bookmark_borderPenguicon 2016 Wrap-up

Penguicon 2016 - 032What a weekend!

Go right to the photos, presentations, and more.

After a year of intense planning by our staff and ConCom, Penguicon came to Southfield once again.  This year, we had over 1,550 attendees! Our Guests of Honor were all well-received, each bringing a unique perspective to the convention and to our theme, Artificial Intelligence and Smart Agents.[clear]

This year’s convention has been the culmination of much hard work. We tried to present events at better times in better rooms and have better policies for incident management.

IMG_20160430_012051We brought back the computer lab (missing for at least 4 years) so people have a place to try out open source software. ConTV was back, allowing people to check the schedule from the comfort of their own rooms.

We put projectors in nearly every room so that all event presenters could have a multimedia presentation if they chose – that’s a big deal!

Attendees devoured our Consuite like locusts, but left largely feeling good about its new location and size. The room parties were unprecedentedly large and well coordinated, our Maker Market saw more variety and better sales, and the costumes were just incredible this year.[clear]

IMG_20160429_135958Our Writers’ Block had a great prototype year, full of books, busy with authors and fans, and with readings and signings throughout the weekend. Whew! Our Hackerspace was busy with All Hands Active and Dangerous Things – people soldered LED badges and got RFID implants all weekend long.  The Artemis room looked incredible and more realistic than ever!  Our programming events were often full despite having more event space than ever, and so many people came up to me to say great things about what they were learning at Penguicon this year.

On a personal note, I’ve had a few larger goals over the last few years – I wanted to give Penguicon a unified style everywhere, from print to signage to the web site and social media.  (Whether or not you like the look, it at least gives people something to hang their hat on.)  I presented a newer, borderless version of the penguin-on-a-rocket-ship logo I originally created maybe five years ago as something a little more modern and legible from a distance.

I also tried to make sure our community on Facebook felt welcoming to new attendees, and that we kept up a constant communication with you so you wouldn’t wonder what was happening with the con or feel like you had difficulty reaching out to staff with your questions.

IMG_20160429_201245This year, I wanted to bring to you a convention that’s more organized and has more institutional memory for what goes well or goes poorly. I also wanted to increase our signage so it’s easier to get around our sprawling event space (it’s clear we could use even more!).

I’ve spent three years volunteeering my time and energy on the ConCom of Penguicon. I’ll be taking a break from staffing this year so I can recharge my batteries and work on my new home. 2016 was both harder and more fulfilling than I ever could have anticipated.  My time spent as first the Head of Communications and then Chair has changed my life, and brought me closer to my Penguicon family.[clear]

i-5TxzKhN-XLI cannot begin to express to you what an honor it has been to helm this nerdy spaceship by serving as your Chair.  I am so proud of my team, to whom I owe so much – that’s any of you who volunteered time and energy to make this convention what it was.  The reason this convention just gets better and better is that we put all our heart into it. It’s been incredible, and everything I hoped it would be – I hope it was for you, too.

If you’d like to help make the next one even better as a volunteer, staff, or ConCom, contact us, and change your life.

– Scott Kennedy, Chair of Penguicon 2016


If you’d like to provide a document from your talk, whether it was one you shared, your presentation, or a list of links for attendees to find out more, please email [email protected] with your presentation. Please include the name of your event.

Pcon2016booth_20160503_0354Posts/Articles about Penguicon 2016

If you have a public review of Penguicon you’d like to share, email [email protected] with the subject line “Wrap-up”.

Video Reviews

Photos from Penguicon 2016

bookmark_borderMaker Market Award Winners

Penguicon chose four maker market vendors to reward for great art, great displays and great service.

Best in Show – Darkside Designs: original paintings, custom shoes, airbrushed tattoos and body painting

1st Place – Steampunked: unique steampunk polymer clay art

2nd Place – Studio 42 Designs: leather book covers and other accessories for today’s nerd

3rd Place – Earthenwood Studios: quirky, hand-painted kiln-fired ceramic pottery

Best in Show receives 2 badges and unjuried for entrance into the Maker Market for the upcoming year.

