Programme - Swancon 2012
The 2012 Program in Review
Please note this is less a Voice of Authority on how to do it next time, and more a reflection on how it went.
Good stuff we want to keep
- Maker stuff went well; lots of people said “more of that!”
- Chris Creagh essentially had her own stream which developed thematically through the convention. This was excellent.
- Categorising things: fan, discussion, workshop, etc worked well on both the organising side and on the fan side, knowing what to go to.
- Screen-stuff (i.e. movies, video games) versus lit: was the balance right? People felt yes, balance was good.
- Putting the launch up against nothing else is a good thing and we should keep doing it.
- Bite-size (half-hour) panels: good for specific topics. General feeling was that this was good.
- Children’s stream: excellent. Room layout was excellent.
Stuff we could do better
- Video game design: not well attended
- Too many program items, spread across too many rooms. One less room would have been better because it would have been more focused. Possibly this was due to not as many good program item ideas as previous years
- Panelists said not enough lead-in time: they didn’t get told about the items they were on long enough before the con.
- Programming barbecue for 2010 or 2012 didn’t work well
- Program book: item descriptions per day were listed alphabetically. This was bad. Different people want that differently. If we pre-announced what was going to be in the program book, but made other forms available for printing from the web site, people could print the form of their choice
- Live in-progress program on the web site was a good thing. Flip side is that it shows items that still need panelists etc., but this is outweighed by having a partial program visible. Christopher says that mouse-overs to see descriptions are such a good feature that the feedback he’d got was that several of his friends would have bought memberships if that feature had been in earlier.(2009)
- solicitation of ideas for programme items works well face-to-face better than via web. Similarly with taking to panelists: you can tell if they’re enthused or not
- We should have done anime
- We should have done more transformative media
- We should have done more late-night-type items: Iron Brain, etc.
- We need a mechanism for notifying panelists when a panel gets moved.
- Scheduling to minimise tear-down / set-up for panels with special needs
- Counting people in panel items. This would help allocate items to rooms in future years.
Stuff we want to ditch
- Program listing did not go up on doors. This was a bad thing. This was dictated by the venue
- Next time, go with the room names that the venue uses.
Stuff we need to talk about more
Flag for future discussion: ticketing software, masquerade, art show, awards, lead time on programming in terms of organisation, AV handling, volunteer recruiting. AV gear in the community available for loan.