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FANCONS - Never More?

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Tom Allensworth


The AVSIM FANCONS have been an annual event for a number of years, starting in 2002, with a large break taken from 2009 until 2013, when we did the FANCON in conjunction with Cockpit Fest at the Kansas Aviation Museum in Wichita in April. In-between we held a couple of social gatherings at our annual Board of Director's meetings in Chicago, Washington D.C., etc. Many of you have attended the FANCONS and our "socials" and we hope you enjoyed them.


It has always been a puzzle to me, frankly. Gatherings of simulation enthusiasts in Europe draw hundreds, if not thousands, of attendees and exhibitors number in the dozens. AVSIM FANCONS, with rare exception, drew hundreds of attendees (at most), and a handful of intrepid exhibitors. I can accept that maybe we were not doing something right; advertising, price, location, whatever. However, having experimented with locales as diverse as San Diego, Washington D.C., Seattle, Wichita, and so on, geography did not seem to make a difference. Cost of admission didn't seem to make a difference. Whatever the reason, U.S. based flight sim enthusiasts just didn't seem to want to attend in numbers that made holding a FANCON worthwhile, for either our exhibitors or AVSIM.


Given the small level of interest (relatively speaking) in the U.S., the cost to put on a FANCON, and the state of the economy, I don't see AVSIM doing a FANCON this year. In fact, I don't foresee another AVSIM FANCON happening again, at all. We are open to suggestions and insight about how to change this around.

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Tom, it does seem to be a little strange that a flight sim show in the US doesn't generate the same traffic we have here in Europe. I've worked at the Lelystad show in the Netherlands and have seen 5000 people come through in the two days. Even in the uk this year, we had a new show crop up at RAF Cosford last October. In just one day, we saw nearly 2000 people come, with 800 pre ordered tickets.


Perhaps in the US, the cost of GA flying is so low compared to Europe, that pilots would rather fly than visit a fancon about flying virtually.


Either way, its real shame that you can't get people in. I'm fairly sure that distance isn't an issue, as then?Netherlands show sees people travel from across the continent. Hopefully this will change in the future.


Best wishes,


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I think there is a bit of a cultural divide between the United States and Europe (and Asia as well) when it comes to pc gaming and simming.


Funny thing is, I've recently been wondering if there are any sim conventions or meetups in Los Angeles.


Vegas anyone? :lol:

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Daft as it may sound could this be a case its because the US is so large? For example flight time for me in the south of the UK would be an hour or two for the most capitals and only up to four for the rest. That would only cover two thirds of the US and I've not even thought of Canada.


Do you have the same percentage of simmers re the population over there as we do in Europe?


Vegas anyone, ummm nice idea but every time I think of the place I hear it's nickname "Lost Wages" chuckling in the background.


Cheers Ron

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