Icon 31

Icon 31 was held over the weekend of October 13-15, 2006 at Zazza's Clarion in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This hotel has a strong football theme because the visiting football teams for Iowa home games always stay here. This arrangement also means that the weekend on which Icon is held tends to shift a little each year, since it has to be a weekend when Iowa is playing somewhere else.

We'd shortened the Friday morning drive by staying the night at my parents' place in Illinois. However, the drive into Iowa was somewhat less than pleasant because of the high winds we had to deal with. By the time we arrived, I was glad not to have to wrestle with the steering wheel any more.

When we got into the dealers' room, we discovered they were using a different room than they had when we sold in 2004. Worse, we'd gotten a really bad arrangement of tables. However, the dealers' room wasn't completely sold out, so we bought one more table in order to make a better arrangement. So we set to loading in and setting up. With so many tables it was much easier than usual to get everything out.

However, sales proved slow and spotty. I spent a lot of the time reading or writing for the simple reason that we didn't have any customers at all, not even window-shoppers. There was plenty of time to get ourselves checked in at the nearby Motel 6 and get our personal belongings into the room.

When the dealers room closed for the evening, we discovered that the con suite wouldn't even open until after opening ceremonies. So we went back to the Motel 6 to get supper and decided to just stay put. We watched a Weather Channel program about Hurricane Katrina and I did some writing.

The nest morning we headed over to the main hotel and were happily surprised to find the con suite open and serving breakfast. So we got ourselves some breakfast before heading over to the dealers' room to get our tables open. Once we got everything arranged, I got out the digital camera I'd borrowed from my parents and took a bunch of pictures of our stock and setup, since we may need to jury into one of next year's shows.

Once the dealers' room opened, I tucked the camera back away and we settled in to do business. Not that we had an enormous number of people coming around our tables. I ended up spending a lot of my time sitting around and writing.

I did get to the Guest of Honor reading, in which C S Friedman read from her not-yet-released novel A Feast of Souls, the first of a fantasy trilogy of a world in which magic is powered by burning the substance of a person's soul. Afterward she passed out advance reader copies of it and signed books.

After the dealers' room closed for the evening, we headed over to our sleeping room and had supper. Then we headed back to the con hotel and sat around in the con suite until the parties started. However, there was only one party and it was pretty slow, so we decided to turn in early for the night.

Sunday morning we got up early and got our personal belongings out of our sleeping room so we could get checked out. Then we headed over to the con hotel to get breakfast in the con suite. Then I went ahead and got my art off the art show before we got our dealers' tables opened.

Sales continued to be slow, and it looked like people didn't have any money to spend. In fact, I even heard some rumors that the con was having financial trouble due to poor attendance and rising costs.

Because of the extremely slow sales, we went ahead and started packing early. When it came time to load out, we got a bunch of really good help and were actually ready to go early. It was a good thing because we had a long way to go back to my folks' place, and I needed to get those pictures downloaded out of my folks' digital camera and onto an online account I could reach from my own computer.

Copyright 2012 by Leigh Kimmel

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Last updated October 21, 2012.