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Sailing the Clyde

29/04/2004. Contributed by Jessica Martin

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Cheryl Morgan drops us a behind-the-scenes looks at Interaction, the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention.

Sailing the Clyde, January - March 2004

The behind-the-scenes newsletter for Interaction, the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention

Welcome to the latest issue of Sailing the Clyde, covering January - March 2004. This issue has been put together fairly quickly so as to be available at the 2004 Eastercon. We thought that British fandom would want to know what we have been up to.

Construction 2: Stepping up the Gears - Vincent Docherty

Interaction's second staff weekend took place at the Holiday Inn in Swindon over the weekend 28th/29th February. The event clearly marked our transition from a Worldcon in waiting to one in action. Whereas at Cardiff last year we talked mainly about how we would go about working together, at Swindon various departments had break-out meetings at which they actually got down to doing the work. This trend will continue through 2004 and 2005, making our staff weekends more focused and productive.

Of course we did not allow this to get in the way of having a good time. Worldcons are entirely volunteer run and we are unlikely to work well together if we do not also socialise well together. This is especially important with a committee as geographically diverse as ours. Construction 2 had attendees from as far afield as Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway and the USA.

Our next staff weekend is scheduled for the 2nd/3rd October, 2004. No location has been fixed yet, although we will definitely be holding one event in Glasgow before long and we are also considering something in continental Europe.

You do not have to already be a member of the Interaction staff in order to attend a Staff Weekend. Newcomers who want to volunteer to help out are especially welcome.

Publications and Promotions - Steve Cooper

The second issue of our newsletter, Armadillo Dreams, will be available shortly after Eastercon. It is currently at the printers and will go in the post as soon as possible after Easter.

Debbi Kerr has been appointed to head up our media relations department and is currently busy working on various press releases.

Dave Stewart has been appointed to mastermind our agent team in the UK and Ireland. (Yes, our UK operation has been outsourced to Dublin.)

We have appointed Offworld Designs as our official merchandise suppliers. This is an American company that specializes in custom t-shirts and the like. They were the merchandise suppliers for the 2000 Worldcon in Chicago and also the 2003 SMOFcon in same city.

Site News - Colin Harris

We are pleased to announce that we have now signed the contract with the SECC and have paid the required deposit. We have also completed the hotel selection process, giving us a wide range of accommodation from bargain basement youth hostels up through university accommodation to top quality hotels. Due to the state of the economy we have been able to drive some very good bargains, with many of our room rates being lower than they were in 1995.

Attention has now moved to the accommodation management service, which Infotel will be operating on our behalf. This includes a customised web site, the development of which is well under way. This web site will not only process bookings, but will provide comprehensive information on each hotel including location, facilities, prices and real-time room availability. We are also busy producing some fannish commentary on each property to help members make their selection.

Full information on accommodation booking for Interaction will be available in the summer, and we plan to accept bookings officially from September 2nd 2004. Infotel staff will be on hand in Boston during Noreascon 4 for those who wish to book early.

Of particular interest to many fans will be the news that we have appointed the Glasgow Hilton and Glasgow Moat House as our official partner hotels. In each case we will have exclusive access to all of the hotel's function space. The Hilton will be used primarily for the traditional Worldcon evening parties, whilst the Moat House, which is physically attached to the SECC, will provide general programming and event space as well as being the heart of the fan programme and fan lounge.

The Hilton deal brings us nearly 20 function rooms, which is important for our party hotel since British hotel rooms are generally too small for a Worldcon-sized party. Most importantly we have also negotiated a complete corkage waiver for this hotel. Please note that we are still looking for a volunteer to manage allocation of our party space.

Talking of staff, we would like to welcome Mark Meenan (SECC liaison), Elspeth Kovar and Sharon Sbarsky to the Facilities team.

Membership Rates - Alice Lawson

Due to a continuing strengthening of the British Pound against other world currencies we have been obliged to adjust some of our non-UK membership rates. The change affects anyone purchasing memberships in the USA, Canada, Norway and Poland. The new Attending Membership rates, which come into affect on June 1st 2004, will be:

USA - US$170 (currently US$155) Canada - CDN$235 (currently CDN$225) Norway - 1220 NOK (currently 1160 NOK) Poland - 680 PLN (currently 630 PLN)

Full details of all membership rates can be found on our web site at: http://www.inte= raction.worldcon.org.uk/joining.htm.

