Au Contraire


2:34 am 24/05/13

Hi, Ive only lived here for 2 years and this will be my first con here. I am wondering what to expect. Ive only ever been to Sakuracon, Kumoricon, and PAX seattle.

  • Is it huge or just a couple hundred?
  • Are there panels?
  • What about dances?
  • Do most people have room parties as well?
  • Are the con grounds open 24 hours through the con?
  • Will there be gaming? If so what kind?
  • Is there going to be a room of people selling nifty stuff?
  • Do most people gear up in costume or is it mostly normal clothes?
  • Also will there be a meet and greet? Im new to the area and still havent met anyone with similar interests to hang out with.

Sorry about all the questions I just want to know ahead of time what I should plan on.



9:36 am 24/05/13

Hi! Welcome to NZ and Kiwi fandom 8) You should definitely attend CON 101 at 7pm on the Friday for an introduction to NZ conventions.

It's a couple of hundred people, with lots of panels - we should have the draft programme for this year up soon, but in the mean time the timetable from the previous Au Contraire should give you some idea of what to expect. We are planning more gaming than before; there's a dedicated space for casual board and card gaming, and we intend to run multiple RPGs and some LARPs. Is there anything you'd particularly like to see?

The majority of members wear normal-ish clothes, but wearing costumes throughout the convention is very welcome; there'll be spot prizes for the best dressed, and if you're into costuming, you should definitely enter the Masquerade.

We don't have a dance planned at this stage, but if people are keen, let us know - it can be arranged! Room parties are encouraged; if you want to host one, you'll need to book a Quality room in the party zone. Formal events are generally over by midnight, except filking (if that counts as formal), but as a hotel the venue is of course open 24 hours.

Selling stuff isn't the focus of the convention, but there will be stuff for sale at the Floating Market on Friday night, both new and used, and an Auction on the Saturday.


4:35 am 25/05/13

Sounds alot like the first con I ever went to. Im exited! Thanks for the info. Ill probbably try to get a costume of some sort together. It makes it so much more fun that way.


8:13 am 25/05/13

Cool 8) I thoroughly agree on the costume. Do you have any suggestions for us from the cons you've attended overseas? We're always interested in trying new ideas, though we can't make any guarantees (there's not that much time left before the con!). Don't forget to sign up as a member!


5:33 am 26/05/13

Oh yes I plan on signing up soon. Just need to get the money together, residency forms and whatnot are expensive. I will definitely be there though :)

Hmm, well actually I was part of the committee for kumoricon a couple years. My friends were always on the committee and I knew the con chair personally (yes we did use him as a chair at times.) I dont know what kind of things go on at a NZ con so I dont know what terms to use. The best parts imo were the gameshow panels!!

  • Cosplay chess where you take 2 genres, such as fantasy vs sci fi or video games vs shows, and put people dressed each genre on the opposite of a big board (usually just some blue painters tape on a tile/wood floor). Then you get 2 people to play chess using the costumed people as pawns (pun intended). Usually if a peice was to be taken there would be a little mock fight (in character of course) where the taken piece pretends to die or something. Takes alot of people but its always been one of the main events in my previous cons.
  • The match game was my favorite. Its a small one thats easy to pull off. You have a premade panel of 4-5 people in costume acting in character (mostly) and a judge. Then you get 2 volunteers to be contestants from the "audience". A question is asked of everyone involved. Usually something silly or suggestive such as: If you could be the doctor, where would you take your box first? Everyone involved then writes down their answers on something that only they can see (with the panel trying to remain in character, mostly, with their answers.) You then have each "contestant" reveal their answers. The goal is for the contestants to match their answer with as many of the panels answers as they can. The contestant that matches the most wins the round. First contestant to 3 rounds wins a prize. Usually some candy or something someone donated to be used as a prize. A panel usually has time for 2 different games of this. There was also an "after dark version" that was played after midnight for 18+ with much more suggestive questions and answers.
  • Of course there was Jeopardy or other generic triva game.
  • Press your luck was fun, but that requires a laptop and a projection screen.
  • The gong show "or the after dark version that turns into the dong show" Its simply "insert country here"s got talent. Any member of the audience can ask to come up and display a talent. Sing a song, Draw something, Tell a joke. The judges decide if they go on to the next round, with help from the audience. It can be a multiple day thing or a winner/multiple winners can be chosen in one panel.
  • Whos line is it anyways. Not really a game show but can be funny.
  • Lets make a deal was never a panel I went to but I imagine it wouldnt be to hard to pull off.

