The British Star Trek Convention (series of cons)

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Star Trek Convention
Name: The British Star Trek Convention
Dates:
Frequency:
Location:
Type: fan-run fan con
Focus: Star Trek: TOS
Organization:
Founder: STAG
Founding Date:
URL:
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The British Star Trek Convention is actually a long-running series of major cons, the first in 1974. While the producers of these cons were often different, there was enough cooperation that each one of these cons were labeled with a number.

There were, of course, many other fan-run cons that were held that had no number and do not appear on this list.

How the Cons Were Sorted Out

For some history on early con organization, see the Open Letter called The Future of British Conventions.

There were to be two cons a year, one in the spring and one in the fall; the spring con was more popular than the autumn one. If no one bid to run the autumn one, the number would be lost.

The place and time of the future conventions were voted on two years in advance at the business meeting.

A fan in 2000 comments:

I'm starting to feel like the Voice of Ancient History, but I remember the first business meetings and the reasons they were started — there were too many cons being run too close to each other without any coordination. Also there was a professional company that wanted to run cons in the UK and this was perceived as a threat to the fan-run cons, where the cost of attendance was kept as low as possible with as much going on as possible. A professional event did not allow for any fan-run things like the fancy dress, art shows, etc., but treated fans purely as consumers to be shepherded around and got to spend as much money as possible. So we organised. We sorted out a system of two 'Official' cons a year (though Paramount soon stopped us calling them official), and the cons had to be bid for and voted for. Democratic accountability and all that. So we had organisers concentrating their efforts on the best possible cons at intervals that meant no organiser would lose money on a failed con and fans could attend good events without being too far out of pocket. It worked very well through the 80s and everyone benefited. I hope it doesn't fall apart because newcomers to con organising don't know or appreciate the history of what went on before. [1]

1984 Business Meeting Rules

Some Mid-1980s Conflict

Some fans became unhappy with the direction of the "official" cons. In 1984/85, there were many discussions regarding the "big" and "little" cons and which ones fans should support.

From the editor of Empathy Newsletter in Spring 1985:
EMPATHY will be having a sales table at both [the upcoming] MIDCONS, and I look forward to seeing many of you at one or both. On the convention side again, one other piece of news I have regards Empathy's presence at Star Trek conventions. As Keith has said, he and 
Sue are taking a year's sabbatical from cons. I have also decided that I have had enough of the bitching and general unpleasantness surrounding official conventions. After SOL III, EMPATHY will no longer be present at any future official conventions, either in the context of a club
 meeting, advertising or sales table. I'm sorry if this upsets any of you who do go to and enjoy the official conventions, but I feel it would be hypocritical for me to attend something I actively do not approve of. In effect, I'm voting with my feet. The club will continue to advertise the official cons, but apart for that nothing more. I have had enough of the whole sick and sorry mess, and after SOL III I intend to put "officialdom" behind me and go back to the small friendly cons that I've always believed were the real spirit of Trek fandom. I want to go to cons where I can meet friends, make friends, and enjoy the warmth and companionship and HOPE that I always thought Star Trek fandom was all about. I know it exists. I'm going to find it again - if I can.

Read much more about this at Support Your Local Conventions in 1985.

The Numbered Cons

Meta

References

  1. from STAG #136