participate, and for many the social aspect is the prime attraction.
SF conventions are non-profit events planned and run by a committee of unpaid volunteers (the concom), with the assistance of many others. They are very different from big commercial events like Armageddon - rather than tens of thousands of casual shoppers spending a couple of hours wandering through, cons are more intimate events where most of the attendees stay for the whole weekend, and events run late into the night.
Au Contraire is doing a few things differently from most NZ NatCons. We've chosen to keep membership fees to a minimum, including an unwaged option, to make the convention more accessible. We don't plan on raising fees as the convention approachs, either, though this doesn't mean we don't appreciate early registrations! Signing up well in advance gives us a better idea of numbers, and funds to work with. We also intend to spend a lot on prizes, to make the convention competitons well worth entering. In order to afford all this, we won't be having a Guest of Honour from outside the region, saving us thousands in airfares. Instead of being celebrity-focused, Au Contraire intends to be a celebration of active fandom, and the Kiwi tradition of "number eight wire" DIY creativity.
The convention is open to all ages, but it is aimed at adults, and will feature language and concepts that you may not consider appropriate for children. We're definitely not babysitters; if you wouldn't let your child wander around the city unsupervised, then they need supervision at the con as well. If there's sufficient demand, we'll try sorting out child care facilities, most likely on a parent roster basis; if you're interested in this, please tell us.