The panel about Westercon consisted of Christian McGuire, Michael Siladi, moderator James Stanley Daugherty, and me of course. The panel description suggested that it is possible that with the increasing growth of local conventions in the major cities of Western North America Westercon has lost its purpose and it might be time to end it. I'm among those people who think that we need to give the recent changes in the site selection system a few years to bed in and find out if a sustained effort to "relaunch the Westercon 'brand'" would make the convention more visible and relevant, and that it's too soon to be considering retirement, notwithstanding that the convention it approaching 65 years old.
After the first panel, I got checked out of the hotel room, picked up a cup of coffee from the Green Room, and sat at the Anticipation table until it was time for the 1 PM Hugos panel.
We had a very lively panel, chaired by Chris Garcia, and including Milt Stevens, Tom Galloway, and Randy Smith along with me. katster did a webcast of the panel, which I'm told was a bit difficult to follow (bandwidth would have been a problem -- we were a long way from the nearest WAP) and had some, er, interesting chat comments, which I get the impression it's just as well I didn't see.
In any event, I thought the panel went very well, and all of the panelists made valid points about the Hugo Awards and other awards in the SF/F field. I enjoyed myself, and everyone involved seemed to as well. My own conclusion is that, "Yes, of course the Hugo Awards are important. Just look at the amount of passion they inspire, even from people very unhappy with the awards' results. If they weren't important, nobody would pay any attention to them."
By then the Fan Tables had packed up. I was happy to send all of the Anticipation Con Kit stuff with Sherri Benoun and Glenn Glazer for eventual transportation to Arizona for Westercon. I then returned to
Incidentally, today I am in "WSFS Casual Dress," which is my WSFS Polo Shirt and my captain's hat, as opposed to the collared shirt with rank insignia shoulder-boards and a tie. I realized last night when taking off the uniform that it was probably yesterday was probably the longest continuous period I'd worn a tie for five years, as they aren't required any more at work and about the only time I wear one is at formal events like the Hugo Awards or when I chair the Business Meeting.
In a few minutes, I'm going to the Feedback Session. I'd consider going home and falling into bed, but the BASFA meeting is only about a mile from here this evening, so I might as well go ahead and have dinner over there. No BASFA meeting was scheduled during BayCon (there was a BASFA party on Friday night) since the convention site and Coco's are so close to each other.