|Synonyms:||consuite, hospitality suite|
|See also:||fanzine reading room, video room|
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Con Suite is the headquarters at a convention, a hotel room, or suite of rooms, that is the main gathering place for fans to chat and eat. Fans can also leave leave messages for one another or advertise room parties. Some con suites also offer additional diversions such as puzzles, board games and interactive play such as community sketch pads or "caption this picture" contests. In the days before personal computers became widespread, con suites would also offer a single computer, sometimes with a printer and/or connected to the Internet. Other convention functions can be combined with a con suite such as a fanzine reading room and video room. Entrance to the con suite is usually part of the convention membership package.
The size of the consuite varies - at smaller conventions it can be a single hotel room or a suite or adjoining rooms. Larger conventions will have the funds to reserve larger spaces such as hotel function spaces. Most con suites have set hours since they require staffing; however a few con suites will stay open 24 hours. This is rare however, because of the need for increased staffing and the potential for noise complaints from adjoining hotel rooms.
Access to the con suite is limited to convention attendees and at some events badges are checked by a volunteer sitting at the door before they can enter. Other con suites merely post signs and expect the event to be self-policing.
The type of food provided by the con suite can vary wildly, from bags of nachos chips and Mountain Dew to more healthier and robust fare such as cold cuts, sandwiches, fruit and vegetables, chili, pizza and home baked goods. Soft drinks are usually offered and are stored in ice in the hotel room bathtub. On occasion alcohol is offered, although this requires age verification and may be cost prohibitive for many fan run events.
Decorations inside a consuite can vary from none to photos or fan art of popular TV shows. To help offset the costs of feeding convention attendees, some conventions put out a donation jar.
The con suite is often where the Dead Dog Party is held as it may be the last convention space still open.
Origins of the name
Fancyclopedia states that term originated from sci-fi conventions in the late 1940s: "I know Don Ford referred to Room 101 as the consuite in 1949 and...I’m fairly sure I used the term in “The Cinvention Scene Dimly,” my con report." It also states that the con suite is a Northern American term: "at most overseas cons, the bar provides a similar, if costlier, function." 
Examples of Usage
- "The con suite, run by Debbie & Jonathan Baker, was very good, and considered by many to be the best one ever at one of the East Coast filk cons. With great conversation, bagels & cream cheese, lots of great drinks (cream soda, black cherry soda, etc, besides the usual pop), a microwave oven, etc, and lots of veggies and fresh bread and so forth, it was a very popular conversation place."
- "The con suite doubled as a second video room, showing British movies and TV episodes. Saturday evening, the tap on one of the beer kegs broke, and beer had to be saved in pitchers from the hotel kitchen." and "The con suite was disrupted that year by a party of football players across the hall holding a going-away party for their coach."
- "Con Suite Budget has been adjusted to $1600 to cover the costs of inflation, name brand soda, and anticipated increased output by the con suite staff this year."
- "The con suite is the heart and soul of Escapade. From the moment you arrive (it’s where you’ll register for the convention and pick up your badge & convention materials) and throughout the weekend, it’s the place to be. In the con suite, you can sit and talk with your friends or just curl up with a zine (we have hundreds in our Zine Library). There’s a TV and DVD set up so you can seduce your fellow attendees into all the shiny new fandoms you love – you know you want to. We’ll have drinks and snacks available throughout the day so you can grab a quick bite between panels or while you relax with friends. The con suite is also the place to come if you have any questions about the con. If you enjoy the con suite you might want to think about volunteering it’s fun and a great way to meet new people. Ultimately this is YOUR con suite so we hope you will let us know if you have any ideas, suggestions, and yes even criticism, so we can continue you to give you a great space you will enjoy."
- "The con suite - or, as we've taken to calling it, the ConSweet - has been a huge success in previous years and will be the center of the action at this con as well. It'll be a huge private space that combines a traditional con suite (snacks, a wide variety of tables and seating areas) with a dealer's room and an art show." 
- "I’ve been talking about and complimenting the con suite to everyone with an ear or an eye. It is not the least hyperbolic to say that this is the single best con suite experience I have come across. Everyone agrees. People that have been to both have mocked DragonCon’s pathetic attempt and sung the praises of MarsCon. What? Breakfast, lunch, and dinner free for everyone? Yep. Wait, the con suit has its own programming that makes sense and doesn’t suck? Yep."
A Filk Song
Fans, being fans, even have composed songs praising the consuite (and how many fans take the feature for granted):
- Con Suite (sung to Clementine) by Arthur Tansky (2009)
- In the con suite
- or the green room
- Anywhere fans find free food
- There will always be complaining
- Some if it will be quite rude
- Coke not Pepsi!
- Where's the vegan?
- How's about some wine or beer?
- Can't you open up more early?
- I would like to breakfast here
- If you give them
- What they ask for
- They will always ask for more
- Till they fin'ly drive you crazy
- And you throw them out the door
- Oh, the concom
- Oh, the con staff
- Can't you feed this hungry throng?
- It would surely break the budget
- Everything you do is wrong.
Fans leave messages and announcements on the white board outside the entrance to Conclave 32 (2007) con suite entrance. Source: dmuth
A sign stating that a convention badge is required for entry to the Marcon 2007 consuite. Source: dmuth
Some con suites have themes, like the Marcon 2007's Consuite at the End of the Universe (a play on the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy's Restaurant At The End of the Universe). Source: dmuth
Entrance to Penguincon 2007's consuite covered withy flyers advertising room parties and other events.
A large consuite for ConDor 2012 in San Diego. The caption read: "ConDor likes to keep it's happy members well fueled. The con suite provided healthy snacks like boiled ages and carrot sticks alongside junkier fare like M&Ms and popcorn. The con suite attendants also ran different Weird Science experiments to go with the ConDor 19 theme; Pop Rocks and Soda, how many licks to a Tootsie Roll's center, etc. This is also where con goers could vote for their Mad Scientist favorites." Source: Convention Fans Blog Official Photos
- fancyclopedia's Consuite entry accessed June 1, 2012; WebCite
- Review of the 1994 Contata filk convention consuite.
- conestoga Convention History referring to the 1997 and 1998 conventions, dated Feb. 2009; WebCite.
- Meeting Notes from Intercon 2006.
- Description of the con suite on Escapade's website, accessed June 1, 2012.
- FAQ page for Con.Txt 2012.
- darkcargo's Marscon 2012 Con Suite Review.
- Posted on November 28, 2009 at rec.music.filk, used with permission under the Crreative Commons License.