I'll also point to A Brief Introduction For The First Time Con-Goer, written for Marscon 2006, which they have kindly left up ever since!
There's so much tradition there, and so many years of relationships, that it's hard for a newcomer to know where to fit in
True enough, but it was just as true for me when I got into fandom. Here's some wisdom gleaned from many years on both (all?) sides of the issue: We really don't know where to fit in either. Some have been friends for a long time and are comfortable in certain situations involving some kinds of relationships, but Minicon is a moving target. New situations and interactions happen all the time, and we don't always get it right.
Look at the froufrou over the Music Parties. In many respects it's identical to the
At the "40 Years of Minicon" panel, Jim Young told stories that had never been heard before. What Leigh Brackett said to him, many years ago during her stint as Minicon GoH affected his life more recently when he moved to LA to try to Make It as an actor.
One of the reasons I love to do Children's Programing is that these kinds of issues are all Just Grownup Stuff to them. Last year's Minicon is as ancient as the first one to a seven year old. The older kids have a history, but a short one. Kids want to play with the toys, and the entire convention is a toy. And we're all kids at heart, still.
So... just leap right in. Minicon, as much or more than any convention, welcomes and absorbs new people. No guarantees, but we really are a friendly bunch. If you catch us in the right mood...
I'm using the collective we on the fly, rather presumptively speaking for many. This is probably wrong in principle, but I suspect not too far from the variegated viewpoint held by most fen most of the time.