Smofcon 35 is in Boston’s Back Bay, December 1-3, 2017

Join us for a weekend of panels and workshops on conference planning, brought to you by MCFI.

This will be the first Smofcon in downtown Boston, across from the Sheraton Boston, home of 4 Noreascons and many Boskones.

What is a Smofcon?

Smofcon is an annual conference for convention planners. At Smofcon, we gather discuss many aspects of convention planning, at both the local level and at the most recent Worldcon. We look for old friends, make new ones, attend panels on a variety of subjects about convention running, and express our views on best ways to do something. We often get recruited to work on other conventions — or recruit others to come work on our next convention.

Okay, we do a lot of talking with each other — we refer to it as “smoffing.” And smoffing requires good food and drink to keep us going!

What Is a Smof?

The word “smof” was invented by writer and fan Jack Chalker for “Secret Master of Fandom,” fannish slang for convention planner. A convention doesn’t just spring up and succeed without a lot of preparation, talent and commitment. Regrettably, the knowledge that is gathered while running a convention is not always passed around to others, and as the saying goes “those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”

Smofs are the people behind the scenes at science fiction conventions. We are those faceless and sometimes nameless individuals, who have spent months, sometimes years, preparing for your arrival. We are the people who are behind the Registration desk handing you your membership badge, or take care of the guests, or are busy keeping the Anime festivals running on time, or organize the Masquerade show, or gather, edit and print the newsletters, or deal with the hotel on contract issues, or otherwise take care of the hundreds of other details that it takes to make a convention run.

For more information on Smofcons, visit the Smofcon Website.


The Back Bay Hilton is an accessible hotel.

All programming/workshops will be on the second floor of the hotel; the function rooms are fairly close together:

Hospitality is on the 26th floor.

If you’re flying into Boston and use a mobie or have mobility issues, here’s Logan Airport Accessibility information.

We recommend you take a cab to the hotel (cost approximately $40) or Logan Express Back Bay (cost $7.50; all busses from Logan to the Back Bay are accessible for mobies & wheelchairs). Logan Express Back Bay leaves you off on the Boylston St. side of the Hynes Convention Center about 2 blocks from the Back Bay Hilton. See our Travel page for detailed information.

If you need to rent a scooter or a wheelchair, contact ScootAround.

If you have any accessibility questions, please write to smofcon35@mcfi.org. And many thanks to Katie Hatcher for clarifying accessibility issues with Logan Express.