Welcome to the Friends of Eastercon website. This website exists to provide an on-line forum for discussion of the future of Eastercons. We hope that you will find the information and links you need to join us in the conversation. We would welcome your input, and this website provides a permanent site with options for posting your views and emailing us.
As all we’ve done this year is move the eastercon wiki to a new hosting service, and have no particular plan to communicate, I don’t think we need a slot in the programme and take up people’s time. We might have an informal meeting in the bar.
Caroline, Steve, Judy and Tim are stepping back from their roles in Eastercon Options, as they all have Eastercons to plan. Pat McMurray, Chris O’Shea and John Bray are stepping up to the plate, and thank them for their hard work.
We have moved the Eastercon wiki from Alex’s machine to wikia, http://www.eastercon.org redirects to http://eastercon.wikia.com. Thanks to Alex for his efforts supporting the site for all these years.
We plan to rename “Eastercon Options” to be “Friends of Eastercon”, as discussed at the Innominate panel. The aim is still to provide support to Eastercon like all friends groups do, there is no power grab, as we have no power nor money at present. More on this to come
We are changing the way we work as we split into three groups to do three different things. Emails will be going out shortly to people who have previously volunteered to see what they might like to get involved with. If you were thinking of joining in over the next year or so, now would be a good time to get in touch.
The Future of Eastercon group will continue meeting, and will be responsible for reporting on what we do via the internet and at future Eastercons.
The Eastercon Support group will research and discuss options for setting up an organisation to support Eastercons. Note: We do not assume that an organisation is necessary or desirable, and options will include ‘do nothing and let Eastercon committees get on with it’. We expect this group to be busy from July until shortly after Eastercon 2017, but it will be a one-off project.
The Eastercon.org group is taking responsibility for the existing Eastercon.org wiki as a permanent resource for UK fandom.
We will continue to post updates to this site, which also has the background and history of this discussion, and any more permanent material we produce. We also now have a Future of Eastercons Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/FutureOfEastercons – if you are a Facebook user please go and ‘Like’ this to be kept informed or get in touch.
We expect to soon publish an anonymized version of the responses to the questionnaire. Unfortunately this has meant a few responses have had to be removed where we felt that they identified individuals and could not be edited in such a way as to prevent this.
We must apologise for going silent since Mancunicon. This was due to a mixture of real life getting in the way and confusion over who was updating the website.
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.
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/wiki. 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 website, until we can move all the material to the new Eastercon.org.
We will be finally closing the questionnaire at the end of February, so we can collate the results in time for Mancunicon. If you want to respond, please do so before then.
Here is a cleaned-up version of the presentation we gave at Novacon. Please note that the statistics are based on the original 207 responses to the questionnaire and do not include the ones we’ve received since, however the recent responses are mostly in line with the earlier ones.