August 16th, 2011

Business Meeting

Moving On In

Yesterday, Lisa and I walked over to the Convention Center on our way to the Office Depot that is down beyond the far south end of the center at the corner of Virginia Street and Kitzke Lane. (They didn't have the gadget we wanted. I'll miss having a Fry's Electronics nearby.) Among the many high-level Worldcon runners I saw there was Donald Eastlake, who has moved up to Business Meeting Chairman after Chairman-designate Kent Bloom (himself replacing, as I understand it, Tim Illingworth) had to cancel due to work issues. I told Don I was glad to see him as I wasn't sure who was going to preside if he didn't attend. (I would have been the sole remaining living past BM Chair of the past twenty years present, I think.)

Don asked if I wanted to be his deputy, but I had to decline. "Can't. I'm involved in debating too many of the things that are coming up this year." I did tell him, however, that if we get into the somewhat unlikely situation of going into Committee of the Whole on one of the issues on which I'm not planning to enter the debate, like the Semiprozine Committee report or the Best Fanzine/Best Podcast issue, that I'd be available to chair the CotW if necessary. As I said and Don agreed, this isn't very likely. We used CotW at the Nippon 2007 meeting (Don presiding) partially because the attendance at the meeting was small enough that handling a messy issue committee-fashion worked better, and we did it at the Westercon 64 Site Selection Business Meeting because it was mechanically the best solution to a parliamentary muddle, but it's not a mechanism that we commonly use at Business Meetings for Worldcon and Westercon.

I poked my head into room A2, where the Business Meeting will be. It's a big room. Almost too big for the size Business Meeting I expect, but there's a room-quanta issue. I'd rather have a too-large than too-small room. One challenge we face, though, is that the only power outlets are on the back wall (the other three are air walls with no services). That means a bit of fiddling about to get a camera position that will cover things properly and that also won't create a tripping hazard. We also might have to give up our plan for a two-camera shoot, but Lisa and I will go look at it again today to consider it. The room only has (as of yesterday) one microphone. It really needs two, one of which should be a floor microphone stand in front of the head table. The room is much too large for speakers to be heard without amplification. Even me.

Having been able to get to bed early last night, I found myself awake and not sleepy anymore at about 6:30 AM, so I decided to just go ahead and get up. Today is an unscheduled day for the most part, which is good because we have to change rooms later today and because Lisa (who is still asleep as I compose this) really needs to try and catch up some rest after the harrowing last few weeks and the long drive from Oregon and the stress of yesterday.

Moving On Up

Shortly after Noon, we went over to the convention center where Registration was open. We registered without incident, collected our Program Participant materials (mine had by Former Worldcon Chair ribbon in it), and as is typical in such cases, people started engaging me in conversations. Lisa headed off to the exhibit hall and helped out a bit there. From our viewpoint, things seem to be going as smoothly as one could expect a Worldcon move-in to go.

We reviewed the room set of A2 (the Business Meeting) and found to our relief that there will be a floor microphone for speeches from the floor. It's wireless, too, so maybe people won't necessarily have to all come to the front of the room. We'll see how that works out. Lisa and I think we can set up the "fixed" video camera (which has an external power supply) at the back of the room near the power outlets, while Lisa can operate her camera on the nicer tripod (better pans and such) off of her belt-pack power supply. I just have to remember that I need to goose the camera every 30 minutes or so with a brief stop-start, because otherwise it tends to run out of memory for a single file and stop recording.

The call to change rooms came this afternoon just as we were saying that maybe we'd better get me some lunch, so I grabbed a food bar and scarfed it down as the bellman arrived with a cart. It took two cart loads plus a hand-carried trip to get it all moved. The bellman was interested in our convention and asked questions about "is it open to the public?" (Yes, anyone can join) and "So I guess they should just call the convention center for information" (No, I don't think that would work, but anyone can walk over to the Registration area in the lobby of Hall A, where they'll happy answer questions and sell you a single-day admission. The reason he asked was that there are other hotel guests (non convention members) asking what's going on and he wants to be able to help them out. He was fascinated by how we choose sites and couldn't figure out why we came to Reno over (say) Las Vegas. (Nobody filed from Las Vegas.)

Having moved, we went and had lunch and then went back to the room and unpacked again. This room is slightly smaller than the room we were in before. We think it's because is on a "straightaway" rather than at the diagonal corner between wings where the first one was. Somehow we got things put away again. At least we shouldn't have to pack up again until Monday morning.
Hugo Logo

Hey, the Marketing Worked!

This evening being the last time Lisa and I are likely to get any farther off site than the Peppermill, we went over to John Ascuaga's Nugget for dinner at John's Oyster Bar, where (as usual) we had the shrimp pan roast. Alas, by driving off site, I lost the excellent parking space; Lisa and I had managed to get all three of our vehicles parked side-by-side-by-side.

Upon our return to the Atlantis, Lisa wanted to get dessert, so we went over to the Manhattan Deli, which was closed, but the coffee stand/dessert place next to it was open. I was off having a conversation with David Clark, Tom Galloway, and Mike Willmoth, and when I came back over, Lisa was chatting with another convention member. She said to me, "Hey, this is his first Worldcon!"

I sat and talked with him. It wasn't just his first Worldcon, it was his first SF convention of any sort. (Shades of my introduction to Fandom in 1984.) I asked him what attracted him to Worldcon. He said that he'd always been an avid SF/F reader, and he had been using things like "Hugo Award winner" as a sign of likely quality, and he learned that the Hugo Awards had something to do with Worldcon. As he was in the process of moving from the Bay Area to the Midwest, he thought this would be a good opportunity to attend, what with the Worldcon being so close.

I asked him how he found out about how the Hugo Awards work and how they're part of Worldcon, and he said, "At the Hugo Awards web site."

I was, I hope you can understand, well pleased. Anecdotes aren't data, but now I can say that I've personally spoken with one Worldcon member we probably wouldn't have had without