HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

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Brénan-al-Saél
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HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#1 Post by Brénan-al-Saél » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:57 am

Hi all,

It is with some sadness that I must announce the postponement of HârnCon 2013.

Unfortunately, because I didn't get the venue squared away until February, there just wasn't enough time for folks on the Forum to make vacation and travel arrangements, and I ended up with less than a handful of participants from here. Also, it just didn't make sense to proceed without enough local participation from BC to cover the cost of the venue.

HârnCon, after all, is about this community, and without much representation from here it wouldn't be much of a con.

Not all is lost, however. I say "postponed" rather than "cancelled" as I would like to try again for next summer, this time with the venue booked well in advance. Hopefully this will give everyone here enough time to prepare to come to Vancouver in 2014.

As the venue was quite nice, and easily accessible for travelers from afar, I will be talking with the hotel over the next few weeks to book something for next summer. Tentative dates right now are the first or second weekend of August.

Thanks to those who were keen to attend HârnCon this year, and I look forward to seeing you all at an even better gathering in 2014.

Cheers,
Brian
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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#2 Post by Krazma » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:30 am

Brénan-al-Saél wrote:HârnCon, after all, is about this community, and without much representation from here it wouldn't be much of a con.
First off, I'm sorry it won't happen as planned. Whether that means cancelled or postponed seems a matter of wording; the end result is the same.

However, the last several HârnCons have been relatively anemic in terms of attendance. I think maybe it would be a worthy exercise to figure out why that is before anyone invests the time and money in planning another one. It's a sad statement that it's such a challenge to get even 15-20 Hârniacs together to support this community and the game.

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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#3 Post by Leitchy » Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:29 am

I think an issue is the fact that the Hârn fanbase is so globally scattered. Yeah, the US and Canada have a lot of fans, but overall, it's only 40% or so of the total. Europe, as a region, probably comes in around 50% with the remaining 5-10% coming from the rest of the planet (mostly, but not exclusively, from Aus & NZ).

This means the cost of attendance is quite high; there's the 3 days of the Con itself, but there's also travel to/from which chews up another couple of days, prep and run-down time another couple...overall, we're looking at a commitment of a week's time from a person. That's pretty significant, especially if they have families and jobs and so on. Which means everyone, of course.

So I'm not surprised in the least; my own experience is a case in point. It's a 14hour flight to/from Vancouver for me, and costs around AU$2000 for a return flight, and that's before I look at accommodation and spending money. To be worth the effort, I'd want to spend time with my friends in Vancouver other than those at HarnCon, and maybe re-visit some of the places I love there. That's an overall two week commitment and a total cost of at least AU$4000...probably more, and that's kind of a lot. Not only that, it ate into the vacation time available for my UK trip this year, which has a higher personal priority for me right now.
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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#4 Post by Brénan-al-Saél » Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:47 pm

I agree with your assessment Peter. The cost of travel has become quite high over the past few years, and most folks here on the Forum would have to consider making a family vacation out of the event. My error was not considering this very carefully and only giving participants 4 months to plan a vacation and find economical transportation to Vancouver. Realistically, many more months of lead time is required these days to find seat sales or other affordable travel alternatives.

I hope that by setting a date for early August 2014 before the end of this summer (with 12 months of lead time), forum members will consider Vancouver as a possible choice for next year's vacation.

So what do you think Peter ... Vancouver in 2014? :wink:

Cheers,
Brian
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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#5 Post by rob » Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:50 pm

Leitchy wrote:I think an issue is the fact that the Hârn fanbase is so globally scattered. Yeah, the US and Canada have a lot of fans, but overall, it's only 40% or so of the total. Europe, as a region, probably comes in around 50% with the remaining 5-10% coming from the rest of the planet (mostly, but not exclusively, from Aus & NZ).

This means the cost of attendance is quite high; there's the 3 days of the Con itself, but there's also travel to/from which chews up another couple of days, prep and run-down time another couple...overall, we're looking at a commitment of a week's time from a person. That's pretty significant, especially if they have families and jobs and so on. Which means everyone, of course.

