May 27th, 2014


Worldcon Members: Threat or Menace?

I have seen the "concern" expressed at the "danger" of so many Worldcon supporting members overwhelming the organization. I wanted to know if there really is a huge surge or not, so I looked up the numbers that do exist on and compared them to the current membership figures on the Loncon 3 web site. Comparing the number of voting attending (including YA members if they had voting rights) to the number of supporting members, I see that the percentage of supporting members has been moving upward; however, while the absolute number of supporting members this year is quite large (currently 2,397), it's nearly exactly the same percentage (32.46%; there are 4,987 attending voting including YA) of the total supporting+attending membership as 2010 in Australia, where 32.53% of the members were supporting (964, with 1,999 attending). In all cases, non-voting membership classes aren't included in the totals; this is only a comparison of attending voting versus non-attending voting.

Reno and Chicago had about 21% non-attending voting members. Montreal was about 15%. However, the trend isn't a straight line: Boston in 2004 had 19% non-attending voting members, and while Philadelphia in 2001 had 17%, San Jose the following year had merely 7%.

Collapse )

I welcome those new supporting members. I want them to become attending members when there's a Worldcon that they consider they can afford, and because the convention moves around, for most of them (freely admitting not everyone), there should be one at least once a decade within striking distance.