Duckon XV was held over the weekend of June 9-11, 2006 at the Holiday Inn Select in Naperville, Illinois, one of the western suburbs of Chicago. Because we no longer have family in the area and didn't want to pay for a room Thursday night, we drove the whole way from Indianapolis Friday morning. As a result, I was pretty tired by the time we arrived.
Because the dealers' room opened relatively late for dealer load-in, we went over to the cheap motel we were staying in and got checked in. Then we went over to the con hotel to get our merchandise loaded into the dealers' room. That dealers' room is actually pretty nice to load into because it is on ground level and there are three big sets of double doors that open straight from the parking lot. Thus we were able to pull carts straight in from our vehicles without messing with ramps or elevators (unlike the years we were at the the old Purple Hyatt and had to use their freight elevator, which never seemed to work right).
On the other hand, the extremely limited space of two six-foot tables made it very difficult to get everything set up. We had to prioritize what we would be putting on our tables, and even our backstock couldn't all stay under the tables. So I had to take a bunch of backstock back out to the van along with the empty boxes.
When the dealers' room opened, our sales were really slow. I tried to do some work on a novel, but I was too tired to concentrate. I actually dozed off sitting up.
When the dealers' room closed for the evening, we headed back to the motel to have supper. We had to crab at the hotel staff to get some problems resolved. By that time we were tired enough that we decided not to even bother with the parties. We just turned in for the night.
Saturday we got up and had breakfast. Then we headed over to the con hotel to get our tables opened. While we were getting ready, we were informed by the dealers' room coordinator of another Chicago-area convention that we would not be getting tables at that convention next year because she didn't feel we'd been adequately cheerful in responding to another dealer's accusation that we were encroaching upon their space. However, other dealers have found this person's treatment unreasonable, so I really don't think we were the villains.
Sales continued to be disappointingly slow. I ended up with a bunch of writing time, and made notes for a bunch of stuff.
In the evening we got supper.then we returned to the con hotel for the parties. We got pasta at the con suite, then visited the major parties. The Chicago in 2008 Worldcon bid party had hot dogs, but we were too full by that point to enjoy them.
Apparently I got hold of something at one of the parties that seriously did not agree with me, because in the middle of the night I suddenly started feeling sick and miserable. I spent a very unpleasant fifteen minutes in the bathroom before I felt well enough to go back to bed.
However, I felt well enough on Sunday, so we figured I hadn't picked up a bug. So we got breakfast and got our personal belongings out of the sleeping room. Then we headed back over to the con hotel to get our dealers' tables open for business. We had a few more sales, but not nearly enough to make the con profitable for us.
While we were loading out, one of our helpers asked us how the con went, and I answered, "Unprofitably." They asked how the rest of the con went, and I answered that I hardly saw the rest of the con because I spent the whole time at our dealer tables.
We actually got loaded in good time, thanks to having excellent help. Then we hit the road for the long drive home.
Copyright 2012 by Leigh Kimmel
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Last updated October 21, 2012.