Just got back from this year’s Roadside Picnic & accompanying Smof Brunch in Tampere. The idea was that on Saturday, there was the actual picnic, which is the annual relaxacon of the Finnish fandom, and on Sunday, some of the people continued with an informal meeting.
The picnic was fun as ever, although it had to be cut a bit short this year due to an unexpected concert that took over the Viikinsaari island. But that only meant that the barbecuing + regular programming (basically just a couple of filks, really) was done a bit more hastily than usual and that we moved on to a restaurant to carry on a bit earlier.
The terrace of the restaurant Tillikka was a bit damp but otherwise fine, and the food they served good as always (no beets for beer exchange this year, though). As some people thought it got a bit chilly outside, the gang migrated to Amarillo for more beers (and food) and conversation, which all continued well into the wee hours. With drinks called (among others) Endless Summer or Kinky Queen, and an authentic Birthday Monolith, how can you but have a fun evening!
Sunday morning started in a leisurely manner with breakfast at Café Siilinkari (highly recommended—an inexpensive breakfast buffet, delicious pastries, an they even sell a good decaf cappucino, yay!) which stretched into a brunch and then an afternoon of conversation. Lots of topics got covered, and progress was made on quite a few fronts. These kinds of events are something I value highly—you can get a lot done when people from many associations and events committees sit together. A wealth of information shared and good ideas planned further together. In my opinion, it is essential for fandom to have these info sharing and brainstorming meetings a couple of times a year (in addition to conventions, e-mail lists and discussion forums, of course).
Things discussed and planned included:
- ways of promoting Finncon internationally (and making it consistently foreigner-friendlier)
- the evolution of NoFF (the Nordic fan fund)
- a fandom portal project (and its cooperation with existing resources)
- different ways of getting funds for interesting fandom projects
- ideas for upcoming Finncons, sharing information
- developing the “Finnsmofcon” into a bigger event that would be even more useful to fandom in the future
These are all pretty much in the planning stage, but you will definitely be hearing more about these projects in the near future.