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SMOFcon 29 Amsterdam

I am back at work after a weekend in Amsterdam. Learnt a lot of good things about con running at SMOFcon, some tips that will help to improve the experience for everyone at TitanCon 2012. I also got drafted in to helping with programme ops at Eastercon next year, but I was probably going to do that anyway.

Also picked up some interesting details about upcoming Worldcons including something awesome that may be happening the evening before Worldcon in Chicago next year, I can't say what it is but I strongly recommend being in Chicago on Wed 29 August 2012. Also everyone needs to encourage as many friends as possible to come along to ChiCon because if they don't reach their expected numbers this cool thing will be the first item that gets cut.

Texas 2013 is also coming along nicely but not many new details to share. London 2014 showed off a video of the ExCeL convention centre which looks really impressive. The big new detail they had for us was about the parties which will all take place in a single large exhibition space with a big communal bar area in the centre and separate "booths" around the edge for each group hosting parties. Not sure how well this will work but it probably is the best option given the fact that none of the hotels in the area will allow room parties. It will be noisy and not particularly private, grrm will probably hate it.

The Spokane 2015 bid gave a terrible presentation where they started out explaining what a Worldcon is, somehow the guy did not realise it was not necessary to explain what Worldcon is to the people who have been running it for the last 30 years. He then put his foot in his mouth by saying "he wanted to do Worldcon better". What so it wasn't good enough before? His flyers left off the crucial detail of where Spokane is (Washington state, an hour's flight from Seattle if you want to know). Not easy to get to and not much there anyone wants to see. When he was told he had 1 minute left of his presentation he said incredulously "really?" and then rushed through the rest of his slides with all sorts of unnecessary details, completely failing to get across enough important details to impress anyone.

Orlando 2015 did not do themselves any favours by sending a Youtube clip instead of a representative in person to answer questions. Apparently nobody really knows this group from Orlando but they still scored big points over Spokane simply by having a good video highlighting all the cool stuff to see and do there. Been a long time since we had a real fight over a Worldcon bid so this could be an interesting fight - although I think I know which way I'll be voting.

Beyond that we have Kansas City in 2016 which looks like a shoe-in to me. Japan in 2017, although given the fact that they are still massively in debt over the 2007 Worldcon I wouldn't necessarily bet on them getting it again so soon. New Orleans 2018. Montreal announced a bid for 2019. New Zealand in 2020, although they may face opposition from the Christmas 2020 bid where they plan to host Worldcon from Christmas Eve through to New Year with presents for everyone! Anyone who was in Reno will remember their spoof-bid party with it's awesome Christmas decorations. Funny stuff.

Two great highlights of the weekend from Saturday:

Playing Live Mafia/Werewolf or in this case Aliens invade The Netherlands with a group of Dutch fans from BeNeLuxCon (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxumbourg - they did say they never get any fans from Luxumbourg at the con but still keep it in the name. alytha - have you ever heard of this con, ever thought of going?). The next BeNeLuxCon is to be held at KatCon in early March. They wanted to try the game out for that. I drew an an alien card, [info]zoeiona was a seer, multiclassgeek took on Mod duties since the organisers weren't really sure of what they were doing and I think everyone else at the table had no idea what they were doing either, 11 people in total. My alien partner was a good pick since she was able to seem innocent but was actually quite devious, even getting her husband lynched after he claimed "their bed was empty last night". Maybe he heard her move during a night phase or something but everyone believed he was the alien and not her.

Basically we cleaned up.

The highlight of the game being when zoeiona suddenly turned on me claiming I was being quiet and therefore very suspicious. It was actually my alien partner that came to my defence and accused [info]zoeiona of having an agenda and that turned the vote against [info]zoeiona who lost out 4 votes to 3 and got lynched. It turns out that she had used her ability to learn I was an alien and [info]zoeiona said afterwards she should have revealed herself as the seer and knew I was the alien, if she had it would have turned the game and they would have probably got the other alien too but we both survived to end game and killed them off. This amused me no end :)

Then later on Saturday night during the Worldcon bid presentations one of the guys from FinnCon gave the performance of the night with his bid for Mariehamn 2016. The Finnish fans can't afford to do Worldcon and the Swedish fans can't either so they propose to hold the con in the Åland Islands, north Baltic sea right between the two countries. His presentation had such enthusiasm as he told us that the "islands can be reached by ferry from both Helsinki and Stockholm", no airport, and that a "brand new state of the art town hall can hold 600 people" which will be the main auditorium for Warldcon. Additional programming will take place outdoors, in some of the villagers houses and on two fishing boats in the harbour (it can only fit two boats). People will have to camp since the hotel will only be large enough for a handful of guests. When asked what the weather will be like he exclaimed "Sunny!"

Maybe you just had to be there to witness how funny it was but the entire room was in tears of laughter, simply brilliant.

In the bar afterwards we did all we could to turn this spoof bid into a real bid with the creation of a website, Facebook group and I somehow ended up on the bid committee for that - although I would just like to point out I did not have anything to do with the website!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 5th, 2011 07:48 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear that smofcon was a success!
Dec. 5th, 2011 09:22 pm (UTC)
Sounds brilliant. Intrigued to see what happens or won't happen at ChiCon :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )