So, on August 20, swarms of Esperantists all over North America will meet for day-long gatherings "enjoying each other's company while taking part in a celebration of the international language." (suggested press release language)
It's called Paralela Universo, which even to non-Esperantists should easily read as "parallel universe." Parallel to what? Diffrerent places at the same time, sure. But also keep in mind that Esperanto events (especially in Europe) are days-long affairs, bolstered no doubt by long vacations, short travel distances and a critical mass of Esperantists to organize such things. North American Esperantists have none of these; surely an alternative is called for, and so much better if it calls to mind the endless possibilities of science fiction, which I bet appeals to (other) Esperantists.
So far, there are twenty sites, and counting. And what's noteworthy is that there is no central organizing body, and no tickets. You pay for your transportation to and from the gathering, and your meals. It's an idea, a format and coordination by Facebook and a Google group. That's all.
Mi okazos la Paralelan Universon ĉi tie.
Let this be an inspiration for other groups who could benefit by low-effort, low-cost ad-hoc gatherings.