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What does the future hold for MLP cons?

Discussion in 'Conventions Discussion' started by Loganberry, 10 February 2016.

  1. Irregular Apocalypse

    Irregular Apocalypse Follo teh oranj hoers ...

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    Interesting.
    Although that being said, next year's plans pretty much revolve around GalaCon.
     
  2. Wonderbolt

    Wonderbolt Honorary Pony

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    That's interesting they may get more interest than last year, hopefully they wont do what they did last year and do the same weekend as MCM in the same city.
     
  3. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    Yeah, that was a shame, though these things do happen, especially with new cons -- the first BronyScot (2014) was on the same weekend as UK PonyCon. I'm sure any new GBBC would do as much as possible to avoid clashes with other big events, depending on the host city. Given that GBBC was originally announced as very much a one-off event, something must have changed in the con landscape since then -- and we all know what that is. With BUCK (as we knew it) absent now, a group who's already run a con would have a headstart.

    It seems that a weekend ticket to GBBC was £60 -- with no BUCK any more, the same again would make it the most expensive MLP con to attend anywhere in Europe, ahead of GalaCon. Last year GBBC managed to get Michelle Creber and BlackGryph0n as guests, and they'd need to do something special again to answer the eternal question: "What can I get here that I can't get at, say, a finale meet?" If they can do that and do go ahead to put on a successful con, they'll deserve plenty of praise.
     
  4. Teamidris

    Teamidris Engineer, Writer & Cosplay

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    £60 though? It costs us £50 a go for six hours in a woodland with the winch challenge truck. My hotel bill for Buck was over £300. I'm not saying that it isn't a lot of cash for some folk, but £60 doesn't get you much. It's a tank of fuel for my van. So I think £60 could work okay.
     
  5. Wonderbolt

    Wonderbolt Honorary Pony

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    Depends what you get though £60 is okish for a Convention hall as the venue but a bit on the steep side for anything less. That said we don't know what they will charge (or even if it materialises at all) they may have learnt from last time and charge less.
     
  6. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    What matters isn't the absolute cost, but the relative cost. £10 isn't much in absolute terms, but that doesn't mean it would be fine to charge a tenner for a cup of coffee! BronyScot costs £20 (for the main con). UK PonyCon costs £32. So a con charging £60 in the same country needs to justify that price by offering something special, something you can't get at those other cons. (eg they had Michelle Creber and BlackGryph0n performing in 2015.)

    As @Wonderbolt says, though, we don't even know whether anything's definitely happening yet, or what they'll charge if they do. As he also says, value depends on what you get. BUCK had expensive tickets, but they delivered special, unique things (eg the SSC) that made people prepared to pay that much and feel they'd got good value at the end of the weekend. If GBBC can do that too, they'll deserve to succeed.
     
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  7. BT_Blueshift

    BT_Blueshift Lives for the night

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    ...Huh.

    Okay then, I guess we can start getting hype. Still waiting for the Crystal Fair Con in Finland to come back, though
     
  8. Melgarh

    Melgarh Dragon of Czequestria

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    As much as we all wish for Crystal Fair to happen again, as both the con and city of Helsinki was awesome, I've pretty much come to terms that its been completely scrapped - the Eurobronies forum for CFC are barren and any request for response is left untouched as well as their website - http://www.crystalfair.fi/ - is gone.
     
  9. HopelessMagic

    HopelessMagic New Pony

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    Is the MLP fandom dying out in the UK or are there other reasons the conventions are closing up? I know in the US, this year we had 2 new conventions crop up and another last year. It seems pony in the US is on the rise.

    I mean, I understand completely why no one starts a convention. It costs a LOT of money. There's a reason I'm on your site asking you to spend money on Spirit Badges. The start up cost for a convention is inconceivable.
     
  10. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    It's certainly not dying -- UK PonyCon tickets are selling out fast, for example. But it's never been anywhere near as large as in the US -- if it was, WeLoveFine wouldn't have steadfastly ignored years of pleading for a European store! I don't think there have ever been more than three MLP cons in a single year in this country. And in truth, it probably is a smaller fandom now than it was in 2013 or so, despite the show being on free-to-air TV now. The people who were in it as a fun craze have been moving on to other things. Even BUCK was a little less pony-exclusive this year -- eg I doubt Shawn Wasabi would have been invited a few years ago.

    Also, the costs of running cons are (in general terms) way higher here than in the US. We don't have those handy joint hotel/conference centre venues you guys do, bringing in show guests across the Atlantic costs a lot more, the cost of living in general is higher here... it goes on. Some people who know about this from the inside have posted earlier in this thread about such things, too.
     
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  11. Recurrent Trotting

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    just throwing this one out there...
    a pony rave outdoor event :D fields and tents have to be cheaper than conference centres and if the 'outside' is anything to go by there's loads of large empty patches of grass outside being lazy

    also ponies like grass :)

    are there any outdoor pony events anyway? I know there's a camping fur sort of one? would definitely be a thing to look into. lovely way to see another bit of UK countryside too :3
     
  12. Wonderbolt

    Wonderbolt Honorary Pony

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    I think the cost of the Marshall staff and clean up staff you would need for an outdoor event would be expensive so you wouldn't save any money costwise.
    Getting there would be difficult to, Urban parks wouldnt have that problem but would be as expensive as conference halls I would have thought, most other "fields for hire" would be agricultural show grounds or stately home grounds which are often out in the sticks.
    Unpredictability of weather is another factor.
     
