lullula: (White peacock)
I know I literally only just put up my Eastercon report (so late, I am sobbing), but now I’m posting another con report! This time in a reasonable time frame!

So, Nine Worlds Geek Fest, it was a bit of alright.

This was a multimedia, multi-track convention that went on down in Heathrow in the Radisson and Renaissance hotels. It was its first year, so before I went I was pretty unsure of how it would work out and how having SO MUCH going on would work with however many attendees it attracted.

The short answer – it all worked out really well!

The longer answer, is under the cut! Can we just go back and do it all again? )

I had a really fun time at the con, and I can’t wait to go back next year. I have some last bullet points, which I guess can be seen as feedback?

Positive things:
  • The determined inclusivity – Nine Worlds didn’t shy away from shouting about the fact that the con is for everyone, and harassment wouldn’t be tolerated.
  • Longer panel times – so often an hour can feel rushed and you get the impression there is much more to be said, so 75 minutes did work well.
  • The variety of topics covered! It reminded me of Worldcon in its scope, and I was pleased there was so much to choose from! Especially as some of it wasn’t particularly sci-fi/geek oriented.
  • Each stream had its own room, which I thought was a fantastic idea.
  • The friendly and welcoming atmosphere – everyone seemed so happy to be there, and it was a very positive atmosphere!

    Negative things:
  • This may just be me, but omg I couldn’t figure out where the elevators were in the Ren?? Like, I missed a couple of panels until I found them. Maybe if the Renaissance is used again, could there be a sign? For those of us who are super incompetent?
  • I know people work Fridays, so maybe the con couldn’t have begun before it did, but I do feel like Saturday was PACKED with content, and then it petered out on Sunday. I don’t know if there’s a way to try and spread things more evenly, but it wouldn’t have been a bad idea, especially considering it’s quite expensive (or I think so? I don’t have a lot of money), it was a shame it fizzled out so much of Sunday evening.
  • I don’t feel like there was a proper beginning or end to the con, which is a shame. I’m not saying we need a super long opening and closing ceremony, but perhaps an official SOMETHING might be a good way to go? I think a last feedback and official closing thing might not be a bad thing to consider.
  • I seriously hate how far the con hotels are from reasonable food options (and from home, haha, it's like 6 or 7 hour drive) – by the Travelodge is a small community so you can get food there, but it’s either a £2.40 bus ride or 30/40 minute walk away, and if you don’t want to subsist on McDonalds or Co-Op food, that is an issue. There is no easy fix, and I’ve been moaning about it since the first Heathrow Eastercon, so I in no way blame Nine Worlds for this, but it’s still irritating!

    Finally, check out my swag:
  • lullula: (Default)
    This Eastercon was an interesting experience for me, I spent a lot more time socialising than going to panels this year, which is pretty opposite to what I normally do. I also did my very first panel \o/ That was pretty exciting, if also slightly terrifying. As with all things, it wasn't quite perfect, and I'm gonna speak a little bit about that later on.

    Friday, Friday, Friday, I got down on Friday. )

    I'm not sure what I did for much of Saturday morning - I think it involved a lot of sleeping and a visit to Tescos. Natch.

    Saturday, the day my brother appeared! )

    So, as you might suspect, Sunday swiftly followed Saturday and with it came the excitement of being on a panel! For the very first time! In front of actual people! Gad.

    Sunday, which is a day dedicated to celebrating a zombie* by eating chocolate. )

    Clearly, Monday happened.

    It wasn't, as it happens, particularly manic. )

    So that was pretty much my highlights! Now for some general observations, I guess.

  • To me, this con was certainly fun, but a surprising amount of the programme items didn't interest me. Luckily, there are more than enough fabulous people there to talk to in the bar that this didn't feel like a genuine problem. Additionally, plenty of con reports and tweets assert that people had a wonderful time and found the programme items a lot more engaging than I did, so I think it's fair to say that this Eastercon really did have something for nearly everyone!
  • Apparently, I've gained enough social skills in the past year to actually manage to chat and talk to people! I was pretty surprised by this, since most of the time I spend a lot of con time trying to figure out how the hell to even say hello to someone interesting, even if I've met that person before (does anyone else feel like they're instantly forgettable? I know my hair is a bright colour, but other than that I'm pretty sure I don't leave much of an impression because I'm really boring). So it was really neat that time not spent in panels could be spent talking to aforementioned interesting people.
  • There was a lot of talk about panel parity this year. Partly this is great - because yes, we do need to have fewer male voices and more non-male voices heard. Partly this was a little disturbing - it's so binarist, and I don't know if anyone's addressed this? I'm pretty sure I don't need to go over how exclusionary a policy of equal male to female participants inherently is, and I hope this is something that's considered in the future. Also, there are some cases where one gender's voice should be heard without giving equal weight to another's - if I want to hear about how female writers feel in a male dominated field, I actually don't want to hear a male's opinions, because it wouldn't be about them. In general though, I am in favour of it, and overall I feel Eastercon did well in trying to ensure non-male voices were on panels.
  • Eastercon is still a really white, mostly middle-class or above space. This is not necessarily a criticism - it's not anyone's fault that lots of white people turn up, but it would be nice to see future Eastercons with more diversity - perhaps by reaching out to Uni's and widening their advertising pool (I don't know if that could be reasonable considering the cost of advertising though).
  • God damn but there are a shit ton of iPads in the hands of Eastercon goers.

    I feel like this post was really text heavy, so here's a picture of Mum and me taken over the weekend:

    In summary: Good Eastercon! I'm really looking forward to next year's!

    It is actually nearly 6am and I think I've been writing this since 6pm, so I am going to stop here, even though I can think of about a thousand more things to say.

    *Is Jesus actually a zombie if we eat His flesh and he doesn't crave ours?
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