...nothing here is promised, not one day... Lin-Manuel Miranda

Convention thoughts - Bcon pt 4
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A major reason I went to Bouchercon was to prepare for Left Coast. By that I mean getting new ideas, meeting people, seeing stuff, as well as putting out flyers, you know, shmoozing.

Rooms MUST be identified well. You need big SIGNS, preferably on like cardboard on an easel, which show the entire day's schedule so folks know a) what's happening now and b) what's happening later. Little red LED readouts are not good enough - big maps help too if there are lots of rooms or you've got stuff really spread out.

I wonder if it's important to have author photos and/or website information. I know I use that website stuff, but to be honest, I use it to update the Mysterious Home Page. But then darn it I USE the MHP ALL the time to find out stuff like an author' latest book or email. LCC Monterey had the author's website listed I imagine if it was provided; there were none In this Bcon program book.

Given some of the comments I heard/have seen, do we approach the publishers and ask them to donate more carefully? I mean, they ARE giving us books, which is way cool, but too many people complained that a) they got the same book last year (perhaps in hc now in pb, but they weren't happy, especially because it starts looking like dumping the books. Some books given were not just last year's but older (Mystic River was out in hc in 2001.) Sure we donate them, and that's great but while only a few years ago we weren't giving books away, now it's a big deal to people as part of their membership and if some publisher's representative could only have walked by the "bin" where books were collecting, to see how many copies of a book were being dumped, they might realize how it looks. And sure not all of us get the same book but still, we know; for one thing, us bloggers talk about such things!

Auction - do we still want to do an auction? This year's was awfully late at night (10-11) and only an hour long. Is this a sign of declining interest? I hope not, but I do not want to bore people.

Opening ceremonies - there is STILL no solution to what to do first night. Nothing ever works to everyone's satisfaction; even the LCC Aquarium shindig met with problems because a) not everyone could go and b) it wasn't exactly a "meet and greet". But are they EVER? Performances are a bad idea, I'm utterly convinced. If it's a "reception" then it's intended for folks to eat, drink and MINGLE. The idea of having a "reception" as it was called, but then providing some theater seating and formal announcements and such was a mix that I thought did not work for anyone. Singing, dancing, comedy performances mostly BOMB at mystery conventions. Not everyone is into the whole "participatory mystery" so I don't want to do that. I've yet to see something that grabs people and causes folks to say "oh, do that NEXT time too." And yet you WANT to introduce your honored guests and do SOMEthing. But I can think of nothing that works.

Signings - I didn't manage to get to those either. They were on a totally different floor form the dealer's room AND from program. I didn't hear complaints though so maybe it's just people like me who might have a problem. Since I can't use escalators, the idea of going to a program item, getting so psyched about panelist who's an author that I want to buy her book, so I head to the elevator and head down to the dealer's room then back UP to the signing room/floor? I'd have given up LONG before that point. For the record, I brought 3 books to be signed. Managed to have an entire lunch with one of the folks whose book I'd brought, it was sitting right in the basket of the scooter. And there it sat. To be honest, lunch was so concentrated (he wasn't at Bcon very long) that I totally forgot. Duh. But I mean DUH. I was SO good only bringing three books. And even at THAT, I managed not to get Laura or Stephen to sign one. Managed not to find Marv's book when we ran into him at the airport and, um, yeah, it was in the basket.

Several other issues I'm surer of, but now you see the beginnings of why planning a convention is never just "do what the last guys did".

A wrap-up to come later. (That's Andi's way of saying "there's stuff I KNOW I forgot to mention and want to" clever disguised as summary.)

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