At a traditional science-fiction convention, a group of people of all ages get together to have fun, discuss science or speculative fiction and fantasy, take part in or watch a variety of programmed items, meet old and new friends and hang out in the bar. There is often an opportunity to buy or sell items such as books, art, jewellery etc., dress in costume, meet authors or artists, listen to or play music, or volunteer to get involved. There are few or no actor guests, autograph sessions are limited to short book-signing sessions with authors. Guests of Honour (GoHs) are chosen by the committee and play a vital role in the programme and in the social life of the convention. Membership money is used to run the convention, and should accidental profits be made they are passed on to other conventions or ploughed back into the community in some way. They are run by volunteers, who take on roles from long-term planning to appearing on a programme item or helping for an hour or so on the day. All members are given an opportunity and encouraged to volunteer in some way. Conventions range in size from under a hundred members to nearly 5,000. If you are interested in attending a convention near you, or for a special interest, there are many listings on the web.
Since 1948 (or 1937, depending), there has been a large convention in the spring which has come be called Eastercon, or the British national science fiction convention. It is now traditionally held over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, and ranges in size from 500 to 1,000 members. It is custom and practice that members of Eastercon vote who will run the convention, by a show of hands to choose the committee to run the one 2 years from now. So at Paragon2 in 2005 you got the opportunity for vote in the committee for Eastercon 2007.
Eastercons traditionally have a large programme, with several things going on at the same time, a dealers' room, an art show and auction, evening activities, and an active bar area. If you are interested in the history and background, there is some general information at http://www.Eastercon.org , which is currently undergoing a major overhaul.
This group is for general discussion about issues which affect Eastercons year on year and this information will be updated annually by the seated Eastercon chair,or their LJ representative.