Croatian SF conventions are many and varied. They can be small, 100 to 350 people, and they can be large, like last year’s Kontakt with 1300 people. But none of them are held in hotels.
Hotels in Croatia, like the ones in the UK and in Australia, do not allow food not provided by the hotel at their premises. Or do with enormous fees attached. Croatian con goers just do not have the finances to pay a membership, a few nights at a hotel and restaurant lunches as well. Under such conditions, there would be no cons in Croatia.
So, we make do with what we have: universities, open universities, local cinemas or local political offices, culture clubs and such.
Being used to such venues – where the con could sell me sandwiches and drinks whenever I might need them – eliminates the need to go out during the convention or to have breaks for lunch or dinner in the programming, like Swancon has.
If there were any such breaks in the Worldcon program, I certainly do not remember them! Then again, there wouldn’t be any. Americans have easy going hotels because of which they can afford to have a lovely tradition called Con Suite: a place where con members are offered all manner of food, at all hours, and this is included in the not-very-cheap Worldcon membership. (And no, as far as I know Loncon3 will not have a con suite cause see above!)
It feels strange, packing up from Kylie’s place, (my host in Perth and Australian GUFF administrator) to go to a hotel in the same city, just to stay for the duration of the con. But when I asked Kylie about it, she said that staying at the hotel was an essential part of the con experience. Can’t wait for all of it to start. Am moving to a hotel tomorrow.