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There is a discussion going on elsewhere about how guests are chosen for conventions. As a first-time conchair I'm currently very aware of all the factors that go into deciding who you do and do not choose as a guest.
So, there are these people that you might like to have as your guest. They are friendly, interesting, would contribute greatly to your con... BUT! They live overseas. Can't do it. Too expensive.

"No, it's not that expensive. I got a really good fare just a couple of months ago."
So I smile sadly and explain.

Yeah, maybe you can find a good fare. For one person who can be flexible in their departure times.
But. add it up. The "usual" for a major guest at a regional con is transportation and lodging for your guest and their SO. So the guests are a duo. So that's two guests and two SOs. Lots os Airfare. Two Rooms. Two per deiums.
"But they would be so thrilled to come you wouldn't have to offer all that."

But then you are not treating them the same as the other guests you may have at the convention. That's rude, tacky and could cause bad feeling.
Espicially if you don't know them well.
Lots easier to not even try.

Economics suck, but they are driving force behind most of the activity of the world.



( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 12th, 2006 02:41 pm (UTC)
Interesting. Over here we pay for the guest's airfare and for their hotel costs and that's it. They don't get anything else paid for at the con and we don't pay their SO's airfare. We might pay for their SO's hotel room costs depending on the finances of the con or we might pay the amount we would have paid for the room if they came without their SO (since single occupancy rates for UK hotel rooms are usually more than the cost-per-person if there are 2 people in the room).

But the biggest cost of an overseas guest is indubitably airfare, especially as the guest arranges their own flight and then reclaims the money from us (except in rare circumstances where they can't afford to do that, and then life gets complicated), but what that means is that you are counting on your guest to get the best possible price but you can't easily say that to them unless they are someone you actually know.

We overcome that here by paying for airfares out of the Filk Fund, so the travel costs of overseas guests do not have to come from the convention's budget (though the hotel costs do).

But it's still a consideration. We have special rules in the Filk Fund setup about what to do if you're inviting a guest that consists of more than one person (Lady Mondegreen, for example) because obviously then the drain on the FF is much higher.
Jun. 12th, 2006 03:05 pm (UTC)
Gretchen's talking specifically about Capricon in this case, which is a general-interest SF convention, not a filk con. And different cons handle things differently even among the general-interest SF cons, depending on their history and budget. (You can do a lot more with the budget for a 1000 person convention than you can for a 200 person convention.)
Jun. 12th, 2006 09:44 pm (UTC)
To be honest I was speaking less to Gretchen than to members of fandom reading it, because it boils down to the fact that different 'rules' apply to different cons. And in some ways I was agreeing with her, especially the bit about being able to get a really good airfare, because that bit's at least partly up to the person arranging the flight. I suppose I could do a bunch of research before a con and tell a guest what I expect a reasonably priced flight ought to cost, but then they might not be able to get something that good when they get around to booking or might decide to pay for something better than they had to because I'd told them they could. Who knows.

I'll admit I was vastly relieved right at the beginning of my tenure when a much, much cheaper flight was tracked down than our guest originally mooted!
Jun. 12th, 2006 10:14 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I can understand that fine sense of budgetary relief. :)

I think we're all merrily trying to clarify the situation for the folks who don't spend a lot of time on concoms...
Jun. 12th, 2006 03:07 pm (UTC)
Not wanting to contradict or anything but . . . Cons vary with what they offer, If it's air fair non that I've worked with offer spouse air fair, I've never heard of that happening. Some offer SO membership, some don't. And per deims really do depend, I know Ad Astra used to do a per diem, but I think in these days of tightening budgets, it went away a number of years ago. Since I'm not sure what con you are bravley chairing I may be right out to lunch on this of course. Thing is, in these days of tightening belts, if I was on a committe offering spousal trasport I'd be saying, huh? that's insane, (unless it's a gas rembursment) why are we paying air fair for a non guest. even if you get panels and such out of them it seems to me to be a very questionable expense. Inless of course they are guesting as a couple. But that's different. Just my two cents.
Jun. 12th, 2006 03:42 pm (UTC)
Consonance doesn't offer air fare for non-performing SOs, not only because it can't afford it, but because it probably isn't legal. In order to obtain non-profit status, Consonance agreed that every penny it spends must advance the noble art of filk music. This makes it difficult to justify SO air fares. It makes it difficult to justify the con suite, too, but we mananged.
Jun. 12th, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC)
I'm not a SMOF, and I seldom play one on LJ. I think that it's a good general plan to treat all the guests the same in terms of the benefits they get rather than the dollars spent on them, but I think most people would be ready to understand that an overseas guest is a special case. I don't think it would be unreasonable to negotiate with an overseas guest on the basis of only paying for one air fare -- as long as you are completely up front about the fact that you normally cover two air fares for domestic guests, and if they have any problem with that, you will completely understand if they decline.

As an attendee, I certainly don't expect to see overseas guests at conventions smaller than Worldcons. When there is one, I assume that means that the guest actually wants to be there enough that they're willing to pick up some of the tab themselves.
Jun. 12th, 2006 09:09 pm (UTC)
That all made sense, except--TWO hotel rooms?

My only other remark is--co-chair? Picking GoH? Ummmm, Frank Hayes?????????? (Probably not an original thought . . .)
Jun. 12th, 2006 10:12 pm (UTC)
A hotel room for each of the guests and their SO gets you to two hotel rooms for the duo guests.

Gretchen's fan guest for Capricon is Cat Faber, who I think is an admirable choice. :) (Frank's an admirable choice too, but doesn't fit well into the theme -- high fantasy -- and has been a guest at several Midwest cons in recent years.)
Jun. 13th, 2006 02:52 am (UTC)
Like I said, not an original idea . . . it's just that, now, Glenn and I can *go* to Midwest cons . . .
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )