Picocon used to be the annual one-day student SF convention at Imperial College in London. As of last year it became a two-day convention, this year taking place yesterday and today. It's cheap, it's the only regular SF convention in central London, and the venue is in walking distance of my home.
The trouble is that so far what used to be a fun one-day con with a lot of interesting content has become a somewhat less fun two-day con with padding.
Last year the programming was OK but not brilliant both days, I ended up skipping the Sunday because I wasn't feeling well.
Yesterday's schedule was reasonably good at first with two interesting items before lunch, another two after, but that was followed by two hours of turkey reading before a film in the evening, one I didn't particularly want to see. My tolerance for turkeys is not huge, as a result I was out of there by four or so.
Today's schedule was two interesting items before lunch, a two hour lunch break, one program item afterwards that was described by the one word "Golem", then two hours of "silly games" before a pub quiz. In the end I decided to give it a miss, because it was going to soak up a lot of time if the afternoon sucked. I have no idea how things actually turned out, but I got the impression that others made a similar decision.
My feeling here is that the move to two days may have been a mistake - students may like it, but if they want to attract more outsiders they really need to up their game considerably. And anyone who turns up on the Sunday only is likely to feel badly let down.
I'd be interested to find out what those who did attend today thought of it.
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