(Note: following the end of the Kickstarter, tickets can be purchased from http://nineworlds.co.uk/tickets)
We're a group of fans putting together a weekend-long, multi-genre convention in London this summer, August 9th-11th. We're running this Kickstarter to raise funds, offer cheap advance tickets, and make sure people actually want to come. Judging from our success so far, it turns out people do want to come, but we still need your pledge to make this work. Read on for more information, check out the FAQs if you've got any questions, then press the big green button on the right and give us your money so we can build something awesome.
What will Nine Worlds be like?
We've rented two big conference hotels in London, and we've recruited some of the UK's top fans and fandom organisations. With their help, we're creating talks, games, discussions, workshops and parties spanning a swathe of geek obsessions. Whether you're into board gaming, film and film-making, Doctor Who / Torchwood, science, feminism, Tolkien, SF&F academia, video games, partying like a dancefloor demon, role play gaming, Discworld, My Little Pony, social gaming, SF&F literature, knitting, Harry Potter, creative writing, Star Wars, queer fandom, buying cool stuff, steampunk, the occult, open culture, Star Trek, Whedon, skepticism, costuming, comics, anime and J-culture, or fanfic, chances are you'll find something that rocks your world.
At Nine Worlds you'll be able to wander from session to session, make new friends and discover new worlds. Rock out on Rock Band, see a film, play a hotel-wide game of Assassins. Ask a famous author that question about fighting 21 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck again. Or just buy a drink at the bar and catch up on knitting while watching the costume parade, before hitting the dancefloor and rounding the night off in the gaming rooms. That's what we want to create here. And that's what we are creating, with your help.
You and whose army?
The core organisers (we're in that video up there) have lots of experience in running conventions, building large scale projects, and managing teams and organisations. If anything, the other 20 (and still expanding) members of our organising team have even more experience. However, we're still going to need plenty of help from volunteers to make this all happen, so get in touch if you'd like to help out or there's something you want to do. For more information on who we are, check out our bio page on the Kickstarter.
So is this just for middle-aged straight white men who work in IT?
Nope. It's for everyone. We're putting lots of tracks in there, and we've chosen the mix to make sure there are plenty of options whoever you are and whatever your interests. We're founded on the radical belief that geekdom should not be restricted by class, age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, disability, or the ability to cite Wookieepedia in arguments.
To counter the barriers that can arise in tech, gaming or other types of cons, we're operating a strong anti-harassment policy. We're actively reaching out to diverse communities. And we're making sure our guests and volunteers represent the diversity we'd like to see in our attendees.
So is this just for middle-aged straight white women who work in IT?
Nope. See above.
But what about Fake Geek Girls?
We will cut you
(off from attending, if you spout this kind of nonsense.)
Where will the money go?
All of the money raised from the Kickstarter will be spent on organising and running the convention. No organisers will be paid for their work in organising the convention.
Where do we stay?
We'll be sending a link to book hotel rooms to backers. The price for con attendees using our booking link will be £90 per night for a double room, including rather nice breakfasts for both people staying in the room, or £80 for a single room with breakfast, for the first 200 room bookings. While staying at one of our host hotels is the best way to enjoy Nine Worlds, and we'd recommend doing so, it'll be awesome to enjoy Nine Worlds while staying off-site.
How can we help make this happen?
First and foremost, pledging the early bird ticket rate now. We're putting a lot on the line with this. Your contribution will give us the money we need to make this all happen, and just as importantly the confidence that you're behind us and want Nine Worlds to be there for you.
That's not all you can do though. If you know anyone who might be interested, let them know about this. If you have the energy and the knowledge to run a track, get in touch. And if you'd like to volunteer in any other capacity, give us a shout and we'll figure something out.
Risks and challenges
The major risk in any convention is that nobody turns up. It takes a lot of time and money to organise, and an empty con makes Baby Jesus / Pink Unicorn / $DEITY cry. The whole point of running a Kickstarter is to show that we have enough interest to make the event work.
Setbacks that could arise *after* we get the funding we're looking for include, with mitigating actions, in no particular order:
1. Guests not showing - We're not a purely guest-driven convention, but it's always a shame if an eagerly anticipated guest can't make it. We're inviting a lot of guests, and would anticipate being able to take up the slack of a missing invitee.
2. Lack of follow-on ticket sales - The Kickstarter target will give us enough money and attendees to run the convention, regardless of further ticket sales. We would expect to sell more in the period following the Kickstarter, of course.
3. Organisers dropping out - Mitigation through sharing responsibilities among a group of people, and keeping a shared base of information. We also have people who can step in to fill any gaps that emerge.
4. Loss of venue - We have a signed contract with the primary venue, and a verbal agreement with the second hotel to act as overflow in case of particularly rambunctious ticket sales. If necessary, we could look at relocating, but we do not foresee this becoming necessary.
5. Cancellation - We can't see any likely issues that would cause us to have to cancel the event. If we did, we would refund monies paid by backers. We do not believe there will be costs that would eat into pledges by a significant amount prior to the event and make full refund unachievable.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes. We do not want to disadvantage or exclude people with childcare responsibilities, and are committed to making the convention a friendly and safe environment for children. Young children will get free entry, and we'll sell half price tickets for older children once the Kickstarter has finished. Children must be accompanied by adult parents or guardians, who are responsible for their safety and behaviour. We have appointed a child friendliness co-ordinator, who will help to bring together a range of age appropriate content throughout the convention and act as a point of contact for questions and concerns about these issues. Tracks that are suitable for adults only will be clearly marked and will form a small minority of content at the convention; it will otherwise be the parent or guardian's responsibility to decide on appropriateness of session content. Our child friendliness co-ordinator will also be working on putting together a professionally staffed crèche, although this will require pre-booking and payment at cost price. Let us know if you have any questions, and we look forward to seeing you there!
Nope. As it says up in the main text, 'We'll be sending a link to book hotel rooms to backers. The price for con attendees using our booking link will be £90 per night for a double room, including rather nice breakfasts for both people staying in the room, or £80 for a single room with breakfast, for the first 200 room bookings. While staying at one of our host hotels is the best way to enjoy Nine Worlds, and we'd recommend doing so, it'll be awesome to enjoy Nine Worlds while staying off-site.'
We're still organising this side of things. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get in touch with you soon.
Yay! We'll need lots of help to make this work. We need people to organise stuff, speak on panels or run sessions, steward the event, handle registrations, and generally be awesome. Email us at email@example.com and we'll get in touch with you soon.
People have been suggesting that what we're doing isn't different to any number of other conventions, from Eastercon to MCM Expo. There are a range of conventions in the UK, but they tend to divide into larger, commercial affairs, with lots of stalls and celebrity signings, or smaller fan-run affairs that focus on a particular subset of the geek community. There's nothing that combines the size and star power of the commercial cons with the community ethos and strong slate of content found in fan conventions. What we're looking to do is bridge the gap.
Not right now. Provided we don't sell out, we'll be opening up day ticket sales closer to the date, but we don't think a day ticket requires the same amount of commitment and planning as a weekend stay, so we're not prioritising them.
Entry to the convention on all days, including the vast majority of panels, sessions and workshops, and all content areas. There are no 'gold' tickets. We'll run a handful of intensive workshops that require a paid teacher or trainer, e.g. an acting class or an intensive creative writing course. For these, we will need to charge extra to cover the tutor's costs and limit numbers. We'll put up information and booking facilities for these as we arrange them. We may also sell tickets for a single activity, e.g. a film showing, with the proceeds going to charity.
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