The Last Minute

Chicago in 2012 bidder Helen Montgomery is encouraging people to get site selection memberships before the August 9 postmark deadline for mail ballots.

Chicago is unopposed, but Helen offers two arguments for taking the time to vote:

1)  If you are a Friend of the Bid (i.e. you gave us $100 or more), then $80 of that money has been held aside to pay for your conversion to an attending membership – but only if you voteIf you do not vote, you forfeit your automatic conversion to an attending membership.  If you do not vote, you will need to purchase a supporting or attending membership, and we guarantee that will cost more than the voting fee.

2)  Everyone’s voting fee will go to the winning bid (which we hope will be us!) and will be used as the “startup” money for the convention.  The more people who vote, the better the financial position the convention will be in at the start, which helps us do more fun stuff at the convention.

Any Worldcon is anxious to have a solid amount of startup money, and it’s true that only the winner of a two-horse race benefits from a rival’s success at turning out voters who have no interest in a con held in the opposing town.

Yet there’s rarely a push to get people to join a Worldcon at the lowest rate available. Every Worldcon budget I’ve ever seen depends on receiving additional revenue from fans who join later at the graduated membership rates.

I expect Chicago to have a very healthy number of members, eventually, still one must have enough money for publications and other immediate needs and maybe they have reason to be concerned.

Remember, it’s not just a matter of being willing to buy a voting membership to join Chicago — only supporting or attending members of Aussiecon 4 are eligible for those memberships. Aussiecon 4 will be a smaller-than-average Worldcon, of course, and the non-Australian members are the ones more likely to be interested in joining a  Chicago Worldcon, which leaves a lot of fans faced with buying an “unnecessary” $50 supporting membership in this year’s Worldcon for the privilege of joining Chicago at the lowest rate. Aussiecon had around 1100 North American members in June 2010 (see PR 3), compared to over 2500 North American members of Anticipation in April 2009 (see their PR4), so that $50 is a barrier for a lot more fans today than it was a year ago. That’s why it would be no surprise to discover that a lot more fans than usual are putting off the decision to buy a 2012 membership ‘til they’ve decided for sure they’re attending the con.

The full message follows the jump.

TEXT OF CHICAGO IN 2012 MESSAGE

Our long road towards bringing the Worldcon to Chicago in 2012 is nearing its end.  Over Labor Day weekend, we will be at Aussiecon 4 in Melbourne, Australia, for the final site selection vote and announcement of the winner for 2012.

We want to thank you again for your support over the last few years.  We have had a great time traveling the country, meeting people at our bid table, and serving you smoothies at our bid parties.  We hope you have enjoyed spending time with us at local conventions, reading our pulp stories, and are looking forward to spending Labor Day weekend 2012 with us in Chicago for the ultimate party!

At this time, Site Selection voting has officially opened.  We know many of you will be unable to travel to Australia to vote in person, but you can vote via mail.

“Why vote?”  “Aren’t you unopposed?”  Two questions we have heard often throughout the bid.  Yes, we are unopposed, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t need your votes.  There are two major reasons for you to take the time to vote:

1)                  If you are a Friend of the Bid (i.e. you gave us $100 or more), then $80 of that money has been held aside to pay for your conversion to an attending membership – but only if you voteIf you do not vote, you forfeit your automatic conversion to an attending membership.  If you do not vote, you will need to purchase a supporting or attending membership, and we guarantee that will cost more than the voting fee.

2)                  Everyone’s voting fee will go to the winning bid (which we hope will be us!) and will be used as the “startup” money for the convention.  The more people who vote, the better the financial position the convention will be in at the start, which helps us do more fun stuff at the convention.

You can vote via mail (current WSFS rules preclude electronic site selection voting) by going online to the Aussiecon website at:

http://www.aussiecon4.org/index.php?page=50

From there you can download the Site Selection form, fill it out, write your check, and mail it in. 

Aussiecon 4, 2012 Worldcon Site Selection

PO Box 9135

Huntsville, AL 35812 USA

or

Aussiecon 4, 2012 Worldcon Site Selection

GPO Box 1212

Melbourne, VIC 3001 AUSTRALIA

THE DEADLINE FOR VOTING HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO AUGUST 9, 2010.  Your envelope must be postmarked by August 9, 2010, in order for your vote to be counted.

If you like, you can also hand your ballot to someone who is attending Aussiecon 4, who can then hand deliver your ballot at the convention.  Chicago in 2012 will be collecting ballots for this purpose at ReConStruction, the 10th NASFiC, in Raleigh, North Carolina, from August 5-8, 2010.

After the vote, we will cross-reference the list of voters with our Friends list, and if you are on both, congratulations!  You will have an attending membership to the 2012 Worldcon in Chicago.  If you voted but did not support at the Friends level, then you will automatically be at the supporting membership level, and will receive information about how to upgrade your membership to attending.

If you have any questions about this process, please do not hesitate to ask us.  You can email us at info@chicagoin2012.org and we will be happy to help answer any questions or address any concerns.

Thank you again for all of your support.  We appreciate it more than we can say – so we’ll just show you how much in 2012 instead!

Sincerely,

The Bid Committee for the Chicago in 2012 Worldcon Bid

3 thoughts on “The Last Minute

  1. If you do not vote, you forfeit your automatic conversion to an attending membership.

    I sincerely hope that this was known at the time people shelled out their money. If it was, fine. If it wasn’t, this is an exceptionally stupid and possibly even illegal move on Chicago’s part, as well as an excellent reason to not vote for them.

  2. Umm, Dave? In addition to the fact that Chicago made its plans clear throughout the bidding process, the past norm for Friends of the Bid getting an attending membership when a Worldcon bid wins has long included the voting requirement.

    Each bid gets to decide these things independently, but if a Friend doesn’t vote, they pretty much always have to pay an upgrade fee (and that fee is usually at least $5 more than the voting fee was).

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