Apr. 15th, 2009

SwanCon

Apr. 15th, 2009 09:59 am
tommo: (Default)
The con was great, and I had a blast. Thanks so much to the committee for organising a great con. Here's some dot-point notes:

- Richard Morgan was a great guest of honour. I thought he was really friendly and approachable, and he was an engaging speaker/panelist.

- I didn't see as much of Trudi Canavan, but she seemed very nice. Unfortunately she was extremely quiet, so I couldn't hear her 90% of the time she spoke.

- I ran four panels (Lost, Top 10 TV Shows, 2008 in Film and Changing the Heroes), and in my opinion they all went really well. I'm very pleased about that.

- I bought some stuff: Seasons 1 & 2 of Lost on DVD, The Complete Conan Chronicles (for $15!), 4 issues of Borderlands, From Hell, New Ceres Nights and Angel Rising.

- I nominated for the WASFF board but missed out. I didn't mind though, as this year was really a case of being spoilt for choice. You could've picked just about any six of the twelve nominees and ended up with a great board, and I think those who made it on are all very capable, hardworking folks who'll do a wonderful job. I'll probably nominate again next year.

- I found that the programme was a little front-loaded for me personally, as I attended a stack of stuff on Thursday and Friday but had trouble finding more than one or two things of interest on the remaining days. Saturday was especially problematic - with the art show and market day each taking up a full room, the programming ended up being very light. I think the only panel I attended was the one I was running.

- There was a fairly good balance of topics throughout the programme, although I still feel that there aren't enough panels on specific fandoms. There was a late surge to include more of these types of panels just before the con, but after scanning through the programme I still only noticed around 15 panels where the topic involved a specific author, TV series, film director, comic character, etc. When panels about actual specific SF fandoms are outnumbered by those on OT subjects and meta-fandom, I think that's a bit of a problem, particularly when several of the meta/OT ones are rehashing stuff from previous years. I did my bit with the Lost and Heroes panels, and I intend to do the same sort of thing next year (currently formulating concepts for an Aeon Flux panel/presentation). I'm really hoping more people do the same.

- Pocket programme was a fantastic idea.

- The masquerade really shouldn't have ended at 10:30pm. I have nothing against geek singalong and singstar, but there was another room available at those times, and I really think they could've got by without the top-level AV equipment the masquerade utilises. For many people, the masquerade is one of the major highlights of the con, and having it come to a grinding halt 90 minutes earlier than usual was a massive letdown for everyone there. That being said, the setup for the masquerade was excellent, so major kudos there for a job well done.

- I received several complements on my DJ set, which was lovely. I always have such a great time DJing, and it's really nice to know that people are enjoying it.

- I was asked to be programme coordinator for one of the 2011 bids. I was awfully flattered, but I don't think I'll programme another SwanCon any time soon (if at all). I might convene one, but that project is still a long way off.

- I'm really excited about the winning 2011 bid. A very professional bunch of people and a very impressive bid.

- It was great to see such strong support for children and parents.

- The art show boasted perhaps the most impressive field of entries I've ever seen at a SwanCon.

- I have a really strong desire to watch a bunch of classic SF TV series I haven't yet seen before next year's con - Edge of Darkness, Quatermass, selected Doctor Who, Blake's 7, Starcops, etc.

- I introduced two new people to SwanCon, and as far as I can tell, they both really enjoyed it and intend to come again next year.

I can't think of much else to write at the moment. Might post more if I realise I forgot anything important.
tommo: (Default)
According to a bunch of people in a room at SwanCon, here are the 19 best SF&F TV shows of all time:

1. Doctor Who
2. Firefly
3. Red Dwarf
4. Battlestar Galactica (new series)
5. Babylon 5
6. Blake's 7
7. Star Trek: The Next Generation (tie)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (tie)
9. Farscape (tie)
Buffy (tie)
Ultraviolet (tie)
Futurama (tie)
13. Stargate: SG1
14. Invader Zim
15. Angel (tie)
Transformers (tie)
Monkey (tie)
18. Torchwood
19. Heroes

Didn't have enough time to run tiebreakers on the ties (which also would've given us our #20), so this will have to do.

I don't suppose anyone has a record of the lists from Top 10 Villains (2008) and Top 10 Movies based on Comics (2007), do they? I forgot to write them down and it'd be nice to have a record of the results. I only really remember the winners...
tommo: (Default)
When is SwanCon pancakes happening today? I'm at work so I don't have my con book handy, and it doesn't seem to be advertised on the net.
tommo: (Default)
The $20 day pass for Friday was intended to make it more affordable for new people to have a "taste" of SwanCon. However, it also meant that SwanCon might have lost some revenue from the non-first-timers that bought Friday day passes.

Perhaps a better option is to have day passes at their normal rates for all renewing attendees, but give first-timers a day where they can just attend for free? For a student/teenager, even $20 can be a fair bit of money, and if it's the difference between them attending a day for free or not attending at all, you're really not making any sort of a loss by letting them in. And if you make it free people will almost certainly be interested, and I think it'd result in a very impressive first-timer turnout. Keep in mind that you can get into Supanova for a day for about $20, so from the new attendee's perspective it's not like we're offering anything particularly out of the ordinary.

Hell, I'm starting to wonder if we should just let first-timers attend the whole damn con for free. I think, in the long term, it'd probably be a wise investment.

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