For many years I had been thinking that Eurocon is a very important convention. Still for quite long time I had the incorrect impression of why it is so. Its importance is not related to the size of the con – nor to prestige it gives. The strength of Eurocon lies in the very centre of its idea – to share the „fandom way” with fans from other European countries. Although U-con (Eurocon 2017) was quite small, it allowed for the fans to meet and share their interests.
In the response to my first post Understanding Polish conventions I received a question about the con culture. I promised I would write about it but the task is certainly not an easy one. Being as deep in the fandom as I am, I might have problems to spot some important things. To certain extent, it is easier for me to spot them in other countries as I am looking at the convention partially from the outside. Still, I tried to give it a thought and to pin down some elements of Polish con culture and traditions.
This is the most difficult post till today. It’s the case because of two reasons – it is the first time I’m writing about convention which I was running myself and secondly I am not a Doctor Who fan – I’m just helping my friends to organize this convention. So how did Whomanikon 2 go?
Pyrkon is the biggest Polish convention – last year there were over 40 000 people. This year the number of participants has not been yet announced but I really doubt it will be significantly smaller. Being so big has some perks but also some disadvantages. All in all Pyrkon is doing a great job promoting SF/F and overall geekiness, however for me this edition wasn’t as good as the previous ones.
Luxembourg is a small country but it seems there is a lot of fans there. Luxcon was visited by ~5000 people (including organization team, volunteers and vendors). It is a vast amount of people and for me, the convention was more similar to media cons/multigenre conventions than to standard SF conventions. I was surprised by many things and for sure I need some time to think it over. Still, here is what happened at the convention.
Lajconik is a small convention devoted to tabletop Role Playing Games. For the first time it took place in 2011 and in the beginning it was not held regularly. Over last few years it has taken place around March/April. 2017 was not an exception and I again got a chance to participate in this lovely convention. I like it very much for a few reasons but the most important one is the atmosphere.
In February I have attended Conrunner 4. My first convention in March was KONgres – the first ever Polish convention created for conrunners. Comparing those two events is simply inevitable. Still my perception of KONgres is deeper than of Conrunner – I am deeply involved with Polish fandom and hence I knew much more people there and I was more involved in the programme. Continue reading “KONgres 2017 – first Polish convention for conrunners”
Fandom is about community and conventions are about meeting people who share your interests. Running conventions is a tough but very rewarding job. From time to time it is good to meet other conrunners and exchange experiences. Conrunner 4 was a great occasion to do so – it was an opportunity to learn something new, share thoughts and meet terrific people. And all this in just one weekend.
Fantastika 2016 was and will remain a very special convention to me. It was my first convention abroad other than Eurocon and Worldcon. It is also the first (and I certainly hope not the last) step to understand how the fandom works in different countries. Of course, I read about fandom in multiple countries, I looked for reviews and con reports, and I attended Eurocons, which usually gives you a grasp of the local fandom; and yet I still do believe that actually participating in a local event is what gives you a better understanding of the con-lore in a given country. I know that visiting one convention won’t give me a full picture, but one needs to start somewhere. Continue reading “Fantastika 2016 – Swecon 2016”
The first topic I have chosen for this blog is not an easy one: I want to present what is important for Polish conventions. I wanted to extract the core of convention-going. However, the only way I can look at Polish cons from the outside is to try to compare them to foreign conventions I have attended (mainly Eurocons and Worldcon). This comparison is not ideal as both Eurocons and Worldcons are very specific events. Still, this is the best option so I will be using this imperfect comparison. Continue reading “Understanding Polish conventions”