Philcon used to be held in Philadelphia. But these days, thanks to high city hotel prices, it’s held in the suburbs, in Cherry Hill, NJ in a large comfortable hotel. This year the convention shared it with not one, nor two, but three weddings! Doesn’t the romcom practically write itself? The organizing body, the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society, is one of the oldest fan groups in existence. They’ve been running Philcon for so many years that it’s down to a science.
F&SF is not a large field, and so if you go to the conventions in your region you pretty well get to meet everybody. I am fortunate to live on the East Coast, where so many major writers live. I see them only at cons, but I have seen them so often over the years that we are old friends. Are they social occasions, or professional occasions? The line is blurred. I know the hotel, the guests, the con committee. It’s now a comfortable convention to attend!