Interaction Events Team, Take Another Bow
Cheryl reports on our attempt to attend the book launch for Anathem
. As she reports, after waiting for more than an hour after the "starts promptly at 7 PM" had turned into "We're having tech problems, please be patient," we bailed out so we could have dinner and get home before 10 PM. I agree with what she says, an in particular this bit:
...if a fan group had run the event and been even 15 minutes late starting everyone would be going on about what a bunch of flakes fans are and how they can’t be trusted to get anything right.
I don't know what exactly was holding things up last night. From the sound of it (literally, considering the loud hum from the speakers), they were having significant technical problems. The auditorium was big enough that they couldn't do the event without amplification. But I can't say that I care much for their event logistics. If you say you're opening the doors at 6:30 for a 7:00 PM event, you probably should really open at least fifteen minutes early, not fifteen late.
Anyone reading this who worked on or participated in any of our major events at Interaction back in 2005, your achievements in putting on events that opened, started, and finished on time while entertaining your fellow members deserves another round of applause. I thank you all again, because while I was the one going on like a broken record about it from the management side, you were the ones who did the work, and showed that you can
do it. You don't have to subject people to long queues. (We only had around 100 people queued at the Masquerade before the doors opened as I recall, and we opened on time and cleared the queue in less than a minute, I think; we surely had between 1000 and 2000 in the auditorium without noticeable crowding problems other than a big surge at the end, of course, which must have bemused the train operators ferrying people down to the party hotel.) You don't have to make people wait around long after curtain wonder what's going on. (Our latest event* started, I think, about two minutes late; the Hugos started early because we actually were able to do the safety announcement at curtain minus one minute as I originally wanted.) And also thanks again to my management at Interaction, who gave me the support I needed to deliver those events to our fellow members, even when it wasn't convenient or inexpensive to do so.
Logistics is not easy, but it's also not impossible.
*I recently had someone point out to me that a particular function at Interaction started badly late. It wasn't part of Events, which only included the Opening Ceremonies, Friday Play (Lucas Back in Anger), Masquerade, Hugo Awards, Closing Ceremonies, and incidentally the WSFS Business Meetings. Admittedly, the distinction between "Events" and "Programming" at a convention isn't really apparent to most attendees, who sees "things listed on the program schedule that I can attend." And I didn't want to have the item in question in my division, either, on account of it was in space over which I had little control, so perhaps it is partially my fault, for which I apologize. Current Mood: accomplished