Congratulations to all the winners!

man holding Best in Show certificate with airbrushed artman holding first place certificate with steampunk accessoriesman holding 2nd place certificate surrounded by leather journals, holding a thumbs upwoman accepting 3rd place certificate from blue haired man with pottery

bookmark_borderOps Volunteers Wanted

IMG_20160429_135941Penguicon attendees… we need you!

If you are looking to earn volunteer hours and at times like being in a fast paced position that kind of makes you the boss of everything for a little bit at Penguicon, consider giving your time to the OPS department.

In this position you can find easy things to do, such as: help a fellow attendee find a room, do room counts for panels, check out supplies, help out with registration when it’s after hours, socialize with your fellow volunteers, socialize to some degree with non volunteers while working, help people get in contact with those they may have lost, lost and found tracking, pitching in where pitching in needs to happen, the list goes on! 

Help is needed from 3 pm Friday until 3 pm Sunday.

bookmark_borderLast Minute Info

  • contv_background_screenshotChanges to the printed schedule
  • Weekend rate is $60;
  • Friday-only memberships are $30 (expires at midnight). Saturday, it is reduced to $40.
    Sunday, it is reduced to $20.
  • Directions via Google – you may park in the parking lot or in the parking structure – the ramp is to the right of the main doors.
  • 2016 Schedule of Events (including PDF versions of the Schedule Book, Souvenir Book, Pocket Program schedule sheet and calendar imports). Also see our listing of Limited Attendance Events.
  • ** The Map **
  • The WiFi password is penguicon or Penguicon2016.
  • There may be last minute rooms available. Email [email protected].
  • If you have ANY concerns, go to the Ops desk or speak to a ConCom member (with the red lanyard). You can also call them at 724-4-CON-OPS.  If it’s not an emergency, you can also contact them at @penguiproblems on Twitter.
  • Please see our policies – Code of Conduct | Accessibility | Photo and Video | Restrooms
  • ConTV – We are streaming our schedule on Channel 3 throughout the hotel. If you’d like to participate, use #Penguicon or @Penguicon on Twitter.  Please be considerate of the rest of the watching community.
  • If you’d like to volunteer, please stop by the Volunteers Desk near Operations.  Volunteers get tons of swag, an after-con party, a room to crash in with others (depending on hours worked) and the chance to get their badge refunded! Ops, Hospitality, and Registration, in particular, need you! If you have any questions, you can also email [email protected].
  • Please give us feedback, good or bad, on how we’re doing this year.  (Please contact Ops for problems you need resolved during the weekend) | .

bookmark_borderCharity Raffle and Auction

2016-04-20This year, the charity Penguicon is sponsoring is All Hands Active – a non-profit hackerspace in Ann Arbor that you probably recognize – they create the Penguicon LED badge kits you can solder together in our weekend hackerspace!

AHA gives back to the community each year through Citizen Science – with trained scientists teaching summer-long hands-on courses to local students about how to investigate a scientific question, build testing apparatus at the hackerspace, and publish in scientific peer-reviewed journals.

For more details on All Hands Active, see our Charity page!

We’ve got some amazing prizes this year, thanks to attendees and sponsors! Please join our raffle to win prizes at Closing Ceremonies, or participate in our silent auction by stopping at our Charity table. All proceeds go to All Hands Active.

For instance, in our silent auction you can win a lovely quilted blanket with nerdy shirts (some from Penguicon!) created by Amy Castner.

You could also win an auction for a VIP badge to Motor City Steam Con, thanks to Sal and her crew!

Along with that we have dozens of great tech manuals, RPG books, bioware trickets and more to offer for the raffle – $1 for 1 ticket, or $5 for 6!


bookmark_borderPhotos and Videos during Penguicon

IMG_9363Everyone loves to make memories during Penguicon, and to take pictures to show off to those who can’t be there.  We have volunteers taking photos for use on the web site and in Penguicon promotional material for future years, and those are one great way that we have to get the word out!

Please remember, though, no matter who you are, some people do not want to be filmed or photographed.

We ask that you check with everyone who will be in your photo, whether they are the focal point of the photo or in the background.

