About the Convention
The Discworld Convention is a gathering of fans of Sir Terry Pratchett that happens in the UK once every two years. This is an event organised by the fans themselves and any profit that is made is donated to our nominated charities. In 2018 the Convention will happen between the 3rd and 6th of August at the Chesford Grange hotel in Warwick, UK.
The Convention is run entirely by volunteers. The Concom (Convention Committee) set everything up, and our Gophers (go-fers.... get it?!) help out at the event. If you would like to be a gopher (squeak!) at the Convention, go to Ops. If you'd like to volunteer beforehand (we can always use the help), please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find out about our policies on the policies page - make sure you read them before you go!
What to expect
Whether you are new to the convention, an old hat or haven’t attended for a while, whether you’re coming on your own or with family or friends, we are planning lots of wonderful events and there will be something for everyone to participate in.
If you're new to the Discworld Convention, you might think it starts with the Grand Opening Ceremony on Friday afternoon. And, officially, it does.
Unofficially however, there’s lots to participate in and enjoy even before then, such as the early bird Thursday Night Quiz, making your own costume, joining in with games and much more. Of course, using this time for a drink and meeting old and new friends – and deciding which programme items to attend – usually works just as well.
Every Convention we have a wide range of events for you to choose from. Some usual main events are The Maskerade costume competition on the Saturday, the exclusive Gala Dinner on the Sunday, and The Play on the Monday before the closing ceremony.
Sandwiched between the big events, we will have various supporting activities. We strive to have a varied programme (lectures, panels, games, workshops), with events throughout the day (or at least starting as early as we can find people to run things). The programme items typically cover a wide range of interests and the majority is suitable (though not necessarily aimed at) families and children. In addition, we typically have several programme items specifically aimed at the younger kids.
You may also have seen mentions of a Convention Theme here and there. The Theme is a way to tie together Programme Events, and provide the Guilds1 with some inspiration for activities to motivate their participating Members. As the Theme this time comes from Guards! Guards!, you can expect to see many references to the book in both the lead-up to the Convention, and at the Convention itself.
The Convention Theme is not something which Members themselves need to abide by (although no one will complain if you do!2), but more a method by which each Convention can offer something a little different – from decorations at the venue all the way to the contents of the Opening/Closing Ceremony. The Discworld is a rich and vibrant place, after all, so it only seems fitting that each Convention draw on different aspects of it for inspiration!
1. Go to Ops!
This is a guiding principle for the entire convention. Our Ops team are usually located in a central place and can get you what you need. So if in doubt about anything, not sure what’s happening, need a question answered? GO TO OPS!
2. Make Friends
Have fun and be open to simply walking up to strangers and striking up a conversation. After all, you already know you have a love of all things Discworld in common.
The easiest way to meet new people, is to volunteer during the Convention - but only if you want to. The entire Discworld Convention is made possible only by the hard work of volunteers and it's the best way to get involved yourself.
- It’s a great way to see behind the scenes of the convention
- Help your fellow members
- Have a really great time whilst making new friends
4. Join a Guild / Society / Sect / Band
Whatever we end up calling them this time round, every member is automatically allocated to a Guild/Society prior to the convention. This allocation should be seen as a suggestion, not a requirement - you can join any Guild you want or none of them at all. By getting involved in the Guilds, however, you can:
- Interact with fellow members before the Convention starts, coming up with fun things to do
- Make friends to meet and interact with during the event as you try to win the guilds/societies competition!
5. Make a costume
This is by no means a requrement of attendance - for plenty of people it's jeans and tshirts all the way. But If you want to wear a costume please do!
- Want a costume but aren’t sure what to make or how to make it? Why not pop into Chaos Costuming - where our resident seamstresses3 reside - and make yourself a costume (or fix up your home-made one) right there at the Convention.
- Make sure if you have a costume involving weaponry or sharp objects that you read the Weapons Policy. Yes we really have a policy on weapons. Yes, it is completely mandatory!
6. Make a plan!
Once the schedule is published (which happens much closer to the Convention) make sure you make a note of the following things:
- Decide what you consider must see items, would like to if I have time and not fussed items.
- You can attend any item on the schedule unless it specifically states it’s for a certain group only (and you're not in that group!)
- Make sure to schedule in time to top up your energy levels with food and keep hydrated.
1 Note: Guilds are unlikely to be called Guilds at the Convention - please see the relevant section for more information!
2 Mysterious Hoods and/or Cloaks are welcome, but all Genuine Magical Items must be checked in at Ops.
3 No, not that kind of seamstress. The kind that actually knows what to do with a needle and thread.