Duckon XIV was held over the weekend of June 10-12, 2005 at the Holiday Inn Select in Naperville, Illinois, one of the western suburbs of Chicago. Duckon is Chicago's summer convention, and has generally been fairly large, but this year it seemed smaller than usual.
We arrived a little before noon on Friday, having driven up early that morning because we didn't want the expense of an additional hotel night. We went to the nearby cheap motel where we were staying and got checked in so that we could get our personal belongings out of the van. Then we went over to the main hotel and started loading in.
Fortunately we were able to park right beside the doors and load straight into the dealers' room (a big change from last year, when we had to go up and down a rickety freight elevator). However, we did have one nasty and time-consuming surprise -- we'd forgotten that this hotel has six-foot tables, and had set up for eight-foot tables. As a result, we had to frantically reduce our books to fit on the available table space. However, we were still able to get everything ready and be set up when the dealers' room opened to customers. I also got my art on the art show.
Sales were slow, but we consoled ourselves that it was just Friday and things should pick up later in the week. When the dealers' room closed, we went over to our sleeping room and had the supper we had brought with us. Then we went back to the main hotel and visited the parties. There were some pretty good parties that night, including the Conclave party. However, we decided not to visit the parties on the smoking floor.
Saturday morning we visited the con suite for breakfast, and had some good food. Then we headed down to the dealers' room and got our tables opened for business. Sales continued to be slow and I scribbled notes for various novels that have been whispering around the back of my mind. By the time the dealers' room closed for the evening, we could tell that sales were nowhere near where they should have been for a Saturday.
We went back to our sleeping room and had supper, then sat around for a while before heading back to the main hotel for the parties. We were able to get hot dogs at the Chicago in 2008 party, which was really great fun. There were some other good parties, but we were both tired, so we headed back to the cheap motel to turn in for the night.
Sunday we had to get up early so that we could get checked out in good time. Then we headed over to the main hotel and hung around the con suite for a while before we could get into the dealers' room. We opened up our tables and settled in to do more business. However, sales remained pathetically slow, to the point that we were seriously questioning whether we wanted to go back again next year.
I got my unsold art off the art show, and was actually able to pick up my check at the art show. Then we packed up our merchandise, so that we were actually ready to load out as soon as the dealers' room closed. With some good volunteer assistance, we were able to get loaded up in time to even visit the con suite one last time before hitting the road back to Indianapolis.
Copyright 2012 by Leigh Kimmel
Permission is granted for reproduction in fanzines and other non-profit fannish publications.
For permission to quote or reprint in other venues, contact Leigh Kimmel
Last updated October 21, 2012.