Guests vs Guests of HonourEdit
A Guest is a person specially invited by the convention committee to appear on programme items and talk to the convention attendees. For that they will usually have their expenses covered (travel, membership fee, possibly hotel room, and maybe a small amount towards food/drink).
A Guest of Honour (often abbreviated "GoH") is a special category of Guest. A GoH is being specially honoured by the convention for the work they have done within the general science fiction field. A GoH may be a long-time author, a publisher, an artist or even a long-time fan who has made significant contributions to Science Fiction Fandom.
GoH, AGoH, FGoHEdit
To help identify where their particular contribution to Science Fiction and Fandom has been made, there are abbreviations for Artist Guest of Honour (AGoH) and Fan Guest of Honour (FGoH). However it is regarded as good form for all GoH (including AGoH and FGoH) to be treated equally well.
Picking a Guest of HonourEdit
There are three main reasons for picking a particular GoH:
- Honour - to honour them for their contribution to Science Fiction, Fantasy, Fandom or associated genres
- Entertainment - to provide entertainment or education to the convention attendees
- Promotion - to encourage people to come to the convention
Guests are picked based on what they have done and what they continue to do. It could be that they have written many excellent books, or painted many book covers. It could be that they are a TV producer or actor who has made a significant contribution to SF, Fantasy etc. It could be a fan who has run many conventions, organised many events, and published many fanzines and we want to acknowledge and thank them for the effort they've put in to fandom
Some writers can not speak in front of a room full of people. Others can be endlessly entertaining.
Sometimes part of the skill of organising a convention is finding something your chosen guest is good at (whether it is singing, painting, story reading or taking part in panel discussions) and using her/him to entertain the attendees.
A big name actor or writer can pull in crowds of people, which means that there is budget to pay for more exciting programme items or just to pay for a more expensive hotel
What do you get as a Guest of Honour?Edit
- Our thanks and admiration!
- A Guest Liaison
- Your travel expenses (usually we negotiate a rate based on economy fares and you're free to top it up if you want to fly business!) and usually also the travel expenses of your partner/spouse ...
- Your hotel room (but not a free minibar or unlimited bar tab!)
- A certain amount of money per day for food/drink/other expenses (known as a "per diem" which means, "per day"!)
- Other necessary expenses (if you need to ship 1,000 paperbacks to give away free to members, we'll discuss it!)