Dublin 2019 Photos by Rich Lynch – Friday

A cold truth surfaces…

The Dublin Convention Centre is too small for the size of this convention.  By a lot.  Thursday was chaos in the halls leading into the meeting rooms.  Packed solid with people trying to exit rooms where panels had ended and others who were wanting to get into those same rooms for the next round of panels.  Convention Centre staff became the traffic police in a mostly vain attempt to keep everybody moving.

By Friday the chaos had abated by a bit, but there have still been severe people flow problems.  Overnight each floor of the Convention Centre was taped off into queue lanes, one for each meeting room.  It’ll not quite an airport boarding lounge situation but very similar.  And this created addition confusion until, finally, everybody started to figure it all out.  But this system created lots of delays and there are usually lines of people waiting access for some rooms even after the scheduled panel  starting time.

This has resulted in plenty of people with frayed tempers, from what I’ve observed, but no meltdowns.  At least for now but there are still three days to go. 

One other thing I observed— the traffic police are not to be messed with!  More than one person was firmly directed to clear out of some area where queues would be forming.  Don’t think anybody has dared to jump a line after seeing them in action!

Heicon Memories panel

Panel opened with round of applause for Silverberg when he stated that this is his 66th Worldcon.  He has the record, I think.

Suzanne Tompkins, Ginjer Buchanan, Robert Silverberg, and Mary Burns.

Suzanne Tompkins, Ginjer Buchanan, Robert Silverberg, and Mary Burns.

eFanzines Live!

Bill Burns and Geri Sullivan.  Unsurprisingly, most everybody in the room not only knew about the site, they also were frequent visitors.  And many of us even have Fanzines hosted by the site!

Geri Sullivan and Bill Burns

Keith Kato’s Chili Party

…was held in Oscar Wilde’s House.  There was even a docent tour.

Oscar Wilde

9 thoughts on “Dublin 2019 Photos by Rich Lynch – Friday

  1. I was told when I was in Helsinki that the convention center only had space for 5,000 people. But they promised to open up nearby venues. Sounds like this did not happen.

  2. My impression is that the rooms themselves are not too bad. Panels are full but not terribly overcrowded (or maybe more people are turned away than I saw). The foyers and hallways are definitely too narrow. Even with professional queueing and traffic control there is just no way for 1000 people to get in and out within 5 minutes.

  3. Lis Carey: It might be that future bids need to be questioned much more closely on their proposed facilities.

    Before the past decade European Worldcons were modest in size and the bidders for Helsinki and Dublin had facilities where the predicted fit would not be too tight. London expected to be large — but probably not as large as it was. Future bidders, like France, will have to take advantage of the lessons learned about the demand for memberships — that so many want to come is a very positive thing in itself.

  4. Mike–Yes, excellent points.

    It’s a relatively recent but very real change, and it’s something bids and voters need to learn to deal with effectively, not something that should necessarily already have been known before recent European worldcons.

  5. The interesting thing is that recent European Worldcons have been not merely as large as US Worldcons — they’ve been larger. Helsinki is by a large margin the 2nd largest to date, after London was either 2nd (per the official numbers on the Long List) or tied for places 2-4 (given what I’ve been told about the uncertainty of some of the numbers, e.g. how day memberships were counted) — and in any case the largest in two decades. It appears that Dublin wasn’t prepared to be even the size of London, let alone Helsinki. @GiantPanda’s report is disturbing, since figures about corridor size and/or turnover capacity are much harder to come by than figures about room capacities. (Do we need to start comparing fire codes for rules about how much corridor is needed per thousand room seats?) I wonder whether future cons will need to consider staggered starting times for programs; this seemed to work tolerably at a local book festival, but I can’t see it being well-received.

  6. aauugghh^2 — that should have either that London was 3rd / 3rd-5th, or that it was 2nd / 2nd-4th when it happened.

  7. They have become much better handling the lines. I think the conclusion from this and Helsinki is that there must be much more thought about the logistics around rooms and queueing. Not only adjusting after the first day, but actually being prepared for how people should line up and have some kind of instructions.

    With the very clear markers on the floor with lines showing where you should stand, a number for what room you are queueing to, a lot of irritation is gone. But still the problem with everyone changing rooms at once.

    Then of course, you have ADHD-people like me. I skipped out on all panels yesterday, because I felt I had been stuck for too long with no moving space. Not sure if that is avoidable or even possible to lessen the impact of.

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