With the exception of our year 2000 convention, CONvergence has been held in the same hotel each year, the Double Tree By Hilton (formerly the Sheraton Hotel South, and before that the Radisson Hotel South), a hotel that has a long history with regional fandom, having hosted Minicon and other SF conventions in past years.
CONvergence was begun in 1998 in response to changes being made to Minicon, which had been the major SF convention on the local scene for decades, and in a different form is still held in the Twin Cities every Easter weekend. Minicon had intended to sharpen it’s focus on SF literature, and to shrink the size of their convention which had ballooned to over 3,000 attendees after 32 years. CONvergence was never intended to copy or replace the “old” Minicon, but rather to take advantage of the perceived need to fill a niche that allowed us to create something new. We hoped to provide a home for those that wanted the large, boisterous convention that Minicon was moving away from, while further broadening our convention’s focus to an even wider variety of genres and mediums connected to Science Fiction and Fantasy.
As part of the organization of CONvergence, a non-profit parent organization was created: The Minnesota Society for Interest in Science Fiction and Fantasy (MISFITS). In 2009, CONvergence was spun off from MISFITS into its own, separate non-profit organization. MISFITS has since become the Geek Partnership Society (GPS). CONvergence and GPS remain business partners, and as part of that partnership, CONvergence donates $25,000 to GPS annually funding various clubs, events and programs that benefit the community, including literacy programs and bringing authors and other creative professionals to speak at local schools.
We wanted a name that truly described our convention. We wanted to evoke the feeling of community while still acknowledging the different media that comprise the science fiction/fantasy genre. We wanted to keep with the fandom tradition of making “con” part of our name, but wanted to stay away from the pattern of “SOMETHING-con” which seemed overly prevalent when the name was being decided on back in 1998. The more we thought about it, the better CONvergence sounded.
Convention History by Year