Flutterby™! : Dear Chattacon

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Dear Chattacon

2007-01-29 01:22:34.468905+00 by meuon 10 comments

Chattacon was this weekend, and I took Nancy. I was originally excited about taking her to her first 'Con. Now I'm apologizing. Let's start with Registration. It's a Sci-Fi con, you'd think registration would be high-tech and automated. I got off work early, thought I'd pop over and get registered early Friday afternoon, check out the dealers room, etc.. say Hi to a few friends, then pick up Nancy at work, go home, change and do the 'Con thing. Nope. Not possible, because they are using an Access database on an SMB share, and for some reason, it wasn't sharing.. so they only had 1 PC that could read the database and print a badge, and it was being M$-Flakey(tm) at it. It took 3 hours to stand in line and register. At least, like much of the con, the line became a social event and I ran into a lot of old friends. It also made a lot of other people not register, not attend, and was a good indicator of things to come.

Cost, at $50/head or $100. Nancy and I ingested 1 beer, 1 hot cocoa, 1 peanut and butter sandwich, 1/2 baloney sandwich. Yea, I drank a bit, but from room parties (tipped well) and from what I brought. It's time to stop subsidizing cheap drunks, lets cut the fee, and BYOB, which is what most people do anyway. And if other things at the 'Con had gone well, the cost would have been worth it. Which brings out:

Schedule/Staffing/Organization. Why print a schedule out when it is not even loosely followed, staff and operations were a disorganized mess. The minor schedule there was was un-intelligible, the panels/events un-findable.. and actually happened hours later than scheduled, overlapping with things they should not have.

Facilities. I can't complain enough about doing Chattacon at the Choo Choo. It was incredibly spread out, impossible to generate critical mass of people at an event, room, area, region. The Consuite was.. well Consuite (smelling of spilled beer) adjacent to next to it, with a poor PA system and bright florescent lights was the dance area and gaming area combined. No one dancing, not even us. No one gaming either. Worse, the bad loud music made it hard to talk or game in the ConSuite. Only sheet plastic seperated them. To get to room parties, someone had to have a room key to get into the buildings (Hah!). Everything was, somewhere else.. far away, hidden in a corner. The Read House and the Clarion (Other venues) concentrate everything into a small enough area you -feel- the buzz, know what's going on, bump into everyone/thing/alien and makes things happen.

There were room parties with a cover charge. WTF? There was at least one we saw, heard of others. Few were inside, Hmm.. wonder why?

Discussions: Didn't find any hard core science fiction people. Into dragons, fairies, pirates? No problem. Stargate 1 was huge, its about dressing up like a National Guardsman and killing aliens. Hmm, very American right now. Saw 2 decent Klingon outfits, a couple of Trekers, 1 incredible alien outfit, lots of fetish wear.

There was some good things: Some decent room parties, Fan's in great costumes and sometimes even in character. And the shuttle bus drivers at night were timely, cheerful, friendly and very helpful. They should be: scantily clad cute girls asking for rides would put any guy in a good mood.

I've worked Chattacon and other 'cons before.. taken a crappy Elevator Security/Doorman role from 6pm to midnight, met everyone, missed the "events", and hit the room parties after midnight. Maybe that's why I liked Chattacon. That was the best part.

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Music Space & Astronomy Heinlein Beer Architecture Databases Public Transportation Real Estate ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-29 04:19:41.820443+00 by: ziffle

Yea but did you like it?

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-29 13:11:12.411662+00 by: meuon

On a scale of 1 to 10.. With 5 being staying home at watching a good movie, it was a 6. I was expecting an 8. (For comparison: a good day at Burning Man: 11, a bad day at Burning Man: 9). For something different, Nancy and I are attending a smaller and more concentrated and focused event in Atlanta this weekend, we'll see how that goes.

Ziffle, having a good discussion with you over Breakfast at Porkers, or when you were talkative at a lively CHIA lunch: 7.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-29 13:27:08.303329+00 by: warkitty

Yeah, I hadn't planned on being there at all. I had Many Other things on my plate to do this weekend and the con was just another thing that would mean not taking the dogs out somewhere.

Well, one of my pals insisted and paid for my badge. Not a worry about getting it, I said hello to folk in that awful line and then cheerfully ignored my lack of badge while going into the con suite to visit folk on Friday before going home to be a pumpkin.

Saturday I showed up sometime AFTER my kayaking trip and left to see the opera.

Really, I had a full freaking weekend planned without the con. I knew the ChooChoo would spread everything out (though the walking is good for some of the fans. They NEED to get some exercise.) I realized Friday night when a good friend couldn't find the events coordinator to determine if the show was going on schedule with the large delay in registration... let alone where the filking he was to facilitate was to be... and then found he was somehow to telepathically know when to leave the filking to get on stage.....


In this age of technology, there's no reason for that.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-29 15:56:38.983918+00 by: meuon

And this all reminded me. Ordered 2 Burning Man Tickets today.. Nancy and I have not figured out the logistics yet, but we are going.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-29 17:07:09.201403+00 by: ziffle

meuon - I am humbled. I actually went there, but found it so disorganized I didn't feel like paying so I talked to the lady with the carriage and beautiful horse - about horses - and left. I didn't feel the energy I thought I wuld feel, but I'll try next time.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-29 22:36:11.206355+00 by: meuon

Ziffle, wait for a better venue, it'll be worth it. I'll wager the logistics of the Choo Choo killed it for the organizers as well, which is why it was so disorganized. Don't be humbled, I don't even like you much... but I really enjoy a good head twisting mental flossing discussion, which is one of the reasons I usually enjoy Chattacon.. and Burning Man.. and.. well, debates and discourses with you. You have a different point of view and articulate it well. Priceless.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-30 00:20:46.59446+00 by: ziffle

Well at least I was polite.

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-30 02:29:12.728051+00 by: Nancy

Mike says whatever he's feeling. Which (while it CAN drive me crazy) is also one of my favorite things about him. I never wonder where I stand with him. I rarely worry that he's just telling me what he thinks I want to hear. HA!

And Ziffle, if it matters, he tells me he doesn't DISlike you...but if he doesn't like you and he doesn't dislike you, I'm not entirely sure where that leaves you. I'm guessing that you really don't care and that's probably for the best!

#Comment Re: made: 2007-01-30 21:11:36.959991+00 by: ziffle

Well he didn't like ChattaCon, and well - maybe he was just having a bad day...

So I like Nancy whoever that is :) and meuon too.

Now that we are all in 'like' have a nice day. :)

#Comment Re: made: 2007-02-03 17:25:24.125531+00 by: ziffle

I now see who 'Nancy' is (everythingjustso) and wish you both the best !