We’re very happy to get your submission for a programme item this year. Before you submit, however, please check out the information in this guide. It concerns technical specifications for possible spaces, as well as some clarification on what the organisers are responsible for, and what you need to bring yourself. It also has good information if this is your first time presenting or creating something at Solmukohta.
Who can host?
Any participant can host an item – and we very much do encourage you to try, if you’ve never hosted programme before! Solmukohta and Knud/tepunkt are and always have been deeply collaborative events; the programme team curates and does the scheduling Tetris, but the whole event is made up of what all its participants bring. The programme team makes sure there is an opening ceremony, a closing ceremony, and a big party – the rest is up to you.
Please note that being accepted to host a programme item or give a talk does not entitle you to attend Solmukohta; you must also have a ticket.
Types of programme items
- Long talk: solo talks, lectures, or presentations are either 45 or 105 minutes.
- Short talks: multiple shorter talks by different people on a given topic, or lightning talks. These will still be 45 or 105 minutes in total.
- As the person submitting the panel item, you’re responsible for finding the panelists. This year on the sign-up form we are explicitly asking everyone if they’re interested in being on panels, so if you would like to see if you can get someone who isn’t in your immediate circles but has some knowledge in your topic, ask us and we can help matchmake you.
- Facilitated discussions – these are different from a panel in that there is no audience; everyone is audience and participant.
- An interactive format for presenting, testing and/or discussing techniques or methods in a hands-on way.
- Generally for limited number of participants (most will have pre-signup).
- Short, chamber, black-box larps with a maximum duration of 3 hours 45 minutes including briefings, workshops and debrief.
- The black box will have appropriate lighting and a sound system. Note we don’t have a budget for props.
- All kinds of social gatherings; can include one-hour room parties.
- Performances or shows for an audience.
- If it doesn’t fit into any of the above categories.
Describing your item
This is the text that participants are going to see. You might only have a vague idea right now as to what the content is, and that’s okay – there will be a chance to modify it. Be concrete about what you’re doing, who it’s for, why, and how. Remember that old-school participants might know you and your work, but first-timers might not, so do write for their benefit.
Themes and tracks
This year’s theme is Futures of Larp. In addition, there are several other tracks that tend to arise at Solmukohta, including player skills, organising, larp design, fundamentals, beginners, edularp, academic, networking, ritual, and art. If you have a burning idea that fits precisely none of these, still go ahead and submit it.
The basic time slots are 45 minutes and 105 minutes (1:45) for most programme. You have to end at quarter to the hour and allow the next programme owner time to settle in. Larps and workshops are maximum 225 minutes (3:45) including preparation and debrief.
Parties – shows – other
If your item is a social event, do be as descriptive as possible about what you need to make your thing work. Please note that Solmukohta does not have a budget for props or set, but we can do our best to help you source something.
One-hour room parties are a tradition at SK/KP, and they can be in the programme as an item, but they really don’t have to! The point of one-hour parties is that they have a specific theme and they’re limited in time. This keeps the party flowing and prevents us from getting stuck behind hotel room doors all night in small cliques. Some parties are listed in the programme, some you’ll find scrawled on the noticeboard, and others just appear out of nowhere. All parties are valid – as long as they’re not held in rooms in designated quiet areas.
We expect programme hosts to do their best to give participants a heads-up about sensitive content, so they can make an informed choice about their participation. Potentially triggering depictions of violence, sexual violence, war, racism, sexism, homo- or transphobia, shaming of bodies and mental illness, and shaming and violence against sex workers all fall under this guideline. If you’re unsure, we can help you describe it.
Scandic Rosendahl is a modern hotel with many conference spaces. (See the rooms at https://bit.ly/2q1VuYB.) Note that you don’t get to choose your space, but if you have wishes, you can put them in the text field at the end and we’ll do our best.
There is one very large room (Henrika) that will be divided into smaller rooms for many programme items. These dividers are not usually incredibly soundproof, which is why we kindly ask you to note if your programme item is likely to involve a lot of noise – whether that’s whooping and cheering, running around and stomping, or playing a loud video. That’s just so we can try to avoid putting it right next to something that might need more quiet. Most floors are carpeted, but if for instance your dance workshop prefers a hard floor, there are some of those, too.
Tech – sound – video – projections – etc.
