As Lisa and I trudged toward the ExCel on Sunday morning to get set up for the third and final WSFS Business Meeting, I got a call from Linda Deneroff, the Secretary. Her roommate had fallen and badly cut her head, and they were off to hospital to get her stitched. Could I please help with the Business Meeting? Good thing I was carrying my computer with me.
When we got to the room, I set up my computer on the head table instead of down in the audience and prepared to act as Emergency Holographic Secretary. I took advantage of my position to take a picture showing what the room looks like to the Head Table:
The floor microphone stand was directly in front of my position. Chairman Don Eastlake III was to my right.
I of course had no prep time for this, and thus had to use a very old copy of minutes as a template and just do my best. Linda will have to fix it up later. Jill Eastlake, the timekeeper, got a pad of paper to use as the attendance list because Linda had the pre-printed forms.
Fortunately, Sunday's business was pro-forma. The only really substantive business was the formal announcement of 2016 Worldcon Site Selection. The key figures were Kansas City 651, Beijing 70. (With scatterings of votes for oddball write-ins and none of the above.) The original is a PDF that I'm not going to retype right now.
Kansas City announced MidAmeriCon II and their guests with an initial video. I'm glad that I'd figured out on the first day's meeting what the preset buttons on the room lighting controls did; it made it easy to lower the lights to appropriate level for the presentations.
Then it was Question Time for next year's Worldcon, followed by presentations and questions for subsequent bidded years. This wouldn't be so bad except that too many people in the audience appear to take this time to show how amazingly witty they are, and consequently it turns into a slog through the bids, finally ending with the Paris in 2023 bid. Next year, I may insist that any bids except those for the immediately following election be limited to a short statement of two minutes each with no Q&A. After all, there is a Fannish Inquisition panel for that. What should have been a 45-minutes-at-most WSFS Business Meeting lasted nearly two hours.
After the Business Meeting adjourned sine die (a Latin phrase meaning "See you next year", as I put it for the con newsletter), I asked the folks in the room to quickly reset the head platform for the Worldcon Chairs photo shoot by moving the tables away and putting chairs for the Chairs. With relatively little mess (partially because people are starting to get used to the drill), we got things reset, Lisa shot the video of everyone giving their names and conventions, and people got a chance to take photos. Lisa has lots of photos, and they're on my computer now as well, but I've not had time to upload them, so that's why they're not there.
Lisa took the camera gear and returned to the hotel, as she wasn't needed at (nor did she want to attend) the Mark Protection Committee meeting.
Following the photo-shoot, we turned the room back into a panel room and held the WSFS Mark Protection Committee meeting. Glenn Glazer agreed to be the Emergency Holographic Secretary in Linda Deneroff's continued absence. Rather to my surprise, I was re-elected Chairman without opposition. With the changes in the committee's makeup, I rather expected that I'd be turned out, given that I held my seat by only one vote last year, but nobody was put forward as a candidate other than me. Scott Dennis and Linda Deneroff were re-elected to their seats as Treasurer and Secretary without opposition as well.
In light of the Business Meeting's endorsement of the MPC's recommendation to do so, we agreed to start moving forward with the planning to form WIPT: the Worldcon Intellectual Property Trust. This is projected to be a trust whose trustees will be defined as the WSFS MPC members, and we probably will attempt to get 501(c)(3) status for it now that recent IRS changes make it much easier for small non-profit groups to do so. This will give us a legal entity to hold title to WSFS service marks in countries where unincorporated associations aren't recognized by the intellectual-property authorities, which effectively means everywhere but the USA. We won't do anything until (a) we consult with our attorney and (b) we stir up the funding to do so.
After dealing with some policy issues that needed straightening out and mapping out the general course of action for the coming year, the MPC adjourned and I had most of the rest of the afternoon to myself prior to needing to get ready for the Hugo Awards ceremony.