SMOFcon 33 – The Fannish Inquisition


We represented the Bid at the Fannish Inquisition this year at SMOFcon, and thought we would post the questionnaire here so that everyone can see it. In it, we look at various aspects of the Bid so far, and give everyone an idea of what to expect in terms of the Convention. It’s a big document, so you can read it here, or it’s also reprinted in it’s entirety below:

Fannish Inquisition SMOFcon 2015

Dublin 2019

Name of Bid:

Dublin 2019

Who will represent your bid at SMOFcon 33 and how can they be contacted?  

James Bacon:

Steve Cooper:

Tammy Coxen:


What are the proposed dates for which you are bidding?

Thursday 15th August to Monday 19th August 2019


What is your proposed convention host city?

Dublin, Ireland


Is your convention site in a city center location or a suburb?  

City Centre


If a suburb, what are the transport options into the city center?

It’s not a suburb, nonetheless there is public transport available for those who do not want to or who are unable to walk the 0.9 mile to the heart of the city center. Please see the accessibility question below for details.


How far is the site from the city center?

The Convention Centre Dublin (CCD) is 0.9 of a mile (1400m) from the absolute centre of the city, O’Connell Bridge.


What is the typical current airfare to your closest airport from world cities such as Auckland, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Dublin, Helsinki, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne?

We looked at the cheapest prices to Dublin for a 7 day return 200 days from now (as of November 2015).


Location Direct / no. stops Return £ Return $ Return €
Amsterdam* Direct 22 34 31
Auckland 2 752 1130 1067
Berlin* Direct 36 56 51
Boston Direct 448 691 632
Boston 1 307 473 433
Changi, Singapore 1 466 718 657
Chicago Direct 452 697 637
Chicago 1 340 524 480
Dallas 1-3 330 496 468
Los Angeles Direct 322 496 454
London Heathrow* Direct 73 113 103
Melbourne 1 647 997 912
Montreal 1 333 513 470
San Francisco 1 365 563 515
Washington DC Direct 353 544 498
Warsaw Direct 25 39 35
Helsinki 1 154 237 217
Copenhagen* 1 144 222 203


*Major European transit destinations through which attendees might pass in transit.


Is your closest airport a hub for a major carrier?  

Yes (Aer Lingus and RyanAir).


Do international flights, as well as domestic, fly into your local airport?  



If not, where is the closest international airport?



Which airlines service your airport?

57 airlines use Dublin Airport. including Aer Lingus, Air France, American Airlines, British Airways, Delta,, KLM, Lufthansa, Norwegian Airlines, RyanAir and United Airlines.


Are direct flights from the cities above flown into your local airport?

(Yes, this is marked on the table above as well as below)

Direct Flights

To the USA: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco (2016), Philadelphia, Seattle, Washington DC.

To Canada:  Montreal (2016), St Johns, Toronto.

To Capital Cities: Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Dubrovnik, Istanbul, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Oslo, Paris, Prague, Reykjavik, Riga, Rome, Stockholm, Vienna, Vilnus, Warsaw, Zurich

To Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa


Dublin to London (Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, London City) is the 16th busiest flight route in the world with 91 flights a day.

Preclearance is available for US customers.


How far is your convention site from the nearest airport/train station and what is the likely cost of getting to the hotels by both public transport and taxi from that airport/train station?

The airport is 8 miles from the CCD.

A bus stop in front of the CCD takes you on Dublin Bus 747 to Dublin Airport every 15 minutes. The 16 minute trip costs €7 ($8.60). A return fare €12 ($13)  lasts for 7 days.

Taxi is €20 ($25) to the airport.

Airport Bus timetable


What hotel(s) are being used for the convention?

We have begun looking in detail at the available hotels. The Tourist board and our PCO are helping us negotiate the best rates possible with these groups.

