GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ The Genesis of The Imaginarium Convention- Part IV: Convention vs Conference | I Smell Sheep

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Genesis of The Imaginarium Convention- Part IV: Convention vs Conference

Ever wonder what goes into creating a convention? Stephen Zimmer has agreed to take us through the steps. He has agreed to do a six week series about what it took to put together Imaginarium which will make its debut this September. 

A Convention, Not a Conference

One of the main elements in developing Imaginarium for its debut was to be sure that even though it offers an immense amount of programming content it still retained the relaxed air of a convention atmosphere. We wanted it to be different from a traditional writer’s conference, in a way that would make the event attractive to readers and others from the public who might come across Imaginarium.

Imaginarium is designed as an all-genre event, one that is open to all areas of creative writing. As that includes things like screenplays, game-design, comics and graphic novels, there were some obvious areas that we could build onto the core of programming to create a convention environment.

We put in a film festival component, complete with awards, to go along with the screenwriting elements in the programming. This first year we wanted to be sure we did not spread too thin, so we are only doing one screening room, but it has a full array of activity beginning on Friday evening and running all throughout Saturday. Short films, features and documentaries of a variety of types and styles are included and will offer a very enjoyable activity to those who are not writers.

Similarly, we are doing a gaming room, for those who enjoy table-top games, Role-Playing games, card games and things of that nature. It is a room that will be open to the wee hours of the morning and will likely be the only room of the entire convention that some of the more serious gamers experience! But all humor aside, the gaming room connects to the game-design portion of the programming and adds a definite activity that non-writers can participate in.

Another main element to the event is the vendor hall itself, which will have a variety of exhibitors from artists to authors, publishers, filmmakers, jewelry designers, and others. The vendor hall, in my view, will serve as a central area anchoring the event itself with all of the activities and programming surrounding it. We’ve been careful to make sure there is good aisle space so there’s no congestion, so it will be easy for people in the vendor room to talk, browse, and interact. It will be a great area for panelists to gather following programming sessions and for attendees to find panelists/presenters they enjoyed to continue conversations.

There are also special events within Imaginarium designed to be enjoyed by all types of attendees. One is our Masquerade, which will include a costume contest. We encourage costumes to be related to something creative-writing related, so they can come from books, movies, games, comics or graphic novels. The wonderful Selah Janel is spearheading the Masquerade, which will great fun for the attendees to either participate in or come watch.

On Sunday we will have our first awards banquet where we will give out awards for the film festival and unveil the literary awards associated with Imaginarium that will begin in 2015. The banquet will be a classy and enjoyable event for attendees that will cap off a content-rich weekend and bring Imaginarium’s first year to conclusion on a high note!

So you can see that we have worked to make sure that Imaginarium offers a fun and relaxed convention environment alongside the rich programming content. It has a lot to offer everyone, whether readers or writers, and we hope that those who can make it join us this September.


About the Author:
Born in Denver, Colorado, Stephen Zimmer is an award-winning fantasy author and filmmaker based out of Lexington, Kentucky.

Stephen has two series being published through Seventh Star Press. One is the epic fantasy Fires in Eden Series, which was launched with Crown of Vengeance (winner of the 2010 Pluto Award for Best Novel). Book 2, Dream of Legends, was released in January of 2011. The other is the epic urban fantasy series The Rising Dawn Saga. The Rising Dawn Saga launched in spring of 2009 with The Exodus Gate (nominated for a 2009 Pluto Award). The next step was taken in June of 2010 with The Storm Guardians. Highly prolific, Stephen is adhering to a release schedule that sees a new book approximately every seven months!

As a filmmaker, Stephen has credits in fantasy and horror, including the supernatural thriller Shadows Light (feature), The Sirens (horror short film), and Swordbearer (fantasy short film). Swordbearer debuted in early 2011 and is currently being exhibited on the convention and festival circuit. Featuring a special appearance by former WWE wrestler Al Snow, the film is based upon the H. David Blalock novel Ascendant.

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