Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee
kevin_standlee

Closing Down Worldcon

There wasn't much down time for me today.

The Mark Protection Committee met at 10 AM in the room where the Business Meeting had met earlier in the convention. I will have to say that I found Programming's choice of Korbel 2a to be wonderfully convenient for me and for any of the other people involved in the fan tables (including bids and seated conventions), because the room was adjacent to us. The MPC re-elected the existing officers, so I'm Chairman for another year. We also went over some projects that we've been meaning to get done and that I really hope we'll see completed, or at least started, this term.

Then it was over to the SJ2011 Westercon table for a couple of hours. I would have thought we were in a backwater in the Fan Tables, but there was rarely a time when I had nothing to do while sitting there this week. I'm amazed at how many pre-supports and Friends of the Bid memberships we've sold. Some people have asked if we'll be at Montreal, and I said, "No. We're here in Denver because Denver is 'Where the West Begins.'"

Cheryl came by for a while. Last night's blog-fest left her with a splitting headache today. I wasn't able to commiserate with her as much as I wanted, due to the parade of people, some of them waving money in my general direction.

At 1 PM, I walked back down to the large program room for Closing Ceremony rehearsal. I was the first participant to arrive, so I chatted with the tech crew for a bit. After a while, other people started to arrive and we could go through my part. I had to telephone dave_gallaher to get him to come down and do a sound check and work with me to get the blocking of our little opening bit the way we wanted it. (It went okay, but Dave doesn't do a maniacal laugh very well. We should have procured a hangman's noose to make it more clear why the crew was "looking" for Captain Standlee.)

Unfortunately for everyone, with the Feedback Session scheduled for the time slot before the Closing Ceremony (in a different room), people who should have been at rehearsal -- like the chairs of both D3 and Anticipation -- weren't available until time was running out. Fortunately, the ceremony wasn't especially difficult. Nevertheless, the Anticipation team didn't have an opportunity to actually do their skit in practice, which means they didn't quite realize that nobody was going to be able to hear anything they said, because they were on stage right, far away from the microphones.

With a packed room, Closing Ceremonies started only about five minutes late. Dave and I did our little bit to break the ice, and then the usual Closing Ceremonies sequence followed, with the Toastmaster introducing the Guests of Honor for the last time, the GoH's making brief farewell speeches, and D3 Chairman Kent Bloom making a brief speech thanking everyone involved in the convention and presenting gifts to the guests. He then officially closed the convention and handed the gavel over to Anticipation co-chair Rene Walling, who started a small skit for Anticipation.

The Anticipation skit did not go well, in my opinion, mainly because nobody could hear it until Tom Whitmore and the tech crew quickly rigged a microphone and ran it over to them. The idea was that Rene and co-chair Robbie Bourget would introduce the division managers, then pull on a rope to pull that person on stage. But the sound issue meant that half the managers were already on stage and the audience didn't really understand what was happening. I don't know how people manage to make this mistake, particularly when they've been on stage before. In a large room like this, nobody can hear you without amplification, even if you have a strong voice. Ideally, all of the speaking roles would have had clip-on wireless microphones, or at least hand-held ones like we did at L.A.con IV.

In addition, nobody had thought to go get a black-and-gold Past Worldcon Chair ribbon to present to Kent. By the time the question came up, it was too late to try and find one. Sloppy.

I suppose if I grumble too much, someone is going to insist that I take on the job of directing the Opening/Closing Ceremonies, which is not something I really want to do, particularly because I don't write the things very well.

And then the convention was officially over. I came outside and there was Lisa in her WSFS yeoman's uniform (along with her aide, Ensign Kuma). She hadn't come in to watch Closing Ceremonies because applause sets off her tinnitus. We hung around and chatted with people in the Fan Tables area as the convention was being torn down around us. D3 had to get out quickly. The Fire Chiefs convention is moving in, and they need to get fire trucks moved into the exhibit hall today.

I wanted to go help with tear-down, but my WSFS uniform is not built for it if I want to keep it clean, and besides, all I'd had to eat since breakfast was a food bar, and I was fading out. Lisa and I went back to the room, where we changed into ordinary clothes and walked down to the 16th Street Mall and took the free bus down to Noodles & Company again. I needed comfort food and ate a bowl of macaroni and cheese.

On the walk back, Lisa wanted to look into Corner Bakery, because she'd never been in one and Pat McMurray suggested that she try it. They were just getting ready to close, but sold us a maple bar and some cinnamon crisps. I remarked about how they had a "Welcome Denvention Three" sign on the door, and we explained what our convention was about to the man at the counter. One of the other staff came out and said, "You folks were in San Jose a few years ago, weren't you." I said yes, we were. He said, "I was working in Ravioli's Pasta there and then." The lightbulb came one -- Lisa and I recognized this man, who was managing that Ravioli's where she and I ate so many times during ConJose that we filled up one of their frequent-buyer cards and had a free meal. He remembered us, too. Small world, isn't it?

I probably should not have eaten the crispbread on top of a bowl of macaroni and cheese. An hour later, even with the walk back to the hotel, my blood sugar was 174. Bad Kevin.

We walked back to the hotel via the convention center, but there was now no way to get in to see if there was anything left for us to do to help. The security guards said, "You have to go around through security now," so we instead returned to the hotel, where we got in to the elevator just as a large group of people who had arrived by bus were checking in. With only two of the four elevators in service, we decided to stay put for a little while and do some packing before doing anything else. Then I got side-tracked writing this instead.

I've taken pictures, but I'm not going to spend any more time working on uploading them. It's a pity I hadn't noticed on the first day that there were "Welcome Denvention 3" signs on posts around the downtown, because if I had done so, I would have taken a picture and used it as the icon for these Worldcon-related posts. Now it's too late. I will post a picture of the signs later.

Denvention Three turned out to be a pretty fun convention, despite prophesies of gloom from all and sundry coming in. There were probably between 3500 and 4000 bodies on site (the total membership count will be more than 4000 due to there being lots of supporting members and no-shows). I had a great time, and I heard a lot of other people saying the same. Congratulations to everyone for pulling it off.

Now I need to finalize this and we need to move stuff to the van this evening before we go over for the Old Pharts Former Worldcon Chairs' Party in the Sheraton. I do hope that someone has managed to stir up a Past Worldcon Chair ribbon for Kent Bloom by then.
Tags: denvention, lisa, worldcon, wsfs
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