Minicon has often hosted parties at other science fiction conventions. This is traditional.
If you wish to host a Minicon party at your home town convention then read on. But note that the purpose of any such party is to promote Minicon not to embarrass it!
Running a Party
Matthew Strait should be credited for most of this section.
So, running a party. First, there are no regulations to follow or anything. (Minicon these days hardly has any official policies.) Just common sense stuff like "please don't get us in trouble".
Here's what we do:
Decorate the room with Peeps paraphernalia and things that say Minicon and/or Minn-stf. It's not necessary that all of our parties be Peeps-themed, but (unless you have a lot of other decorations) it's probably a good idea. Minicon has some bins of party stuff that they may let you use.
Cover the table/desk with a tablecloth to protect it, primarily from blog.
Put out some combination of cheese, meat (summer sausage, generally), crackers, candy, cookies, vegetables. Don't feel constrained by what you've seen at our parties in the past; the idea is just to have munchies.
Make blog. The recipe is here.
The canonical recipe has vodka in it, but we always leave that out (making it "St Paul blog") and have vodka on the side for people to add or not add as suits them. The vodka can be a major fraction of the cost of the party if people like their blog very strong. I buy Smirnoff, which runs $25/1.5 liters around here, I think. I'm not sure if there's a cost effective way to buy one nights' worth. If you have no use for leftover vodka, it would be OK to skip it entirely.
The amount of blog that gets consumed is wildly unpredictable, even given previous experience at a particular convention. I can tell you only that between 1/2 and 3 batches will get drunk. But I don't think people get too sad if it runs out after the second batch, so I'd bring enough for that.
Occasionally we have also brought a cooler with cans of soda and/or beer, but we have found that people hardly take the soda (presumably they have gotten enough from the con suite) and having beer means we have to watch the beer *and* the vodka. Some people do really like getting beer, though.
You may sell memberships, but there's no expectation of it. we have found that very few people actually buy memberships in a party even if we actively pitch. (By "very few" I mean an average of perhaps one membership per 5 parties.) Please do have registration forms available (and easily visible), but if you don't want to handle Minicon money, just tell them to mail them in or use the on-line registration. If you do end up handling Minicon money, I think the easiest way to deal with it is for you to mail the registration and payment on to our PO box.
We put up 4-10 posters around the hotel to advertise the party. Sometimes these attempt to be clever, sometimes they just say "Minicon, Room XXX, Friday night". If your room ends up being in the middle of a row of parties, this is probably skippable, but if it's off down the end of a hall away from the action, it's important to do.
Requesting to Run a Party
If you are interested in running a party, please send the request to the Chair of the current Minicon with the request. Information to include, at a minimum, would be the Convention where you want to run the party and the dates of the convention.
Parties at Chicago conventions
Hi, I'm Rich Price. My wife, Sharon, and I intend to run Minicon 45 parties at at least two of the three regional conventions in the Chicago area. We would welcome your help in this effort!
To contact us, just drop a note on my talk page with your phone number or email address.