Armadillocon pictures from Thursday are online. Click on Tom Becker's picture to find them.
Continuing my Armadillocon Saturday report...
Another event on Saturday that I was on was the "Fannish Feud" -- the fans vs. the pros. That was an interesting event. They'd circulated a questionnaire online and in the mail asking some questions, like "name a fannish drink" or "name a past Armadillocon Guest of Honor" or "name a Texas s.f. writer" or "fill in the blank: ________Man."
I was not much of an asset to my team; in part because I didn't understand the rules. I already knew that the point was to guess what most of the survey population had responded, regardless of whether the masses were right. If 90% of those surveyed said that Arthur C. Clarke had been a GoH, then Clarke would be a high-value answer, even though he's never been to Armadillocon.
But I didn't understand the "Stealing" rule, or realize it would be so devastating. If our team came up with a whole bunch of good answers, but had three bad answers, the other team could snarf all our points for that round by coming up with one good answer.
So we lost. By quite a margin.
I didn't have my finger on the pulse of the typical Armadillocon attendee's thought processes, that was for darned sure. One of the answers for a "fannish drink" was bheer, of course; another was a "Scott Bobo Martini." Blog didn't make the cut; that was one of my bad answers. Another bad answer I gave in response to "past GoH" was Scott Bobo -- a former Fan Guest of Honor who was on the "Fan" team with me. Nope, nobody thought of fgohs when filling out their surveys. *Sigh*
I took pictures, though. (And I'm getting them online now! Finally!) I brought many ribbons with me, including a few hundred brown ribons that said "SHOT BY A BEAR" to use instead of my usual pawprint sticker on the badge. I had a few of my other ribbon flavors, but mostly I just handed out the brown ribbons.
At the end of the convention, you know how many ribbons the co-chairs had on their badges? One each, in brown. (I managed to get photos of and give out ribbons to about half of the convention membership.) This was a convention that didn't use ribbons to identify different sorts of members; the badge itself had "GUEST OF HONOR" or "COMMITTEE" etc. printed on the badge, so they didn't need them. So my ribbons were the only ones in town. Of course, Armadillocon runs just fine without ribbons.
In fact Armadillocon runs just fine, period, despite being different from what I'm used to in a number of ways. You see, my regular annual local convention is atypical in a number of ways. It seems to me that most of the cons I've been to or heard of have 3-figure attendance - 300 to 600 is normal. Loscon usually gets about 1200. Most cons are held over a holiday weekend with a Monday holiday, or just held over an ordinary weekend. Loscon is held over Thanksgiving weekend, and most of us at the con seem to get both Thursday and Friday off. So when I arrived Thursday afternoon, I was surprised at how little set-up was going on; they'd started getting the con suite ready, and everything else would wait until morning. But that's perfectly normal for most cons that have their main move-in on Friday. (I'm just not usually in town on Thursday to see it.)
Armadillocon doesn't need a separate office or con ops (although they did have a tech lock-up room); all their office functions were run out of Registration during the day. They didn't have a green room or Program Ops, but they have their program participants well-trained. (Most of them. I never did get the hang of carrying around my table-tent name sign.)
They had some directional signs up to show people how to find the Art Show, and Gaming (which weren't in the main cluster of ballrooms); it didn't take long to get oriented. It was my first Armadillocon and it didn't take me long to figure it out. About the only thing I would suggest (and I'd suggest this to any con that has a con suite on the ground floor) is to have a sign that says "CON SUITE" (or "ARMADILLOCON", that would do) and hang it where you can see it from the back window or door or balcony of the con suite. (Hey, that's not a bad idea, I think I'll do that at animelosangeles.)
Anyhow, Armadillocon runs smoothly, just as smooth as the Loscon machine does. (Come back later when I report on a convention that's undergoing severe meltdown at Year Five - but that'll be a story for another day!)