rwehavingfunyet?

What Matters? What Works? What's Next?
www.nadwcon.org
This blog belongs to:

Dj Connell
Chair, NADWCon Planning Committee, 2014/2015
Founder, Discworld Seamstress Guild of North America
Trouble Made: By Appointment
rwehavingfunyet?

This image of Death is by artist Paul Kidby. Mr Kidby's images are used with his permission. Copyright: Paul Kidby.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Note From Our Chair

How are you? I have the Oh, Gods of Con Hangovers. Since I don't drink,  I'll chalk this up to coming down off a lot of stress and happy times and whatever that nice but very sick lady in the nearest plane seat was coughing up as we headed home.

Some of us landed and went right back to work cleaning up after the last con (Margie would like me to remind you all to get those receipts in, now!) and preparing for the next one. (More on that later).  In the meantime, many, many thanks are due.  Most of our Department Chairs have been making those calls and sending those emails all week but here to start things off officially is a letter from The Big Cheese, herself, Emily Whitten:

Hello, wonderful and hardworking NADWCon2011 Committee!
I hope that people are home now, and getting in a bit of rest and recovery! I know that it take a while to regain one's equilibrium after a con, not to mention one's sanity and health - so please, all, make sure you are getting plenty of rest and taking care of yourselves! You deserve it!!
I wanted to say a really, truly heartfelt and giant THANK YOU to everyone on this list (and any committee members I may have inadvertently left off the list - I think I have everyone's emails on here, but if I've missed someone, please forward this along to them as well!) for all of your hard work, commitment, enthusiasm, good humor, extreme dedication, and more in the face of putting on a giant, complex event like a Discworld Con. Truly you were all amazing, and did a fantastic job of working together to run the con!  I hope to see you all again at future Discworld Cons, and that you feel free to keep in touch! And now, please indulge me while I go into personal thanks and recognition for a bit.
In no particular order at all (other than the order in which my Gmail address book collated your names) because all of you are wonderful:
Missy: Thank you so much for your incredible work organizing and decorating and running the Seamstresses' Guild Parties, which were amazing and magical and fun; and for coordinating your team to help run them with such efficiency and panache. What a treat to have such a place to go each night! And thank you for jumping in to help co-run the Auction, which raised a lot of money for great causes. And for acquiring and safeguarding my wings for me, even in the face of your cat's clear desire to rip them to shreds!
Viv: You are my Queen of Communications, and I am glad to have had you to help us Get the Word Out about everything, both before and during the con. No matter what new idea or request I threw at you, you came up with a way to get it done and stay on top of things, so thank you so much for that! And for becoming a clearinghouse for all packages Discworldian.  And for the Neil Gaiman newsletter headline, which makes me laugh every time I see it. :P *luffs you* *and your cute kid*
Art Ray: :) You did superb work on the Program Book, the Pocket Program, and all the art and ambience we desired from you; and a great job of getting the posters done, and working with us to get the plushies and t-shirts rolling.  Your art on the buttons and more was excellently fun! Thanks for your patience and good cheer, and for the falling tortoises sign, which never failed to make me smile. And for the comic book, which I shall definitely read.
Greg:  Hilariously, we got to meet for all of 5 minutes during this con, since we were both so busy. But from the short amount of time I did get to spend in the Dealers Room, I could see that it had been well-organized and was being well-looked after; so thank you for that, and for being so efficient that I wasn't even needed to help! :) I hope to meet you again at another con where we might actually have a chance to chat!
Fae: You ran a wonderful Costumers Dungeon; and though I personally was not there much, my costumes certainly were! I know Erica made use of the room several times over the course of the weekend while helping me with all of my myriad costume things, and I am sure she was not the only one who was grateful for a place to go for steamers and hot glue guns and other costumey things. Thanks for being there for people in need of a few stitches or more desperate costume help!
John K: Being At-Con Programming Director is no easy thing, but you almost made it look like it was! Excellent job of keeping things clicking along and working out glitches on the fly, and doing it all with a great sense of humor and a level head. It was a pleasure solving little problems with you and making them disappear like they'd never even been.  And thanks for not playing your banjo at me. *ducks* Just kidding! Actually I'd really like to hear your work. Send me links!!
Henry: Terry and all attending were very pleased with the well-run and fun Maskerade, and when Terry says he's pleased, it truly means you've done a fantastic job! I know everyone involved had fun.  Thanks for your hard work and great success in all of that, and for working out with us how to ensure everyone was as safe as possible as they participated.
