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Phil's Rambling Rants
September 9th, 2004
08:09 pm


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Why did Columbus lose?

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Date:September 9th, 2004 07:45 pm (UTC)
* Japan had a much more interesting destination.
* Columbus didn't make a serious effort to bid. The Japanese were more visible even though they had to travel several thousand miles further to get to conventions.
* There aren't a lot of Columbus fans known in Worldcon fandom. Many people had serious concerns about their ability to run a Worldcon.

On the plus side, Columbus is cheap to get to and has a great facility. What it would need to win a future bid would be (a) easier competition, (b) more Columbus fans working on Worldcons (or NASFiCs), and (c) a lot more serious effort on the part of the bid committee to hit the convention trail.

When the Columbus bid didn't show up at Balticon or Westercon, it became clear that they weren't making an effort and they weren't going to win. The actual vote was closer than I expected. However, Lisa and Matthew are well respected and there is a measure of goodwill in fandom towards Columbus. (Note that Kansas City which lost the vote for 2006 is now bidding for 2009, drawing on the basis of support they built up then.) There is a window of opportunity to put together a NASFiC bid for 2007, because the St. Louis bid is not well-known. However, the deadline for filing is March 1, which in practical terms means the bid would have to be announced by Smofcon in December. According to rumors heard at Noreascon (Columbus people I spoke to), there are people in Columbus considering a NASFiC bid, but others are not in favor.

Conucopia in 1999 was used to train people for LACon IV, and there are Seattle people who see Cascadia Con as training for a possible future Worldcon there some year.

However, an important thing to keep in mind is that the purpose of a bid is to win the honor of hosting a Worldcon (or NASFiC). One of the most important and effective ways to promote your group is to work on other conventions. Anybody who is seriously considering a future Worldcon or NASFiC bid, ever, should be signing up to work on Interaction, Cascadia Con, LACon, and/or Nippon. Over the years we got to know Lisa, Matthew, and of course Larry and Barb, but there's really not a long list of Columbus fans known to travelling fandom. And it's not enough to work on Worldcons, people need to work on other conventions in the region. It does appear that the Columbus group managed to connect to Chicago fandom, but people need to get out more to other places within driving distance: Detroit, Cincinatti, Toronto, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, etc.

I would not claim to have my finger on the pulse of fannish opinion, but I am 3-0 for bidding and I have thrown a Worldcon bid party at Marcon (in 1999).
At a minimum, serious Columbus fans should at least be able to make it to Columbus next weekend for Midwest Construction. A lot of conrunners are going to be there from all over.
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