Our Programming Goals & Philosophy

ApolloCon strives to offer exciting, diverse program choices to our members. We celebrate Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy and Horror in various forms: literature, media, visual art, comics, music, games, performance, and spoken word. We explore the culture of our community, related scholarly and critical fields, and the sciences and technology that inform us and interest us. We examine the overall tapestry of our fandom, and the threads of our beloved genres in the fandoms of others. Programming strives to present a range of activities and a spectrum of ideas. Our goal for ApolloCon is a varied programming schedule showcasing diverse viewpoints, one that is interesting, educational, and fun.

The programming model used by ApolloCon likes to mix things up. We combine or cross over genres in discussion topics. We offer demos, lectures, workshops, panel discussions, games, and media showings. We mix different kinds of people on panels and cross the lines between pros and fans and between reators and their audiences.

What that means in practical terms is that some items are tightly focused with a single presenter or a homogeneous panel, while others examine ideas in a variety of contexts with a panel representing diverse interests, perspectives, and opinions. The underlying philosophy is that diversity strengthens community and increases interest. The model views both creators and audience as parts of the same community, and ncourages participation from the whole community.

Programming FAQ

Is everyone on programming a guest?

No. While our guests do stellar duty providing the core of our programming, we also include many non-guests on programming. Some are community members who are specialists in an area of interest to our attendees such as science. Some are specialists from outside the community who are brought in for specific programming items.

Does everyone on programming get in free?

No. Contrary to popular opinion, not everyone working on a con gets in free. In ApolloCon's case, not even the Department Heads (who spend hundreds of hours a year working on the con) get in free. Individuals who do a certain number of hours of programming may be eligible for a comp. Not all of those who are eligible choose to accept a comp, preferring to pay their own way to help support ApolloCon. The overwhelming majority of non-guests on our programming have paid for their own membership, either because they were planning to attend anyway, or because they want to support ApolloCon and help us grow. Some members feel that doing one or two panels over the course of the weekend is an enhancement to the con experience, and a great opportunity to interact with guests!

Can people other than writers be on programming?

Heavens to Murgatroyd, Yes! We love writers, but we also like to put artists and musicians on programming. And scientists, technologists, gamers, readers, performers, editors, agents, conrunners, hobbyists, collectors, and well-spoken fans. And really, just about any kind of person who is interested, interesting, and able to contribute to items on the programming schedule.

Who comes wp with all the ideas for programming?

The programming department, the concom, the guests, the program participants, the local clubs, and the community at large all contribute ideas to programming. Some of the ideas are sent to programming individually, others are generated during public brainstorming sessions. Currently, programming has a collection of over 500 suggestions, developed over the last four years, and we are always looking for more.

Who decides what gets on programming?

The programming head and assistant, in consultation with the conchair and guests, with input from gaming, media, art show and filk, decide on the final program.

How does the programming department decide which ideas to use?

A number of tests are applied to each idea: Does this sound interesting? Does this support our mandate? Do we have the resources to mount this? Do we have any guests/program participants who want to do this? Do we have any similar items already in place, and how many? Has this been done-to-death either here or anywhere nearby in recent times? Is our GoH allergic to this? Anything that can survive that has a fighting chance of being on programming.

I have this great idea for a programming item. What do I do?

Send it to the Apollocon Programming Director. Remember the more information you can give us, the better the chance your idea might be used. Be sure to tell us if it is something you would like to be part of presenting,

Have a Great Idea?

Do you have an awesome idea for programming? Send it to our Programming Director. Help us make ApolloCon 2015 great by sharing your great ideas.