Westercon Forgets to Shrink

Westercon 65 chair Bobbie DuFault announced last weekend that the con, held this year in Seattle, drew 800 attendees and sold about 1000 memberships says Kevin Standlee.

That’s an improvement over last year’s Westercon in San Jose which reported 639 attendees and 826 total members, and the 2010 Westercon in Pasadena that attracted just 600 warm bodies and hosted an ominous panel discussion about whether the convention series ought to be shut down for lack of support.

2 thoughts on “Westercon Forgets to Shrink

  1. I may be an outlier, but I’ve always felt the ideal size for a convention is 200 to 300 people. (Perhaps not coincidentally, about the size of my very first convention, the 1973 Balticon, before someone decided to move the decimal point on Balticon’s size.) I can have a good time at larger conventions, say 300 to 800 people, but not as good a time as at smaller cons. Above 800, I start to feel uncomfortable and stressed.

    (Data point: The last Worldcon I attended was in 1984. Hilde and I were running the staff lounge, though, so didn’t spend all that much time in and among the general melee.)

  2. @Bruce: Over the years I’ve heard lots of others say that too. Various reasons given – like it’s too hard to find their friends at a big con. Even those who like big cons usually solve them by finding small communities within them. The committee. Costumers. Filkers. Hosts of a bid party. Pretty much any work is the source of a community. Not being an extrovert I gravitate toward those kinds of solutions.

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