Ikasucon was held over the weekend of July 12-14, 2013 at the Grand Wayne Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It's a relatively small convention, but my husband has family in the area, so we were able to stay with them and have no hotel expenses.
Load-in was on Thursday evening, so we headed over. We had a little trouble finding the correct loading dock, but when we did, we were able to secure two of the convention center's big flatbed carts and get everything in fast. Then I had to move the van to a nearby lot to free up the area in the loading dock while we set up. We got most of our stuff set up before the dealers' room closed for the night.
The next morning we got up early and dragged in to finish setting up. When we got there, we were quite appalled to discover that the the door to the dealers' room was unlocked, such that anybody could've walked in and helped themselves from one or another dealer's table. So we and several other dealers had some firm words with the people in charge and discovered someone from the convention center had unlocked the room. It was agreed that they'd make sure it didn't happen again.
Once we finished with setup, we had some time before the dealers' room opened for sales. I got a notebook out and made notes for a story. I also walked over to Subway and got a sandwich for our supper. That way we wouldn't have to worry about getting supper while we were busy with sales.
When the dealers' room opened, we did have a busy period at first. However, by the last hour or two things really slowed down. By that time I was tired enough I really wanted to get to bed as soon as we got back.
Getting downtown on Saturday was complicated by road closures for the Three Rivers Festival opening parade. It also reminded us that we were missing out on the first weekend of the Festival, which meant sales needed to be good enough to make up for what we were losing.
Yet again sales proved slow and rather disappointing. By the end of the day, we were having a serious discussion about whether it was worth losing the first weekend of the Festival, especially when we were both tired from having to get up so early.
Sunday we headed in for the final day. Since we needed to be able to retrieve the van to load out, we had to pay to use a nearby lot instead of parking further away and walking. However, it also meant that we didn't have to start quite so early, which allowed us a little more sleep.
Sales were so slow that I was fighting sleep a lot of the time. We decided to start packing early, and were ready to start loading out by the time I retrieved the van. Even so, I had trouble getting into the loading dock because another vehicle had already grabbed the best place. I got in behind them, and when we were almost done they wanted me to move so they could leave. As a result, I ended up packing some stuff badly because I was just trying to get a stable load as fast as I could.
By the time we were loaded, I was pretty well wiped out and glad it was all over. We decided that, while sales were good enough that we would've gone back if it had been some random weekend, it wasn't worth giving up the first weekend of Three Rivers Festival.
Copyright 2013 by Leigh Kimmel
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Last updated July 30, 2013.