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Diversicon 12

Went pretty well, although tempers got frayed at a couple of points. Thanks to tokenfanboy for helping load out the party supplies from the apartment and to stuckintraffik for coming by the hotel , setting up the Room Party Kit Friday night and returning Sunday afternoon to tear it down and affix tags to the cords & plugs so setup will go smoother next time. tokenfanboy also printed up a bunch of flyers for the room party and photos from the con, which latter were used to help decorate the room some. Jeff also showed up on Friday and Saturday to help run the room party, which was very much appreciated.

Diversicon has always had fairly low attendance, bumping along from year to year with a warm body count around 100 most years, and this year was no exception. GoH S.P. Somtow (perhaps better known to older fans as Somtow Sucharitkul) was flown in from Bangkok and was very charming & entertaining. Or so I'm told; I'm not familiar with his books at all, and was largely busy with other stuff when his panels were on. Considering the expense involved, I'm not sure we wouldn't have been better off with just Mark Rich, who seemed equally charming, multi-talented and entertaining. In any event, the post-mortem feedback from people was that while there were certainly a lot of panels and other programming, a lot of it was very thinly attended. The political polarization panel drew about a dozen people, as did the fan history panel "There Goes the Neighborhood", starring yr. humble Wombat, ancient MNSTF member Blue Petal, and New Kids On The Block revolutionaryjo and Lori Fischer. On the other hand, a lot of panels drew half a dozen people at best, and some panels had only one or no people in the audience.

The attendance also had an effect on the energy level at the con, which was pretty low and sluggish, partially because so many of the members are middle-aged or even older. I'd like to see more anime fans show up at Diversicon, because it has an extremely strong set of writing panels/workshops featuring professional authors, and there's definitely strong interest in writing among anime fans. Some AD staff people did show up, and it scares me a little bit to think that without them the warm body count would have been under 100.

Diversicon needs to do a better job of publicity, especially in terms of reaching out to the aspiring fantasy/SF writers and the anime fans. It's not an anime convention per se, but it does have anime content and deserves more attention than it gets.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
michaellee
Aug. 16th, 2004 10:59 am (UTC)
Diversicon
It's a matter of scheduling for me -- the double-whammy of the MN Fringe Festival and the Renaissance Festival pretty much ruled it out this year -- and one or the other of those applies to just about everyone else I know.

I'm not sure how many would attend Diversicon anyways, but I imagine it doesn't help things.
wombat_socho
Aug. 16th, 2004 12:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Diversicon
I think you're right about the conflict with the Fringe Festival and the RenFest cutting into attendance for Diversicon, but no matter what summer weekend you put it on there's going to be conflicts with something. Attendance has been as high as 180 as recently as '99, and Diversicon has always been in August, so...we just have to work on the publicity. If nothing else, as revolutionaryjo said in her review of it, it's a a relaxicon between CONvergence and Anime Iowa that offers some sercon and silly programming for those so inclined.
chebutykin
Aug. 16th, 2004 08:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Diversicon
While it's true that just about any weekend will have conflicts, programming against RenFest is pretty deadly to a sci-fi con's attendance.

I do love Diversicon, but it is *the* most difficult MN convention for me to put on my calendar. Indeed, I haven't managed even to set foot in the place for the last two years. Heck, I've eve attended LosCon (in L.A.) more often than Diversicon, and that's on Thanksgiving weekend.

But I do agree. Diversicon also needs a lot better publicity. In all honesty, all of the publications make the convention look very dry. Just a little bit of graphic polish on the pubs would go a long way.
wombat_socho
Aug. 17th, 2004 05:00 am (UTC)
Re: Diversicon
Shades of the scene in one of the early Sailor Moon manga where Ami and Usagi look at each others' reading choices and exclaim "It's all pictures!" and "It's all words!" respectively. ^__^ Seriously, you're about the third person to comment that there's too many words and not enough graphics on the website and flyers. I think that's going to change for D13.

What they're going to do about the RenFest, i don't know...move it back a week so it's exactly a month after CONvergence? I've suggested it. It may happen in 2006.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )