Worldcon 2020 needs you!

You probably already know that New Zealand was selected as the site for the 2020 World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon). Jacinda can tell you all about it.

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Worldcon 2020  CONZealand Auckland Volunteer Meetup. Here’s what I learned:

The NZ 2020 Worldcon bid has been years in the planning. You can read the full story here.

(Takes off glasses) As you know, Bob, the World Science Fiction Society doesn’t actually organise Worldcons. For any given year there will be one or more bids to run Worldcon in a future year. Attendees of the current year’s Worldcon vote on which bid will win. The New Zealand delegation won the bid for Worldcon 2020 in August this year. That’s when NZ 2020 officially changed from a cool idea to something that’s definitely happening.

To quote Thomas Jefferson in Hamilton: ‘now the work at home begins’.

The WorldCon team need volunteers. And if you’re reading this on SpecFicNZ, you’re exactly the kind of person they’re looking for.

The Worldcon team need a lot of volunteers. Like, a lot. You might think you have some idea how much organisation has already gone into the bid and how many people they’ll need, but whatever your estimates are, double them. Or take a look at the departments here.  They need 15 programme stream leaders alone, and they will be leaders – there will be teams of people working under them. That number you came up with an doubled? Why don’t you go ahead and double it again.

You might look at that list of departments and think ‘Oh, they wouldn’t want little old me’. I assure you, they really really do. There’s a lot of work to get done and some of it will be large and complex, like organising a programme stream. But there are plenty of small jobs too. Whatever skills you have, whatever energy you have to give, there’s a way you can contribute.

So how do you volunteer?

Just put up your hand. And then lower it back down to your mouse and click right here.

You might have already filled in a volunteer form a long time ago. But you should still fill in this one. Two reasons:

1: There’s a lot more information on this one. You can specify which areas you’d like to work in and if, you’ve got a ‘particular set of skills’ you can let them know.

2: If you fill in this form, you’ll get access to a mailing list and collection of Google docs. You’ll get updates and can help decide how all these positions get filled and how we get the giant machine that is Worldcon 2020 up and running.

The last Worldcon round these parts was Melbourne in 2010. That had somewhere north of 5000 attendees and it seems reasonable to expect similar numbers, if not more. That’s small for a worldcon outside the US, but obviously huge compared to a local con.

Worldcons are amazing. There’s already a buzz around this one because New Zealand has a special place in the hearts of fans (thanks Peter Jackson – and whoever it was in the Star Trek writers room who kept mentioning us. It’s the chance of a lifetime. You don’t want to miss this.

Please volunteer. And spread the word.

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