's pictures from her trip to Michigan this summer are online now. (Honey, I know the captions are screwed up -- I'll fix it as soon as I can take another look at your computer with the original name info.)
Interesting thing about the Fan Gallery
setup at Armadillocon 26: as has usually been the case up to now, the convention provides the pegboard hooks and binder clips for the display. Armadillocon had no trouble coming up with approximately 200 binder clips, brand new still in the box, because they had a case of them that had been in storage since Lone Star Con 2.
Friday night at Armadillocon, at 11:00 pm, they had a panel called "Why go to Worldcon." The description said: SO you want to go to WorldCon, but you aren't sure if it is worth the time or expense. It is worth it, and here's why.
I think the panel was one of those things that doesn't reach the desired audience; the consensus of the audience was that most or all of them went to their first Worldcon when it came in range(which for most of them meant LoneStarCon 2, the Texas Worldcon in 1997), and I don't think we convinced anyone who'd never been to Worldcon to make the effort to travel out of state for the Worldcon.
I have a particular interest in this subject, because I'm heading up Fan Publicity for laconiv
(again). There are two kinds of potential Worldcon members: those who've been to a Worldcon, and those who haven't. The Worldcon virgins are a tough crowd to convince to come to the con, even when they live within driving distance. So is there any point to going to out-of-state conventions to promote the Worldcon in L.A. to the Worldcon virgins? Should we maximize the chance of a receptive audience by just hitting California conventions, plus those regions that have had a Worldcon in the past ten years (say) and try to convince them that they should make the effort to come to California? (Apart from the overseas Worldcons' cities, that would mean going to out-of-California cons near San Antonio, Baltimore, Chicago, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Boston. That's a bit of traveling right there; we could add Kansas City, Charlotte, and Columbus to the list to take in some of the places that want or wanted a Worldcon but didn't win their bids. Plus two extra Bostons and an Orlando.)
The class of people who've been to a Worldcon includes those who've already made up their minds to go to the Worldcon if they can, and they just need a little prompting to commit. This is where the installment plan helps a lot, because if they don't have the cash to they can spread it out. (The 2005 Worldcon's plan calls for the first installment to be the cost of a supporting membership, followed by two more quarterly payments; the 2006 plan starts with the same type of first payment, and the individual decides how to spread out the balance of the payment; the 2007 Worldcon in Yokohama hasn't announced a payment plan yet.) This is also where showing up at conventions helps, because the repeated contact with us helps to prompt them to join.
The class of people who've never been to a Worldcon includes those who've been to other s.f. conventions, and those who haven't; the outreach to con virgins is the hardest! Joyce Barnes Hooper is in charge of our "other" or "pro" Publicity, and I'm hoping we can generate something like Geri Sullivan did for the Noreascon effort.
Saturday morning at Armadillocon, library_lynn
and I went to the Con Suite to get something for breakfast. We got up too late to enjoy the breakfast spread that the Hilton put on for us. (I've accumulated enough Hilton HHonors points because of all of this year's business trips to Tulsa that I qualify for their "Gold" level, so we were on the concierge floor.) The Con Suite had fruit, and cereal and milk, and bagels and bread for toasting, and cashew butter and almond butter instead of peanut butter. (Apparently the lady in charge is allergic to peanuts.) I never did decide which I liked better; they're both pretty good. I liked the spread that the Con Suite put on; there was always something solid available (the bread and nut butters were available all the time), they had bottled water (which ran out too quickly, but that's another story), and they had the sort of soda pop I usually drink. I thought that it was interesting that they had soda in bulk (they had, not 2-liter bottles, but 3-liter
bottles of soda) but individual bottles of bheer and water... Perhaps it's not so much a decision as to how people want to consume their beverages as it is just a matter of going with the better value for the money? I dunno; I'm from the part of fandom that serves all our soda in cans, and I could rattle off the advantages of doing it that way, but I can certainly see that an undeniable advantage of the bottle approach is the cost savings.