Progress Report 3: Arisia 2021



Arisia Progress Report #3
September 2020

New England's
Largest, Most Diverse
Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Arisia 2021
January 15-18, 2021
In Cyberspace!
Current Convention Status
We can now say now with certainty that Arisia 2021 will be entirely virtual.

Over the past seven months, the Eboard Con Chair Team, along with Assistant Con Chair Vivian Abraham and the Division Heads, have been working hard to determine what we need to recreate the Arisia experience in an online-only convention. Our first step was to make sure that Arisia is squared away with its hotel contract. Hotel liaison Wendy Verschoor, along with Eboard President Nicholas "Phi" Shectman, have been in talks with the Westin Boston Waterfront and Aloft regarding our Arisia 2021 contract. As of September 15, 2020 we were able to come to an agreement. We will not need to have a hotel presence this year, and our continuing contract with the Westin Boston Marriott and Aloft will resume in 2022

If you would like to get involved, please fill out the Volunteer Form. The next convention committee meetings will be held on October 25 and November 17. These meetings will take place online in an effort to maintain social distancing and the health and safety of our community.

~ Nicholas "Phi" Shectman
On behalf of Arisia 2021

Membership/Registration Information
Due to the switch from an in-person to online Convention, memberships to Arisia 2021 will be kept at a set price regardless of when purchased. The rates are $25 or a “sustaining membership” of $75 available to those who choose to pay that much. There are also scholarship memberships available ($0) to anyone who needs them. Dealers and Art Show rates will also be reduced.

Go to for more information.
Remote Conference Division
The Remote Conference Division is responsible for crafting and running the infrastructure of the all-online Arisia 2021.  There are all sorts of things to do over the next few months, and we could use lots of help!  Among other things, we are looking for:
  • Programmers who are comfortable with high-performance web servers, and integration with systems like Discord and Zoom.
  • Web designers who can help us craft a pretty and fun site for the attendees.
  • UX designers to help us ensure that the whole thing hangs together well and is properly usable.
  • Folks experienced with accessible (WCAG 2.1)website design, to help make sure that everyone can participate properly.
  • IT folks to help build and run the underlying infrastructure.
  • A project manager to help keep this process on-track between now and the convention.
If any of this sounds up your alley, or if you have other relevant skills to bring to bear, please write to and let's chat!
Are you interested in being an (online!) Arisia 2021 panelist? Now's your chance to sign up! We're still taking applications for new panelists through October 1, 2020. Fill out the form here to be considered:
Have the events of 2020 or the things you've watched, read, or done made you think "There should be an Arisia panel for this?" There could be! Arisia 2021 Programming is now taking panel ideas through October 1, 2020. Fill out the form and give us some awesome ideas!

We are excited to bring you various forms of online gaming! If there is a platform or game you particularly want to see, please email us at @email.

(If you want to run a game or a LARP email us! We will have a sign-up form on the website soon)

Remote Watch Parties

This year, we are looking for people to host themed Watch Parties at Arisia 2021. Hosts will pick an SF/F related theme and select online video to fill between 30 minutes - 2 hours of a timeslot. In addition to watching videos, there will be a text chat area for discussing the videos (DIY MST3K optional).

We're also looking for people to host Listening Parties for SF/F
themed Old Time Radio, new podcasts, and similar audio recordings.

If you are interested in hosting a Watch Party, please contact

Annual Arisia Blood Drive

Arisia '21 will be going virtual and so will the Blood Drive!

Heinlein Society Blood Drives, including the successful Arisia Blood Drive we've held since 2004, are reimagined this year, as so much else has been. Please consider donating whole blood, power red cells (double reds), platelets, plasma for transfusion, or COVID-19 antibodies via convalescent plasma any time from now through the end of the con at a place, time, and with an agency convenient for you. Special thanks for those going to our long time partners, Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital!

  Please take a selfie with:

  • "I donated today" sticker
  • the institution's name and/or logo
  • something with the con name (T-shirt, badge, water bottle, Souvenir Book, hand drawn sign...).

As long as the photo has the required items, you don't need to be in the photo. Please send the selfie to and include:

  • Type of donation (Whole Blood, Double or Power Red, or other)
  • How you want to be listed on our website (Badge name or "Attendee at [Con Name]" is OK)
  • Do we have permission to publish a thumbnail of your photo? 
  • If you would like a Heinlein Society Blood Drive pin
  • Name and a valid USPS return address so we can send you a thank you card, ribbon for your next in person con, and a pin (if desired).

Selfie thumbnails are on a virtual Blood Drive page under each con on the Heinlein Society Web Page.

For more information, please go to

Advertise With Us

Arisia is the largest fan-run science fiction convention in the Northeastern United States. Even with a virtual Con, activities at Arisia cover all aspects of science fiction, fantasy and related interests, and this year we expect over 3,000 attendees.

Arisia publications will reach an audience with diverse interests in books, arts, gaming, science and technology, films, TV, and other media, as well as related activities such as music and costuming. Ads appear in the Souvenir Book, which will be available online in PDF full-color and black & white format.

For any questions regarding rates and to reserve space, please contact us at @email.

Convention Committee Meetings
Convention Committee (ConComm) meetings are open to all members of the Arisia community who would like to be a part of making Arisia 2021 a success. Whether you are interested in hearing more about what's happening behind the scenes, or want to find out where and how you can volunteer or help staff these meetings are for all of us!

Meetings take place via Zoom to ensure social distancing. Zoom information is sent out to the staff-announce listserv at least 1 day prior to the meeting. Contact conchair@ for more information.
     Sunday, October 25, at 2pm
     Tuesday, November 17, at 7pm
     December: TBD
     Tuesday, January 5, at 7pm
Guests of Honor
Suzanne Palmer, Author Twitter | Facebook | Website

Hannibal King, Artist

Kat Tanaka Okopnik, Fan Twitter | Facebook

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