This holiday season, the only sugar plums dancing in my dreams have price tags on them.
I’m thinking about travel arrangements for our Left Coast Crime 2011 guests of honor; making sure those *hotel rooms at La Fonda are really for our convention guests; programming; my budget; designing and ordering tote bags; the cost of entertainment; whether or not to have convention pins made; how much audio visual equipment we’ll need since we have to pay for it all; my budget; the auction(s?); advertisements in our program books; trying to get sponsors to help defray costs; identifying tasks for volunteers; getting volunteers; public relations and media attention; whether to cap attendance at the convention; name badge pouches; budget, budget, budget; getting discounts for attendees on the local shuttle service; our financial ability to provide extras; budget; how to make people feel welcome; answering all my wonderful committee’s questions and making decisions when there aren’t obvious answers . . .
And, Lord, help me, the food.
Let me tell you about the food. I thought I was doing a fabulous thing by including two continental breakfasts, hors d’oeuvres for the welcoming ceremony on Friday night, and a banquet buffet (which is more expensive than a sit-down dinner, btw) on Saturday – all in the convention registration price.
That’s a lot of grub.
And when you stop to consider that EVERYTHING food-related in Santa Fe has an approx. thirty-three percent (yes, you read that right) additional fee slapped on for service charges and city taxes, well, that’s a lot of food to provide.
However, now my committee tells me that people will judge us harshly if we don’t have snacks in the f**king hospitality room. Snacks. La Fonda is a dream to work with, a delight. I negotiated a wonderful room/night fee for our LCC members to stay in an historic hotel, with enough personality to knock every attendee’s socks right off, and it’s mere feet from the heart of the city. The cost for that great rate? I agreed that we wouldn’t bring in food ourselves.
And now the lack of a bowl of pretzels or popcorn might totally undo all the incredible effort we’re expending to make this convention a success?
Grrrr. All I can say at the moment is that it’s good this blog isn’t in video format. You. Do. Not. Want. To. See. Me. Right. Now.
Okay. It’s time for several cleansing breaths . . . in . . . out . . . in . . . out . . .
Focus, Pari. Think about what you can do . . .
All right. Here’s something; I can remind people about a few dates they might have forgotten and spotlight a few new ones.
Jan. 1 – registration fee goes up
Jan. 1 – award nominations begin
Jan. 15 – main deadline to be considered for a panel (we’ll give the nominees until Jan. 31)
Jan. 21 – nomination period ends
Jan. 24 – nominees announced
Jan. 31 – hotel rates for people not already registered for LCC go to the normal, higher La Fonda rate
Whew! That feels better. More in control. But then there’s this:
* Hotel rates
[Begin rant] In our contract with La Fonda, we agree to have a certain number of hotel rooms filled each night. People who have reserved rooms but haven’t committed to coming to LCC could really torpedo our budget. Plus, there are many other attendees who’d love to stay at La Fonda — who have registered — and would be delighted to have the opportunity!
So . . . my message is this: Stop hedging your bets.
We’d love to have you at LCC. But if you’re not planning to come, please give up those rooms now while we can fill them.
[End of rant]
Okay. I’m done pouting now.
I’ve combed my hair,
and had my second cup of coffee . . .
QUESTIONS For today
1. What is the most important thing – content, food, entertainment, location – to you at a convention?
2. Are snacks in the hospitality room a deal-breaker for you?