Confusion and Clarity, Day One Thursday
The alarm clock jangled me back into reality as I rolled over, my gummy eyes opening slowly to reveal a newly redecorated room at the Lancaster Host. For once, there wasn’t a dead horse’s head in the bed with me, and that made my day in advance.
The new refurb rooms (100 of the host total) are very nicely done. For once, I did NOT feel like I was coming off a four day drunk in a cheap hotel in Cleveland. But it’s early yet. I usually am up at a con I’m running at least a night in advance to hit the ground running the next day, and hit the ground running I did!
Going downstairs, I schmoozed the hotel staff a bit and went down to the Expo center to see if the tables had been delivered as promised.
My reaction can be summed up as:
This picture does not do justice to just how desolate the room looked Thursday morning. The allegedly highbrow wine vendors that had been there the night before made wargamers look like the Salvation Army. What a pighole.
Neil showed up and we started unshipping the tables which in a large pile in one corner. I was not very hopeful about the state of my lower back, but help was quick to arrive. And by 10AM, the folks assigned to setup showed mercifully with a forklift.
It took several hours of vacuuming to soak up the wine spooge.
Miracles happen, and we had the place open for vendors to set up roughly on time. First hurdle overcame.
My day was made when I came back upstairs and had to sign for the delivery of the convention booklet. That was one operation that went very smoothly this year, and I think it was Mitch Osborne’s best work yet. Yeehaw! Second hurdle overcome.
Next, we put out those t-shirts out.. the con staff was arriving and searching for productive tasks. This year, they didn’t screw up the order and we had as many 3X shirts as I asked for. Bingo… Third hurdle overcome.
I met with the Hotel Staff around 1 PM, and ironed out several issues. As always, the Host staff is a professional outfit very willing to accomodate just about anything we can come up with. No big issues and a very amicable meeting with mutual respect and candor being the highlight of the event. I tell the new GM of the hotel:
“We are a very simple lot. Pay attention to four things:
1) Set up our tables on time.
2) Facilitate settin gup the dealer hall
3) Have copious amounts of food for sale, and
4) Triple order the beer… and I guarentee you’ll make a lot of money off of this show”
He seemed pleased.
Several trips to Staples to get supplies later, we opened our doors to the evening rush around 6PM. It was quite a mob scene and we raked it in for a while.
We are already almost sold out of tshirts. So there, tie-dye haters!
Things started slowing down around 8PM, so we decided to shut the doors. Here, Dan “The Iron Man” Niedwick (who logged a heck of a lot of hours volunteering) amuses himself by breaking his cameraphone taking my picture.
You could cut the tension with a knife. That’s Pre-Registrar Frank Preziosi and Kathy Higbee (events) trying to avoid paperwork.
And here’s the Cold Wars Mascot…
Good night, all, and we’ll have more tomorrow. Off to do what CDs do best, schmoozing and drinking and some telling of lies.