I'm still in recovery from this weekend, but what a weekend it was!
Thanks again to D.L. King, Nan Andrews, Kate Dominic, and Jolie du Pre for their amazing hard work running this. Andrea Dale also pinch hit for us in a spectacular display of generosity.
Where do I begin? Things that went wrong. Hmm.
Well, the starting hour was way to early. Unfortunately, we we took this date, the hotel didn't mention to us that 9/10/11 was a huge day for weddings. If we'd known that "suddenly" the hours we needed the rooms that they wouldn't be available and we'd have to start at the crack of dawn to get in our programming, we would have gone a week later. Live and learn. Get the hours in a contract and fight it tooth and nail when they change it on you.
No readings opposite panels. The readings were sparsely attended, and the schedule was to blame for that.
Have more staff! We were blessed that Nan and Kate, and Andrea, were willing to be drafted. We couldn't have done it without them. But we need to recruit more people before hand. Andrea - I will never forgot that you offered to help with programs next year! NEVER! Programs were the bane of my existence. And some of the things she mentioned were so obvious in retrospect that I'd wished I'd tapped her insight beforehand.
Some panelists and class leaders weren't able to come last minute. Oh man, were they ever missed. I don't know how you work around real life emergencies, and we filled in fairly well, but some guests were really disappointed that certain people they came specifically to see weren't there. All I can do is apologize. And get viruses to obey me. And flooding rivers too. I'll work on that. Oh, and internet connectivity. It was crap in the convention center. Sorry.
I should have asked the hotel to show me their worst rooms as well as their best beforehand. I hope no one besides me ended up in one of the frankenrooms.
I'm sure that there's more that I missed. People were generous with their insights, and I hope we can address those problems next year. We will send out a questionnaire and please, tell us again, because right now, I barely remember my name.
What went right? Our amazing panelists and guests. Imagine all sorts of people you admire chatting and laughing and having a great time. Imagine people so engaged in panel discussions that they groan when the time warning goes off. Imagine for once as an erotica writer not having to self-censor an honest question about your work.
I'm thrilled that so many people came and that there was a broad spectrum of interests, writing styles, sexualities, and backgrounds represented. The generosity of everyone who came and shared blew me away. So I'm tired, but very happy.