Bidding Procedures and Rules of Conduct
Bidding Procedures and Rules of Conduct as of May 13, 2003
The philosophy of the World Horror Society (WHS) is to promote the horror field by authorizing World Horror Conventions to be held each year at sites selected by a bidding process. The purpose of WHC is to provide an event that is conducive to education, networking and conducting business for horror professionals and enthusiasts.
The World Horror Convention (WHC) is authorized by the Board of Directors (BoD) of the World Horror Society (WHS). WHC is held at a site bid by a committee made up of a Chair, Treasurer, and any other positions required to perform the duties for a successful convention. The BoD selects a site for a specific year from all committees bidding for that year. The minimum information required to bid a site is the names of the committee members and a brief list of their experience at running conventions, the location of the site including a letter of intent from the venue (hotel, etc.), the dates of the event, the anticipated expenses for attendees of the event, anticipated Guests-of-Honor (GoHs), and any other information that the bid committee feels is pertinent or helpful for the BoD to make an informed decision. The BoD makes a decision on a site at least one year out from the event and as much as three years out. The bid proposals and decisions are made at a designated meeting at the current WHC or at a special meeting elsewhere if necessary to ensure continuity for WHC. The BoD desires an east/west rotation of sites with the Mississippi River as the east/west terminator. However, the BoD will favor a well-organized bid over a strict rotation.
RULES OF CONDUCT
Dates: WHC should be held no earlier than the last weekend in February and no later than the first weekend in May. The reason for this interval is to avoid conflicts with the World Fantasy Convention, usually held around Halloween Weekend, and the HWA Business Meeting & Bram Stoker Awards, usually held around the beginning of June, both of which involve professionals from the horror field. WHC starts on Thursday either mid-afternoon or early evening and ends on Sunday either mid-afternoon or early evening. If WHC desires to also host the HWA Business Meeting & Bram Stoker Awards simultaneously, then the BoD will consider a later set of dates.
Guests-of-Honor: The minimum number and type of GoHs are Author (or Writer), Artist, Toastmaster and Grand Master Award Winner. The committee may select other GoHs as they see fit and can afford to bring to WHC. The GoHs are the only members of WHC that do not pay a registration fee. Typically, WHC pays for the transportation, accommodations, nominal per diem and a gift for each GoH. At least one GoH should be from overseas.
Grand Master Award: The GMA is the only award (required) offered by WHC other than Art Show Awards (optional). Eligible recipients must have contributed greatly to the horror field, must be alive at the time of the voting, and cannot have won a previous GMA. Nominations for the GMA are submitted by members of the WHC (not WHC itself) by ballot to be mailed out (hardcopy) to all WHC members. This is typically done by including the ballot in at least one progress report. The minimum information required to nominate someone for the GMA is name of the professional (nominee), name of the member, address of the member, and signature of the member. Ballots are to be returned to a member of the BoD directly by mail. This BoD member is responsible for verifying the eligibility of the nominees, authenticity of the WHC member ballots using information supplied by WHC, and for tallying the ballots. The WHC is then notified of the GMA winner. WHC is responsible for making the necessary plans to bring the GMA winner to the convention if at all possible. The GMA is physically designed and manufactured by the BoD and WHC is expected to pay a nominal fee for the award. The winner is officially announced at the Opening Ceremonies on Thursday of the convention, is on display in the Art Show during the convention, and is officially presented at the Closing Ceremonies on Sunday of the convention. Other than the BoD, the WHC and the GMA winner, no other persons are to be notified prior to the Opening Ceremonies unless permitted by the BoD. The BoD allows for the WHC to advertise the GMA winner pre-con if the winner agrees to attend the WHC.
Required Events and Functions: There are certain functions and events that each WHC must offer. There must be an Art Show for the display of original artwork and the sale of prints. There must be a Dealers Room for the sale of horror related items, such as books, artwork, jewelry, videos, clothing, etc. There must be a Hospitality Suite for food and beverages. There must be a convention office (Operations) for members to access with any questions or problems. There must be a Registration area for members to pick up badges or purchase memberships. There must be Programming rooms in which events occur. There must be Opening Ceremonies (usually on Thursday evening) and Closing Ceremonies (usually on Sunday afternoon). There must be Mass Autographing Party (usually on Friday evening) and an Artists Reception (usually on Saturday evening).
Since experience has shown that hotels are more receptive to conventions with food & beverage functions the BoD encourages the committee to offer a wine and cheese tasting at the Artists Reception with non-alcoholic beverages also available.
