Sasquan Says Opt-In Digital Pubs A Success

Sasquan logoThe 2015 Worldcon’s e-mail asking members if they’d prefer to receive publications digitally got a very positive response reports Glenn Glazer, Sasquan’s Vice-Chair (Business).

Bruce Farr (Sasquan Finance and Pre-Reg) suggested e-mailing everyone currently tabbed to receive paper publications to ask if they wanted to opt-in to digital delivery. Farr provided members’ e-mail addresses to Alex von Thorn (Sasquan Webmaster) who sent the messages and collected the data.

Glazer said the results were spectacular:

1,190 total emails sent
380 conversions
31.93% rate of conversion

He notes, “For a mass mailing campaign, 30% is an incredibly high rate of return.”

The conversions will save the con almost a thousand dollars in production costs on each progress report, close to $3,000 overall.

They also got 33 address updates, which might otherwise have been discovered only after having PR’s returned from the wrong address, sparing more Sasquan expense and effort down the line.

[Thanks to Glenn Glazer for permission to quote.]

Spokane in 2015 Worldcon Bid

A Spokane in 2015 Worldcon bid, with Bobbie DuFault and Sally Woehrle as prospective convention co-chairs, has been announced by the Seattle Westercon Organizing Committee.

SWOC’s conrunning resume includes three Westercons and the 2005 NASFiC. The group also has bid twice for the Worldcon, unsuccessfully, most recently for Seattle in 2011.

The bid invites presupports ($20) and “Friend of the Bid” memberships ($120), which can be paid for online at the bid website.

The full press release follows the jump.

[Thanks to Alex Von Thorn for the story.]

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Sowing Dragon’s Teeth

When Mike Resnick raised questions about the Worldcon’s future in an SF Signal comment chain his approach there was to describe symptoms, assess possible causes and urge intelligent changes to fix them. Yet in crafting his editorial for Universe about the same topic Resnick inexplicably took a radically different approach.

Readers of Universe presumably now believe that Worldcon’s inept volunteers cheated posterity out of 120,000-member Worldcons by scorning gamers, anime and comics fans, and have ruined the Worldcon brand by sending it out of the U.S. too many times. Worldcon now reaps what it has sown. Attendance is flat and Resnick says publishers are abandoning the shrinking Worldcon. Writers inevitably will follow them to Dragon*Con and Comic-Con as he has.

A bidder for a future Worldcon says he recently received a similar warning from an unnamed past Worldcon guest of honor. (That would have to be someone different than Resnick, who hasn’t been GoH.)

Conrunners would worry about these warnings and criticisms anyway, and a few are especially anxious about the unopposed Chicago in 2012 bid’s plan to hold the con over Labor Day weekend. That would be the first time a U.S. Worldcon has been held opposite Dragon*Con since 2004.

These are hard times for conventions that cater to the written word as Worldcon does. Worldcons in the 1990s typically had around 6,500 attendees. Since 2000 only two Worldcons have drawn 6,000 and the others rarely topped 4,000. I’d like to stop the incredible shrinking Worldcon so I agree it is a good idea to identify and address the genuine problems. They are not the ones Resnick chose to dramatize, and there are good reasons why worrying about Dragon*Con won’t contribute to solving them.

[This long post continues after the jump.]

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