So I'm not surprised in the least; my own experience is a case in point. It's a 14hour flight to/from Vancouver for me, and costs around AU$2000 for a return flight, and that's before I look at accommodation and spending money. To be worth the effort, I'd want to spend time with my friends in Vancouver other than those at HarnCon, and maybe re-visit some of the places I love there. That's an overall two week commitment and a total cost of at least AU$4000...probably more, and that's kind of a lot. Not only that, it ate into the vacation time available for my UK trip this year, which has a higher personal priority for me right now.

I say we take over the UN Headquarters, declare World Harn Day, and game for a soliday week!
But on a more serious note, maybe Brian can plan for the same facilities next year at the same time, this provide plenty of time for people to firm up plans. How about it Brian?

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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#6 Post by ogier » Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:50 pm

I think it is smart to plan small. If you have 6 people it can be a good con. The venue doesn't have to be a hotel. Several of the european cons have been at someones workplace or private home. If you plan small and get many attendees then is the time to expand.
And if you plan big have a small fallback plan. If I had bought a flight from Norway to Vancouver I could easily have ended up drinking tea with Brian and spend most of my time exploring the forests of British Columbia(No offense intended Brian.). :lol:

A few other points:

1) I think it is smart to have at least a few local harniacs living nearby.
2) When is essential . I will only be able to attend Harn Cons in late june or in july. While I am a special case and should be accomodated others living in America might have other issues with the time table.
3) Many of us are family men. But when we kids have left the nest we can con as much as we like. So we have something to look forward to in a few years time. \:D/
4) Why not have Harn Con near a place where a lot of people live preferrably near a major air hub. Places like New York or Los Angeles might do well.

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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#7 Post by Brénan-al-Saél » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:39 am

rob wrote:I say we take over the UN Headquarters, declare World Harn Day, and game for a soliday week!
But on a more serious note, maybe Brian can plan for the same facilities next year at the same time, this provide plenty of time for people to firm up plans. How about it Brian?
Woot! WHD sounds great! Sign me up!

(btw the venue is tentatively booked for 2014, and they are totally flexible about when we want to schedule .... I will post a survey here in the next couple of weeks to determine the preferred weekend for next summer)
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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#8 Post by Brénan-al-Saél » Thu Jun 20, 2013 4:26 am

ogier wrote:I think it is smart to plan small. If you have 6 people it can be a good con. The venue doesn't have to be a hotel. Several of the european cons have been at someones workplace or private home. If you plan small and get many attendees then is the time to expand.
And if you plan big have a small fallback plan. If I had bought a flight from Norway to Vancouver I could easily have ended up drinking tea with Brian and spend most of my time exploring the forests of British Columbia(No offense intended Brian.). :lol:

A few other points:

1) I think it is smart to have at least a few local harniacs living nearby.
2) When is essential . I will only be able to attend Harn Cons in late june or in july. While I am a special case and should be accomodated others living in America might have other issues with the time table.
3) Many of us are family men. But when we kids have left the nest we can con as much as we like. So we have something to look forward to in a few years time. \:D/
4) Why not have Harn Con near a place where a lot of people live preferrably near a major air hub. Places like New York or Los Angeles might do well.
But the forests of BC are great! Definitely worth flying here to see! :D

Seriously though, the decision to postpone was not easily made, and I only did it after making sure no one I was aware of was significantly out of pocket for travel expenses. Had you bought your ticket ogier I would have done what I could to ensure there was an event for you to come to.

Thanks for all your feedback. From the Vancouver perspective, there are many local players who are interested, and I can handle a decent sized convention, but HârnCon is special because of the events created (and run) by the talented and dedicated writers and GMs who make up the HârnForum community. So from my perspective the priority is to plan a con that folks here on the forum will want to come to, and feel that the travel expense and time is worth it. As I mentioned above, I was a bit hasty in my planning this time around, as well as fortunate that I was able to postpone and plan properly for next year.

Cheers,
Brian
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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#9 Post by Gothmog » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:45 am

I'm in! Locals are great, but for me it's meeting the people I know through this forum for the first time in person or seeing people I met at the last con I was at in 08.
13 months people to get a plan happening! Start saving your pennies and start checking out the tourist info on Vancouver for your wife and kids. :D
Ok, let me get this straight. These guys come in, trash the place, slap Agrik & Larani around, and the most intelligible thing they said was "Zog!"?

