Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

SMOFCon Day 1

I had the morning free here as the portion of SMOFCon programming I wanted to attend didn't start until 4 PM, so I was able to sleep in (despite the time zone difference, I needed it) and then went out to do a little exploring. I got to have breakfast at Eggspectation (a chain I wish was in the USA) and go shopping at World's Biggest Bookstore before it closes for good in a couple of months). And I rode the subway a little bit, but the weather was so not-as-cold-as-expected weather (it was, I think, colder in the Bay Area, and very definitely colder in Fernley, where Lisa reports that she's having a difficult time keeping the living room above +12° C due to the -15° C outside temperatures). I spent the early afternoon hanging around the Con Suite enjoying the conversation immensely before attending the late afternoon programming. I missed my dinner connection but did manage to eat and return in time for the Opening Night event, which was "Worldcon is Coming," in which people presented Worldcon bids for various places in Game of Thrones as badly as possible, and we were given bingo cards to check off their various failings ("Fumbles with Tech","Rambles into irrelevant points," "Argues with Audience questions," etc.). When you had five ain a row, you called "Bingo!" and won a prize. (I got one, just before they ran out of prizes.) It was surprisingly fun.

I hung around downstairs catching up with people for a while before making a brief trip to the Con Suite. Alas, the Con Suite is too small, and the function space is also too small. The Royal York is huge, but it's mostly full of holiday parties using up all of the bigger space, and we're making due with what we can manage. I expect tomorrow night's Fannish Inquisition (which I will be recording) is apt to be hugely overcrowded. I hope that will be an incentive for people to not ramble and not show how witty they are in asking stupid questions.

I actually bailed out fairly early tonight (before midnight and headed back to the room, simply because it was too crowded, hot, and uncomfortable in the Con Suite. But there are definitely a lot of people here, and the conversations I was having and overhearing were generally very good. For what SMOFCon does, it's working fine. I just wish we had more room in which to do it. Function space for this convention is difficult, and the challenging part includes the fact that we're not allowed to rebuild the hotels where we want to hold it and have to make the best of what's available.

I did get 20 sign-ups for the Probability & Statistics Seminar so far (40 slots possible, 30 is a good starting number), plus several people complaining that we scheduled for the same time as the beer tasting. I shrugged and said, "When do you think I should schedule it?" and to their credit, nobody had a good answer. If anything, it's a good idea to counter-program things when you just don't have a big enough space to hold everyone in the same place, even for the only 100-150 SMOFCon attendees.
Tags: smofcon

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