In the beginning, many pieces of paper were handed out. Amongst these papers (though I by no means have complete list, I fear) were:
At the convention, we received 519 envelopes. At a guesstimate of 2.5 registrations per envelope, this is 900-1000 pre registrations, so far. Most of these people requested a room.
All room requests received by September 1, 1997 will be treated the same.
Registrations rates as follows:
$25 until 30 April 1997
$30 until Labor Day 1997
$35 until 1 March 1998
10 April 1997 through 12 April 1997: Minicon.
Connie from Barnes and Nobel would like to have an SF weekend that weekend at the Harmar store.
The basic committee structure has been revised. We are abandoning the division structure at this time. A skeleton of the revised structure is represented on the MMPI. There are 14 main departments, and some of them have sub-departments. We would like department reports at subsequent meetings to run approximately half an hour. This means that the sub-departments should report to the main department, and the main department head will summarize at the concom meetings, unless unusual circumstances obtain. The Exec doesn’t want to ignore sub departments, but neither do we want meetings to last for 87 hours.
One of the purposes of the new (old) structure is to attempt to facilitate communication, both between departments and the exec and between departments. Each department will have an exec member assigned to it. While you can talk to any of the three of the exec in a pinch, there will be one person on the exec who is responsible for keeping up to date on your department, and a first line of contact for you. One thing which has been emphasized in postmortems for the last ten years is that communication is one of our greatest failings. The exec see it as their primary function to help facilitate communication.
DDB reported that Minicon has a web page, and that he is webmaster. Anything that should go up on the web, give to DDB. If you don’t tell him what to put up, weird things may occur. The best prevention for this is to give DDB information with which to decorate your portion of the web page. If you want to do your own page design, this is possible. Talk to DDB. Electronic information is preferred, disk or email. Other formats are also acceptable. Stone tablets are preferred to silence.
Very Important: Anything that is in writing which you do not wish to show up on the World Wide Web should be marked as “DNW” -- “Do Not Web”. This is not a guarantee that anything you write will go up on the web. However, trial balloons or other material which you don’t want to share with the public should be clearly marked so that errors do not occur. [DDB note: I'll try to exercise reasonable intelligence in what I put up, but if you mark it DNW you can be sure I won't publish it.]
email@example.com Strangely, this is DDB’s email address
firstname.lastname@example.org is the email address for the exec plus their brave and noble secretary.
Additional addresses can be added for departments when you notify David. DDB pointed out that departments should not publish their personal email addresses. It is more efficient for the department to publish the departmental email address. That way, if there are changes in personnel or responsibilities, the email address will remain the same, although the person responsible for the answering its mail may change. [DDB note: In particular, the paper documents we send out stay in people's files until the convention, and may not be replaced even with later paper documents; so it's better if the email addresses stay stable once published. Hence the use of the minicon33.mnstf.org domain.]
There is a lot of important stuff published on the web.
There are 3 more progress reports. The deadlines are in the draft schedule. We will need material from you. We will make every attempt to show material to you prior to publication. The Exec wants to see anything which goes out in writing before it is sent, so that they know what is going on and can catch inconsistencies. Also, we have a grammarian, Pamela Dean Dyer-Bennet. Please try to get your stuff to her with sufficient time for her to review.
Publications deadlines are important. They are also a shared responsibility.
In accordance with the Dyer-Bennet Law of convention running, the publications schedule drives the convention. This means that the draft schedule is also a shared document. Please look it over, and tell the exec any problems or errors that you see. We are attempting to run a unified schedule. If your department has regular meetings or internal timelines, tell the Exec. Those need to be on the schedule. Please notice that there are some decisions that will need to be made considerably in advance, not for the running of your department, but so they can be in publications. The publications schedule may rearrange your internal deadlines some what.
The August 10th deadline of “have picnic, play with Frisbees” is a hard deadline.
Erik doesn’t want to hear, “I’m too busy working to attend the convention.” We run Minicon because Minicon is fun. We want volunteers to be attendees again.
Martin intoned, “You are all volunteer recruiters. Go, thou, and recruit.” (All right, he didn’t say exactly that.)
Minicon needs volunteers, both people who have worked for a while and new volunteers. One of the places that Minicon has consistently failed is getting people to work before the convention. In an attempt to improve this, we are getting rid of a category of volunteers, the fictional pre-con volunteers. What a precon volunteer has been, in the past, is someone who was never called and never got to do anything, except generate a certain amount of resentment. Instead, we are going to count every one who volunteers prior to the convention a member of the concom. They will be on the mailing list for minutes. We will be working aggressively with the head of volunteers to make sure these people are put in contact with appropriate department heads and given something to do.
The public postmortem had about 90 people in attendance. It was broken into small groups which took comments, and then summaries were reported. Notes and summaries are going up on the web page. At the departmental postmortem, we would like department heads to comment.
The big problem with postmortems in the past is that people make comments, and then never hear anything. Department heads need to get back to people, and they need to make sure that comments are dealt with.
Well, actually, we don’t know. As Minicon has gotten larger and larger, the list of credits in the program book has gotten smaller and smaller. This is one of the reasons why we want every person who is working on the convention before hand to fill out a volunteer form. We want to be able to thank them, and acknowledge them.
Another problem we currently have is that the concom is too big to all come from a single social group. This means that there are a lot of us who don’t know each other by sight. Someone suggested having name badges. Another suggestion was for people to wear old Minicon badges with their names on them. Dance cards were also suggested.
The theme can be playful, but it should have some relationship to science fiction or fantasy. Themes have a terrifying habit of becoming true, so please be careful.