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Future of Eastercon - after Mancunicon

Well, that was a few days ago now, but that was Mancunicon that was. Well done that committee! I hope we all (to the nearest approximation) had a fabulous time.
By now we hope you all know what we're pleased to report: that Eastercons do have a very healthy future. Eastercon 2017 (Innominate), (replacing Pasgon, which had to fold), will be held in the Hilton Metropole at the NEC Birmingham. Follycon in 2018 will be held in Harrogate. They both have Facebook and web pages up - given below.
The bidding sessions for both years, and the Future of Eastercon discussion, were held on Sunday morning. The room was full throughout with an audience of about 200. If there were any more people interested who could not get into the room, we're sorry about that, but the con did the best it could with its numbers and space. We hope that won't be a problem next year.
During the 'Future of Eastercon' session we ran through a presentation of the last year's work and conclusions, and asked what we should do next. Majorities of the audience agreed (with no opposition and we think one abstention on each point) that:
(1) We (that is the existing, informally organised, Future of Eastercon group) can take control of the existing Eastercon.org website. We'll be doing that, with the help of its founders, Alex McClintock, John Bray and Chris O'Shea, who were also thanked for all their work to date. We want to organise this informally, but ensure some commitment and consistency. We hope to develop and maintain it as a permanent resource for fandom.
(2) We will set up a new discussion group to discuss how a central organisation might work to support Eastercons, and which of the available options for the organisation might work best. This group will report back at Eastercon 2017.
The session participants also talked about how we welcome new people to Eastercons, and the audience were very concerned to address the ageing of fandom in general and conrunners in particular. I'll try and write up these aspects in more detail for the website shortly.
We'll put up the presentation and statistics and other material on the Eastercon Options website (http://www.eastercon.wordpress.com), until we can move all the material to the new Eastercon.org.
Meanwhile:
68th Eastercon 2017 - Innominate - website: http://eastercon2017.uk/
69th Eastercon 2018 - Follycon - website: https://www.follycon.org.uk/
We'd like to thank Mancunicon Chair Pat McMurray and all the other members of the Mancunicon team who helped this session to happen and are supporting this conversation. We hope you are all safe home and recovered from your strenuous enjoyment of the convention. We'll let you know of further developments in due course.

[P.S. Lightly edited a few hours after it went up, to say thanks to Mancunicon, ​and because we don't know for sure of anyone who couldn't get into the discussion session. Please feel free to get in touch with us or Mancunicon here or via our respective websites.]

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
davidwake
7th Apr, 2016 09:52 (UTC)
Thank you for this. I was one who couldn't make it as it clashed with a panel I was on. Keep up the good work please.
coth
7th Apr, 2016 16:18 (UTC)
That's why we pursue the discussion in several places - nobody can be everywhere at once. And we'll try.
davidwake
8th Apr, 2016 09:43 (UTC)
I do know you post everywhere and that you do try, and succeed, and it's much appreciated. Thank you again.
heleninwales
7th Apr, 2016 10:33 (UTC)
Thanks for this. I look forward to further updates re how a central organisation might work. I most likely will be at Innominate in Birmingham, ditto Follycon.

Re the ageing of fandom, I know that has always been a concern and in one sense it's nice that older people still want to attend conventions, but we do need to ensure that there are younger fans coming along. Unless younger people want to do cons differently, of course.
davidwake
7th Apr, 2016 14:21 (UTC)
At Mancunicon, someone talked about Radio 4 trying to attract younger listeners and how foolish that was. Every year, people grow into Radio 4. Is Eastercon a Radio 4?
coth
7th Apr, 2016 16:24 (UTC)
Did they so? That's interesting, and certainly my personal opinion David.

There were a good few people at their first Eastercon at Mancunicon, and 20+ came to the Welcome to Eastercon panel - but the age range spanned several decades and none of them were walking around with "new fan" tattooed on their foreheads.
coth
7th Apr, 2016 16:21 (UTC)
Certainly our intention at this point.

There are shedloads of younger fans. And it will be good to try to arrange things so that when they come they find are welcome, and can find ways to do the things they want to do. But that isn't to say they have to do everything we have been used to doing, nor that we have any way to make sure of anything. Fun to try though.
bohemiancoast
7th Apr, 2016 22:46 (UTC)
They had 100 "First Eastercon" ribbons and gave them all out. I spoke to multiple people at their first Eastercon for multiple reasons.

Eastercon might be like Radio 4 but I'd be careful of making this argument. The more interesting question is, in a world where SF gate shows attract 100,000 people, or where the Bluedot festival can exist, what is it that we're offering that's of interest to young people who like contemporary SF?
davidwake
8th Apr, 2016 09:46 (UTC)
One issue is that Eastercon is a convention by fans for fans, so if some sub-group drops out for any reason, then there's no-one to do anything for them and so attract it back.
coth
8th Apr, 2016 09:47 (UTC)
Very good question Alison.
coth
8th Apr, 2016 15:55 (UTC)
Are you guys going to Bluedot?
bohemiancoast
8th Apr, 2016 19:23 (UTC)
Yes -- I wrote about it on FB, twice even.

coth
9th Apr, 2016 09:58 (UTC)
Ah. Missed that, or missed it's significance anyway. Thanks.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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