Regardless, if you take a photo or video in which a person is identifiable (like if a person walks past your camera in the hallway) and they ask you to delete it, please respect their wishes.  There are many reasons why someone might not want their photo taken, and they aren’t required to give any of them to ask not to be recorded.

This includes panelists – if you’d like to record a panel you are attending, please ask before the panel.  If you forget and record without asking, ask them after the panel is over, and respect their wishes.

We want to make sure that everyone has a good time during the event, and that includes the right to dictate how and where their likeness is used.

bookmark_borderHelp Wanted in the Hospitality Department

BB9Q4896WANTED: The Hospitality Department needs you. Consuite has moved into the Salon on the 2nd floor and the surrounding board rooms for 2016! It’s exciting! It’s a bigger Space!

Consuite Staff is looking forward to serving you, but we have had some sudden openings in our staffing needs. Can you, no will you help us? Please?

If you’re interested, please email our Head of Hospitality, Lithie Dubois, at [email protected]

PS: There are some pretty cool perks for staff this year, plus your badge will only cost $25.00 and you can help the Penguicon you love!

bookmark_borderHelp Wanted in the Hospitality Department

BB9Q4896WANTED: The Hospitality Department needs you.
Consuite has moved into the Salon on the 2nd floor and the surrounding board rooms for 2016! It’s exciting! It’s a bigger Space!
Consuite Staff is looking forward to serving you, but we have had some sudden openings in our staffing needs. Can you, no will you help us? Please?  If you’re interested, please email our Head of Hospitality, Lithie Dubois, at [email protected]
PS: There are some pretty cool perks for staff this year, plus your badge will only cost $25.00 and you can help the Penguicon you love!
Thank you,

bookmark_borderLimited Attendance Events

IMG_9388Some of our events have limited room due to the room size, donated supplies, game restrictions, or other factors.

The sign-up sheets for those events will be available at our Ops booth (next to Registration).

We recommend you sign up for them early, as they fill up fast!

Some events, like Midwest Mash, may be limited for those who want to taste, but still have room for a larger audience.[clear]

Event Track # of attendees Presenter DAY/TIME Room
RPG: Roleplay Podcast Game Gaming 4 (and waitlist of 4) Jody Raiford Saturday 5:00-6:50 PM 943 (Podcast Suite)
Print and Play D&D 5th Ed. Gaming 6:00pm – 7:30pm: 7 players
7:30pm – 9:00pm: 7 players
9:00pm – 10:30pm: 7 players
Liquid Web Saturday 6:00-10:50 PM Lobby/Gaming
Love Hacked? 36 Questions That May Change Your Life After Dark 18 (specific rules apply) Edward Fleece Saturday 7:00-8:50 PM Charlevoix A
Make a Cute Penguin Plushie! DIY 15 Janet Gocay Saturday 3:00-4:50 PM EMC V
Learn to Cross-Stitch DIY 15 Janet Gocay Saturday 7:00-8:50 PM EMC V
Knitting 101 DIY 15 Kelly Vanderwell Saturday 11:00-11:50 AM EMC V
Intro to Needle Felting DIY 15 Bagel Garrison Saturday 10:00-10:50 AM Hamlin
Midwest Mash FOOD 25 Greg Williams Friday 10:00-11:50 PM 517
Taste the Tastes FOOD 30 Eric and Cathy Raymond Saturday 4:00-4:50 PM 517
Pirate Rum History Tasting FOOD 25 Emily Tuesday Saturday 8:00-8:50 PM 517
Taste My Pickles FOOD 30 Emily Tuesday Saturday 9:00-9:50 PM 517
Frankenstuffies DIY 15 RainbowRavenX Saturday 12:00-12:50 PM EMC V
Basic Sewing: Make a pillow DIY 15 RainbowRavenX Friday 6:00-6:50 PM EMC V
Make a Set of Earrings DIY 15 RainbowRavenX Saturday 9:00-9:50 PM Baldwin
Catherynne Valente kaffeklatsch Penguicon 10 Catherynne Valente Saturday 9:00-10:00 AM Restaurant Back Room