Mancunicon

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.

Meanwhile:
68th Eastercon 2017 – Innominate – website: http://eastercon2017.uk/
69th Eastercon 2018 – Follycon – website: https://www.follycon.org.uk/

Questionnaire Press Release

A questionnaire was open on the website during October 2015. We had 207
responses, about half from people who do not usually attend Eastercon
bidding sessions.

We took the results from the Questionnaire and presented them at a programme item at Novacon 45 (Nottingham, 13-15 November 2015). Pat McMurray, the Chair of Mancunicon, chaired the panel, and there were ~77 people in the audience. A spirited debate was had, we got an idea of what to do next, and we took volunteers’ names to help with doing it. I’ll post in more detail on all of that in due course.

Meanwhile:

  • We have 17 additional volunteers to take discussion forward – thank you everyone! – and more are always welcome
  • We were told off for not advertising the questionnaire widely enough, and told to reopen it – so we have done so and the link is open again on the website
  • We will post on our website both the presentation we made at Novacon, and the detailed data our thoughts were based on
  • We will be meeting on-line to work out how to take the conversation
    forward

This is a busy time of year for everyone, and we won’t be doing very much of this before Xmas. Please bear with us and we’ll come back with more in
January.

Please tell people the questionnaire is open again, and we’re happy for
people to print it off for people who can’t do it online. We’ll put a postal
address on the website for this purpose.

Everyone wants Eastercon to continue and thrive. We hope this conversation is helping.

We’d love comments on the website. Thanks for listening.

Novacon Presentation

https://eastercon.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/novacon-presentation.pdf

Questions

It’s now 5 months since Dysprosium and, as you can see from the website, we’ve done a bit of thinking about the issue of Eastercon. We’ve had a number of Skype sessions and we’ve had a few arguments. It soon became obvious that we needed to understand what everyone else thought, because there appeared to be a lot of different opinions and we weren’t all starting with the same assumptions. So, to start with, we’re going to do an online questionnaire, which should be available in a few days time.

We’ve made a start on creating this questionnaire using Google Forms, so anyone who wants to can indicate where (if anywhere) there are problems and what they think ought to be done about them. We’re trying very hard not to make any assumptions as to whether or not any sort of change is a good thing or a bad thing, and we don’t want to ask leading questions. Please bear with us, we’re learning a lot about questionnaire design.

The questions will cover why you go to Eastercon, what you think needs doing differently and what your suggestions are for improving matters. There are also some questions about whether you think certain issues are problems or not, and what your opinion is of some of the ideas people have had for dealing with them. We’re also asking what your role in Eastercon has been, if you have been involved in working on them, and in what areas.

We hope to make the questionnaire available in the next week or two. We will link to it from this site and leave the questionnaire up for as long as possible. Our intention is to look at the results we’ve received by Novacon and do an interim report there (Novacon have generously agreed to give us some programme time for this). We’ll also put a summary of responses up on this website, and after Novacon we’ll post a report of the discussion, and what we plan to do next.

Please go through the questionnaire and answer it as well as you can. Get your friends (assuming they are interested in Eastercon) to do it as well, even if they don’t think there’s a problem that needs fixing. If we can get a good response, we’ll have a much better feeling for whether it’s just a few people worrying about nothing, or if lots of people think we really do have a problem.

Thanks for your help.