Sunday, May 13, 2001

My personal thoughts on Marscon....

Good Things:
- I enjoyed the panels I was on & attended. The ones I did were really well attended. I think the mix of people on the panels were good as well -- I think they had a good mix of panelists. It was nice, for example, on the Buffy panel to have a group of people that already knew each other; most of us hadn't talked about Buffy before. I'd do that again.
- Friday night/Saturday morning at the Minn-stf party, as it was amusing to discover that my degrees-of-separation with many of the new Minn-stf/Minicon regime is closer than I would have expected. (This happened on Saturday night as well, when I ran into Erik Baker in the hallway with some other acquaintances.) All and all, I'm very encouraged.
- Gaming was packed everytime I walked by there. I don't game much at conventions, but it looked very successful.
- MISFITS/CONvergence room party was voted the third best party by Marscon -- and I certainly agree with the con that both ValleyCon and the Rakehell had better ones! And the B'herak as well, but they were only Friday night.
- And speaking of that, the B'herak room party. The Taco salad they had was fantastic.
- Masquerade was packed, and I saw the winning entry and some fellow MNDWVS people were a part of the winning entry.

Mixed Things:
- Con roundtable. I think there were two different panels going on there -- when Chris first told be about the panel, we thought it was going to discuss more what was going on locally, and it started out sort of as a "con-running" panel -- which made sense with having one of their out of town guests on it. Though by having an out of towner on the panel, it just served to remind me how good we have in this market these days...

I think a panel about local fandom though is a good thing, and I thought it was significant to get representatives from all of the major SF conventions on the same stage at the same time, for the first time in my memory.

Even though I know it's not really bureaucratically possible, the idea of a way to buy memberships to all of the local conventions simultaneously is appealing. Or possibly it'd be funny to have some sort of special badge or button for anyone who successfully makes the complete circuit of local conventions.

Bad Things:
- Douglas Adams. His death brought me down quite a bit on Saturday, as his works are one of the things that made me a fan. :(
- Where are the book dealers in the dealers room?
- A little more density would be good. 750 is a good size for a convention, but I think that the space needs to be allocated so that things are a little tighter sometimes. I think the first year -- where the parties didn't have cabana space, but were all on the same floor -- was actually the best year for parties. Sometimes I feel that Marscon is a 1500 person convention with
only 750 members, and that rattles a little. It's not that 750 is a bad number -- Gallifrey One, the Doctor Who convention I attend in LA every year, has about that number, and I think it's a great con.


Other thoughts: I wonder how many of their registrations are one day passes? They said about 750 people were at the con over the weekend; but there were some times I felt it was a bit smaller than that. I think some of that's
the density issue I mentioned earlier.

All and all though, it was a good weekend and a good convention. I'm worn out; I stayed up late, had some good conversations, and saw some interesting things. Not bad at all. I'm sure I'll be back next year.


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