Duckon, Chicagoland's late-spring science fiction convention, was held over the weekend of June 16-28, 2000 at the Sheraton Arlington Park Hotel in Arlington Park, one of the northwestern suburbs of Chicago. In the past Duckon has sported a large furry (anthropomorphic animal) contingent with an independent programming track. However, this year the furries have decided to branch out with their own convention, Midwest FurFest, in the fall, so attendance was somewhat smaller.
The convention began bright and early on Friday for us, since we needed to get our merchandise into the dealers' room and there was some problem with intermittent rain. Due to remodeling (the hotel had been a Hilton, and had only recently been bought out by Sheraton), the dealers' room had to be on the lower level instead of in the first-floor room where it had been for Capricon earlier in the year. This meant that we could not simply bring our merchandise through the front door. Instead we had to take everything through the rear loading dock and down a freight elevator.
After much effort, we finally got everything into the dealers' room and set up. I went to check about getting my art into the art show, but things weren't ready for me to put art up yet, so I got my paperwork and took it back to the dealers' room to get it ready. By the time the dealers' room closed, I had everything ready to go. Sales had been annoyingly slow in the dealers' room, and we were glad for a change. I got my art onto the art show, then we went up to our room and ordered a pizza for supper.
In the evening we made our rounds of the parties. Duckon is generally a pretty good convention for parties, and this year was no exception. All the regular parties were on the top floor, near the con suite, which made finding them a relatively easy process, once one got to the top floor. We just walked up and down the hall until we'd visited them all.
Saturday began bright and early so that we could get down to the dealers' room and open our dealer tables. We also took the opportunity to look around at the other dealers' tables in the time before the dealers' room opened its doors for the day. Sales continued to be frustratingly poor, and I got a surprising amount of rewriting done on two different stories that I'd brought with me.
In the evening we called in Chinese food for supper. Then I went to the art auction to see what was going up for bids, although I didn't have anything on it. The bidding was rather slow and lackluster, which was a serious disappointment compared to previous years. I wonder if some of that was the absence of the furry crowd, who had often provided most of the hotly contested pieces in the past. After the art show was over we made our rounds of the parties before turning in for the night.
Sunday was another early day for us, since we had to get our personal belongings packed and out of our sleeping room before going down to the dealers' room to get our dealer tables ready for the day. Sales continued to be disappointingly slow, to the point where we were beginning to actively question whether we wanted to continue to sell at Duckon in the future. However, they picked up a little near the end, to the point that it wasn't a total disaster for us.
Then it was time to pack and load up to go home. Once again things took longer than usual because of having to use the freight elevator to get everything out. After we had things packed and loaded, we went up to the con suite to say a few quick final goodbyes before leaving the convention.
Copyright 2012 by Leigh Kimmel
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Last updated October 21, 2012.