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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#10 Post by Leitchy » Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:46 am

I'll certainly do what I can to make it in 2014. I've been to Vancouver three times and I love the place more each time I go.
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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#11 Post by Gothmog » Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:11 am

With all the flooding is Southern Alberta right now and the #1 Highway flooded and closed, I seriously doubt that it will be open by the time of the Con. Massive damage going on right now. :( Looks like I would of missed it regardless.
Ok, let me get this straight. These guys come in, trash the place, slap Agrik & Larani around, and the most intelligible thing they said was "Zog!"?

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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#12 Post by Brénan-al-Saél » Sat Jun 22, 2013 3:14 am

Gothmog wrote:With all the flooding is Southern Alberta right now and the #1 Highway flooded and closed, I seriously doubt that it will be open by the time of the Con. Massive damage going on right now. :( Looks like I would of missed it regardless.
Yikes. I hope the area where you live is still ok. I was reading about the evacuations in this morning's news.

Take care,
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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#13 Post by Gothmog » Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:43 am

Brénan-al-Saél wrote:
Gothmog wrote:With all the flooding is Southern Alberta right now and the #1 Highway flooded and closed, I seriously doubt that it will be open by the time of the Con. Massive damage going on right now. :( Looks like I would of missed it regardless.
Yikes. I hope the area where you live is still ok. I was reading about the evacuations in this morning's news.

Take care,
Brian
Were we live is on the highest point in Calgary, also the home we just bought is high up also, so no personal damage. Still have water and power. They are talking about shutting down all the bridges until they can be assessed... it's going to be a long couple of weeks for people.
You know it's bad when the story makes CNN.

They have also called for an evac of the downtown core. I've lived in Calgary for over 45 years and I have never seen flood water in the downtown streets and avenues. A lot of head offices down there.
Ok, let me get this straight. These guys come in, trash the place, slap Agrik & Larani around, and the most intelligible thing they said was "Zog!"?

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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#14 Post by Rothesay » Sat Jun 22, 2013 6:29 am

Sounds serious. Glad you're above it all.

We live in a top floor on a hill. Always thought if we get flooded, it might just be the apocalypse. You should take pictures.

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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#15 Post by TheHistorian » Sat Jun 22, 2013 5:39 pm

Brénan-al-Saél wrote:I ended up with less than a handful of participants from here.
I thought you had ~20 people planning to attend? How many were you expecting?

I hope no one booked travel that can't be refunded!

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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#16 Post by Krazma » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:19 am

Leitchy wrote:I think an issue is the fact that the Hârn fanbase is so globally scattered. Yeah, the US and Canada have a lot of fans, but overall, it's only 40% or so of the total. Europe, as a region, probably comes in around 50% with the remaining 5-10% coming from the rest of the planet (mostly, but not exclusively, from Aus & NZ).
Interesting demographics. Where did you get those figures? I'd have guessed about 70% North American, 25% European, and 5% Elsewhere (mostly Australia & NZ).

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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#17 Post by Leitchy » Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:42 pm

Krazma wrote:
Leitchy wrote:I think an issue is the fact that the Hârn fanbase is so globally scattered. Yeah, the US and Canada have a lot of fans, but overall, it's only 40% or so of the total. Europe, as a region, probably comes in around 50% with the remaining 5-10% coming from the rest of the planet (mostly, but not exclusively, from Aus & NZ).
Interesting demographics. Where did you get those figures? I'd have guessed about 70% North American, 25% European, and 5% Elsewhere (mostly Australia & NZ).
From operating the HarnList and Harnforum for the past almost 20 years. :) Nothing concrete, if that's what you're asking, but I'm pretty confident my figures are closer to correct than yours. :)

The number of Finns alone almost match the number of Americans...

:mrgreen:
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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#18 Post by MDMann » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:23 pm

I wonder what the figures are for those from the UK? Preseumably included with the European stats (but that's a whole other argument).
Per Sir Veer.

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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#19 Post by Peter the skald » Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:29 pm

I know of about 10 at least....
Plots and schemes are the same thing..

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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#20 Post by Brénan-al-Saél » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:08 am

TheHistorian wrote:
Brénan-al-Saél wrote:I ended up with less than a handful of participants from here.
I thought you had ~20 people planning to attend? How many were you expecting?

