Barfleet is the coolest new thing I discovered at Chicon7. As you can probably guess, Barfleet is a organization based on the Star Trek universe. They travel from convention to convention and throw parties.
If you don’t know anything about these types of conventions, there’s unofficial competition for throwing the best theme party. If you want to be known for throwing a great room party (not just during the convention but at other conventions), you need at least the following elements:
- A Large Room Suite-Room for people to mingle and dance.
- Great Dance Music-The better parties have a DJ and club lighting.
- Food-Not an absolute necessity but some snacks are nice.
- Alcohol-An absolute must. Some parties have a pay bar, some have a free bar. The drinks should be named in keeping with your theme.
- Theme Decorations-Something common that most science fiction fans would know. The more accurate and outrageous, the better. The people hosting the party should be in costume.
Barfleet won, hands down. They had a professional DJ, club-style lighting and sound system. There was someone carding people at the door. They had a full bar setup. The Star Trek decorations were really nice and backlit. They even had three guys working security (in old school Star Trek security uniforms). It should be noted that in my experience, the science fiction crowd is generally well-behaved. If there’s a problem, it’s usually someone who isn’t part of the convention that decided to crash the party. Free alcohol and free food can draw out some of your less pleasant individuals if they find out about it. You can check for the convention badge, but sometimes people still manage to sneak in.
One thing I didn’t see until I got inside the suite was a sign banning picture taking. I could understand that. Some costumes can be very revealing. Just because you’re wearing it to a convention party, doesn’t mean you want your photo all over the internet (think the Princess Lea outfit). Unfortunately I had already shot some video with DeMarcus’ flip camera. It’s so small that none of their security people saw me do it. I had such a good time at the party that when I left, I wanted to make sure I could go to the next one on Saturday night. In case someone saw me shooting the video, I wanted them to know I was deleting the footage. I went back to the security guys and had them watch me delete each file. They were really nice about it and thanked me for honoring their policy.