Mike Willmoth (mwillmoth) wrote,
Mike Willmoth

LepreCon 40 (2014) Review

Lep40 was held at the Phoenix Marriott Mesa Hotel (aka Mesa Marriott) in downtown Mesa, AZ. The traditional dates of Mothers Day Weekend were observed once again. And, once again, I was both Hotel Liaison and Treasurer.

Thursday of the con weekend we took possession of some of the function space including the Sedona Room where Staff Lounge was located. Sedona really is three rooms opened up into two, making a large room, and a third with a board table. In the past we had used it as Consuite in the two-room side, then Staff Lounge or Green Room in the boardroom side. This time we swapped them. As such Consuite was rather Spartan and the con took negative feedback about it. The staff loved the larger side though.

Fan tables were set up in the foyer of the convention center building, not to be confused with the city-owned Mesa Convention Center next door. We also set up Registration outside of Ballroom H, also called the Boardroom just to make things more confusing, rather than the lobby like we did for LepreCon 39 (2013) which worked well. Dealers Room was in Ballroom D and G while Program was in ABC and EF. Art Show had taken EFG in past years, but it was moved to the Canyon Room, formerly the restaurant. In the past Canyon had been used for Special Events. Starlight, attached to the east end of Canyon, was once again Gaming. The second floor room above the pool was also Program.

After stopping by an ATM to withdraw enough cash to open Reg, Art Show and have a reserve for the Charity Auction I performed the pre-convention damage walkthru with the hotel, identifying any existing damage to walls or carpet or ceilings, then helped Reg open. I made sure that the Fan Tables were identified correctly as to who got what, made a pass through the Dealers Room while they were setting up, and checked in on Art Show also during setup.

Jean was Guest Liaison, so we fetched Gail Carriger from the airport, got her and her guest checked in, then took them to dinner at Carlsbad Tavern in Scottsdale for New Mexican Food. We returned to hang out in Staff Lounge and check on the progress of things. Reg shut down and I backed up the data, counted the money and turned it in to our safety deposit box with the hotel. Jean and I went home for a bit to feed pets, then came back for the night at the con hotel.

Friday was to open Reg, do lunch, check on the progress of things, interface with the hotel and put out fires here and there. Since the official Guest-of-Honor dinner was moved to Saturday we went offsite for dinner, fed pets, then returned to hang out and shut down Reg again. More Staff Lounge and socializing occurred before crashing.

Saturday started with opening Reg, lunch, check on things, get Charity Auction funds ready, coordinate GoH Dinner at the nearby Pier d'Orleans, return to hotel to close Reg after closing out CA, home to feed pets, return to hotel to hang out.

Sunday was open Reg, lunch, close Reg for Lep40 so Lep41 could open for pre-reg memberships (which Reg had already been selling), close out Art Show, perform post-con damage walkthrus with hotel, enjoy Dead Dog and go home.

Monday I met with the hotel to discuss what went well and what didn't, get our final hotel rooming list and official count of room nights (below what we had budgeted), and start working on the estimated hotel bill. I also started depositing funds into our checking account in small chunks since we have a low activity account. Put in too much at a time and we get zinged fees. I learned that the hard way at Lep34 in 2008.

I didn't get to see much as I was working two jobs, but what I did get to do I enjoyed. It was interesting doing dinner with Gail Carriger out of character (that's her pen name). I also enjoyed meeting the other GoHs throughout the weekend. The dealers really seemed happy this year, but the Art Show sales were low. For the first time in many years we had someone else doing it and that transition was late in happening. Unfortunately, after all the accounting was done and bills paid Lep40 lost over $5000. Granted, that was less than last year, but put us in the red zone for corporate finances. Hopefully, Lep41 in 2015 will correct some of that.

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