Seeking Co-Chairs and Apprentice Co-Chairs for WISCON 2025!

Hello WisCon community!

We are currently considering the prospect of having a convention in 2025. However, to have a WisCon in 2025, we need at least three (3) Co-Chairs by end of August. At least one of these people should have had some previous experience with WisCon/SF3 in a pre-con role, meaning that the person is current or former member of the ConCom, Personnel Committee, Comms, or the SF3 Board. We would also like either additional Co-Chairs or apprentice Co-Chairs who can act in a supporting role. Apprentice Co-Chairs do not require experience and will have a smaller work load.
Are you interested in serving as a co-chair or apprentice co-chair?  Contact Personnel (personnel@sf3.org)
For more information about the roles, please read the information below.

Role: Conference Committee (ConCom) Co-Chairs
Department/Team: The Co-Chairs supervise the ConCom and work with other SF3 committees also working on Con business (Communications, Personnel, etc.)
Reports to: SF3 Board via monthly reports

Time Requirements: During the less-busy part of the con year (July-February), each co-chair spends an average of about 2.5 hours/week on con-related tasks. During the more-busy part of the con year (March-May) this increases to 4-5 hours/week; exact time requirements depend on how well-staffed the rest of the ConCom is.
Presence at con: Required. At least one Co-Chair is “on duty” at all times during the con.
Term: One year (typically starting in July) with the expectation of serving as a “Fairy ConParent (advisor)” the following con.
Role summary: The role of the Co-Chairs is to work together to provide high-level management over other ConCom departments to ensure that WisCon takes place (details below). Co-Chairs generally keep track of Department activity, help Departments coordinate with each other, run the Guest of Honor selection process for the following WisCon, and analyze the prior WisCon’s feedback survey results. If a task doesn’t have anyone working on it, Co-Chairs must decide whether to complete the task themselves, delegate it to someone else, or leave the task undone. The Co-Chairs interface with the SF3 Board primarily through monthly reports.

Main Tasks:

  • Running ConCom Meetings. This includes setting the dates and reminders, setting the agenda, collecting reports in advance of each meeting, presiding over the meetings themselves, and making sure minutes are published afterwards.
  • Tracking Responsiveness/Reports. A large part of the job is keeping track of who hasn’t reported in for a while and what emails are going unanswered to make sure everyone’s on track and to keep morale up. If someone isn’t responding to emails about once a week or so, the Co-Chairs reach out to them, and if they get no response, notify Personnel, who makes a determination on how to proceed. If a role is to be listed again, it should be taken to a ConCom meeting for a discussion, any suggested/agreed-upon modifications made, and then posted.
  • Tracking Departmental Coordination.If a Department has a question that can be answered by another Department, or is proposing changes that may impact another department, Co-Chairs must help connect the relevant Departments to each other as needed. Sometimes Departments know who to ask or realize which other Departments are involved with a task, and sometimes they don’t.
  • Making Judgement Calls on Events/Roles to Keep/Drop.Sometimes it is not possible to fill a role before the con. There’s a limited number of things that can just be cut, but Co-Chairs must also weigh whether events will keep happening at future cons if they are not formally run at a present con. Co-Chairs have to determine what tasks absolutely have to be done.
  • Being On-Call During the Con.There is a chair cell phone that can be used to contact the Co-Chairs anytime during the con. Most of the calls will come from the hotel. Co-Chairs can choose how to split up the times of being responsible for the phone. Some chairs alternate days, others take specific shifts during each day — whatever works for the all Co-Chairs.
  • Participating in Safety Processes. If someone wants “to talk to a manager,” Co-Chairs are our ultimate at-con managers. Co-Chairs may also be involved in judgment calls about Safety issues (such as potentially banning someone, asking them to leave, etc.).
  • Running Guest of Honor Selection Process.The Co-Chairs are responsible for selecting a GOH Vetting Committee and making sure the GOH nomination and voting process is executed according to schedule. This involves collating the GOH suggestions and putting together bios for the candidates, making sure the surveys get run, and contacting the top finalists to invite them (for which there are templates).
  • Answering Questions. Co-Chairs may receive a wide number of questions (both from inside and outside the ConCom/SF3), and they must either answer the questions directly or help forward the question to the person/department who might be able to answer. It’s not uncommon for people to write basically asking to be invited in an “official” capacity. We have an email template for responding to that.
  • Analyzing Prior WisCon Feedback Survey Results.Co-Chairs are in charge of analyzing the post-WisCon survey results from the con before theirs. This may involve working with other departments to implement changes based on the feedback received.
  • Manage tasks that don’t belong to any other department or that have slipped through the cracks between two departments.This includes supervising printing of standard-sized materials and contacting previous year’s lifeguard and child care team to see if they are interested in working again this year.
  • Interfacing with the SF3 Board.