I hope no one booked travel that can't be refunded!
By "here" I meant from the forum. There were a number of local folks planning on coming, but very few with Hârn experience, which meant I was lacking in quality events for the con.

Before deciding to postpone I did reach out to those who planned to travel to Vancouver to make sure no one was out any major expenses.

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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#21 Post by rob » Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:38 pm

Brénan-al-Saél wrote:
ogier wrote:I think it is smart to plan small. If you have 6 people it can be a good con. The venue doesn't have to be a hotel. Several of the european cons have been at someones workplace or private home. If you plan small and get many attendees then is the time to expand.
And if you plan big have a small fallback plan. If I had bought a flight from Norway to Vancouver I could easily have ended up drinking tea with Brian and spend most of my time exploring the forests of British Columbia(No offense intended Brian.). :lol:

A few other points:

1) I think it is smart to have at least a few local harniacs living nearby.
2) When is essential . I will only be able to attend Harn Cons in late june or in july. While I am a special case and should be accomodated others living in America might have other issues with the time table.
3) Many of us are family men. But when we kids have left the nest we can con as much as we like. So we have something to look forward to in a few years time. \:D/
4) Why not have Harn Con near a place where a lot of people live preferrably near a major air hub. Places like New York or Los Angeles might do well.
But the forests of BC are great! Definitely worth flying here to see! :D

Seriously though, the decision to postpone was not easily made, and I only did it after making sure no one I was aware of was significantly out of pocket for travel expenses. Had you bought your ticket ogier I would have done what I could to ensure there was an event for you to come to.

Thanks for all your feedback. From the Vancouver perspective, there are many local players who are interested, and I can handle a decent sized convention, but HârnCon is special because of the events created (and run) by the talented and dedicated writers and GMs who make up the HârnForum community. So from my perspective the priority is to plan a con that folks here on the forum will want to come to, and feel that the travel expense and time is worth it. As I mentioned above, I was a bit hasty in my planning this time around, as well as fortunate that I was able to postpone and plan properly for next year.

Cheers,
Brian
May make a suggestion for say Between July 1 and July 4 of next year as the time frame. This way it will allow both Canadians and Americans time to have an 'extended' holiday given those two holidays. I say this since most coming to HarnCon will most likely becoming on from those areas. With apologies to the rest of the Harn fandom.

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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#22 Post by Gothmog » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:04 am

May make a suggestion for say Between July 1 and July 4 of next year as the time frame. This way it will allow both Canadians and Americans time to have an 'extended' holiday given those two holidays. I say this since most coming to HarnCon will most likely becoming on from those areas. With apologies to the rest of the Harn fandom.
I think that was one of the problems this year. Most of our American friends have other things going on this weekend with friends and family. I think keeping it in August would be a better idea.
Ok, let me get this straight. These guys come in, trash the place, slap Agrik & Larani around, and the most intelligible thing they said was "Zog!"?

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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#23 Post by Peter the skald » Thu Jun 27, 2013 9:37 pm

One thing however..do not worry about Europeans using vital holiday time...we usually get 6-8 weeks holiday time :twisted: :lol:...it is more cost and journey time imho..add this to the fact that an Ivinia-con seems almost annual..a stateside harnfest unfortunately loses it's appeal :(

What you need to do is sabotage the Ivinia-con :lol:
Plots and schemes are the same thing..

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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#24 Post by TheHistorian » Fri Jun 28, 2013 5:45 pm

Gothmog wrote: I think that was one of the problems this year. Most of our American friends have other things going on this weekend with friends and family. I think keeping it in August would be a better idea.
Agreed. A convention is probably a tough sell to a spouse as a holiday event for many.

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Re: HârnCon Vancouver ** postponed **

#25 Post by lawrence » Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:52 am

I was really disappointed I couldn't attend the con this year. Now I see my disappointment is being "shared" by more than me.

Next year I'll not schedule cruises on the Atlantic at the same time Harncon is running in Vancouver.

My offer to host a con in San Jose, close to the international airport in San Francisco, is still good. We can easily have four games simultaneously running in our home.

Lawrence
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