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And that was The (Small) Weekend

I can say I was disappointed, as the dictionary definition of disappointed is:

dis·ap·point·ed (adj.) - Thwarted in hope, desire, or expectation.

While it was exactly what I expected, it didn't live up to my hopes or desires.

Total numbers according to St John was about 150 total. Since the last two years were each over 400, this means that this years was about a third. However, the numbers are actually worse than that. If you take out the miniatures gamers, and the Living gamers, and the CCG and CMG gamers, I doubt very much if the total number of actual roleplayers was over 20. I would expect more likely about 12.

My Paranoia game ran twice, once in the first session with 5 people and once in the last session with 6. However, one of the people in the first session was a GM who wasn't running anything that session, and one of the people in the last session was also a GM who wasn't running anything in that session, so that means only 9 "players" (ie paying players) in my game. I think the most times any of the RPG's ran was 2 or 3 times, and all the other games were 5 player ones.

My freeform didn't run at all. However, it is written, so I'll probably submit it for Unicon this year, that way I don't actually have to panic during the lead up to it.

However, I'm not blaming the organisers for any of this. They did a marvellous job with the time they had. Since half the committee quit in December, and then it took a while to replace the positions, I think they did well in the few months they had to organise it.

Also, they have put a lot of background infrastructure in place so that there shouldn't be these sorts of problems in the future. We can always hope.

On that note they are intending to have a meeting sometime in the next month or so to discuss what went wrong and how to improve it in the future. Travis and I chatted with the committee members a lot about suggestions, since we both have been to so many other conventions and we've seen how a number of other people do it. So, one of the things they are looking at is an on-line rego system, and both myself and Travis told them about AON. Damien, would you mind if I give them your contact details if they want to talk to you about AON (mainly how it works, that sort of thing)? If so, what contact details do you want me to give them?

So, what did I do at The BIG Weekend?

Turned up Friday evening after work to talk to them as they were setting up and doing late rego. Chatted with St John and Michael a bit.

Turned up first session on Saturday morning and ran my first session of The Reunion Mission, making most of the details up as I went along. One clone ended up completely dead about 10 minutes before the end of the game, and everyone else lost at least one clone.

Played board games the rest of the day (mainly Settlers of Catan, Roborally and Ticket To Ride) and went home about halfway through the last session.

Turned up near the end of the first session on Sunday and played more board games for most of the day. Almost had enough players to run Homeward Bound, but didn't quite, so it didn't happen and went home near the end of the last session.

Turned up near the end of the first session on Monday, and having actually remembered to go to a hole in the wall this time, actually had money so bought some Shadowrun books, and was given some Marvel Power Dice Starter boxes. Giant D6 for the win! :)

Then ran my other session of The Reunion Mission, using what I ran the first time as the plot line. This time we ended up on two completely dead, two on their last clone and two on their second last clone.

Then wandered back to the rego hall and helped pack up and clean up, followed by the shortest prize giving in memory (there were about a dozen people there, it didn't take long). After that Travis, St John and I wandered off to Cold Rock for the post con "party". No one else turned up.

Then home.

As for next year, I will submit some games to the next BIG Weekend (I already have a few ideas), whenever that happens to be.

Much as I hate to say it, I actually hope it doesn't run next year. People in Brisbane have gotten so complacent that the con will be running over the Labour Day long weekend, that I think it not running for a year might not be a bad idea, to hopefully wake people up to the fact that it needs volunteers to be on the committee and to run it, other wise it won't run at all.

Perhaps this years completely lack-lustre event will wake people up. I don't know.

I much prefer the southern conventions.

Comments

hooly1138
May. 5th, 2006 03:36 pm (UTC)
Hey Guys,

I'm certainly not a regular poster, so I'll explain who I am and what I have done in the past.

My name is Ian Houlihan, and since 2002 I have been heavily involved in the Brisbane gaming scene, namely the organisation of TBW2002-2004, the Treasurer of QGG, coordinator for ORK-toberfest, Times of War and the venue coordinator for Team and Doubles GT (most of which are miniatures events - as someone pointed out, minis tournaments are much easier to organise, manage and raise funds through).

My event coordination life all started with my disappointment with TBW2001 and that I felt I could make a difference. By using a bit of marketing knowledge (most of which I was learning as I went) and a "take it to the public" approach (by visiting people, stores and manufacturers), I was able to take the 150 attendee numbers in 2001 to the 470 that we had in 2004. We dropped to 430 in 2005, but that was because we had a change of venue (one that didn't charge close to $10,000) and a dramatic change of committee.

Now some have suggested that the failure to draw people to The BIG Weekend 2006 was a little of my fault, and that I did not provide the organisers with much in the way of information). The main reason for this was that in December 2005, I hit a rather large hurdle in that I was in charge of a PCYC in desperate need of attention. This meant that my focus was there, and that I could not devote enough time to the convention, having committed to organising TBW2006 way back some time just after TBW2005.

As a result I resigned, informed all involved, and provided the QGG committee with a copy of eventthing that I had ever produced for QGG and TBW (including every e-mail I had ever recieved). This was a challenge I'm sure for the QGG (the organisers of the event), and was something I wasn't proud of having to do - but work is work, and pays the bills.

Unfortunately, this year, as has already been pointed out, had little to no communication with the masses, nor to any of the organisers, hence the reason for a lack of game choice. Unfortunately this is one of those things that has plagued TBW in the past, mainly because of some of the people involved (who were responsible for communicating with registrants) had difficulty communicating. Some of these people volunteered their time to run the con this year. I don't mean to dis some of these people, but some of their organisational skills are limited. Having said that though, some of them at least volunteered their time, and their efforts were valiant.

I must say that in my opinion TBW2006 should have been cancelled, even though this goes against what I suggested (and voted on) at the last Management Committee Meeting I was present for. TBW has always had volunteer and organiser issues (i.e. a lack thereof), but this year has highlighted what can happen when people don't step forward. When the QGG knew it was going to be difficult, perhaps the best option was to say sorry, we'll try again for TBW2007. But maybe I'm wrong.

One thing that has been mentioned is that the process this year was documented. That's a really, really good idea, and maybe by having the event smaller allowed the documenters to get a grip on things across the board, rather than trying to juggle that, and run a large con. I can only hope that TBW gets the numbers back that it saw in 2003 and 2004, but without a serious rethink of how it all happens (including timelines, budgets, etc), where it happens, and that the organisers actually start listening to the organisers and attendees, then I doubt it.

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Desert Rose

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of fire
Those dreams are tied to a horse that will never tire
And in the flames
Her shadows play in the shape of a man's desire

This desert rose
Each of her veils, a secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this

And as she turns
This way she moves in the logic of all my dreams
This fire burns
I realize that nothing's as it seems

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

I dream of rain
I lift my gaze to empty skies above
I close my eyes
This rare perfume is the sweet intoxication of her love

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

Sweet desert rose
Each of her veils, a secret promise
This desert flower
No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this

Sweet desert rose
This memory of Eden haunts us all
This desert flower
This rare perfume, is the sweet intoxication of the fall

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