Our biggest fear going in to today's meeting was that we would have more people wanting to attend than the room capacity of 240 seats. Unlike every other item at this convention, where you can turn people way, the WSFS Business Meeting cannot refuse admission to any attending member who wants to attend. Had we overflowed the room, a contingency plan with Programming would have been activated that would have allowed every member who wished to participate a chance to do so, but would have been massively disruptive and expensive. I think we were very fortunate that only around 100 people attended, so there was plenty of room. I fielded a complaint from someone griping that we were using a room that was too big for such a small turnout, and when I tried to explain that we have to try to use rooms that are "too large" due to not being able to turn people way, he just looked sort of blankly at me. Most people just don't get that the WSFS BM is really the only required program item at the entire convention, and that every member is guaranteed attendance, and that you can never really tell how many people are going to show up.
I don't know the exact attendance count. The total of the one counted vote we did won't tell you that, because not everyone votes on such things, and calling for abstentions is meaningless. (Because people who don't answer when you call for abstentions have abstained just as much as those who do answer.) I'm pretty sure it was more than 100 but less than 150. We'll know later when the sign-in sheets are tallied.
Here's the head table team. From left to right, we have Deputy Chair Donald Eastlake III, Secretary Linda Deneroff, Chairman Kevin Standlee, and Timekeeper Paul Dormer. Not pictured: Videographer Lisa Hayes.
When we first arrived, we found these on the head table seats. We decided that Dave Kyle wouldn't really mind if we sat here after all.
As has been our practice since 2015, we started by showing the WSFS Business Meeting Basics video. But before I called the meeting to order, Lisa wanted to make an announcement and presentation.
Lisa pointed out that Worldcon is usually around my birthday (August 27) and I usually treat the convention as the best birthday party ever. (My first time chairing the Business Meeting was on August 27 itself.) She presented me with the gavel you see me holding here.
It comes with a holster, which I did not put on because it's a little stiff and I need to learn how to wear it without breaking off the handle.
Here is the engraving: "Kevin Standlee/Chairman/WSFS".
I was very surprised and flattered at the gift and the applause from the meeting.
I wrote earlier today about a summary of how the Business Meeting went. I had the time to do this because immediately following the Business Meeting and in the same room was the Fannish Inquisition, which Lisa was also recording. I was sitting over to one side writing that report while bids for future Worldcons talked about their plans. Lisa logged several more hours than I did today, and when we went back to the hotel room after the Inquisition ended just before 15:00, she sent me out to get some lunch while she got some rest and made lunch out of some of the supplies we had cached in the hotel room.
After sitting with Ron Oakes and Mike Willmoth in the food court for lunch, I walked with Cheryl over to the Green Room, where she and I prepared for our respective panels. At 17:00 I was on a panel about different SF/F genre awards around the world. Unlike many of the panels here, this one was not over-subscribed and nobody was turned away from the discussion. We had panelists from Germany, Japan, Australia/New Zealand, and me. It went pretty well, and the audience seemed to like it.
Even though it was early, I knew I wouldn't have the time or energy to go off-site, and the food court restaurants close too early. (In some cases because they're running out of food as we're eating and drinking them out of stock.) Cheryl (who I met as she came out of her panel) and I got food, and we were joined by Susan de Guardiola, who will be the third member of the Hugo Awards Web Site CoverItLive coverage team tomorrow night as we bring you live coverage of the 2017 Hugo Awards Ceremony.
After dinner, I headed up to my room for a little while to cool off for a bit. Lisa had gone on to have dinner with Chris Carson and his friends (making use of their convention-supplied transit passes to go downtown on the train). I then put on my San Jose "bowling shirt" (many San Jose committee members are wearing matching bowling-league-style shirts this weekend to show a "brand identity" for Worldcon 76) and went down to the Winter Garden to help our convention set up our party.
Here are some of the San Jose team members just as we opened up our section of the Winter Garden (a large function area with adjacent bar). The other section was given over to The Last Bid Party for Dublin 2019.
Our section was decorated with the "stand-up" signs for the 2018 Worldcon and other San Jose promotional material.
A small version of the San Jose light tower stands over a cake made for Andy Trembley's birthday.
When Andy arrived, we sang "Happy Birthday" to him.
I may end up with my picture in Locus because they took a group photo of all of us who were there in our San Jose team shirts.
Presented to us by MidAmeriCon II was this Pass-Along Funds check for more than $33,000. This is most welcome and will go toward funding the 2018 Worldcon. Thank you, MAC II!
I spent a lot of time talking with many people at the party about a lot of things, although admittedly much of it was WSFS Business, but around 23:00, Lisa and I headed back to the hotel room. We still have to be up early to be at the Business Meeting room for 9:00, but we now have much less worry about overflowing that room.