Member Services - Alice Lawson

Little is happening with Member Services right now as Publications is doing most of the looking after of members. However, I would like to welcome Alison Ewing and Alistair Hepburn to our team. They will be monitoring incoming email on the volunteers' address and parceling people out to other departments as appropriate.

Of course if anyone at Eastercon would like to come and see me and volunteer I would be delighted.

Membership Statistics - Colin Harris

Due to the quick turnaround for this issue we don't have the end of quarter statistics available. Our position as of March 5th was as follows:

Guests: 11
Attending members: 1846
Children: 67
Infants: 33
Supporting members: 455
Total: 2412

Our geographic breakdown is as follows:

UK: 559
USA: 1446
Canada: 81
Australasia: 28
Rest of Europe: 272
Rest of World: 26

Programming & Extravaganzas - Paul Oldroyd

Programming is currently engaged in important but sadly un-newsworthy activities such as working out how many program items we can put on in the space available and generating a budget. However, I can announce some major developments in Extravaganzas. Giulia de Cesare has agreed to run our Masquerade. Giulia has run masquerades at several Eastercons and is therefore well known to British costumers. She will be assisted prior to the convention by Cheryl Morgan who has worked on masquerades at many US Worldcons. Cheryl will be attending Worldcon in Boston later this year on our behalf to recruit staff and contestants. In addition Mike Moir has agreed to head up the Hugo Ceremony.

Exhibits - Pat McMurray

Since I took over as Exhibits Division Head two months ago, planning and staffing is proceeding apace. Ewan Chrystal has agreed to take charge of Fixed Exhibits, and we're discussing the other two area head roles - Artshow and Dealer's Room - with potential candidates. I went up to take a good look around the SECC in March, and layout planning has started. We distributed an initial information letter to Dealers and Artists at Eastercon in Blackpool. As they say, watch these spaces.

WSFS - Pat McMurray

The big news on the WSFS front is that Interaction has decided to use its constitutional power to add one additional category to the Hugo Awards. The new Hugo, which will be awarded at Interaction only, will be for Best Web Site. A Hugo of this name was also awarded by ConJosé in 2002 and proved enormously popular with voters, gaining the fourth highest level of participation of all Hugo categories. The rules for Interaction's Best Web Site Hugo will be posted on our web site shortly. They will be broadly similar to those used by ConJosé.

Web Site - Colin Harris

One of the biggest issues with any Worldcon is dealing with the flood of enquiries coming in from all around the globe. Email is all very well, but it tends to result in the same question being asked again and again, and the answers only going to individuals. Also messages can get lost in these days of spam epidemics. Our valiant IT team has therefore been working hard on implementing a forum system for our web site. This will enable all of our members to see what questions have been asked and what replies were given. We hope that this will greatly improve the communication flow between our members and ourselves. The software is currently undergoing testing and we hope to release it some time May.

Forthcoming Appearances - Steve Cooper

Interaction staff will be at the following conventions during the period April - July, 2004.

North America: Penguicon (April 16-18, Detroit, MI); Wiscon (May 28-31, Madison, WI;) ConQuest (May 28-30, Kansas City, MO); BayCon (May 28-31, San Jose, CA); MidWestCon (June 24-27, Sharonville, OH); InConJunction (July 2-4, Indianapolis, IN); WesterCon (July 2-5, Litchfield Park, AZ)

Europe: Plokta.con (May 1-3, Newbury, England); Convivial (May 29-30, Glasgow, Scotland); FinnCon (July 10-11, Jyvaskyla, Finland)

Addresses and E-dresses

Convention Office - 379 Myrtle Road, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S2 3HQ, UK, or PO Box 58009, Louisville, Kentucky KY 40268-0009, USA

General Queries - Memberships - Site - Volunteers -

Con Website - http://www.interaction.worldcon.org.uk/ Worldcon Website - http://worldcon.org/

"WSFS", "Worldcon", "World Science Fiction Convention" and "Hugo Award" are registered service marks of the World Science Fiction Society, an unincorporated literary society.

:smile:

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