Archon 32 was held over the weekend of October 3-5, 2008, at the Gateway Convention Center and Holiday Inn. After the previous year's extended schedule for the NASFiC, Archon was back to its old three-day schedule with some setup taking place on Thursday but no actual scheduled events. It was also back to the traditional first weekend in October, which meant the temperatures were a lot more manageable.
The trip was little interesting, since I had a sore wrist and ankle that had been bothering me for quite a while. But I actually managed the drive fairly well, since we now have a new van that actually has working cruise control.
For Thursday night we were staying in a motel further south than we'd usually stay, since we'd been able to redeem reward points for a free night. However, we did drive up to the convention center in order to get my art onto the art show and to see if we could get our badges. There were fliers up advertising a Thursday evening party, but we couldn't find it, so we finally headed back to get some sleep.
Friday morning we gathered up our belongings and got checked out of that hotel. Then we headed over to the convention center to get everything into the dealers' room. We had a real heart-stopper moment when we discovered they had no paperwork for us and thus had not arranged tables for us. However, one of the staff recalled having seen our paperwork, so they went ahead and squeezed us in.
Then it was just a matter of getting all our merchandise hauled in and getting it set up. That's always a ton of work for the simple reason that we have so much stuff to set up. Once we got everything set up, I watched our tables while my husband went over to the hotel where we'd be staying during the con and got us checked in. Once he got back, I went over and got everything loaded in.
Sales were sluggish, but we had just enough traffic that I couldn't do much writing. When the dealers' room closed for the night, we headed over to the art show for the artists' reception, only to discover they'd already run out of food. Apparently the spread that the convention center's catering department had presented as ample would only stretch that far if each person only took one cookie and two grapes -- not exactly your typical fannish appetite. The first few people to arrive gobbled up everything, leaving nothing for everyone else.
Disappointed, we headed over to our room to eat supper, then go down to the hot tub and soak out our aches and pains from loading in.
Saturday we headed back over to the convention center and got our tables open for business. We hadn't been open very long when we had this jerk get all huffy about our prices. He'd picked out a whole bunch of books and, after I'd struggled to get them all added up, he suddenly explodes, "That's too much" and shoves them back at me. No suggestion that perhaps I'd miscalculated, just a thinly-disguised accusation that I was overcharging and trying to cheat him. So I had to file everything back into our stock and unmark everything I'd marked as sold.
I was sufficiently annoyed I decided to write the jerk into a story of mine and give him a suitably nasty comeuppance. However, it proved to be the only exciting moment in an otherwise uneventful day. I even had sufficient time to do a bunch of work on story notes, once I got a key insight.
After the dealers' room closed for the evening, we headed back to the room for supper and a soak in the hot tub. Then we headed over to the main hotel to see about parties, but it turned out there weren't any.
On Sunday we got up early and had breakfast. Then we got our personal items out of our sleeping room and got checked out before heading back over to the convention center to get our dealers' tables open.
We had a steady stream of small sales coming in all day, right up to closing. As a result we ended up running significantly behind on our packing and didn't have everything packed by the time the dealers' room closed for dealer load-out. However, we were able to get two good volunteers to help, and we actually had everything loaded a little ahead of schedule. I also managed to get some good information about the state of the Detroit conventions.
Before we left the area, we stopped at a gas station and filled up for the long drive home. We happily noted that the price had fallen from the earlier high, which meant our expenses would be lower than we had originally planned for. However, getting smaller sales (people who'd previously bought several books were only getting one or two) meant that we really didn't make all that much in spite of being fairly busy. So we decided that in future years we'd need to reduce our expenses, probably by staying in cheaper digs since we'd already been bringing our own food (and even if we had the money to eat out, medical issues make it easier to just bring our own so we know exactly what we're eating).
Copyright 2012 by Leigh Kimmel
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Last updated October 21, 2012.