Monday, September 26, 2011

Fun with FenCon

I survived the convention weekend. Well, better than survived, but at the moment, "survive" is the word that keeps coming to mind. I wasn't at my most social and was in a state where noise and crowds were extremely overwhelming, so there were a lot of people I never got to see or interact with. I may as well rename FenCon "Ragweed Con" for me because it always seems to fall at the height of allergy season. This year, the worst held off until Sunday, so I wasn't either sniffling or in a drugged stupor for the whole weekend, and when I was in public mode I was able to be my usual self. It just took a lot of hiding and down time in between public mode times in order to sustain my usual public mode personality. I barely made it to any of the room parties Saturday night because I ran completely out of steam.

This was my first year to be on the convention staff in addition to being a program participant. Not that it changed all that much for me, since the staff are the people I hang out with the rest of the year and I've usually jumped in and done things as needed. It's just this year I had "staff" on my badge and my name in the convention credits. My main job mostly happens before the con, so at the event I do whatever's needed. That meant I spent most of Friday afternoon setting up and then working in the staff lounge, and then when the registration desk got slammed in the early evening I worked registration. I was in "program participant" mode on Saturday and most of Sunday and did my panels, reading, etc., then on Sunday evening I switched to jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers to be on the teardown crew. Apologies to those who were disappointed by not getting to watch me carry huge metal poles down the stairs while wearing a skirt and heels again this year. But I couldn't have crawled under the stage to get cables or climbed the ladder to cut down the networking cables from the ceiling if I'd stayed in my convention clothes, so I was more useful if less decorative.

I think my most fun panel was the Phineas & Ferb panel that included our convention's youngest ever panelist, a six-year-old (who was dressed in his Perry the Platypus costume). I figured that if we were talking about the multigenerational appeal of the show, we needed another generation represented. That was a bit of a test of my moderation skills to keep conversation flowing among both adults and a small child, but I think it worked. We had a very high-energy Doctor Who panel and I was on a couple of writing panels where I hope the audience got something out of them because I know I picked up a thing or two, including a potential story idea. The big giggle fit for the con happened on Sunday afternoon in a panel, but I think it had something to do with the Benadryl kicking in by that point, and I don't remember what it was about, just that I was shaking from trying not to laugh out loud over something that was only funny to me because of the vivid mental image it conjured up in my warped brain.

I was in charge of public relations this year, and I don't think I can take credit for our highest attendance ever, but at least I can't be considered a devastating failure at my job if we had our highest attendance ever. But now there are expectations for next year …

And in the meantime, even though I prefer to go into vegetable mode on the day after a convention, I have a deadline and work to do (with the allergies really in high gear), so I have to work today. At least I have absolute quiet and solitude and lots and lots of tea.

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