Interview: Lyssa from Steamposium

Interview: Lyssa from Steamposium

A new steampunk event has been announced for September 2014 in Seattle WA: Steamposium

Lyssa, one of the event’s leads, was kind enough to answer our questions…

Sepiachord: The announcement of Steamposium took most people by surprise. How long have you been working on an event of such a scope? 

Lyssa from Steamposium: We were saddened to hear the news of the demise of the previous convention and as vendors we could feel the pain of such a void. We pretty much jumped on securing a space within a week to see if it was a possibility, things just took off and here we are. 

SC: You’re billing the event as “The World’s Largest Steampunk Show”. How will you compare in size to other steampunk events around the globe.

LS: We are comparing it to the size of the indoor space of 100,000 square feet plus we can expand to the outside area if the need arises. 

SC: The event will be held in the 100,000 square foot Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle. Why did you choose this venue?
LS: Besides the amazing waterfront view from it sitting on the pier…we wanted it in Seattle. Seattle has an wonderful history and unique beauty from being a port born city. Plus Bell Harbor has lots and lots of big windows for natural lighting and a private balcony that looks out over the water all around the back, plus it has an open roof top to enjoy the splendid panoramic view.  

SC: Were you concerned about selecting a venue that is part of a hotel complex?

LS: This venue has an neighboring hotel accommodations and one across the street. We thought it best to move it from a hotel and put those funds towards events and space. 

SC: Will Steamposium stay in Seattle or will it be a traveling con?
LS: No. We plan on stay right here in lovely Seattle

SC: 100,000 square feet is a lot of space, what are you going to fill all of the footage with?

LS: Not sure where to begin… We have bands such as Steam Powered Giraffe and local bands. Vendors of course.  We’re working on a vaudeville dinner act, a Burlesque show, a Birthday themed Ball complete with a birthday cake.  An art center and games — lots of games.  Think cosplay chess for example, and of course a costume contest with prizes. Also, Panels and workshops…we have had a lot great and fabulous people come forward with ideas and such. 

SC: How many attendees are you expecting?
LS: Thousands

SC: What do you estimate as a charge for attendance?
LS: No higher than $65.00 for the weekend pass there will be early birds specials online. 
$25/30/25 for daily passes
Plus there will be VIP options and some special events pricing. 

SC: You’ve already announced one special guest, Steam Powered Giraffe. How soon will you be announcing the others?
LS: We are solidify contracts now…so when that is completed…those of course take a wee bit a time – must make everyone happy!

SC: Steamposium is a for-profit con, how will your event differ from non-profit cons?

LS: Not really different we just pay taxes. Operating without the rules of a non-profit has certain benefits, especially in these early day.  However, we are working with a local charity to give back to our community – Treehouse: we will be accepting gifts at the ball for foster kids, there will be a list posted. I would also like to add that every dollar spent on a pass/ticket is being turned around back into the event – no one is receiving a “pay check” this is a labour of love. 

SC: Will staff be volunteers or will they be compensated?

LS: Yes, we will have something for the volunteers. I like to call them volunteer quids – they will receive gift certificate of sorts to use anywhere within the convention or they can cash them out in the end.  

SC: Cons are expensive propositions, and adding live music only makes them more so. What happens if you don’t turn a profit the first year?

LS: We sort of expect to wind up in the red the first year.  We’re doing our best to ensure that this is an amazing, memorable experience that everyone walks away from and comes back the next year with their friends.  This is really a different kind of show than those put on before, and we know that our attendees will come back.

SC: Why is Seattle a good city for steampunk?

LS: We went with Seattle because the city has a real pulse.  The area is filled with things to do and see.  We wanted to give attendees from far and wide the option of getting out of a dreary hotel and be in a great area with a great vibe — while providing them a full schedule of events and entertainment to keep them at the show.  Seattle is a great city with the right balance of aesthetics and history — filled with creative, intelligent people who will only add to the experience.
For details and updates check the Steamposium website~

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