Pretty much take any game show from the 80s and add a con twist and youve got yourself a panel!

There was a pretty posh old time tea party panel I went to once. That could be nifty for those of us into steampunk. But again I dont know your rules about food and drink.
 There was always at least 2 dances. One on Friday night, one on Saturday with different music themes each time to make as many people happy as possible. There was occasionally a masquerade ball. You had to get a ticket for it and it had a dress code, must be in costume or fancy dress with a mask. There were even simple dance lesson panels earlier in the day.
 A magic the gathering tourney,EDH(commander) or standard would be cool. Or pack wars, but there would have to be a charge for that because it requires 3 unopened packs per "war"(1 for each person 1 as a prize) OR people would have to bring their own unopened packs. I would volunteer to run a simple magic tourney if need be. I have worked in card shops and have experience with running them and decent knowledge of the advanced rules.

Sorry that was so long lol. If you plan on doing any of these things and need to know more or need help setting it up I might be able to lend a hand.


5:44 am 26/05/13

One of my favorite con memories was of the match game. Snow white was one of the panelists and someone brought up the song lyrics "why do birds suddenly appear when your near" Someone made a farting sound at this point and it was decided that snow white must fart birds. It was tottaly immature but really funny for some reason. The rest of the entire panel consisted of fart jokes and I just happened to have gotten a kids meal from MCdonalds earlier that day wich just happened to have a toy that made farting sounds. Obviously I had to donate it as a prize at this point.


5:49 am 26/05/13

Oh I thought of another thing to suggest! Sakuracon always had 2 mascot contests. One was for drawing the next years mascot. There was a table where atendees could view and then vote on the best. The mascot would be displayed on the website and the badges. The second was to dress as the mascot, which obviously couldnt be done this year. The winners of each recived free admission to the next years con.


5:56 am 26/05/13

Oh the dating game in character...that one was fun too.


9:50 am 27/05/13

I'm assuming there will be Spaceteam. Lots of Spaceteam.


2:50 pm 28/05/13

Thanks for all the suggestions! Not sure how much we'll be able to include this time, but we'll see. It's not the Gong Show format, but talent displays are welcome in the Masquerade as well as costumes. Cosplay Chess sounds cool, but I think 32 themed costumes would be more than we could manage. I'm keen on a dance, but they've generally not been well attended in the past; if anyone else wants one, let us know now!


11:11 pm 13/06/13

I am totally new to this. I've never been to a proper 'con', but I've done a few day conventions like Armageddon. I live in the Hutt... is it worth getting a hotel in town for the weekend? I don't want to miss anything amazing because I was too cheap to spring for a room, but on the other hand, it seems stupid to pay more then 2 week's rent for a couple of nights in town. 

Also, any tips or things to watch out for as a newbie planning to attend solo?


9:36 am 14/06/13

Staying at the hotel is definitely recommended, but obviously it depends on your budget. Would you travel to an out-of-town con? (Next year's is in Auckland.) If so, I recommend cons like holidays irrespective of where they are. You could also start an "anyone want to share a twin room?" thread to find someone to split costs with, or stay at a nearby backpackers (not as good as staying onsite, but far more convenient than travelling back and forth to the Hutt).

Make sure you go to CON101, 7pm on Friday.


7:24 pm 17/06/13
tabbyKate wrote:

I am totally new to this. I've never been to a proper 'con', but I've done a few day conventions like Armageddon. I live in the Hutt... is it worth getting a hotel in town for the weekend? I don't want to miss anything amazing because I was too cheap to spring for a room, but on the other hand, it seems stupid to pay more then 2 week's rent for a couple of nights in town. 

Con events can run pretty late, particularly if you discover an interest in Filking, or find a bunch of people talking about something Really Interesting; An easy drive at 8pm can become an exhausting slog at 1am.


7:13 pm 18/06/13

Checking the room rate sites, the best option for reasonable facilities looks like Mercure Hotel at $131 a night. There are cheaper places like the Lodge in the City (with really bad online review) and some shared dorm rooms but not many for women only. You could book a twin room and maybe advertise for a roommate via the forum or facebook. Sorry about the long link but it gives different booking agents.



7:49 pm 18/06/13
Kay wrote:

Checking the room rate sites, the best option for reasonable facilities looks like Mercure Hotel at $131 a night.

Aside from the Comfort Hotel rooms at the convention venue, booked through us, for $100/night...

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