Each year’s Bouchercon is organized and operated by a different group of people—the Local Organizing Committee (LOC). Each LOC gets help from the National Bouchercon Board.
LOCs have a Chair (or multiple Co-Chairs), as well as people who head up everything from registration to programming to hotels to the book room to volunteers to finance (and more).
There are no specific qualifications required to chair or participate in a Bouchercon LOC, but things that might be helpful include:
- Having attended multiple Bouchercons, primarily to experience the differences between them
- Some experience with organizing and operating large events (Bouchercon normally has 1,500-1,800 attendees)
- Participation in a previous LOC (each of which is always looking for help!)
- Understanding of the framework of the publishing industry; Bouchercon is a nonprofit organization that relies on readers, authors, librarians, reviewers, and publishers for its success each year
- Familiarity with multiple crime fiction sub-genres (cozy, noir, procedural, thriller, legal, etc.)
Bouchercon is the World Mystery Convention. While it is normally held in the US, it has also been in Canada and the UK.
Each year, about 1/3 of attendees are from the local area. So having an airport within easy reach of the convention location is ideal.
Bouchercon needs at least 60,000 square feet of convention/meeting space and 800 hotel rooms.
Bouchercon is held in September, October, or November each year.
- If you intend to submit a bid, you need to notify the Board no later than March 1.
- Bids (proposals) must be submitted to the board by June 30
- Get in touch with the National Board. We have resources available to help with your bid, and a wealth of experience to share!
- Inform the Board of your intent to bid by March 1.
- Meet with your prospective venue and assemble your core volunteer team. Meeting with the local Convention and Visitors Bureau and/or Chamber of Commerce can be helpful at this stage too.
- Develop a written bid (examples here)
- Submit the bid to the Board by June 30
- Refine the bid based on Board feedback
- Present the bid to Bouchercon members (attendees) for voting/approval
What Needs to be Included in a Bid?
- Preliminary Local Organizing Committee roster, including all chairs, and sufficient information about the committee members’ Bouchercon experience, participation in organizing other events, knowledge of the crime fiction genre, and other helpful expertise demonstrating the ability to conduct a successful Annual Event
- Letters of understanding or comparable hotel confirmations setting forth rates, terms, and availability of hotel room blocks totaling not less than 800 rooms for approximately 1,500 attendees. Any variation on the minimum amount must be explained and may be accepted by a majority vote of the Board
- Confirmation of conference facilities for approximately 1,500 attendees. Bids must include facility floor plans designating the location of planned events.
- Outline of Local Organizing Committee plans for the Annual Event, including a methodology for fairly incorporating all aspects of the crime fiction genre in the Annual Event and selecting authors for panels. A list of intended Guests of Honor is also recommended.
- A summary budget showing estimates of major categories of income and expenses, along with an explanation of the registration price structure.