The city itself is quite small and easily navigable. On top of the 150 plus hotels in the city, there are B&Bs, short-term apartment rentals, hostels and large student residences available during the Summer. The latter is a possible cheaper option we are looking at.

Wifi is usually provided freely in hotels with a password or room number.

The International 2014 Web Summit was hosted in Dublin. One of its venues was the CCD and approximately 22,000 people came to the city for it. Dublin is more than capable of hosting large events.

We are also looking at the new hotels that we hope will be built by the convention, one an old railway hotel being developed very close to the CCD and a possible attached hotel at the rear of the CCD


How many rooms?

We are provisionally holding just 1,000 hotel rooms. But we are waiting on the 3 new possible hotels and negotiations with other hotels.


How many Singles/Doubles/Kings?

In negotiation


What other types of rooms are available?

We have 110 short-term (by the day) double room in apartments blocked and 200 student rooms at Trinity College.

But by the convention there will be a new 800 student apartments block built next to the Gibson Hotel (850 metres from the CCD), which we are also investigating as budget / self catering accommodation.

AirBnB operates throughout the city.


How many are accessible?

We already have an accessibility officer who will be visiting each hotel when it is agreed.


Are there any accessibility issues?

The regulations on accessibility are strict in Ireland and hotels offer a variety to suit different needs.


What are your hotel room rates?

Our current hotel’s average for a Double B&B room = $200 (equivalent to the Loncon average).

This equates to $20 Tax, $30 for 2 Breakfasts per day, and $150 for the room.

Our budget accommodation is currently average $75 per person in the student rooms at Trinity and $50 per person in the apartments


Do these rates include breakfast?

The Hotel rates Yes – and Irish breakfasts are BIG. The budget accommodation No.


Do they include internet in the room?

This can vary between hotels but is usually free.


How firm are these rates?

We are currently still negotiating and are confident we will get a series of strong deals, but the rates quoted are the high-water mark.


What is the distance from the main hotel(s) to the closest entrance of the convention site?

Jury’s Inn Custom House is 500 metres.

The Gibson is 850 metres

Our current hotels rooms average 1.2km (0.75 miles) from the CCD. But all are generally within 0.5km of the CCD or are within 0.25km of a stop on the LUAS (the network of trams that services the CCD).


What are the transportation options for those who prefer not to walk or who have mobility difficulties?

Dublin is very accessible by public transport. Buses and trams have low ramps and hydraulically lower themselves for access, wheelchairs are given priority over prams by law, wheelchair accessible taxis are available.

There is a Tram stop 400 yards from the venue (Convention Centre Dublin, CCD) that connects to the two mainline Train stations in Dublin €2.10 ($2.66), or (€1.75 ($2.22) with a LEAP card)

Connolly mainline train station is 0.6 miles away (Belfast/Rosslare/Sligo) €6 ($7.60) in a taxi.

Heuston mainline train station is 2.5 miles (Cork/Limerick/Galway) €10 ($12.69) in a taxi.

There is a wheelchair accessible taxi rank outside the CCD.

On-street hailing and apps such as Uber and Hailo also operate.

Buses run throughout the night on the Nitelink service.

The LUAS runs until 00.30.

Trams end at midnight.

Taxi Fare Calculator


Please describe your convention site facilities. For example, the quantity and sizes of function rooms, tech options, accessibility issues, etc.


The CCD is a purpose built facility that comes as a fully serviced and equipped venue as part of its pricing. This includes tech, tech teams, hosts, security and managers who will assist the convention.

The auditorium is a 2,000 seater facility, with seats designed for all day plenaries. We may need more tech for the Hugos but we can source this from anywhere we want to reduce costs. The auditorium is wheelchair accesible from both the bottom level and top level and can be customised for our needs. Wider seats are available, and seating can be removed for extra access. The auditorium uses a boosted induction loop. There is a rising platform to access the auditorium stage as well as steps, and the backstage area is also wheelchair accessible.

