I had moved the van closer to that side of the building last night to facilitate move-in, and borrowed a bell cart to move the kit from the van. It took two trips. Lisa had to leave things like the computers and sound board to cool off because they were painful to the touch after having baked out there for days. The hotel brought the tables that Westercon (following our request) had ordered, and we rearranged the room, strung the vinyl banners that Sasquan bought us, set up the tables and chairs the way we liked, and so forth. Lisa worked her usual magic on getting the sound equipment working. Judy Bemis once again did wonderful service running the Prize Table.
At 7:30, I went back to the room and changed into my game show host costume. Shortly after I got back to the Xavier Room, the audience started arriving. Lisa later counted the house, and we estimated that somewhere in the neighborhood of 8-10% of the estimated attendance of this year's Westercon came to our show, resulting in a roughly two-thirds full house.
Here I am with the panelists for this year's show: a mixture of returning panelists and first-timers, and a balanced group of men and women. The panelists were really "on the ball" tonight, and we played six games, with some decently sharp contestants as well. We gave away some prizes, and in particular finally gave away the second copy of The Complete Hammer's Slammers, which we've been carting around for years. In return, we ended up not giving away two complete sets of Gini Koch's Alien Series, so things balanced out.
Tonight's show went really well. We (and I mean both me and Lisa) got lots of compliments from both returning and new audience members. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I was tired but happy and energized, as I always am after a good show. We had someone from TARDIS, the Arizona fan group who ran Match Game at Westercolt .45 in Phoenix twenty-five years ago and gave me a starter set of questions that formed the core of the show we do today, came up and expressed admiration of how we've polished the show and that we continue to give TARDIS credit.
Move out was more challenging than move in. We couldn't take the gear out of the (alarmed) rear door of the Xavier Room, and while the Astro was physically close to where we were, there were two locked doors (the ballroom lobby) between us and the van. Fortunately, when I got a bell cart to start moving out (while Lisa packed the tech gear away), hotel security helpfully unlocked the intervening doors for us, so we were able to make two runs over with the box of Tech, speakers, game gear, etc. without having to circle clear around the hotel.
After putting everything away, we made a relatively brief stop at Westercon 72's Victory Party, which was still going strong approaching midnight. We would have loved to stay longer, but we need to check out Tuesday morning, and we have a drive to Kingman, Arizona ahead of us. Our goal is to be on the road by Noon for the 200 mile drive to Kingman, in order to give me some chance of getting back on my "normal" work schedule so I can work from the hotel room on Wednesday.