soc_puppet: Marceline the Vampire Queen [Adventure Time] drinks red from a dreamsheep (Omnomnom)
[personal profile] soc_puppet
H'okay, let's hope I actually remember more than a teensy bit of this. Go!

Thursday

Thursday totally counts as Day Zero of the con because most of us are on Staff Duty already, even if there aren't any official convention events.

Things were set up in pretty much record time, I'm pleased to say! I set the rules out in the Quiet Room (perhaps being changed to Relax Room next year?) and left a copy at the Bridge so everyone knew the basics about checking out keys and such. I also got most of my wheelchair spaces taped out in three of the five chair-heavy programming rooms, even though I ran out of gaffer's tape long before I ran out of spots to tape.

We had badge pickup for pre-regged volunteers up and going at 5:00pm, and opened it up to general pre-reggers shortly after that. Less work for Friday and all that, but privileges to Thursday volunteers first. We then closed badge pickup at 8:00 and got things packed safely away - at which point I discovered a second roll of gaffer's tape! It had much more left than the first one I'd gotten access to, and I was quite delighted by my find. I proceeded to carefully peel up the painter's tape and lay down the gaffer's tape beneath it. Main Programming still didn't have all the chairs set out, to the best of my knowledge, but Programming Two, Three, and Four were ready to go.

(A note on gaffer's tape and painter's tape: While the hotel accepts painter's tape, the convention prefers gaffer's tape, because painter's tape tends to get horribly torn up when three thousand people walk all over it for three days and gaffer's tape doesn't, and we have to remove every scrap of tape after the convention is over. Unfortunately, I didn't order blue gaffer's tape on time - didn't even have the budget for it; I need to look into getting my department under a different heading - so I picked up some painter's tape and resolved to spend a lot of time picking tape fragments out of the carpet when it was time for teardown. Then there turned out to be a bit of spare brown gaffer's tape in Tech Central, which I appropriated (and then used all of), and considerably more brown gaffer's tape in a random tote, so I laid down the gaffer's tape and then laid down painter's tape on top of it. That way, I got the color of the blue tape with the durability of the gaffer's tape.)

I then retreated home to print out more Hooked On Anime business cards and rest for the coming weekend; I would need both of those things.


Friday

Friday dawned bright and early with me grumpy at not having gotten enough sleep - though not entirely from lack of trying. As in previous years, we got the registration desks set up and open fully thirty minutes before we were scheduled to begin, which I count as thoroughly awesome of us and a good reason to keep our current schedule. (Keep the attendees happy by consistently opening earlier than we say we will! Excellent plan.)

Unfortunately, staff was funneled in such a way that I was the only person at pre-reg and everyone else was basically vitally needed at at-the-door and could not escape; I was unable to get away to finish laying out tape until 11:00, a mere hour before the convention at large was set to open. Thankfully, I managed to get the taping done in Main Programming in an unexpectedly short amount of time, so I took the opportunity to hop on home and pick up a DVD I'd forgotten and said I'd lend to the convention. (I'm apparently the only one with a copy of Risky Safety - any of it. Who knew?) It also helped me detox a bit; I probably could've took some time at the Quiet Room and gotten about the same results, but I like home, even if it did take extra gas.

When I returned, I was basically glued to the now merged reg desk until ~3:30, when I had said (sworn!) I would return to the dealer's room to help put stick my aforementioned bead charms onto our old bag check system. Only then I found out that 90% of our bag check stuff was already in use by people waiting in line for the Dealer's Room, which is when my wonderful plan of tactile matching charms began to come apart at the seams. I manged to glue maybe fifteen pairs total before we ran out of bag check tokens, at which point we had to start turning people away from getting their bags checked. Then I saw a batch of spare/unmatched clothes pins and got an idea: clip the clothes pins to one of the charms and a bag, hand the other charm off, and voila! Instant bag check charms. One of volunteers there took it a step farther, finding charms with a loose enough loop at one end that they could hook them around one jaw of the clothespin and the second to the other, thus keeping them together better. Unfortunately, we ran out of clothespins soon enough and were back to the drawing board.

I then scuttled over to Opening Ceremonies, which was... honestly, I didn't get much out of it aside from a pic of some of the Guests of Honor dancing to the MC's hilarious(ly bad) rap. The MC also gave very poor cues for the staffers who needed to say anything, so I completely missed announcing all of the things I meant to say; our Hotel head, who has been very helpful with the Accessibility Initiative, went on after the MC had dismissed everyone because he'd also missed the cue to announce our Special Surprise. I, unfortunately, didn't have the spoons to do the same.

I managed to escape the reg desk again around nine-ish, when an attendee in distress sought some assistance. She had apparently lost her bag check token/charm and had taken the (very earnest) volunteer at the bag check station at their word when they'd said no one would get their bag back without their token/charm - we traditionally return bags if the owner can describe them, and she was really earnest and really anxious. I ended up going to the bag check station with that attendee personally to help her get her bag back, which was when I learned that they'd switched to using my leftover painter's tape (so that's where the rangers took it!), writing attendee's badge numbers on it and sticking it to their bags. A much better system all around for us, though it did leave me (and potentially still leaves me) at a loss for non-vision-reliant volunteer jobs for next year. Anyway, she got her bag back with no fuss aside from a short wait in line, and all was right with the world again. Er, more-or-less.

Around eleven, I went outside to check out our Special Surprise: Hanging paper lanterns, most of which had been hand-painted by AI staff - including five by yours truly. (I'll be sharing pictures of them in a little while.) Unfortunately, some of the effect was lost by the lanterns being hung at near foot-level instead of, say, waist-level, which we could easily have gotten. I'll be writing something about that in my feedback form.

Other than that, I pretty much spent all my time at the reg table. This includes meal times, which makes me all the more grateful that a fellow staffer decided to start a department dedicated to getting food to all staffers who are generally stuck at their posts for the duration of the con - which is most of Registration. After five years, I'm really more-or-less used to being stuck at the desk most of the time, but getting food delivered was practically a godsend.


I want to write about Saturday here, but honestly I just spent a good amount of brain power remembering everything that happened on Friday. I also want to catch up on the AI2012 feedback thread, and maybe send in my own feedback form. So, uh, I guess the rest may be going up later.

For more information on some of the things I did, check out my Convention Teaspoon Report.

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