There are a total of 22 meeting rooms, 4 board rooms and 5 offices. The largest room will seat 600+ and can change format as desired.

All meeting rooms have induction loops, projectors, screens, blackout curtains and PA systems fitted as part of the arrangement. We have also seen the rooms when they are being used by large groups and can confirm that there is no sound bleed between them

The Pub is a 900 sq metre space that will be our hospitality space, while The Forum is a 2,721 sq meter (30,000 sqft) space which is Truck accessible and will be used for Exhibits.

There are five foyers that can also be used. The foyer on the ground floor will be where Registration is situated.

The CCD is very vertically aligned; there are 3 floors which we expect to be always busy and another two above that. There are continuous escalators going up and down from each floor; each floor has four lifts, and two sets of stairs, and there are also other lifts in the building that we can use to ease access.

All signs are also in braille, all meeting rooms have induction loops, and black-out blinds. The induction loop in the Auditorium is reinforced. There are two lifts on either side of the building (four lifts) which are all mobility scooter accessible. Unisex toilets are available.

The Loading Bay is wheelchair accessible and provides access to the Auditorium and Forum/ Exhibits area.


Where will your large events (for example the Hugo Ceremony and Masquerade) be held?

The Auditorium is a 2,000 seater purpose-built facility. Numerous options are available on-site for an overflow Hugo-viewing party, and we will probably broadcast it directly to The Pub and/or to the second stage.

The backstage area is fully accessible and the green room includes wheelchair accessible toilets.


Please describe the restaurant scene near your site.

Selected Restaurants within 500m:

(Options available: Vegan = V, Vegetarian = VG, Gluten Free = GF, Dairy Free = DF, Coeliac = C)

Ferryman Pub – Pub Food and Carvery.

Ely Gastro Bar. Gastropub (VG, GF, DF, some items adaptable for coeliacs)

Herb Street Restaurant Pub Food (VG, V, GF)

Cactus Jacks Mexican (VG, GF, C)

East Restaurant  Asian Fusion (VG, GF)

Musashi Noodles and Sushi. (VG)

Milano – Pizza (VG, GF).

MV Cill Airne. Fish, Burgers and Salads (VG, GF)

J2Sushi. Steaks and sushi. (VG, GF)

Many Irish eateries also list potential allergens on their menus.

Both the Temple Bar and St Stephen’s areas, have extensive eateries for all levels of pricing. See also this useful map for more places in the area, and a more general review site here.

Service (tipping) is either included and will be marked on the bill, or is expected to be about 10-15%, depending on the quality of the meal. Tipping is not expected for drinks or fast food.


Convenience Stores:

Marks and Spencer: sandwiches, snacks, and salads (some V, VG, GF)

Spar: sandwiches, snacks, and salads. (some V, VG, GF).


Fast Food:

La Corte.

Broadway Pizza,



The Swedish Food Company,


Coffee Angel

The Art of Coffee.

The CHQ Building (a multipurpose historic site) has a food court.

We are also talking to the CCD about locating smaller local food sellers in the green space next to the Convention Centre specifically for the con. Previous events have hosted street food and ‘farmer’s market’ type booths, and we hope to replicate this.

The CCD also has its own caterers and has the ability to provide different types, styles, prices and quality snacks, lunches, buffets and dinners. We will continue to discuss options with them going forward.

The Michelin Guide recommends 28 restaurants within a mile of the CCD, the closest being half a mile away.


What are the policies/laws regarding smoking at your:  

Hotel(s): Permitted in designated rooms, otherwise banned.

Convention Center: Total ban.

City: Total ban in restaurants, bars, cafes and workplaces.
What type of weather can we expect at the time of year your convention is to be held?

The month of August is characterized by daily highs around 64°F (18°C), rarely exceeding 71°F (22°C) or dropping below 59°F (15°C). It is mostly cloudy and many days there will be a light or moderate rainfall. Humidity is between 65 – 90% (although this top end is very unusual).


