The UNCG SF club runs a little con about 50 miles from here, called StellarCon. This was its 35th year. Ben and I went for the day yesterday.
It was very small, maybe 700 attendees, but it was a bit easier to interact with the guests than at Dragon*Con (which has about 40,000 attendees). There are up sides and down sides to the small con: easier interaction, as I mentioned, but if you're there on a day pass, and you don't have a room to retire to during down time, you can get kind of bored. There weren't a whole lot of panels I was interested in, so I spent a lot of time loitering and using my wireless data plan.
One of the fun panels I went to was the Baen Roadshow, wherein publisher Toni Weisskopf gives away free books to people who ask good questions. Toni throws them to the recipients. Ben got one early on, for being polite and slowing down one of the books before it hit the receiver in the head. He asked what i wanted him to get, so I said Darkship Thieves, which I've wanted to read for a bit and just plain has a cool title. At the end, she invited those of us without books to pick one up, so I got When the Tide Rises, one of David Drake's RCN novels. Sam of BullSpec had a promo where if you show your Baen swag (a little button), you got 10% off, so I picked up Jump Gate Twist, an omnibus of 2 novels and two shorts by Mark Van Name (whose novel Children No More I reviewed last year).
If we go again next year (which, I'm told, should have more of an SF orientation), we'll probably only go one day, but we should get a room so we can stay for the parties Saturday night.