I’ll be doing a full convention report on Finncon (and the DWJ conference) later, but I wanted to take time out now to make a few final comments and thank people who needed to be thanked. So, thank you very much to:
- Otto and Paula for being such generous and graceful hosts
- Jukka, Eemeli and Topi for chairing the biggest and most successful Finncon I have seen
- Merja for running a very enjoyable academic session (and for the copy of her doctoral thesis)
- Irma for being as wonderful as ever, for the tiara, and for the bottle of pine tar liqueur (which made it home safely this year, possibly due to an absence of thirsty Sean Williams books in my suitcase)
- Aleksi for loyally preserving some of my HangerOne Chipotle vodka for two years so I could drink it again
- The Finnish filkers for performing one of my songs so beautifully
- Everyone who entered the CosPlay and Masquerade, or came in costume
- All of my fellow judges for both CosPlay and Masquerade
- George, Al and Adam for being such great guests
- FluffCthulhu for accepting our sacrifices and ensuring that it rained in Cardiff but not in Helsinki
Two things stand out about the event. The first is that Adam Roberts totally charmed the Finns (see comments on his blog for examples). I have occasionally heard people say, “Oh, there’s no point in my going to X because none of my books are translated there.” Adam has comprehensively proved that idea wrong.
Secondly there is the sheer size of the event. As I have said before, it is extremely difficult to get accurate figures on the attendance of free events, but the estimate of 15,000 that was being bandied about on Sunday doesn’t seem unrealistic to me. Previous Finncons have appeared to have very large attendances in too-small venues. This one had a much bigger venue, excellent media coverage, and a seemingly endless stream of teenage kids going in and out. Every program item I attended was standing room only, and only one of those (the individual CosPlay) was anime-related.
Future Finncons will have to be smaller. I’ll talk more about that later. But this one was phenomenal, and I’m very proud to have played a small part in its success.