Conference

An obsolete term for convention which, for a time in the 40s, was used by some fans to designate a very small convention or something even smaller such as a few fans getting together as long as one was from out of town. This more restricted usage never seems to have been universal.

Note the drift in meaning (and decrease in importance) of the distinction from Fancyclopedia 1 in 1944 and Fancyclopedia 2 in 1959.

from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959
or CONCLAVE A small local convention; of old they were held to accomplish some specific purpose aside from the camaraderie. "Conference" came into use after the Newark Convention; the first gathering thus designated was the PSFS Conference of October 1938, beginning the longest series of annual conferences in fandom's history. Other series of annual conferences are the WesterCons and MidWestCons, both originating after World War II. "Conclave" is essentially synonymous, tho it originally meant a secret conference of the smoke-filled-room type.
from Fancyclopedia 1 ca. 1944
A smaller convention, which should have a specific purpose to be accomplished aside from the cameraderie. The word came into use after the Newark Convention, and has been used to designate the following:

The PSFS Conference in October 1938, Philadelphia. It was attended by the fans who were launching New Fandom, a number of their backers among the pros, and others.

In June 1939 the OSA Powwow met in an Oklahoma City hotel room, attended by McPhail and former Oklahomans from Washington and New Mexico/Flushing.

Third day of the Nycon, where most of the attendees were playing softball on Flushing Flats, the Futurians and their sympathizers met in a Futurian Conference. They discussed the Exclusion Act and Michelism.

The Philco of 1939 was held in the same hall as the Third Eastern Convention rathern in the back of the Baltadonis saloon. Futurians and Queensies were both present in force, for the last time at any one gathering, and a fite almost happened between Sykora and Wollheim. The discussion was on a general fan organization; Rothman, Speer, and Kyle wanted to launch a new one, each having ideas about what it should be. The Triumvirs presented their constitution for New Fandom and attempted unsuccessfully to get it approved. No conclusion about a new org was reached. Sykora showed fan movies afterwards. Several Bloomington (or Chicon) Conferences, including the Barnyard Con, were held in 1939 and 1940 to plan the Chicon, attendees being Reinsberg, Korshak, Tucker, and other figures, but not including W Lawrence Hamling, another prominent Chicago fan, who objected for reasons of anti-Semitism. The last Philly Conference was in November 1940, in a GAR hall. It was called the Fifth Annual, the first and third Conventions also being counted. Chief bone of contention in 1940 was the proposed Newarkon.

This Newark Conference was intended as something for Easterners to attend who couldn't go to the Denvention in 1941. Fandom generally refused to support the idea because it was believed that it would conflict with the Denvention, and Sykora and Moskowitz laid the responsibility for the idea to Taurasi, who wasn't at the Philadelphia meeting. The Newarkon did not take place.

Boskones are held in February of each year, beginning in 1941, the first anniversary of the Stranger Club. No set schedule of proceedings has emerged. The first heard of the (???????) died in the SFL scrap.

A Dixiecon was planned for 1941 at Columbia South Carolina, but canceled because the president of the DFF, Earl Barr Hanson, couldn't come up from Florida at the time set.

The Michiconference originated in November 1941, and was attended by more fans from elsewhere in the Mid-East than from Michigan, which was no small number. They formed the Mid-West Fantasy Fan Federation. Fan movies were shown, and an auction held.

Another Philco was belatedly announced for January 1942, but called off in favor of Boskone II. B2 was well attended, witnessed the dramatization of Legion of Legions, and discussed the NFFF and the problem of the Pacificon.

In November 1942 the Michiconference became an annual matter. Degler was seen at close range, the MFS boys got stewed, everybody met everybody else, and a good time was had by all.

The Hastings S-F Conference was allegedly held in Hastings, Minnesota, 29 November 42; if so, it was an alcoholic affair, judging by the report of it which was published.

Because of attrition of fan ranks by the draft, Boskone III had a small attendance. Most of the afternoon was taken up with playing Widner's s-f game, Interplanetary, which was still in an experimental stage.

Altho the Mid-West Federation was dormant, the Galactic Roamers invited individual fen to another Michiconference at the end of October 43. Attendees gave Slan Shack its baptism of fire, took an intelligence test, and stuff. The so-bekannt Cosmic Circle Exclusion Act was in connection with this gathering.