June 4th, 2004


Moving forward

Good Anime Detour meeting last night for several reasons. I think things are coming together, and it seems like we're getting more new people showing up at the staff meetings. Not just fresh meat, mind you, but people who either have some experience or who are willing to apprentice themselves to people who do. So we've managed to weather the loss of our hotel liaison and the cosplay co-heads, find a replacement for our dealers' room chairwoman, find somebody local to run the AMV contest, keep the merchandising chair on board, and get everyone to sign on to the board's new policies on how the convention is going to be run.

Actually, they aren't really new policies. It's just that we never sat down and formally said "This is what we want the convention to be like, and this is how we want it run." So now we have everyone working on written procedures, aware that everybody (on staff) pays (their convention membership) and everybody fights, which is to say we're not going to allow the kind of separation between the parent company's officers & directors on the one hand and the concom on the other that got certain other local conventions and their sponsoring organizations in so damn much trouble. The last policy point is that this year we want to grow our concom and volunteer staff more than we grow the membership. CONvergence is frankly amazed that we managed to take care of our 1200 members with only 16 staffers, but we sure don't plan on doing that again next year. While I don't think we need the 13:1 staff ratio CONvergence has (they have much more stuff going on than we do) I think we better get it down under 50:1, and better yet under 25:1. There's really no reason we can't do that, either.
So we're making progress. By the time we take our show on the road to CONvergence, we should have a hotel and dates nailed down and be moving toward a larger and better-trained staff. Whatever happens at AD 2005, I'm confident that we'll be able to whip it, and whip it good.
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Damn, damn, damn!

William Manchester is dead.

Author of American Caesar, the larger-than-life biography of that larger-than-life general Douglas MacArthur, Goodbye, Darkness, his semi-autobiographical history of the Marines' war in the Pacific, and a shitload of other excellent biographies and popular histories (did I mention The Arms of Krupp?) Manchester was at work on the third volume of his biography of Churchill, The Last Lion, when he was crippled by a series of strokes that left him incapable of finishing.

I feel almost as bad as I did when I heard that Robert Heinlein had died.