World Science Fiction Convention 2021
#1
I plan to attend the World Science Fiction Convention this December in Washington DC. 

WorldCon's are normally held around US Labor Day. It is at the choice of the convention to choose the exact dates.  

I have a train ticket as I'm not ready to fly.  The only problem is that the train leaves at Darkest Hour (6:30a).
I have several friends driving down, so I might be able to "ship" a bag of books north should I need to do that. 


I've been slowly working on my "fear level" to attain this level of experience. 
In August I spent a 3 day weekend at Tanglewood (Stockbridge/Lenox, MA) with 5 friends, and big spaces between seats (masks suggested). I also went to the big Gem & Mineral Show, and walked for 3 hours before I "masked" out. 
In September I spent a 5 day weekend at the National Carousel Association "convention" out of Rochester, NY. This is 3 days on busses going to 7 different carousels. This would have been fine (masks required), except I forgot my mask during the second fire alarm, and we were crammed in for the elevator ride back to the room. Pictures on the National Carousel Association Facebook site. 
The only thing in November is the Fiber Festival in Agawam, MA. This is usually a huge Airport Hanger sized building filled with people, wool and animals. This is usually crowded. 

Right now Worldcon is still expected to be several thousand people, all in masks. I may need to make up a couple of cute ones to go with my "Maori" fabric mask, and my "Minion" smile mask. 

I'll see how this goes and then decide on Boskone (February 18-20, 2022) and CostumeCon (April 1-4)
Irene
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#2
I'm not ready to get back into the con world, myself. I probably would have enjoyed Dragon*Con this year, though. From the pictures I saw online, it wasn't as crowded as it had gotten to be pre-pandemic.
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#3
Well. I'm going. Stuff is piled on top of the suitcase. Still deciding what goes in big bag, and what goes in hand luggage.
I just swapped the biggest item, as it will need to be packed last.
Not bringing any books. Just my Nook, which doubles as an email-tablet.
Big difference this year. Packing a whole bunch of masks and carrying my COVID vaccine card.
Now I just need to contact (again) the volunteer people.

None of the authors seem to be in the books I read. So, I am just bringing white paper for autographs. Reminds me, I need to bring my book collection list.

I am nervous and excited. Limo to train station is at Oh-Dark-hundred.... or 05:00.
Irene
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#4
Have a safe trip.
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#5
I will work at being safe. I am not, so much, a crowd lover. If all gets to be too much, I can switch to doing remote (from my room).

Now to put some new reading on my Nook.
Irene
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#6
I'm baa-aack.
A huge pile of email & Facebook postings.
There was an email warning of one breakthrough COVID case, but I don't think there was any contact (and that would have been 16-17). Since I didn't use email at the convention, I only got this notice last night.
Bought only one book. Saw people, went to panels, Masquerade & an orchestra concert... Oh and stopped in at a couple of
Smithstonian buildings on Saturday morning.
Irene
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#7
What was your impression of attendance?

I read that this year's Dragon*Con had a much smaller crowd than in pre-pandemic years.
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#8
Keeping count of attendance was almost impossible. Probably partially my fault, as I didn't keep proper records of the pre-printed pre-con labels I put on badges. Maybe they kept count of badges?
I volunteered at Registration on Tuesday (we never opened) and Wednesday 8AM (lines across the hotel from end to end) until the lines ended around 7PM. They didn't have any lines the rest of the convention, and (to my eyes) most of the people were pre-registered.

A better count would be the number of seats used at the Masquerade. I'd say that half of the seats were taken. Maybe as much as 2/3. Since I had a seat among the assistance needed people, (I'm getting deaf in my senior years,) I can only estimate. Hmm 10-15 seats per row, 20 rows, 8 sections.... About 2000 people? And there was no real line to get in.

No crowds. Always plenty of seats in the Restaurant. The only "crowd" was in the Staff Den when the lunches were late.

The panels I attended, had pretty full rooms: shoe construction, 'But does it have pockets?', watercolor class, "Judging a Book by it's cover", Webb telescope, The mission to "push" an asteroid out of orbit (brain freeze).

AND with some panels being ONLY virtual, I have no way of counting the registrants who were virtual only.

In fact that "only virtual" meant that I couldn't attend "The Magician's Butler Did It" the only real problem with the convention was that (I couldn't find or ) there weren't viewing rooms for the Virtual only panels.
Irene
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#9
I can't help but wonder what the pandemic will do to long-term convention attendance. But virtual panels may become more of a thing anyway, at least for the larger conventions. At Dragon*Con they have had overflow halls for many years for the masquerade. I've watched them both in the main hall and over a video feed in another hall.

There is something to be said for the experience of sitting with a live audience. It's a much more intense and intimate feeling. But it's not like people at the larger conventions are unused to watching some events by video.

And, of course, we occasionally share convention session videos here on SF-Fandom.
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#10
Yup. Yup. Yup.

I attended the orchestra (Washington Metropolitan Gamer Orchestra) and the Masquerade in person.
I was going to go to the live feed in one of the ballrooms, with drinks, for the Hugos. When the Hugos were delayed an hour. Called it a "miss" and stayed in my room and watched TV.

Boskone (Boston in February) has come up with a pretty good plan where all Virtual panels will have a viewing room, and all Live panels will be available to the virtual attendees as a live feed. Both of these mean that not everyone can ask questions, but I'm OK with that.

A couple of things that virtual attendance can do: 1) Large number of panels on African SF and 2) Allowing people to attend from their computers wherever in the world they were.

That is the only way, virtual, that I will attend 2023 in China.
Irene
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#11
Speaking of videos, there appear to be a few available on YouTube.

Watch Blind Lemming Chiffon concert from YouTube
SF-Fandom not responsible for video content



SF-Fandom reserves the right to remove inappropriate video content from its discussions. YouTube may remove the video from its service without notification.


Watch Blind Lemming Chiffon concert from YouTube
SF-Fandom not responsible for video content



SF-Fandom reserves the right to remove inappropriate video content from its discussions. YouTube may remove the video from its service without notification.


Warning to people who have never seen this kind of concert before: Filk is an acquired taste.
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#12
And here is the Kaffeeklatsch from Angry Robot Books.

Watch Angry Robot Books' Kaffeeklatsch from WorldCon, Washington DC from YouTube
SF-Fandom not responsible for video content



SF-Fandom reserves the right to remove inappropriate video content from its discussions. YouTube may remove the video from its service without notification.
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#13
Thank you.
Irene
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