A “Potter” Fan’s Guide to RoberCon Online, a Virtual Sci-Fi and Fantasy Convention

2020 has forced many conventions to steer their events away from packed panel rooms and show floors to online formats. Sci-fi and fantasy convention RoberCon is no different. The event usually takes place at Roberson Museum and Science Center in Binghamton, New York, and serves as a major fundraising event for the nonprofit museum. This year, organizers say it was imperative to still hold the event since the museum suffered through four months of no income due to COVID-19 closures. However, the convention will take place entirely online on September 26 and 27.

Panels will be held on Zoom, with a Discord chat also set up for socialization between formal programming. Badges for the weekend are $15, with proceeds going to support Roberson Museum. Badges are on sale right now and can be purchased online.

This year, there is quite a bit of Harry Potter and wizarding world programming on the schedule, and MuggleNet is happy to take part in much of the exciting lineup. Check out the list of wizarding world content below.


A Q&A with Miriam Margolyes

Grab your earmuffs! Miriam Margolyes, the actress who portrays Professor Pomona Sprout, is one of the special guests at this year’s RoberCon. Margolyes will be hopping on to a virtual panel to talk about her role in Harry Potter and of course, her many other film and television projects. MuggleNet will be interviewing Margolyes during the panel, and there will also be opportunities for autographs.


Let’s Talk Potter: Wizarding Topics Pulled from a (Sorting) Hat

It’s been over 20 years, and we’ve read the books and watched the movies countless times, but there’s still plenty to talk about. Join in as some MuggleNet staff members do just that. This will be a bit of organized chaos, with panelists discussing topics shuffled up and pulled out of a hat. We’ll revisit moments from the books and films of the wizarding world, draw new comparisons, hash out long-debated arguments, and simply enjoy the magic that’s brought us back to these stories time and time again.


SpeakBeasty: Live from RoberCon 2020

Join the hosts of SpeakBeasty, a Fantastic Beasts podcast, as they record a live episode during RoberCon 2020! Con attendees will be able to interact in real time with the hosts via the chat function, creating a unique experience for both the hosts and attendees, allowing real-time reactions from listeners to be incorporated into the episode.


MuggleNet Hosts Wizarding World Trivia Night

After a full day of programming, join us Saturday night as MuggleNet hosts wizarding world trivia. Questions will run the gamut of books, films, and the wider wizarding world, including Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Gather your team and get ready for a night of fun! Teams can have up to four members. If you’re not all in the same household, don’t worry! Just figure out a way to communicate with each other to hash out your answers.


Virtual Planetarium Show: The Constellations of Harry Potter

Scan the night sky for the immortal celestial bodies that have influenced the Harry Potter universe. In this planetarium show created exclusively for RoberCon attendees, we will explore the constellations of the Wizarding World!


Fanthropy: The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth

Fan philanthropy – as exemplified by such organizations as the Harry Potter Alliance – harnesses the power of geek enthusiasm and fan passion to apply it to altruism. From fighting hunger and illness to protecting animals and the environment to helping veterans, the homeless, and the disadvantaged, geeks know what a better world could be like.


PuffCast: Live at RoberCon

The PuffCast podcast will record a live episode during RoberCon. Hosts will discuss the Hufflepuff House colors and what they mean as well as diving into a discussion on the use of color throughout the Harry Potter series.


That is just the wizarding world content – there’s much more for fans of sci-fi and fantasy. This year’s convention boasts over 50 panels along with writing workshops and gaming meetups. Binghamton, New York, where the convention is based, is also Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling’s hometown, so as is tradition, there will be discussions about the beloved sci-fi television show.

The entire weekend schedule and a link to purchase badges can be found on the RoberCon website.


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Amy Hogan

I was 9 years old when I discovered the magic that is “Harry Potter.” I am a proud Hufflepuff and exceedingly good at eating, reading, being sarcastic, and over-thinking small tasks. Since I spent too much time worrying about the correct way to write this bio, this is all I was able to come up with before the deadline.