  13. Recurrent Trotting

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    getting there is definitely an issue, but I don't think the cost of cleanup would be all that bad - surely you'd just get volunteer staff for that. A field within walking distance from a train station is what is needed :3 or friendly people willing to car pool and um not too many people coming :p like 60-120 max

    Urban parks could be good but might be costly, would definitely need special permissions, would be subject to all sorts of restrictions and might have to be open to the public :s
     
  14. HopelessMagic

    HopelessMagic New Pony

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    I didn't even think about that. We complain because it costs a lot to fly them in from Canada. I guess by comparison, we have it easy.
     
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  15. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    Reviving this thread because it seems the flurry of activity a few months ago may have been a false dawn. I remembered about it today, and discovered that the GBBC Twitter account (@gbbronycon) has now been deleted. So it doesn't look like we will see it back after all. Maybe the people involved will do something else, but I haven't heard a peep from them recently.

    One other thing that came to mind while I was typing the above: I suspect the fandom has changed in that, while a lot of people are still very much into MLP, there are now considerably fewer for whom it's the be-all and end-all. In other words, many people now are happy to pay £20-30 for BronyScot or UK PonyCon tickets and to save the rest for other fandoms/interests, but not to spend £100, which may be all their yearly "ticket funds", for one BUCK-level event.

    It's only a thought, but it could help explain why I keep meeting people who are going to BronyScot who didn't go last year, and why UK PonyCon sold out three months in advance, despite fewer people going to the BUCK finale this year.
     
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  16. Cloudane

    Cloudane Element of Mostly Excessive Verbosity

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    I'd have found it more and more difficult to justify a full-on convention like BUCK - but would've been happy for BUCK to continue on as a cheaper "throw a bunch of bronies into a large room" kind of thing because to me, yeah after 3 BUCKs and a BronyScot once you've seen one animation panel or writers Q&A you've near enough seen them all. Eventually after a few goes you've done everything that can be done. But it's still great to get together with Bronies, that's the best part (that and the cosplay!) - it's sooooo nice being around a bunch of friendly people who understand why you like the thing you like. But then, would they have even come if there wasn't a huge music do and a bunch of expensive guests etc? We'll never know.
     
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  17. Loganberry

    Loganberry Element of Custard

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    I wouldn't have paid BUCK prices (when I did go, in 2013 and 2014) unless they'd provided the "value-added" stuff, that's for sure. But I doubt the UK pony fandom will ever again see something on the scale of the Summer Sun Celebration, or a performance space as fantastic as the Bridgewater Hall auditorium. Those were things where there really was no substitute for going to BUCK.

    But yeah, the thing I like most about cons these days is that I can go through that venue door and everyone in there understands. It does feel so liberating to be able to wander around the place hugging a pony plush and to feel completely comfortable doing so. And for that, the smaller cons work just fine. Maybe even better, since you don't get overwhelmed by scale and noise. (Yep, I'll always be a Fluttershy at heart! :D) But the fact that they're MLP-specific is important: I simply wouldn't feel quite as relaxed at a general geek/cartoon/whatever con that had pony as one of its components.

    As I've said before, I would probably bet against there being another pony convention starting up from scratch in the UK now, largely because of the amount of work needed to do it. Plenty of us have talked about it, but talk is cheap. That BronyScot has actually walked the walk and become established, popular and successful is a tremendous achievement that I think is still a bit underrated.

    That said, I was chatting about this subject at a recent ponymeet and it did appear that there was definite interest if something did ever happen. Put a one-day brony-centric event with £20 tickets somewhere in the southern half of the UK, which has been rather starved of pony conventions throughout the G4 era, and I'm sure there'd be plenty of people who'd want to go. Will it happen? Probably not. But it's a nice dream. :)
     
    #97 Loganberry, 19 August 2016
    Last edited: 21 August 2016
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  18. Wonderbolt

    Wonderbolt Honorary Pony

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    A few small ones all around the country would be optimal.
    Making other Comic one non official meets isn't to bad an idea.
     
  19. Bronydiferous

    Bronydiferous 'Diferous

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    I don't regret my BUCK experiences at all. (One or two niggles, but that's issues on my side.) But the smaller cons throughout the year makes more sense to me.

    They're more affordable, offer more variety, enables me to see more and do more and, depending on the con, involve different people along the way. Also, I think as one gets older, schedules and responsibilities increase so it becomes more difficult to plan around the costs and timings of massive cons.
     
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  20. Cloudane

    Cloudane Element of Mostly Excessive Verbosity

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    This time 2 years ago the party was going down at BUCK14. Happy memories, while also a little sad it'll never happen again
     

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