Most rooms have projectors or display screens (one has a 14-metre media wall, if that inspires you). While these spaces have been newly refurbished with new technology, lighting in conference rooms is always tricky – it’s often hard to get to a lighting state where the speaker is visible, but the room is dark. We recommend you use high contrast images and text for your slides, just in case.
Speaking of slides! It’s great if you can bring your own laptop or tablet; if you need to borrow one, let us know in advance. Bring adapters just in case, especially if you’re on a Mac. We will also have a place where you can upload your presentation as a backup – we recommend you do this, even if you have it on your own laptop. Laptop gremlins love to pick conferences as an ideal time to bork your machine for no reason!
In larger rooms, there will be microphones. Please use them even if you feel you’re a loudspeaker. They are essential for accessibility and documentation. Music and sound playback as well as video should be possible in all the presentation rooms.
Please bring your own handouts if you are printing any. In a pinch, we can help you, but please let us know in advance.
Documentation (video, photos)
We are looking into getting folks to film programme items as a general documentation of the conference, and perhaps to distribute some talks or events. For that reason we ask you to check if your item can or cannot be recorded. This doesn’t mean that it definitely will be recorded, or that your item will be recorded in its entirety. Our general documentation may be used online in social media and visible to the public.
If you definitely want your talk to be recorded, please be prepared to organise this yourself as we cannot guarantee we have the resources. This can be as simple as borrowing a tripod from the info desk and filming it on your phone, or asking someone to take a couple of photos.
My programme item may be photographed: Our official photographer(s) may take pictures during your programme and use them in public channels.
My programme item may be streamed: Checking streaming means that your item is cleared for program team to be livestreamed for a public audience outside the event itself.
My programme item may be video recorded: Checking video recording means that your item is cleared for the program team to record and distribute publicly after the event.
My programme item materials (slides, etc) may be shared: Checking material sharing means that we can share your program slides publicly after the event. You will need to send the materials to us before or after the event according to our instructions to be distributed.
Filming for your own records and developing your own work is okay. If other people are going to appear in your video, ask their permission before you start rolling. Let people know exactly what the purpose of the documentation is (“it’s for my thesis”, “I’m putting it on my YouTube larp channel”) and who is going to be able to access it. If you have questions about this, we can help you sort this out.
Running your item: do’s and don’ts
- Do time yourself speaking beforehand. If you are lazy, time yourself presenting 3 slides and then do the math. Chances are, you have too many slides.
- Do finish on time – including audience questions. It’s essential to give people time to get from one item to the next and to give the next person a chance to set up and calm themselves. If you are really not finished but you’re on a roll, we suggest setting up a table at breakfast the next morning for anyone who is interested in continuing the topic, or a spontaneous breakout session.
- Do stand if you can, particularly if you’re not on a raised platform. We need to be able to see you. If this is an issue for you, we’ll try to get you in a space where you can be seen whilst seated.
- Do use the microphone. You might be good at projecting your voice, but for accessibility reasons please use the microphones.
- Do prepare for a mixed crowd. We all have larp in common, but when it comes to physical skills, academic chops, English fluency, cultural assumptions, and knowledge of larp history, we are all over the board.
Getting help before Solmukohta: the mentoring
Mentors for programme is a way to pair up new programme hosts with more experienced ones. In practice, this means a few emails or Skype calls back and forth with your mentor some weeks or months before the event, where you can ask advice on how to present your work. Mentors can help you organise your information, manage your timing, deal with nervousness, and in general be that sounding board for ideas we all need. Sign up to get a mentor or be one in the Call for Programme.
Getting help during Solmukohta: everyone
Did your laptop bork? Did one of your panelists come down with the plague? Is your space completely wrong? It’s probably fixable – but keep in mind that everyone is a volunteer, and that Solmukohta is co-created, not consumed, so a lot of issues that pop up are very easily fixed on the spot with a little bit of hacking. The first question is “how can I or the people around me fix this”? The programme team is your escalation option. During the event you can go to the info desk and a programme team member on call will do their best to help you. Keep in mind that the earlier we know about a problem, the better chance we have to fix it.
What do I do if I have an idea but I don’t want to do it alone?
The Solmukohta 2020 event page on Facebook is a good place to find collaborators.
Ugh, can’t I just be spontaneous?
Of course! If you think of something you want to offer people as something to do, it doesn’t have to be “official” programme. There have been cheese tastings, spontaneous vampire rooms, cuddle puddles, candy exchanges, a room dedicated to Manowar, and many other memorable moments that were never part of the official record.