Conglomeration 2010 was held over the weekend of April 9-11, 2010, at the InnPlace Hotel and Convention Center. This is the same venue that used to always be a Clarion, but they'd lost their franchise in the bankruptcy mess that sank the 2009 Conglomeration, and were operating under a new name and new management. However, we were disgusted enough with them that we decided to stay at a nearby place where we'd had a good experience in 2008 -- except that place had also gone downhill in the intervening two years and was not nearly as nice as when we'd stayed there.
It probably didn't help matters that I had a raging sinus infection that was draining almost continuously. It's really hard to enjoy a convention when you can hardly breathe and are blowing your nose until it's sore. Not to mention being on antibiotics that are completely disarraying your internal ecology of helpful digestive bacteria in the process of eliminating the bad ones in your sinuses.
So that was the state I was in when we started setting up. Things were a little tight at the loading dock, so rather than try to back the van into it, we just parked as close as we could get and carted everything over. At least we were able to get some helpers and an extra cart, so we got everything in fairly quickly. Then we just had to get everything set up by the time the dealers' room opened for business.
With the economy being such a colossal mess and Conglomeration having missed a year, I was fully expecting to have little or nothing in the way of sales this year. Thus I was quite surprised at just how many sales we had in those first hours, even while I was not exactly the most appealing person to do business with right then. Part of it may have been that one of our biggest consignors was Author Guest of Honor this year, and had decided to get his own tables in the dealers' room, so we put out another eight boxes of paperback books.
Even with better than expected sales, I still had a fair amount of time to work on stories I was preparing for a couple of upcoming anthologies. And I got my art onto the art show.
When the dealers room closed, we headed over to the nearby extended-stay motel where we were staying during the con. In 2008 it had been a nice place we'd stayed the night before the con, and after our unpleasant experience with the con hotel we'd wished we could have stayed there the entire weekend. This year, we were unhappily surprised to discover they'd gone downhill in the intervening time. We seriously talked about in future years staying at the Quality Inn where we'd stayed the previous night, although it would make for a longer drive back and forth.
Because there were no parties and I was feeling pretty cruddy, we didn't go back to the con hotel after supper. Instead we just stayed put and did some Internet stuff on our laptops until it was time to go to bed.
Saturday morning we headed back over to get things going at the dealers' room. I hadn't had much of a night's sleep, thanks to my sinus and nose issues, so I was not exactly in great shape to be running dealers' tables. But I pushed my way through the day and even managed to socialize with people who shopped.
I'd been halfway hoping there'd be some parties Saturday night, particularly the Hobbit Hole party. But there didn't seem to be much of anything, so we didn't come back after supper, just rested and did some stuff on the Internet until it was time to turn in for the night.
Sunday morning we got up early to have plenty of time to get our stuff out of the sleeping room before going to the dealers' room. I was still feeling pretty cruddy, but I managed to get through the day. We started packing relatively early, and when it was time to load out we were able to get a volunteer to help us, which really sped the process.
Once we had the van loaded out, we went to the con suite one last time to say some good-byes before hitting the road back home.
Copyright 2012 by Leigh Kimmel
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Last updated October 21, 2012.