November 2nd, 2006


I just posted the following to the Eastercon Yahoo group, but I'll repeat it here:

My thoughts on the situation, in numbered paragraphs to give an illusion
of organisation.

1. We are probably at more risk of having several competing Easter
conventions in 2007 than of having none.

2. If anyone speaks to Tim Kirk in the near future, we need
answers to some questions, e.g.:

a) Is it likely that the circumstances of Convoy's cancellation will
preclude the use of other Britannia hotels (e.g. Britannia
International in Docklands, Sasha's in Manchester) for 2007, or indeed
for future years?

b) Is Convoy prepared to endorse some alternative rescue convention as
an "official" successor, and if so then by what process?

c) When are refunds being mailed, and are they prepared to enclose
fliers from 2007 conventions (whether held at Easter or not) with them?

d) Is it likely that Convoy's guests of honour would wish to be
invited as guests to a replacement convention?

3. Getting good hotel rates is easier five months out than it is two years
out. If they don't have a conference booking for Easter now, they know
they're not getting one unless a miracle comes along.

4. Legitimacy is over-rated (and certainly over-discussed). If there is a
single convention run over Easter 2007, by people who have some previous
track record of running Eastercons, then that's the Eastercon (and can
select the 2009 Eastercon). Legitimacy only becomes an issue if the
Eastercon forks.

5. Sizing a replacement con is a problem. Assuming we end up before
Christmas with a single con, held over Easter, with Convoy's blessing,
somewhere between London and Bristol on the east-west axis and between
Brighton and Newcastle on the north-south axis (sorry to the Welsh and
Scots, but Scotland had 2006 and Wales doesn't have the population), then
would it get 300 members? 500? 700? It makes it hard to budget. I feel
that under the circumstances it would have to be deemed acceptable for an
Eastercon to close memberships at a particular number, as long as that
number is at least 500.

6. Notwithstanding point 5, running a replacement con is going to be a
bigger financial risk than is normal for an Eastercon. Are there any
fannish organisations able (and willing) to underwrite part of the risk?
Does the Mexicon Hat have any money left? LFF? Interaction? Concussion?

7. I have seen on Livejournal but not repeated here that Chris O'Shea has
contacted the Britannia International in Docklands, where the proto-Plokta
Cabal held the 1995 Eastercon (with 750 members), and they do not
currently have a conference booking for Easter 2007 (but see point 2a