you're reading...


Amsterdam, We Are In You!

This weekend is Smofcon 29, held this year in Amsterdam.  It’s a convention focused on running conventions which is an exercise in recursion that tickles my programmer nature.  So here I am, spending a lot of time and money to talk about how to spend more time and money in the future.  Does that define “masochism”?  Possibly.

While I am writing this, I am in the “Master Class” on marketing (being run by Vince Docherty and Colin Harris)…which is how I rationalize this post.  It’s marketing!  Yeah!  Anyway, the Master Class is a long-ish session on a topic.  Previously these sessions were called “Boot Camps” and last year Helen and I ran the boot camp on bidding.  Most people reading this will know what that means, but if you don’t…it’s not about saying “3NT” or anything similar…it’s about running a campaign to bring an event to your city.  The bidding that we do for Worldcon is not substantially different than what groups go through to try to land the Olympics or the World Cup.  Well, except for funding the campaign in the millions rather than thousands of dollars…but we’ll just call that “choosing an appropriate scale”.  We ran for maybe 4 hours trying to help people think a bit more coherently about what we we do and why when we bid.  The year before the Boot Camp was on budgeting, run by Deb Geisler and Mark Olson.  These sessions have been pretty freaking cool…especially for the folks who are just getting into these sort of things.

Over the next couple of days I’ll be doing a few program items, including a panel on electronic site selection (and personally, the people in the last 2 business meetings that voted for it and said “oh, it’s easy” should be forced to do it instead of us…but oh well, nobody gets what they deserve) and my *very last* fannish inquisition.  For those unfamiliar, it’s a dog and pony show where you give a short presentation about your event (or proposed event) and field questions from the people attending.  It can be scary, it can be fun, it can be a bloodbath (and I have been the target of all 3 in this process over the last 7 years).  Hopefully, this final one will be in the “fun” category.  That’s a question for tomorrow though.  For the rest of today, it’s connecting with friends, being social and co-opting unsuspecting volunteers into doing work so I don’t have to!

After all that, I will get to see Amsterdam in a non-zombie state (after 30 hours awake, I promise you that you will walk *right* by the “coffee shops” and red light districts and mostly not notice them.  Well, except to make a connection in your head back to Japan where there’s a whole industry of putting the menu in the window of the restaurant…done up as plastic food.  It’s sort of the same here, just not plastic.  At least, that’s what I think I saw, I *had* been awake an awfully long time.  Is there good food here in Amsterdam?  I hope so.  Gotta find some…the restaurant last night cooked the hell out of the schnitzel, it was like eating very dry toast.  Even a zombie can recognize bad schnitzel.  I should send that script note to the guys that film “The Walking Dead” (which was also a way I felt yesterday).


Print Friendly, PDF & Email


2 Responses to “Amsterdam, We Are In You!”

  1. So, the answer on the last fannish inquisition was “mostly fun”. I got handed $25k of pass-along (unless you’re from Texas, in which case I got handed $75k) and gave what I hope was the shortest presentation and question session of the day. The folks were pleasant, the questions were pleasant. Then, of course, there was all the meetings about budgets and marketing and everything to do with that….which can be dry and boring, but that’s the job I signed up for.

    Now off to get a good dinner.

    Oh, last night, Dinner was at “Pier 10″….pretty freaking good, if a bit small. The six of us were told that if we ordered more than 4 different entrees or 4 different appetizers, there would be a delay….presumably because that’s how many dishes could be prepared simultaneously. Years of Spicy Noodle (and the kitchen that could only prepare 2 dishes at once) prepared me for this just fine.

    Posted by Dave McCarty | December 3, 2011, 5:41 pm
  2. I am commenting… and I love it!

    Posted by Christopher J Garcia | September 4, 2014, 4:09 pm

Website Archives