cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 08:56pm on 18/11/2007 under , ,
So we are back from Philcon, Philadelphia's regional science-fiction convention, which ran this weekend. I had a great time, but mostly because a lot of people I know whom I don't get to see very often were there to hang out and game with.

The convention itself, unfortunately, is in trouble. Attendance is lower than last year, lower than I've ever seen it. So is volunteering for the convention, which has resulted in short-handedness, and caused too many activities to shut down early, such as the game bank in the gaming room (which was locked away before midnight) and con suite (shut down at 2:00 a.m.)

I didn't make it to any of the panels, though the panel ideas I read descriptions about looked interesting enough. My friend [livejournal.com profile] dedrell tried to arrange a few panels involving the two of us and other people, to talk about things like how legal issues would affect space exploration and other things, but those ideas (and other panel ideas) got dropped on the floor, apparently because whoever was supposed to be running programming didn't and the actual schedule was pulled together only 8 weeks before the convention. So no panels with me on them ran, and so far as I know [livejournal.com profile] esrblog wasn't even asked to be on a panel, though he had been on panels for at least the past two or three Philcons now.

As I went to the Green Room to confirm that I was not on any panels (my attempts to do so before the con were met with conflicting information), I saw Catherine Asaro in line ahead of me. It turned out that the Green Room had her schedule, but did not have a badge for her. (Going back to registration, I got in line behind her, where the registration volunteers acknowledged they didn't have her badge either, and had to make her a new badge.) So the disorganization and staffing shortfalls were both in the planning and execution of programming. :-(

I won't go into detail about the small number of room parties or the limited food selection in the Con Suite. Those problems are all too typical of most East Coast cons I've been to recently--they aren't unique to Philcon.

The dealer's room and art show were good, as always, but seemed smaller than usual. The dealers themselves, however, were very unhappy because the reduction in attendance was really hurting their business.

I like Philcon, and it hurts to see my local convention, which was once the jewel of the East Coast con scene (with dozens of activities and over 4,000 people) struggling for attendees. Part of me feels that I'm part of the problem because I didn't volunteer either, but on the other hand I would be happy to do panels! I sure have at other cons! So I'm not completely sure what I can do to help turn things around.
Mood:: 'contemplative' contemplative
Music:: computer game sounds from our ancient IBook
location: home

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