[personal profile] tammylc
Excellent ConFusion this year. [livejournal.com profile] netmouse, you give *good* con. And [livejournal.com profile] talyen - you put together one amazing program this year - go you! Many other people deserve props and congratulations, of course, but you two the most.

I got to the hotel midday on Friday and, with the help of the most excellent Kristie, managed to get registration set up and open by 3 pm as promised. My plan worked well - I had enough volunteers working at all times (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] thatguychuck) that I could just sit back, observe and troubleshoot. There were only a few problems to troubleshoot, mostly data entry errors that I made and that were easily corrected by double checking emails that had been sent to me. The registration system we use onsite is paper based - designed by myself and [livejournal.com profile] brendand after I'd seen too many computer based systems crash and burn. Its priorities are to be a) extremely fast and b) capable of giving an accurate count of how many members there are at any given time, and it accomplishes those with some elegance, IMNSHO. But I'd designed it in theory and had since then had three other people implement it - this was my first time working with my own system, and I observed a few things that need a little tweaking. To save myself the hours and hours of back end data entry (the problem with a non-computer based system), I got a bunch of it done on-site, both by myself and volunteers.

Getting adjoining rooms with Scott and Sue and Alex was a really good plan, as it let us trade off watching the sleeping babies, and meant only one person had to be stuck in the room at any given time. Friday night Eric took the early shift so that I could get registration changed over to Ops and see a few parties before coming on duty (aka, going to bed) at 11:30! Those of you who know me at conventions will know how much it hurt to do that. All those people who say that having a baby changes your life weren't joking. Unfortunately I slept like crap. I fell asleep pretty well and slept from 11:30 to 1:30, but then I was awake until 3:30, whereupon I got out of bed and made myself a chamomile tea. I got a couple more solid hours of sleep between 4 and 6ish, and then slept fitfully until 8-ish or so. Liam, however, stayed asleep until nearly 9. The fabulous Kristie orchestrated the reg transition from Ops back to the desk in time for our posted start of 9 am.

But it's not like we needed to rush. With 12 inches of snow falling during the day on Saturday, you will be unsurprised to learn that Saturday registrations were down. We usually get somewhere between 100 and 150 people who don't show up until Saturday. Frankly, I'm amazed we got as many as we did - by the end of the weekend the raw registration count (which includes some people who don't realized they are already registered and do it again) was 724. But it should have been closer to 800, so the weather definitely hurt us.

Even with the slightly lower numbers the con was busy and bustling. During the day I mostly hung out in the lobby with one eye on registration, chatting and talking with folks. Liam enjoyed meeting his many internet aunts and uncles and was his usual cheerful self, although he was getting a little tired of being held all the time. Saturday night we coordinated with the [livejournal.com profile] minnehahas and some other folks to order delivery Thai, since no one was willing to drive out into the weather. That worked very well and we enjoyed a convivial dinner in the suite that was being shared by the CFG and Minicon crews for their room parties.

Saturday night [livejournal.com profile] sueij took the early shift, which meant that Eric and I got to wander the con together, baby free, for a couple of hours before she went to sleep. Luxury! We had a couple of opportunities to do the "Oh my god, we lost the baby" routine when people commented on us being together and baby free. A little after 10 Sue went to bed, so Eric went up to watch Liam until my bedtime at 11:30. I had hoped to be able to extend it until midnight, but Liam woke up inconsolable and only mommy would do. But we both slept well - I think I may have gotten 4 contiguous hours, which would be a record since his birth.

Sunday I oversaw registration for ConFusion 2006, hung out in the lobby, chatted with folks and smoffed - already planning for next year! It was a nice relaxing day. Attended the gripe session, which was almost all positive feedback - hooray. The hotel continues to be wonderful. The only serious incident of the weekend was that the Saturday night naked hot tubbing went too long - last year the hotel management sent someone round just before the pool's posted hours began. That didn't happen this year, so a dad and his child got an eyeful when they showed up at the pool around 6 or 7 am. Oops.

I got to see little bits of lots of folks, never managing to spend as much time with them as I'd like, of course - [livejournal.com profile] kgkofmel and [livejournal.com profile] erikted in particular.

Liam is very happy to be home. He's been burbling away happily in his play room since getting up today.

I'm sure I've forgotten important or interesting things from the weekend, but I'll post them as I think of them - this is already getting too long.

Date: 2005-01-24 09:58 am (UTC)
ext_13495: (Default)
From: [identity profile] netmouse.livejournal.com
We usually get somewhere between 100 and 150 people who don't show up on Saturday.

You mean who usually don't show up _until_ Saturday, of which maybe half showed up this year.

I'm glad to see you had such a good time! I had a wonderful time, myself, and got lots of positive feedback. Even the dead dog party was really nice, with Chas and Becca, Emma, Patrick, Fred, Lenny and a couple others I don't know continuing the music circle until at least 11:30, which is when I went to bed. I sat on the floor in the middle, which is my favorite spot, singing harmonies and also copyediting that amazing one-hour one-shot fanzine.

Geri and I both got a bit teary-eyed during the last songs Emma and Fred played, and I commented to her that I have never been so sad to have a con be over as I was with this one.

Pool Rules

Date: 2005-01-24 11:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jeffreyab.livejournal.com
Something to put on the ops book for next year.

Date: 2005-01-24 01:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kgkofmel.livejournal.com
Can I hold the baby some more?

Date: 2005-01-25 01:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tammylc.livejournal.com
Anytime you like.

BTW - Thank you sooooo much for looking after him on Friday - I needed to feel in control of the registration situation, and you were there just at the right time to let me get as hands-on with it as I needed to be.

Apropos of cons - I would like to come to Apollocon. I don't know if it will be in any way manageable what with current financial difficulties (rent, damned condo, rent!) and the possibility of a trip to Glasgow this summer. But I'd like to come and help out if I can. Or maybe I should wait and see what happens with next year's con?

Date: 2005-01-25 01:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kgkofmel.livejournal.com
That would be great if you could come to ApolloCon, if it's manageable. That would be truly cool, in fact.

And no matter what happens with the next year's con, *this* year's con is the one that for sure I'm Programming Head and Mark is Hotel Liaison, so we would still love to show it off.

Oh, and together Mark and I are apparently "formidable" and are scaring people here...

Date: 2005-02-02 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thatguychuck.livejournal.com
I had enough volunteers working at all times (thanks, thatguychuck)

:) I'm glad it worked out as well as it did. All weekend long I wanted for the other shoe to drop. And it never did. < smile >

And now I'm catching up on two weeks of backlogged LJ.

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tammylc

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