Hospitality can offer anything from simple munchies and non-alcoholic drinks to fancy spreads and alcoholic beverages. It is usually open Thursday afternoon and evening until programming ends, Friday before programming begins until it ends, Saturday same as Friday, and Sunday before programming begins until the end of the convention.
Art Show fees should be no higher than $20 per 4’x4′ panel or equivalent display system. Commissions for sales are acceptable without getting exorbitant. For example, with a panel fee of $20, commission should be no higher that 10%. With a lower panel fee, commission could rise to 15%, but no higher. Print Shop fees should be no higher than $5 per artist with commissions as high as 15% on sales allowed. Art Show participants must be juried by one member of the BoD unless the artists have exhibited at a previous WHC. Samples for the jurying process can be hardcopy or electronic or online. The BoD will notify WHC of the designated member of the BoD including name, address, phone and email. If awards are offered in the Art Show, then the BoD prefers the following categories: Best B&W/Monochrome, Best Color, Best 3D and/or Best of Show. If, for example, there are no 3D entries, then there is no need to offer a Best 3D award.
Dealers Room should be encouraged to have a variety of dealers.
Registration should use the same badges for pre-registered members and walk-in members with legible text on the badge names, such as 24-point type. Staff rates can differ from regular member rates with past conventions offering either a flat rate (such as $10 per staff member) or a discount on a full membership. Since this is an adult convention there is no discounted rate for children of any age. Memberships can be sold starting at the WHC 2 years prior (e.g. WHC2010 can sell memberships as early as WHC2008). Minimum information contained on the badge should be the convention name, dates and member name. Membership badge numbers are discouraged since this is a professional convention, but can be used internally by WHC.
Programming should be 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 tracks with literature and art dominating 2 tracks of panel discussions or presentations, 1/2 track being readings or demonstrations, and a 3rd track if there is GoH related video or movie tie-ins. Participants must be a member of the convention.
Progress Reports for a WHC should be sent out to at least all registered members of that convention. The BoD shall supply a mailing list to the current WHC containing information on all previous WHC members. There should be at least 3 PRs mailed to members starting after the end of the previous WHC and the last PR arriving before the current WHC. Besides containing the general information about the convention WHC must include a contact address, email and phone number for interested parties to contact them. Additionally, the BoD shall supply WHC with contact information for any compliments, complaints, etc., which must be included in each PR. The final PR should contain a list of members so that other members can plan on bringing books for signatures.
WHC shall supply Progress Reports to each member of the convention as well as a badge, a Pocket Program (summary of the event schedule) and a Program (or Convention) Book (ads, articles, photos, etc.). This includes Supporting (typically $25 – $35) and Attending (typically $50 – $125) members. Supporting members receive all of the above by mail.
All WHCs shall supply the BoD with the contact information for all registered members. This list shall be passed on to the next WHC. Additionally, each WHC shall supply the BoD with general information on the actual income and expenses of the convention, including art show sales (number of panels sold, artwork sold, etc.), dealers room tables sold, memberships sold (pre-reg, walk-ins, etc.), advertising, function space, etc. which will be passed on to future WHCs for budgeting and marketing purposes only.
Board of Directors Expenses: Since the World Horror Society is an unincorporated literary society it has no income of its own. It does have expenses, such as the Grand Master Award, Internet domain name registrations and web site costs. Each WHC is expected to contribute to these expenses. The BoD will notify each WHC of the anticipated expenses when they win a bid and will update those expenses as costs change. Some expenses are once per year, such as GMA. Others are once every two years, such as domain name registrations. Others might be multiple times per year, such as web site costs. The BoD will attempt to annualize these costs for each WHC to calculate their share. Each WHC may be required to pay their share prior to the conclusion of their event regardless of how they are legally organized. Currently, the Grand Master Award fee covers the annual expenses of the BoD.
WHCs are encouraged to obtain and maintain their individual web sites on the Internet for marketing purposes. The preferred format for the domain name is www.whcxxxx.org with the xxxx being the year of the convention. WHS will maintain its own web site as www.worldhorrorconvention.com. WHS will link its web site to each WHC and expects each WHC to link back to the WHS web site.
The BoD recommends the following minimum numbers for hotel planning purposes. Function space (indoors): 10,000 square feet in at least 5 rooms (art show, dealers room, reading room, 2 panel rooms); Sleeping rooms: 150 for each of the three peak nights (average attendance 450); Party suites: 3 (one for Hospitality, one for publishers, one for organizations such as HWA); Bar/Lounge: Very important to have for networking, open as much as possible during the con; Restaurant (onsite): Also important to have, open as much as possible due to varying schedules of members.
Anything not covered in this document shall be left to the individual WHC to decide or the BoD can be contacted for clarification or for rendering a decision.