Wait, what? I think you're confused... Roger Hill is the ONLY reason we have Chasercon, he started it and we are fortunate enough that Tim was a part of Chasercon for so many years. I'm not sure what you mean when you say the Samaras family is not included?I don't see Kathy Samaras listed. Sorry, I can't wrap my head around that. I'm thankful to have gone in 2014. I can't in good conscious donate to a 20 year run when the Samaras Family is not included in that. R.I.H TWISTEX
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One thing is for sure, I think more people need to be involved to carry the burden of organizing and financing the event. I would certainly donate something to keep the convention going, even if I can't attend it.
If it's anything like your usual cons, the special room rates are due to organizers buying blocs of rooms. Of course, use of banquet and conference facilities definitely cost money.
I would expect that if a speaker is traveling to deliver an address at a con, they are paid a speaking fee. That's the norm.