Whenever the World Science Fiction Convention, Worldcon (tm), is held outside of North America, a convention known as the North American Science Fiction Convention is held. There have been nine such conventions, the most recent one was last weekend in Collinsville, IL. Where St. Louis fandom gets better facilities then in their home town.
They had four days of panels running from 9AM until midnight, gaming, costumes (but then I understand St. Louis has a strong costuming constituent), Kaffeklatschs, filking, workshops, art show, artist alley, small press alley, and more. This year they even did podcasting from the convention. Convention photos can be seen at the Midamerican Fan Photo Archive. I had a great time, even though I spent too much money on art. I bought another Kelly Freas original b/w interior.
What I didn't see though was a lot of people from Omaha fandom in attendance. The $120 at the door fee may have kept people in town, but even that is cheap compared to what Nippon 2007 (this year's Worldcon) is currently: $283. Yet those numbers can be controlled with a little pre-planning. We paid $55 for ours the year before. And with Worldcons the very act of voting in site selection locks you into the cheapest rate.
Some Omahans do considerable convention traveling, meaning they get to meet their out-of-town fan friends often. And kudos to those that do. For those that don't, why not? OSFES has currently developed a fan forum at http://www.osfes.com (though we are looking into shorting this URL) and one of the categories is Conventions. Here you can post the conventions you are going to and looking for help in defraying costs, talk about the experiences that you had, and highlight ones that you think people might want to attend.
Fandom considers itself a family. Conventions are the reunions we have to keep in touch. Go forth and meet your fellow fan brother.