Jon L:  What can I say? Thanks for being everywhere at once and sometimes in two places at once at the con, and making sure that things got where they needed to be, :) and for all of your hard work EVERYwhere
Erin: Thank you for stepping in and making the art show into something wonderful and well-run in a relatively short period of time! I wish I had had more time to look around the show, but I heard great reports and really appreciate all of the work you did, both on that and as a program participant. And I loved your tiny steampunk hat. :) P.S. Please don't faint if you see Neil Gaiman again. Or at least be standing near a couch when you do. Hee.
Matthew G: Thanks for setting up/running the movie room, and for your work as part of the Seamstresses' Guild Party team!  AND for making an excellent glass of absinthe!! I am glad things worked out with Ian Sharples being able to introduce the Mob movies, and am sure lots of attendees were happy to have a place to take a load off, relax, and watch a movie now and again.
Jon M: My right hand co-guest liaison man! It was excellent working with you all weekend, and I really appreciate your stepping in to be there whenever I had to take more time away from the guests than originally expected due to Chairing the con (or due to getting a costume on!).  Thanks for all of your work on the ground gathering things for the gift baskets and setting those up, and chaperoning guests on outings, and getting together some reliable local folks to Guest Liaise with us.  Please send them my thanks as well, because they were awesome! (And/or send me along their email addresses). I'm really glad to have met you and worked with you to take care of our guests! And thanks for the photos!
z!: Hooray, tech man! :) Thanks for your expertise in the realms of tech and staging, and for going through the trouble of pricing out options for us (the budget thanks you too) and ensuring that everything *worked* during the weekend! I was really glad to have someone who I knew I could rely on to know what was going on and to ensure that things that were supposed to have tech did, and to be able to fix any snags that came up.  And thank you for your co-work on the Charity Auction as well! And for having a good sense of humor, and very easily describable hair, so that I could send people who needed tech help your way with a simple, "the guy with the half purplish-blue hair can totally help you!" :)
Nelly:  I don't think I ever saw you doing anything other than working and running errands for ops, etc.  Thanks for helping with ops and never stopping to take a breath. You can relax a bit now. :) (And sorry I called on you to come find me somewhere random at least twice and then realized when you arrived that I didn't need help. Heh.)
Katie:  I'm sorry you couldn't make it to the con, but thanks for working on the registration needs pre-con, and making sure everything was in good order when Jeff needed to take over! I appreciate your pre-con work and hope you can make it another time!
Barry: It's nice to have people you know you can 100% rely on to take care of their responsibilities AND take the initiative when they see something else that needs doing, and you are always one of those people in my book! Thanks for stepping in last-minute-ish to do the at-con treasurer job, which was a lot of work to take on in the 11th hour, and for organizing our equipment and supplies list and putting in orders so we'd have what we needed at the con. You're awesome! See you at the next WSFA meeting (no, really! I'll be there this time!) :)
Denise:  Thanks for your good advice, sharp eye towards potential issues, and excellent work in coordinating and organizing/gridding the program pre-con, which I know from experience is a major, major task; and for working with both Missy on Seamstress Parties, and John K at the con, to ensure that the parties and the programming had the support they needed from you (among the many other things I saw you helping with at-con!).  I'm glad you were able to make it to the con after all, and very grateful for all of your hard work! *waves bloomers* Here's to you, my fellow Dame!
Dave L: I know running a ConSuite was a new experience for you, and that it was a process figuring out how to best approach it, but thanks for working with me and Margie through several iterations of the ConSuite Plan to ensure that we'd be offering what attendees and volunteers needed and wanted during the con, and for adjusting plans on the fly to meet people's expectations. And thanks for your excellent setup in the VIP Lounge when we were hosting Neil, and for making sure I ate something on Sunday, even if it was very mean of you to steal my wings until I ate. :P I will keep a sharper eye on them next time!
Sarah: Thanks for your excellent assistance of John K and programming and with signs and all those little things that always need doing at the last minute, and in general in ConOps etc.,; as well as in helping me with my costuming! The Ikebana stuff you got for me was great and really made the costume! Big thanks!
Michelle:  Many thanks for conscientiously dealing with/handing out/selling ridiculously large amounts of merchandise (the bags of plushies were bigger than you!) and managing your volunteers so well as they tried to sell sell sell for our con! :)  Every time I saw you you were super-busy, and I appreciate the time and attention you gave to managing this area, which always looked like it was being handled very smoothly..
