(A major concern people expressed about the Helsinki in 2015 bid was that it would be too expensive to have a Worldcon in Helsinki, so I thought I’d highlight some of the things that would be objectively more affordable about our bid for the 2017 Worldcon race.)
Helsinki is known for having impressively good tap water, free for the drinking. I’m told that Helsinki’s tap water is judged better than Evian bottled water in a blind taste test. It’s certainly been judged more pure than bottled water. I can personally verify that it’s very tasty!
One of the surprising savings of having Worldcon in Helsinki in 2017 would be water. Not the biggest savings available to us, over all, but the potential math surprised me on this, so I thought I’d post a note about it.
See, for a Worldcon, buying water in bottles can be very costly. Even buying it in huge bottles, multiple gallons apiece, is expensive. Four thousand people average 10,000 gallons of drinking water over the course of five days. Not all of that liquid would be provided by the convention, of course, but a large portion of it traditionally is supplied by Hospitality or Member Services at Worldcon. The facilities contract for Sasquan, in fact, requires that all food and beverages, including water, be purchased through the Spokane Convention Centre at their prices. I called the facility, and was given a verbal estimate of $28 (including tax and fees) per 5 gallon water barrel.
This cost is, luckily, something that a Worldcon in Helsinki could avoid. Drinking water that’s free would be a boon to any Worldcon, if possible, and Helsinki has this savings in the bank, amongst several others.
What are some of the other savings? Coming up soon, I should at least post about
- Free Public Transit to All Worldcon Attendees,
- Cheapest Hotel Rates In Recent Memory,
- Eligibility for Grant Monies, and
- No Fees for Decorator and Tech Setup (unlike all American Worldcons).