The Future Of Nine Worlds panel was held on the final day of the Nine Worlds Geekfest London event, presented by organisers Kate Keen and Daniel Whitston.
Looking at the history and financial health of the show, last year took a hit, with a £20,000 loss. This year made a small profit, but the previous loss has had to be carried on
As a result. there are two venues under discussion for next year, continuing at the Hilton Novotel in Hammersmith London, and the Birmingham Hilton NEC, close to their airport. Which would necessitate a change of subname from London Geekfest. Daniel admitted that, to some degree, that would be going backwards to the Heathrow hotel days but it would involve removal of fixed hire cost which would help the show move back into profitability.
Kate talked about how year's programme was created more collaboratively with attendees, which helped maintain the range of content. And how a long-standing management team leads to more experimentation as to what they can put on. But this year, when hard and challenging situations occurred that needed her attention, for the first time she felt happy delegating her usual tasks to the rest of the team.
And people seemed to appreciate it, there was lots of love in the room alongside suggestions, especially at the disco last night with happy, excited people having the weekend of their lives.
Birmingham or London, Nine Worlds does indeed seem to have a future. And it really is something special. On my way to this panel I passed by a song workshop panel conducted entirely in sign language, presenters and attendees alike, set up next to the show's quiet room. I have never seen anything approaching that at another show.