David, Wendell, & all. Good discussion. Mirroring
my concerns from way back.
(If the following is too off-listy, my apologies.)
Another emerging concern is how costs have
increased over the last decade. Fuel costs are
presently driving inflation pressures all round.
At the same time many folks haven't experienced
correlative overall income growth.
In 1970 one could pay rent on minimum wage and
have living money left over. Today--nada.
How can our offerings be made more affordable to
those who otherwise would not attend?
Is it because they'd rather spend their disposable
income on anything else? Basic needs? Or more
peripherals, software, collectibles? The things our
Economic Engine primes people to want? That's a
formidable competitor these days.
How do we get sample CD videos of our events to a
potential audience? Just a thought.
--- David Bratman <dbratman@...
> At 10:23 AM 6/1/2007 -0400, Wendell Wagner wrote:
> >The conference
> >committees should be spending more time and money
> for publicity.
> We run very carefully targeted publicity. At
> Baycon, a 1500-person science
> fiction convention last weekend, held not thirty
> miles from this year's
> Mythcon site, I spoke on a panel whose subject was
> the new Tolkien book,
> _The Children of Hurin_. Not more than 5 people in
> the audience of some 30
> had actually read the book yet, so they were there
> out of genuine curiosity
> and we had a good discussion. At the end I handed
> out Mythcon flyers to
> many eager takers, and most of them were in their
> 20s or 30s.
> Meanwhile, David Lenander was at Wiscon in Madison,
> and gave out Mythcon
> flyers at the Q&A/reading session of our co-Guest of
> Honor, Ellen Kushner.
> We also get publicity online. Writers from TORN and
> other websites have
> been to Mythcons and have written them up favorably
> We'll see what happens. Good publicity work is
> actually a talent, one not
> often found among bookish introverts. We try, but
> Mythcons have always
> been curiously recalcitrant to publicity. I thought
> the opportunity to
> meet the never-seen Christopher Tolkien at Milwaukee
> in 1987 would pack
> them in. It was a larger than usual Mythcon, but
> not that much larger.
> The following year our GoH was Ursula K. Le Guin, a
> hugely popular author
> who rarely attends conventions. A few months
> beforehand she gave a lecture
> - and it wasn't free, either - just a few miles from
> the Mythcon site.
> Another committee member and I handed out a couple
> hundred Mythcon flyers
> to almost everyone who attended that lecture. How
> many Mythcon attendees
> did we get from that? Two.
> And that was 20 years ago, long before we were all
> greybeards in our fifties.
> >We need to recruit newer and younger members.
> I hope that's not an implication that we should
> pitch ourselves to What
> Young People Want, which is usually code for stuff
> about movies, gaming,
> etc. Fantasy gaming was already around thirty years
> ago, and movies before
> that, and complaints that Young People (whom the
> Society was then
> attracting in bulk) "don't read any more" were as
> loud then as now, and yet
> the Society has always been a literary group. All
> we need to reach your
> goal are 150 young people who read good fantasy
> books, and surely there are
> that many out there.
> I think the explanation is that online communication
> is satisfying many
> people's need for personal contact with other
> readers, and they don't feel
> like putting forth the extra money and effort to
> meet in groups in person,
> not realizing that this is even more fun. During my
> first eight years as a
> Tolkien reader, I could find almost nobody who'd
> ever read him, and
> absolutely nobody who was interested in discussing
> him. When I found
> Mythcon, it was like an oasis in the desert. Today
> I could just get online.