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Why aren't we fragmented? No, you've got the question turned around. Why are you so fragmented?
Of course some parts of a big con like Imagicon 2 can't just be put into a category. This time there was a very interesting talk about the very succesful fandom in Finland, plus a few other details.
(And why was I the only Dane at the con, but there were lots from Finland?)
At the last Finncon, there were 10,000 visitors! What did they do, and can we learn from it? Well. Let's hear what they did, and then steal what we can.
The primary focus of the con is books, but there's a little of everything. A little about roleplaying games, a little about animé, all sorts of fantastic literature, a litte about TV etc. -- even though some of these topics have their own con as well. For unknown reasons Finnish fandom (fannish findom?) isn't fragmented, maybe because it evolved without knowing the model used in other countries. So trekkies can attend book panels and vice versa.
Finncon is both fandom and marketing. You can get in for free, and there's lots of stuff for new fans. This is obtained by having 1/3 of the financing come not from ticket sales, but public funds (who like giving to free events with a wide audience). And yes, it took 10 years of stubborn applying, before the money from this source started coming in, but now there's something every year.
The con is in the summer holiday, so people have time to do it, you can rent rooms at the university cheaply etc.
The con enjoys having connections. The con has good press via contacts there, 1 page articles in the paper, TV spots etc. And when held at a university, you can offer science tracks, that students can follow, write an essay about and get merit! Like there can a language track.
Finncon changes between 4 cities, all easy to travel to.
Fandom also enjoys having many entry points. Some have found regular fandom via the Tolkien society, created in 1992. Others find their way through the fanzines at the libraries. And others again are personally invited to a pub meeting, e.g. when they just start at their studies.
Like fanzines in Finland are collaborations, more than an expression of big egoes, there's also team work to do the con from year to year. Both formally (a yearly meeting) and informally it's easy to get to talk with those who did the con last year, hear what they did, and learn from it.
At the next Finncon 2000 visitors are hoped for.
It wouldn't harm to learn something from this model!
(Per Chr. Jørgensen looks nervously at Jukka Halme from Finland.)
Created: 27 January, 2010 - Last changed: 27 January, 2010 - Comments (0)