I recently met a person who was a major supporter and volunteer for the Boskone science fiction convention. He was concerned that the cons were dying. He indicated that attendance was down at Boskone and at other conventions across the country. He had a few reasons why he thought cons were waning in popularity, but most of them traced to the Internet. He felt that fans no longer felt the need to go to a convention to be with like-minded folks – they had friends online now all the time. He felt that artists and authors no longer had to attend a convention to meet with publishers since they could use the ‘net to host portfolios and email treatments.
Honestly, I couldn’t find fault with his thinking. Of course I pointed out that the economy this year might be part of the problem – fewer people are traveling to conventions (obviously a luxury item to most.) But he felt it had been declining for years and this wasn’t a new phenomenon.
So what do you think? Are they going by the wayside? Is the Internet to blame?
[Image courtesy unforth]