What are some of the main tourist attractions of your city?

Dublin is famous for it’s hospitality and social scene, as well as a rich literary and cultural history.

The Guinness Brewery and Storehouse

This is Dublin’s most popular tourist attraction. Visitors can tour the brewery, find out about the history of Guinness, and sample some of the wares. Exit via the Gift Shop…

Jameson Distillery

Another popular tour, this time of our largest whiskey export!

Trinity College and National Library of Ireland

This houses the Book of Kells  and The Long Room was the inspiration for the library in Star Wars Episode 3. It is also possible to stay in Halls at Trinity. The library also has a number of different exhibits each year (recent ones have included Blood!, W.B.Yeats, and the Library has an ongoing commitment to present exhibitions documenting the history of Ireland)

National Museum of Ireland

Three different venues in Dublin explore Natural History, Archeology and Decorative Arts. Current exhibitions focus on the Easter Rising of 1916 and local history.

National Gallery of Ireland

Art included in the collection includes Yeats, Titian, Michelangelo and Picasso.

Temple Bar area

This is a popular area approx 15 mins walk (two stops by tram from behind the CCD) from the CCD, full of bars, places to eat and entertainment. It is also surrounded by a more eclectic shopping area which includes independent and secondhand bookshops, comic shops and alternative clothing stores.

The Dublin Literary Pub Crawl

Several pub crawls and walks are available around Dublin –  but this one was voted #4 in the World by The Sunday Times. The walk showcases some of Dublin’s best drinking holes as well as the authors that frequented them, including Joyce, Beckett and Yeats.

1916 Easter Rising Coach Tour / The Dublin Ghost Bus / City Sightseeing – Dublin

Several bus rides tour the town, which has also been used for location filming of series such as Penny Dreadful and Ripper Street.

Dublin Zoo / The President’s Residence

Phoenix Park is a walled park to the North of the River Liffey housing the zoo, the President’s residence, the largest obelisk in Europe and a number of decorative gardens. We are still not sure whether putting this combination of residences together is a coincidence…

Kilmainham Gaol

A more gristly record of Dublin’s history can be found in the gaol, which is one of the largest unoccupied prisons still standing in the world. The tour also explores the city’s relationship with conflict and crime throughout the centuries.

Various Cathedrals and Churches

Until recently, Ireland was a profoundly religious country, and this is reflected in the diverse religious buildings that dot the city. You can even shake hands with a Mummy in St Michans!.

Dublin also provides easy access to the nearby countryside, and the Irish countryside is renowned for its beauty. Local attractions include Tayto Park, a theme park devoted to one of Ireland’s greatest loves, the crisp (potato chip), and the Boyne Valley, site of both the Battle of the Boyne, and a number of Celtic tombs and cairns.


Who is on your Committee?

James Bacon – Bid Chair

JC Clarke – Treasurer

Steve Cooper – Facilities

Tammy Coxen – US Agent

Emma England – Promotions

Lea Farr – Registrar

Gareth Kavanagh – Registrar

Esther MacCallum-Stewart – Secretary

Vanessa May – GoH and Accessibility

Brian Nisbet – Irish Officer


Who is your Bid Chair?

James Bacon


What experience do they have in general?

Our committee has a range of experiences at conrunning. Outside of fandom our combined experiences include project management, events management, budget planning, running games jams, volunteer management and training, and train driving.


In running a bid like this in particular?

James Bacon was Deputy Chair and head of Promotions for the London in 2014 bid, and Division Head of Programme for Loncon 3.

JC Clarke was Treasurer for 2014 Eurocon Shamrokon and Octocon.

Steve Cooper was co-Chair of Loncon 3.

Tammy Coxen ran the 2014 NASFiC bid and NASFiC in 2014.

Emma England was Programme Manager for Loncon 3 and is running Programme for Eastercon 2016.

