|Greats Reasons to vote for Helsinki 2017
I think Helsinki would make a great site for WorldCon 2017. I've already voted accordingly and encourage you to join me.
There's a lot of talk about bringing the 'world' to WorldCon, but what about...
Why Helsinki 2017 would be great
My credentials: I used to work for Nokia and have been to Helsinki several times. So I'm familiar with Finland and specifically the visitors experience of Helsinki.
- Weather will be great - I mean probably. Finland in August is really nice. Unlike certain cities created out of the unwanted swamps of Maryland and Virginia. :)
- Midnight sun - doesn't quite make it to Helsinki. But the sun will stay up a long time and facilitate some great parties.
- It might be one of the cheapest WorldCons in recent memory - Finland apparently has a culture of running free cons. WorldCon won't be free, but it will be cheap. Even after airfare it will be very cost competitive to the DC con for most of the US to attend - hotels and such in DC is hella expensive (The DC 2017 bid, to their credit, is very up-front about this if you check out their material). They are even offering free public transit from the city of Helsinki, who does that? Where I live (San Francisco bay area) I'm sure we would charge visitors more for public transit if we could. :D
- So it should be noted that there is Great public transit in Helsinki - lot's of cute streetcars.
- Let's bring WorldCon to new folks - The likely cheapness of the con really helps here. Finland itself has a great intercity train network so I expect a great turnout from "locals" from all over Finland who never attended a WorldCon before. This is how we build a bigger and better WorldCon. I remember at LonCon when the halls suddenly swelled for a GRRM appearance, mostly from the locals who probably just heard of GRRM that day and decided to come check it out. I hope some of them join us in Spokane this year. :)
- They Speak English - Sometimes people say that about countries and they actually mean "anyone who has a job to talk to tourists speaks English." That's not the case with Finland, they really speak English and probably better than you. I never felt awkward starting a conversation in English. This relates to the previous bullet point - WorldCon in Helsinki won't be an island of Anglophones but part of an active English-consuming Fan culture.
- Finland is big beautiful country - The Helsinki 2017 bid is very well organized and has a great proposal. But admittedly before I saw that I was already sold on the idea. I've always wanted to go back to Finland as a tourist instead of a business trip.
- Even the Holiday Inns in Finland have a great breakfast - no sad collection of cereal and questionable baked goods, it's a real breakfast.
- Finns are great people - at the risk of making sweeping generalizations, one time I went from my then-home in Iowa to Turku, Finland for a week. It felt the same. The weather was the same (deep winter cold both places) and everyone was really Iowa Nice.
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