So Anthrocon came and went last weekend.
I won’t be writing a full report because, honestly, it would be pretty boring. Also, Friday-Sunday would be repetitive: “Went to work in Artists Alley. Worked for 12-14 hours. Grabbed dinner. Went to bed.” And I want to stress, I’m not saying that working 12-14 hours every day was a badge of honor. Actually, it was pretty stupid. I didn’t have enough staff (as usual). I didn’t feel comfortable leaving the Alley during the day, even though I had excellent support from Rooth, my second in command. And I didn’t have the energy to really go anyplace else by the end of the weekend. All of that aside, though, the Alley was a huge success, processing over $63,000 for the artists over the course of the weekend (up from $55,000 last year).
Anyway, I do want to put together some bullet points about the convention:
- Rooth is amazing. He put up with my stressing out, continued to be a quick study when it comes to all things technological, and was in general an excellent friend. I leave Artists Alley in his hands knowing it will not only continue to succeed, it will improve year after year. And the going-away gift of a 30-minute professional massage on Sunday was exactly what I needed.
- The Artists Alley and Con Store staff: Baja, Delphi, Drittauge, Ford, Geemo, Shy Matsi, Stevie, Wag!, Anita (Giza’s Mom), and Gimpy Dave. You are the reason that Artists Alley and Con Store ran as well as it did, and I cannot begin to thank you enough. The work schedule was tough this year, and I know many people wound up working more hours than they would have liked. I am sure Rooth will make sure that doesn’t happen again next year. I am beyond gratified that so many of you plan to come back next year. I consider it a privilege to count you all as friends.
- Dinner at The Sharp Edge was a mixed bag – Excellent friends, decent food, abominable service. In hindsight, I wish we’d chosen to go to Sonoma Grille on Sunday night instead, but the company more than made up for it.
- Roho and Genet, and their roommates Tarin and Nyuni were great – even though they were not staff, they volunteered to help out with the Artists Alley lottery. More importantly, not only did Roho and Genet help carry some of our stuff to and from the con, they provided me with a much-needed oasis of sanity (and excellent beer) in their room. Thanks, guys!
- And then there’s Takaza. It goes without saying that he was helpful and supportive, but this was on top of his own insanity running the Finance office. He was sweet enough to make sure I ate lunch each day and to look in on me during the day. All of this while working until 3:00 AM each night (and he still has a couple of days worth of work to do to get everything reconciled before July 15th).
After nine years of working Artists Alley, I leave Anthrocon with the same feeling I had when I turned over Registration at Midwest FurFest: It was a fascinating and enjoyable logistical problem that I would like to think that I and my team solved, and left things in a far better state than they were when I came in. It is definitely something I am done with, though, and have no desire to ever do again.
As I have mentioned, we will not be at Anthrocon next year. Instead, we will be celebrating the tenth anniversary of our commitment ceremony with a cruise to Alaska (want to join us? Here’s more information). Since I only have so much vacation, something has to give – that thing being Anthrocon. After next year? Hard to say. We’ve been talking about a trip to Europe, you see 🙂
And so Anthrocon is in the books for us. Now we can look ahead to the Midwest FurFest Summer Picnic in just a few weeks, a trip to Ann Arbor in August, and of course our trip to Montreal in September. Oh, and some convention or another in November. That will come with time, though…