All Things Geek and Wonderful, NaBloPoMo 2011

Post Show Report

The post-con madness has cleared…

Darth Vader - But sof what light through yonder window breaks

And, although I’m sad to admit it took so long, my living room has finally been corralled into some order.

Life returns to normal.

The brain fog and stress induced by months of relentless planning and four intense days lifts.  There is a light in the darkness of my crazed mind.

Yes, I know it’s been a couple months now, but the gaming show SERIOUSLY took a lot out of me.  For those that plan larger and even more insane conventions and shows, I tip my hat!

This stuff is not for the faint of heart or the disorganized.

I’ve also been working on getting this post up forever.  (Slow…as…molasses…in January…but finally…)

Despite WAY too much to do in TOO little time, total lack of sleep, surprise visits by the state tax man, squabbling among the ranks, and potential rate hikes by service suppliers (that was a fun meeting!), the show was a success.

I still lost money.  *Gulp*

I’m still up debt creek. *Sigh*

But after some intensive inner counseling I’ve decided not to let it stress me too much.  I’ve been told by a few trustworthy and knowledgeable souls that shows of this type rarely make money until the third year.

Keep Calm and Carry On

I remind myself of the old adage – nothing ventured, nothing gained.

If I didn’t make money, in what way could this have been a success?

  • The games were there and up and running when we opened.  I CANNOT over-emphasize what a huge feat of logistics this was!
  • People attended.  Not as many as I wished for, but they came, and the ones that came had a great time.
  • Friends were made.  Contacts achieved.  Networking conducted.  And support for next year has already been offered in some major ways.

In these ways and more, I know the show was a success.

Yet, because of the EXTREME amount of effort and headaches that went into this I have to think carefully about the second year.  On the one hand, I know it would be absolutely foolish to put in this much time and effort and not go for Year Two.  On the other hand, some of  the things that happened behind the scenes – including major diva moments with some folks that were supposed to be supportive – make the thought of Year Two painful.

I will think on it and ponder.  Year Two seems like a good bet.  And a better chance of success than winning the lottery.

I’ve sent out feelers to the hotel and other service providers for pricing and date options.  I still have a little more time to make a commitment for Round Two.

Mortal Kombat Raiden vs Sonja

I’ll keep you posted on Year Two.

Until tomorrow.

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About Me, All Things Geek and Wonderful

Scared Shitless

A year into playing hookie from a job with a decent salary, vacation time, and health benefits and I’m scared out of my wits.

Some people, like internet music superstar, Jonathan Coulton, can take a year off and turn straw into gold.  Others like me, take that year and mostly squander it away in a drunken, drug-induced haze.  Hrrmm…okay…that DID NOT happen…however when I am a rock star/brain surgeon/samurai it will.

Buckaroo Banzai Group End Credits Photo

Team Banzai!

Jeff Goldblum is DEAD sexy.

Alright, alright, I haven’t completely squandered the last year.  I have accomplished some cool things.  Even more importantly I’ve learned.

Learned things like I value my freedom and loathe working the 9-5 cubicle type job.  I enjoy being in charge and leading a team.  I don’t tolerate carelessness or stupidity.  I’m a hard-ass but I succeed in getting my underlings to learn along the way.  The underlings like me.

I’ve done way too little acting and singing and painting (despite my Painting of the Month project…YIKES!).  I’ve done a lot of crying, a lot of fighting, a lot of being depressed.  I’ve hidden myself from myself and those who love me best.

Sticking my neck out even further by putting on a HUGE hobby show makes me freak out even more.   A show that if it flops will leave me up debt creek without any extra dollars.

Only two weeks away and I’m dreaming about the show, eating, sleeping and breathing this damned show.  But in the end it IS going to work out.  It has to.  How do I know?  ‘Cause if you’re scared shitless you must be doing it right.

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All Things Geek and Wonderful

The Meeting Planning Maze

One thing I’ve discovered in the last few hectic, crazy months: event planning is NOT easy!

I’m planning and organizing a show in the Orlando area for arcade, pinball and gaming.

Starting off this adventure I made the discovery that not only do meeting/event planners speak a foreign language they also have their own secret society of service providers.

For example, that space where you have cocktails and hors d’oeuvres before an event?  It’s called “pre-function” space.

Wow. 

PRE. FUNCTION.

As in – before the function. 

SO-ooooo clever.

However, I learned the hard way that you will not be taken seriously if you don’t know the language.

Drawing of Babel Fish

Employ Babel Fish if needed

Another example – who knew that meeting rooms don’t come wired for electricity?  That’s right.  Don’t try walking into a meeting room and plugging stuff in.  The circuits in there don’t power much more than a hair dryer.

Instead the true circuits are installed AND un-installed after each customer.

As this “service” is provided by a third-party and not the hotel I see it as an ingenious monopoly designed to suck as much money out of customers as possible (coff coff….rip…coff…coff…off).  This opinion may be what caused the electric company representative I was speaking with to declare “I was too difficult to deal with” and hang up.

Difficult?!  DIFFICULT!! **takes 10 calming breaths**

Relaxation Exercise Picture

Breathe in, count to three, breathe out

 

Another example – Interacting with many of the hotel sales staff was akin to dealing with the Keystone Cops.  Some still haven’t answered my emails or calls from months ago, despite clearly asking me on my request for proposal the cutoff date for booking the event.   What an odd and disappointing response from a team of sales “professionals”.

Despite the learning curve, drama, monopolies, hang ups, haggling of prices and slow response, I successfully booked the event!

Picture Field of Dreams

If you build it, they will come!

I even managed to wrangle the price of electric (a critical part of the event) to a reasonable (if still fairly high) rate.

I’m excited and nervous about the event.  Will people attend?  Will they like it?

I don’t really subscribe to the Field of Dreams theory of event planning so I have been plugging this shamelessly on Facebook, through email, ads, twitter and everything else I can think of.

Readers – check out the show website at www.gamewarp.org.  Spread the word!  More importantly, attend if you’re in the area.

See you at the show!

http://www.Facebook.com/GameWarpShow

Twitter@GameWarpShow

RSVP for the Event at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=179716948749468

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