Margie: My right-and-left-hand woman! Thanks so much for agreeing to Vice Chair in the last month, and for working with me to take point on certain areas so that I could attend to others and we could together ensure that everything that needed oversight received it.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate your level head, sharp eye for detail, and can-do attitude, as well as your unwavering good spirits and abilities to help or come up with solutions to issues that needed to be solved as the con approached.  And on top of all of that, you managed a huge group of volunteers, scheduled them, oversaw them and a numerous other things during the con, and, and, and...*whew* :) I wish you all the best as the new Chair of the Chelos, and am looking forward with anticipation to NADWon2013. *big hugs*
David B: David, David, David! I am so very glad that you came forward to run Ops, again at a time when the con was approaching like a runaway train and we desperately needed a steady and experienced person to help with this key position. Ops is a huge and complex area, and you did such a stellar job managing it that if I didn't know better I'd have thought it was a piece of cake! Well done, you! So many hugs and thanks. And thanks also for putting up with my random leaving-of-things-in-Ops, and my occasional silliness on the radios. :)
Game Ray: While I did not get a ton of time to stop in the Game Room, the couple of times I checked in I could see that at least 3 or more tables were full of people having fun! Goal reached! Achievement unlocked!  :)  And my friend Kevin reported that his GURPS game went great, as well. Thanks for providing a nice relaxed area for gamers to have some fun, and for maintaining it all weekend long.
Jeff: Our impressively tall Registration man! In a top hat! Which made you super-easy to find whenever I had a registration question. :) Thank you so much for coming in at the 11.5th hour to take over and run registration so efficiently, and for doing absolutely every single thing I asked of you in record time.  From ensuring all was ready for/in the bags and envelopes beforehand, to bringing me Guest member bags in person when I needed them, I truly appreciate everything you did and the ease with which you did it. You're a star! (And high-five to Missy for roping...er...persuading Jeff into this role.)
Matt C: Thanks for taking over the hotel communications as the con approached and at the con, and ensuring that all went smoothly there, as well as for helping with non-hotel things, as I know you were running errands and helping Ops a lot as well (I heard you on that-there radio!). And thanks for keeping Terry good company at the banquet. :)
Marilyn:  Much appreciation for your aid to Denise and John K on the programming pre-and at-con, and for your participating in the programming by doing things like the jewelry workshop (I so want some of those adorable beads!). Denise told me many a time how helpful your spreadsheet and scheduling skills were in getting the program done, and it's truly appreciated, as were your abilities to easily shuffle programming things around as needed as the con got closer. Many thanks!
Bryan S:  Thanks for managing our message board, and for your help in Ops at the con - I know you were busily working away in there almost any time I came through, and provided me with help a number of times, too! Much appreciation for your help in one of the busiest areas of the con.
Brandon (please pass this along to him, someone, as I do not have his email?): Excellent work in ensuring that Our Con Was Secure. :) Though Discworld fans are very nice people, big crowds are still big crowds, and we definitely needed people to oversee keeping areas clear and traffic moving, ensuring programs that needed security guidance had it, etc. Thanks for being in charge of all of that!
 
Pat: My Discworld Hero! Thanks for being super-you, Pat, and for Mastering the hell out of our Ceremonies! No, seriously though - you are a stellar MC and front-man and I am so glad we can always call on you for these things. And thank you for the little ducky covered in hearts.  He is now the center of my shrine to Ordpor. :P See you at the UK Con (I hope)!
And...big props to anyone I've inadvertently left off the list, and to all of y'alls staff and volunteers. Please convey my thanks to them if you haven't yet!
EVERYONE, GIVE YOURSELF A BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE!!
If you can't tell already, I truly feel it's been a privilege to work with each and every one of you, and that you all worked your butts off to make this thing great.
And now, as some of you may have already seen, it saddens me slightly to say (even though it's the best choice for me) that after six years of work on the NADWCons, I have decided to take a hiatus from convention organizing, due to health considerations and other obligations.  There are many others eager to take on leadership roles for future NADWCons, and that is a very good thing. :)  If you are interested in my further thoughts on this, I have posted about it here:
I am by no means stepping back from the Discworld fandom, which I do love dearly; but am instead looking forward with great anticipation to attending the next NADWCon and getting to see it from "the other side." I hope I will also get to see you all there.
Until then, please don't hesitate to stay in touch!
All my best, 
:) Emily

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