I thought the dealers space was worked out really well in the end. My general feeling is that the dealers room/space needs to be rethought out in general, in terms of how it functions or its role at the con in general. Sales, I think across the dealers, seemed down. We thought partially that was because there didn't seem to be a lot of people at the con on Market Day but I think people just didn't seem to be buying things. It's something that as a small press we need to go away and think about - are cons somewhere we would consider continuing to be at? On the other hand, I liked not be under the aircon or constantly being asked to be quiet like last year. It felt like we had space to trade and we did get quite a bit of passing traffic without feeling like we were particularly in the way. And I kinda liked being located near the art show and the gamers and from editormum's perspective, being near the kids room.
There felt like there were more kids at the con this year but it also felt like that integrated better. I can't really speak for parents but I think the room was located in the right place for kids to come and go and be noisy without being disruptive. And it felt like the vibe was more embracing of kids in the space - again I can't speak for parents on that. I just know the kids in my particular vicinity had a very busy con with lots of programmed items and it then became - should we wake them for their next panel? Heh.
For me really, this con was more about finding my place in the community and maybe understanding better how our community works and functions. I am constantly humbled by how many awesome and talented individuals we know and who make up this community. There is pretty much always someone not more than two degrees separation away who knows how to help or fix or advise or has already done whatever it is that you need. That's a pretty awesome and empowering thing for a community and it's made me realise how much we can get done when we pull together. I think I've shifted from a consumer to a participant - I think at heart that's what changed for me this weekend. I'm blown away by the overwhelming support we have had for our con bid and how many people have volunteered already to help out with particular elements without even being asked. So many people are so willing to share their experience and knowledge and it's been really energising and invigorating to link into that energy.
I guess for me at this con, I met so many more of the people who are behind the scenes at Swancon - the people who are the continuity between cons and who know how to do things and who make things happen. I've never really looked before but there are so many people seemlessly and quietly doing things behind the scenes. And they do it because they love the community and the con. They don't do it for recognition or even necessarily for thanks. I feel really honoured to be able to have spoken to so many of them and that so many have made the time to share what they know with me. It's hard not to love a community when you start to see it through the eyes of this group of people. And it's also pretty damn cool to meet people who are so loved and respected by others and get to see why.
I kind of feel like a veil got lifted or something. It's pretty cool. And a bit scary.