Omegacon: Poor organization and good hearts

They started out by leaving me standing in the airport for an hour and a half. Eventually, I gave up on them and took a shuttle (after calling Reesa to find out what hotel I was supposed to be at). Then they didn’t have a room ready. Then they did have a room, but it was at another hotel. I was warned that the walk between the main hotel and the one I was staying at–two and a half blocks–was through a rather bad part of Birmingham and I should be careful after dark, but that’s okay, because they had no arrangements for transportation. I could eat if I could make it back to my hotel and charge a meal to my room, other than that, well, see above about lack of transportation. My experience was, let us say, not unique.

That’s one side of the story. On the other side, there was Nathan, and Paige, and Chris, and Josh, and Adam, all of whom worked their asses off to make up for the various screw-ups. There was a seemingly endless supply of friendly, intelligent people to talk to (Ben and Rene especially stand out). The panels were, for the most part, lively and engagingly. And I was taken out for some of the best barbecue I’ve ever had by the Ladies of Tor–perhaps the high point of the weekend. And there was jamming with Steve Hickman–a blast.

In the airport on the way home I was sitting in a back corner of the bar (a smoking permitted bar! Civilization is not dead!) and met a couple of musicians. Is that a drum? Yes. African? North African. Can it be tuned? Yes–see these lugs? Do you play it with your fingers? Yes, sometimes–here, like this, see? And like this? And then you can do this….and I stopped and got a round of applause from everyone in the bar. Hee hee. That was nifty.

I’d hate to guarantee it, but I have the feeling that, by next year, Omegacon will have ironed out most of the bugs and be ready to put on a good convention. As for this year, well, there was some fun, and I’m very glad to be home.

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0 thoughts on “Omegacon: Poor organization and good hearts”

  1. Hey, thanks! We had a blast hanging out with you. That totally made our weekend. It was really fun to listen to you and Steve play- wish y’all could have gone on longer.

    I was really sorry to hear about all the screw-ups. I hope they don’t sink the con because I am selfish and want it to happen again next year. Also, just wtf on putting you in a different hotel? It doesn’t make the sense.

    From the con-goer side of things, I wouldn’t have known how messed up all the arrangements were. All of the guests rose above the frustrations and made the panels a pleasure to attend. So, thank you.

    (Also, we think you should have a Cooking With Steve panel. Seriously.)

    (Also, just curious: where did you go for barbecue?)

  2. Glad to hear you made it back home safe. I shall see if I can’t find you a broader selection of single malts for the next time I see you. It was truly an honor to get to know you a bit!

  3. a definite lack of both organization and communication. plus the dealer’s room was open so long that us poor hucksters didn’t get a chance to see anything else. did get to the whisky tasting though, that was good.

  4. Speaking as a hotel worker, I’m really sorry for your experience. You would be disheartened to know that your experience is not unique.

    I used to work at a hotel that had many conventions and groups, and their corporate office sometimes oversold our hotel by dozens of rooms. If I could have stopped it, I would have.

    Now I work for a hotel that has many groups and conferences but treats a reservation as a reservation. We don’t oversell, and I’ve never had a job that I loved more.

    I am glad though that the Con workers could make it up to you. Here’s hoping that next year will be better.

  5. I appreciated all of the guests that came, and over-came, the challenges. the “project manager” in me cringed alot over the weekend but was usually supressed by the geek in me that was trying to get to all of the panels I wanted to attend.
    I am propsecting the web for all of the feedback I can find and will be volunteering for next years event to help from a project management perspective. anyone with feedback pass it on to

  6. Boss, I am very glad Christopher and others took good care of you. You are right, your experience wasn’t unique. :[

    Authors as a group will be leery of O-con.

    Tony, their website is back up. They have a post open in General for the wrap-up session.

    The consuite was axed (word is by hotel). Changes abounded. Chaos was fought by a great many very nice people, most of whom didn’t know what to do but tried their best.


  7. See, now you are going to measure each and every Con against the unattainable paradigm that is EERIECON! ;)

  8. I was the one in the kilt at the Whisky Tasting. We definitely needed more single malts.

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