Three Monkeys - Ten Minutes : Presidents Page October 2001

The last month has been an important one for Phoenix. We have been running a couple of publicity ventures to attract new members. The success of these campaigns will be important for us to see gauge how useful such operations are in general and if we should undertake similar ones in the future. I do want to take the opportunity to thank all those who have expended time and energy. First to thank Jenny for all the work in the library display. Then there are all those who worked on the various aspects of Armageddon. For those of you who were not involved, the activities included stuffing entrant packs, preparing flyers and posters, setting up and manning the table, policing the exit, helping at the front door, managing the Dragonball Z queue, promoting ourselves to other vendors and various other bits of helping out at the event. I just want to say that I really do appreciate all the effort.

There was a good buzz around Armageddon even with the huge events happening on the world stage interrupting the arrival of some of the guests. Most of the people I talked to seemed to be having a good time and getting what they wanted from the event. Certainly a lot of them had found plenty to spend their money on which in turn made the vendors happy. I talked to a good number of people at the Phoenix table who expressed an interest in the club and Con With The Wind. It will be interesting to see how that translates into new membership. If it proves a success then we need to make our involvement with Armageddon a regular event. To that end, it was good to hear from Bill and Adele that they are planning another Armageddon in Wellington next November.

To those of you who are reading a Phoenixine for the first time as a result of being attracted by one of our promotions; Welcome. There are a lot of clichés which are trotted out when welcoming somebody into a new organisation or activity. I’m thinking here of phrases like "you get out what you put into it" and its ilk. There is a reason why such phrases are trotted out - they have a strong element of truth about them. I therefore invite you to find your favourite applicable cliché and recite it to yourself. There is a pretty good chance that it will provide at least as good advice as any I can provide. However I will hand out one titbit - if you have any questions then please ask somebody. We are generally very happy to help you because we do want you to enjoy yourself at Phoenix, but we are really bad at mind reading. An exercise at a meeting a wee while ago showed that most of us seemed to actually do worse even than random chance! The only answer is to do the obvious and give voice to your questions.

Its one of the functions of a club like Phoenix to act as a disseminator of information about various other events which may be of interest to our membership. There do seem to be more of these than usual at them moment. One in particular of interest to me is a public demonstration of model rocketry to be held on Labour weekend. This is being organised by Dean Cooper from the Hutt Valley Rocketry Club who came to talk to us a few months back. With a bit of luck there should be a notice with further details of the event elsewhere in the 'zine. I have been along to a couple of launch days and they are huge fun. Dean is on the lookout for people to help at the Labour day event. If you lend a hand, there is a good chance you can have the opportunity to launch a rocket yourself. It’s a strange experience - all you do is press a button, but there is a real thrill to be gained from launching one of these rockets.

I have in front of me at the moment a flyer for Kapcon which is an annual RPG convention to be held in January. It seems to be a good time to get publicity out for such an event, giving enough time for people to prepare but without being so far in advance as for the memory to fade. I also have in front of me some publicity for ConTour, a bid for the national convention in 2004. We had these at Armageddon but couldn't raise much interest in them. That’s hardly surprising with the convention so far away. In fact the bidding for the 2004 convention does not take place until Con With The Wind next year.

But there was one person who was particularly interested in ConTour. She was from Rotorua and didn't know anything about a proposed convention in her town. This is hardly unusual, as the profile of conventions with the public at large is not high. But she was not a member of the public at large, she belonged to an SF club in Rotorua. This was news to me and is probably news to you as well. I don't know how large they are or how well organised, but their very existence should not have been a surprise. It should be something that we do in Phoenix to make sure we know about the existence of all the other genre clubs around the country and even better have regular contact with them. It is very easy to forget the provincial cities, but we should not do so as the existence of this club and another one we were told about in Tauranga shows.

Clearly, making information about such clubs available falls within the brief for SFFANZ, but for it to do so it will need all of us to keep our eyes open and pass whatever we hear around. Maybe somebody can even find out if there are any SF clubs hidden away in Christchurch. It seems quite odd that a city with the same size population as Wellington and with a large university cannot come up with even one club. Perhaps you know someone down there who could get one started.