Sasquan Supporting Memberships Still Rolling In

Sasquan, the 2015 Worldcon, gained another 494 members between April 23 and May 6 and, continuing a trend, nearly 80% of the newcomers are supporting members.

The con now has a total of 8,510 members, including 3,590 attending and 4,581 supporting.

A $40 supporting membership is the minimum requirement to become eligible as a voter in 2017 site selection or to vote on the winners of the Hugo Awards.

Sasquan has long since shattered LonCon 3’s record number of supporting members, which was 2,882 (according to information distributed at Smofcon 32).

Here is how the new count compares to the figures reported as of April 23:

Sasquan Total Members
4/23/2015 8,016
5/6/2015 8,510
Increase    494

 

Adult Attending Members
4/23/2015 3,517*
5/6/2015 3,590
Increase     73

 

Supporting Members
4/23/2015 4,183
5/6/2015 4,581
Increase    398

(*) correction from number run here in last update

12 thoughts on “Sasquan Supporting Memberships Still Rolling In

  1. I wouldn’t even think of suggesting that the Sasquan Committee supported the Puppies intervention (I think, in fact, that they’re much too smart fannish for that), but the large number of Supporting Memberships will do marvels for their budget and to benefit the Attending Members. (IIRC, Supporting ones are set for somewhere around 50% profit, whereas Attending generally is (give or take a little pass-on money) pretty much “send out for more pizza, soft-drinks, & beer on the last day or so if we’re coming in under-budget”.

  2. Don Fitch:

    My analysis based on historical budget date was indeed that each Supporting member results in an extra $20 that goes to offset the rather large amount of overhead a Worldcon incurs. (That is, every new Supporting membership costs the current Worldcon about $20 that it would never have had to spend.) But this still means you need to sell somewhere between six and eight Supporting members to generate the equivalent of one Attending member. An 7-10% increase in usable money is good, but not spectacular.

  3. Don Fitch: I can’t see any reason Sasquan would mind a record number of supporting memberships. The attempt to argue these membership somehow have an insigificant finanical effect because they come with service costs flies in the face of the immediate example of LonCon 3 which (1) needed every one of its supporting memberships to keep from going in the red, and (2) curtailed delivery of service to supporting members (e.g., souvenir books) in order to stay out of the red.

  4. ‘An 7-10% increase in usable money is good, but not spectacular.’

    So you’re getting two toppings on the pizzas this year!

  5. Mike Glyer: “Loncon…curtailed delivery of service to supporting members (e.g., souvenir books)”

    It was my understanding that shipping had been delayed, but that supporting members would still get their programme book. Is that now not the case?

  6. JJ: That apparently is not the case. Here’s what Loncon Co-Chair Steve Cooper informed me via email when I asked when the convention would be able to send me and Nicki the souvenir books that we, as supporting members, had paid for with our membership fees:

    This policy has been forced upon us by our current budget and remaining hard-copies of the Souvenir Book. It is not a policy we are randomly introducing.

    We have noted your household as requiring a printed copy of the Souvenir
    Book – but it is unlikely we will get enough funds from other Worldcons
    to service the request for you to get two copies. But if we do we will
    try our best to fulfil your request.

    Needless to say, I was “unfulfilled” by this response and hope that they will find ways of raising enough money to handle this expense.

  7. Rich Lynch:

    Hmmm… this is the e-mail I got on 17 March:
    ————————————————-
    Our apologies for the delay in updating you on the situation regarding mailing out hard-copy editions of the Loncon 3 Souvenir Book. We hoped we would have better news but unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond our control, we are still unable to send out copies.

    As an interim measure, we have settled a number of copyright issues and are providing you with an exclusive link to an electronic version of the souvenir book. As a bonus, you can also access a high-definition recording of the Worldcon Symphony Concert — one of the stand-out events at Loncon 3. You can access these download links at:

    If the electronic version of the souvenir book is sufficient and you do not require a hard copy version, please let us know at memberships@loncon3.org.

    Thanks for your patience. We will keep you informed of any updates to this situation.

    Steve Cooper & Alice Lawson (Co-Chairs Loncon 3)
    ————————————————-

    Like you, I will be extremely unhappy if I do not get the programme book to add to my library. I ended up unable to sell my full membership and donated it Con or Bust. Loncon has turned out to be The Most Expensive Worldcon I Never Attended. :-/

  8. JJ: Rich Lynch’s comment has the basic policy. If you are in need of only one printed souvenir book (vs. being part of a multi-member household) then you should still get that.

  9. The statement that Loncon needed all its supporting members to avoid being in the red isn’t correct… worldcon budgeting doesn’t work that way. Unfortunately a lot of people make comments like this whenever a con comes out with a near-even budget.

    Worldcons have very uncertain income and you therefore prioritise expenditure and approve additional budget items as the money becomes solid. With disciplined management you can land very precisely – within a couple of percent – with minimum risk. The analogy is how I can take off in a plane from London and land on a runway 5000 miles away with a few feet. No one says that’s down to amazing luck in choosing the right direction for taking off!

    When cons have difficulty it’s usually because of poor forecasting, poor control, or nasty surprises. Loncon clearly has issues now and is having to make difficult choices but there was no inherent need for those supporters … The con chose to spend money in areas where it could have held back if it knew a problem was coming.

  10. Given that a lot of the extra members were in North America, they may be costing Loncon more than $40 each… in which case you could say that the extra members pushed it into the red, rather than saving the budget.

  11. I did not request the book. Mostly so that if folks complained about cost I could say I was a low cost high profit supporting member.

  12. Colin Harris: You want to contradict people who say LonCon 3 needed all its supporting members to avoid being in the red.

    Worldcon supporting members are entitled to receive the convention’s publications. The souvenir book in particular is an artifact many nonattending Worldcon members are interested in having. LonCon 3 is trying to renegotiate this contract with anyone willing to receive digital copies, while making clear they did not reserve enough funds to honor in full the obligation they had to provide printed souvenir books to each and every supporting member.

    I personally doubt LonCon 3 lightly abandoned these obligations, even though they haven’t published reasons for their circumstances, which very much suggests that the money that ought to have been available to service supporting memberships WAS needed to keep the con out of the red.

    To be clear, I am in favor of committees staying out of the red, not having to go into their own pockets (which if the amount is small enough can seem a much better option than going defunct, let alone paying to declare bankruptcy), and hope past corporate Worldcon hosts with surpluses will render all reasonable assistance.

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