TLDR: Check the Calendar for new due dates.
As many of you know, I got a nasty cold a week and a half ago, that left me mostly bed-ridden for a week. But, I still had a convention to go to. So, I put on a mask, packed hand-sanitizer, and did my best to not be the source of the confunk.
This convention though…. wow. It was their first year, but they went all out. They booked the Spokane Convention Center, which is gigantic. They filled a room with carefully decorated exhibits, each on a different theme of nerddom – fantasy, sci-fi, horror, anime, and so on. Each exhibit was fantastic. The fantasy one had, I kid you not, a 6 foot tall dragon in its lair. The sci-fi section had a prop-replica of the Ariel ambulance from the show Firefly, and a big Jabba the Hut replica. There was a junglejim and a maze, and fancy artfully designed banners for every section. It must have cost thousands and thousands of dollars to put it all together.
But they didn’t advertise well enough. The venue, the careful decorations… it was designed to keep thousands of people occupied and happy, but only a couple hundred people showed up.
It was… incredibly demoralizing, sitting in a vendor’s hall full of nothing but vendors, watching the slow desperation sink into eachother’s faces, realizing that no one was going to walk away from this with any profits. Several people packed up and left the second day. We sold and traded some stuff amongst ourselves, went to eachother’s panels, and commiserated plenty. I recognized a few people from other conventions that I’d attended, and had a nice time chatting, but over it all was the sad realization that this convention was going to bankrupt some people that hung over our heads.
One of the tragedies of all this is that they had some great ideas. The exhibits were great, and putting everyone into different sections according to the nerddom they signed up for is a good way to start bonding and conversations. But they should have started smaller. Maybe just had one room, and had everything taking place in that one room. I’ve never heard of a convention having thousands and thousands of attendees in its first year, not without a pre-existing community to work with. They didn’t have that, and that led to this folly.
Anyways, that led to a relapse in the cold and my wife coming down with it too, so I haven’t been correcting homework. Luckily, the way I organized the lessons, there is plenty of wiggle-room. I’ve set back the assignment due-dates two weeks to allow for recovery. check the Calendar to see the due-dates.