Skills & experience:

All Co-Chairs Should Have:

  • Task management and delegation skills.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Excellent one-on-one communication skills (for communicating with other Co-Chairs)
  • Time and ability to check email and Basecamp on a frequent basis

At Least One Co-Chair Should Have (no one person needs all these skills):

  • Some degree of comfort with public speaking in front of large audiences
  • Excellent written communications / public relations skills
  • Ability to lead meetings effectively, including making sure everyone gets heard, covering an agenda, and sticking to a time limit.
  • Ability to take notes during meetings (these do not have to themselves be minutes-quality, just enough to write the minutes later).
  • Prior ConCom experience of at least one year preferred

Exclusions:

  • Co-Chairs should not also be chairing/leading any other Departments/Teams within WisCon or chairing any other cons
  • Co-Chairs should not co-chair two WisCons in a row

If you are interested in co-chairing for 2025 or if you have questions about co-chairing, please contact Personnel at personnel@sf3.org

Role: Apprentice Conference Committee (ConCom) Co-Chairs
Department/Team: Convention Committee aka ConCom
Reports to: Co-Chairs, SF3 Board via monthly reports

Time Requirements: Minimum 1 hour/week, maximum of about 2.5 hours/week (during less busy times) or 4-5 hours/week (March-May) depending on the Apprentice’s interest and availability. As this is a new role, this is an estimate. The exact time needed may also depend on how well-staffed the rest of the ConCom is.
Presence at con: Preferred. At least one Co-Chair is “on duty” at all times during the con and Apprentices may be added to the schedule.
Term: One year.
Role summary: The role of the apprentice Co-Chairs is to provide support to the Co-Chairs as they manage ConCom departments and ensure that WisCon takes place. Apprentices will take on tasks delegated by the Co-Chairs. This can include liaising with departments, analyzing feedback, creating monthly reports, and other subsets of Co-Chair tasks. Mentorship will be provided, with the idea that the Apprentices will learn how and feel confident to serve as Co-Chairs in the future. However, Apprentices are not required to become a co-chair! While this is a learning opportunity, it can also simply be a role you like and want to fill for one or more years.

Main Tasks:

  • Assisting Co-Chairs with their tasks. Depending on the Co-Chair needs and your skills, this may include running ConCom meeting, tracking responsiveness/reports, and tracking departmental coordination.
  • Potentially being On-Call During the Con.There is a chair cell phone that can be used to contact the Co-chair anytime during the con. Most of the calls will come from the hotel. As Co-chair split up their time, it may make sense to include Apprentices.
  • Assisting in Safety Processes. Apprentices will likely be there to watch and assist as Co-Chairs deal with safety issues and liaise with the Safety Team. Apprentices will not make any final decisions.
  • Helping to Answer Questions.The Co-Chairs may receive a wide number of questions (both from inside and outside the ConCom/SF3), and Apprentices may be asked to help field those questions.
  • Assisting with Analyzing Prior WisCon Feedback Survey Results.Apprentices can help Co-Chairs analyze the post-WisCon survey results from the con before theirs. This may involve working with other departments to implement changes based on the feedback received.
  • Help manage tasks that don’t belong to any other department or that have slipped through the cracks between two departments.This includes supervising printing of standard-sized materials and contacting previous year’s lifeguard and child care team to see if they are interested in working again this year.
  • Interfacing with the SF3 Board. 
  • Generally shadowing the Co-Chairs. One of the goals of this position is for the Apprentice to learn how to be a Co-Chair. This will include taking on support tasks for the Co-Chair, but also observing and asking questions for your own growth.
  • Acting as a backup to the Co-Chairs.If a Co-Chair must step away before the con, Apprentices may be offered the Co-Chair role first–especially if the change happens very near to the con. Apprentices are under no obligation to accept.

Skills & experience:

All Apprentice Co-Chairs Should Have:

  • Task management and delegation skills.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Excellent one-on-one communication skills (for communicating with other Apprentices and Co-Chairs)
  • Time and ability to check email and Basecamp on a frequent basis

Helpful Skills Include (but can be learned):

  • Some degree of comfort with public speaking in front of large audiences
  • Excellent written communications / public relations skills
  • Ability to lead meetings effectively, including making sure everyone gets heard, covering an agenda, and sticking to a time limit.
  • Ability to take notes during meetings (these do not have to themselves be minutes-quality, just enough to write the minutes later).

Exclusions:

  • It is preferred that Apprentices are not chairing/leading any other departments/teams within WisCon or chairing any other cons, however exceptions can be made.

If you are interested in being an Apprentice Co-Chair for 2025 or if you have questions about the position, please contact Personnel at personnel@sf3.org

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