Lea Farr is an experienced con-runner and has been involved in Worldcons for several years. She has worked in Facilities (Chicon 7), Registration (Lonestar 3,) and Treasury (Sasquan).

Gareth Kavanagh ran the successful Bid for the 2014 Eurocon Shamrokon and was the longest standing Chair of Octocon (our National Convention).

Esther MacCallum-Stewart was an Area Head for Loncon 3 and runs Programming for Games EXPO and Dragonmeet.

Vanessa May is on the Committee for Mancunicon (Eastercon 2016), and worked in access, as a quartermaster and for Events Tech at Loncon.

Brian Nisbet has chaired the International Discworld Convention and the 2014 Eurocon Shamrokon.


If known, who will be the Chair of the convention?

What experience do they have?


What arrangements will be made for evening socializing and party space?

The Pub is a large social space. Our Second Stage is a possible venue for events, music, dances etc.

We will flip meeting rooms into party rooms in the evening. There will be a limited set up time, but we feel locating the parties at the convention is a benefit.

These social spaces will be on our first floor, with parties on the second floor.

The CCD is very flexible in how the space can be used and we will also be offering quiet space, where more relaxed moments can be had.


Do you have a corkage waiver and a forkage waiver?

There is an arrangement in place, where for a fee, the CCD will allow parties to bring in booze, soft drinks and food to the value of €300/$375 for €200/$250 per room. Large rooms can be shared.


Do you currently have a code of conduct in place for your bid/convention?

Yes, we currently have a Bid CoC which will be revised and updated as the Bid continues.This will be updated at least twice, once for the period 2017-2019 and once for the convention itself if we win. We are also investigating training programmes available to us via the Irish Government.

In addition, should the bid be successful, we will be bound by Irish Equality Law, which can be viewed here.


If so, what is it?

The Code of Conduct can be found here (and below)

The following Code of Conduct is what we want to use to steer our Bid so that a positive space and strong community emerges from the beginning.

Codes of Conduct or Harassment Policies enable, guide and encourage safe and secure relationships between convention attendees. They help to make conventions a safer space by discouraging anti-social behaviour and helping everyone to feel comfortable. In the process Codes of Conduct help make a community.

Dublin 2019 endeavours to build a community for all fans and this starts with the Committee, Staff and Volunteers of the Bid.

From the very outset, Dublin in 2019 is establishing a Code of Conduct so that our pre-supporters, those who have yet to support us, and those who may never support us know that we are serious about ensuring everyone’s comfort during our campaign.

Throughout the course of our bid, our Contact Team are a group of people not on the Committee or Bid Team who can listen to any issues and escalate them appropriately, discuss them in a totally confidential manner, and/or act as mediators (as per the wishes of the person raising the issue).

Should Dublin 2019 win the Bid, we will update this Code of Conduct for the 2017-2019 period and again for the convention itself, making this a work in progress.


Everyone involved with the Dublin 2019 Bid is expected to show respect towards each other as well as any and all people inside or outside of the various speculative fiction communities.

We will not tolerate discrimination of any kind based on age, body size, ethnicity, gender expression, gender identity, neuro-diverse ability, physical ability, physical appearance, race, religion, sexual identity or sexual orientation.

We will not tolerate stalking, intimidation, offensive verbal comments, physical assault, non-consensual photography, inappropriate or unwelcome physical attention, online bullying or harassment of any type.

In addition, should the bid be successful, we will be bound by Irish Equality Law, which can be viewed here.

Reporting and Resolving Harassment

If someone involved with the Dublin 2019 Bid has harassed you in any way, or if you have witnessed or become aware that harassment has taken place, please ask that person or persons to stop as long as it is safe to do so and if you feel comfortable enough to make the request. If this is not possible, or if you do not want to speak to the harasser directly, please speak to or email one of our volunteers who will escalate your request to an appropriate Committee member.

You can also send a confidential e-mail to Lynda E. Rucker, our Dublin Office Bid Team member, at

Alternatively you may contact one of our Code of Conduct contact team members. They are specifically chosen for this task, are not members of the Committee or Bid Team, and they can help sensitively handle any issue raised.

Dublin 2019 will act upon any complaint received and will attempt to mediate a solution, which may ultimately result in the volunteer being excluded from the campaign as well as any future activities associated with the convention.

Code of Conduct Contact Team

(More people will be added to this as the Bid grows).

Serena Culfeather

Nicolle Lamerichs

Mary Miller

Helen Ryder
Are you planning to have any membership discounts for specific groups, such as young adults, military, seniors or families?

Young Adults already have a discount on pre-support.

Children and Families are being considered at the moment.

Ireland is also recovering from a downturn in the economy, and this will be considered.


Bonus Questions!

These have been asked at previous Fannish Inquisitions recently.


“What will you do to encourage more people of color to join?”

Support Con or Bust if we win with free memberships and financial support.

Examine our practices for how we cater for people who need support.

Present ourselves as a friendly and international con open to people’s needs. Ireland is seen as a meeting point, and we want the con to reflect that.

Make our programme and participants diverse so that we have elements for all.

We have our own Irish cultural social, historic and economic issues, Traveller communities are a discriminated group in our country. The percentage of POC in Ireland is very small, and their situation often hard. We want to reach out to members of the Traveller population and also Irish POC who can bring in cultural elements, music especially. In Europe, Eastern Europeans are marginalised. We have already reached out to Poland and the Czech Republic and contacted their SF convention scenes, but we will be doing more.

Ethnic backgrounds in Ireland from the 2011 Census: White Irish: 84.5%, Irish Travellers: 0.7%, Other White: 9.1% (total White: 94.3%), Asian: 1.9%, Black: 1.4%, Other: 0.9%, Not Stated: 1.6%


“What is your Predicted Attendance?”

Based on the Loncon 3 numbers (with UK and Ireland weighted to population).


Region/ Coluntry Attending Non-Attend Total No. %
North America (Adult & YA) 1575 415 1990 79%
Australia & NZ (Adult & YA) 155 25 180 86%
Rest of World (Adult & YA) 150 15 165 91%
Eastern Europe (Adult & YA) 110 10 120 92%
Southern Europe (Adult & YA) 60 10 70 86%
Western Europe (Adult & YA) 415 25 440 94%
Scandinavia (Adult & YA) 280 15 295 95%
United Kingdom (Adult & YA) 915 25 940 97%
Ireland (Adult & YA) 320 25 345 93%
Day Members (All Regions) 360 20 380 95%
Guests & Complimentary 150 25 175 86%
Total Numbers 4490 610 5100 88%

The regional numbers are the rounded actual numbers from Loncon – as there is no reason to say these would be different for a convention in Dublin over London.

The UK and Ireland numbers are based on the Irish & UK numbers but weighted for population difference. The Day members are similarly weighted.

The total of 4,490 is based on a similar attendance pattern as Loncon – However there were special factors that affected the North America attendance and it would probably be best to plan on 90% attendance  – which would increase this to 4,700, with Peak warm bodies of about 4,500.

‘If I never leave your con, how will I know I am in your city?’

It is too early to plan events or programme items (we need to win first!), however Ireland has a huge, rich history of SFF literature and fandom. We have already reached out to this community via events, conventions and through Social Media projects like Irish Fiction Friday, which showcases a free piece of Irish fiction each week. The response from the community has been overwhelmingly supportive and positive. Events such as our Outreach project have also helped us reach new fans and forge strong relationships with local publishers, who are keen to support us. As a result of this we are confident that we will be able to integrate a strong Irish theme into the convention which highlights the huge wealth of talent in Ireland.

“What is the predominant language?”

English. Some people are also Irish speakers, although this is not commonly used in day to day conversations.