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Attending: RonBlanchett, DanDeSloover, GeraldGentry, BillPutt, ChuckChild, RachelWeisenfeld, BrendanDurrett, MattArnold, AnneMurphy, SteveCampbell, Dan & Moonbeam, SusanHarris, AaronThul, JohnGuest, RikheiHarris, SteveDeHart, PatriciaAltergott, ClarkRodeffer, KimbaWilson and RonWilson, FrancineRossi, BillKolosa

(RikheiHarris taking minutes.)

AaronThul opened the meeting by thanking BrendanDurrett for scheduling this meeting and the following at the hotel, and stressing the need to keep the meeting on topic and to keep it moving. This was followed by introductions.

The first issue that was discussed was PreRegistration. KimbaWilson noted that we are at 245, while we should be at just under 500. She noted that in the past the PreRegistrations have outnumbered AtTheDoorRegistration by a ratio of 3 or 4 to 1. Kimba agreed with Aaron's concern that we are losing ground. Kimba noted that she has not yet received any PreRegistration from ProgramParticipants, and SusanHarris told Kimba she should be getting a list of panelists and other people involved in programming shortly.

There was some discussion about sending about mailers. Kimba noted that we are getting people from the mailers, though she usually gets a lot more people registering online. In the past, Kimba was getting about 3-4 online registrations per day, in the month of March. This year it's been more like 3-4 a week. She expressed the hope that people are waiting to pay at the door.

A few advertising tactics were discussed. Aaron suggested posting “Register now” at the top of the home page; RonBlanchett said it is currently at the bottom of the page, and said he could move it to the top of the page. BillPutt mentioned that the first year of the con, postcards were sent out to the mailing list the month before the con. This was not done the second year because ConCom was afraid of getting too many registrations, and was not done the third year because of budgetary reasons. Kimba noted it was too late to do it this year; Aaron asked if it would still be too late if the postcards were sent out in the next week. Susan suggested we could make it a “postmarked by March 31st” pre-registration, rather than allowing March 31st to be the last day. Kimba said this wouldn't be doable; she noted that because postcards aren't considered first class mail, it can take quite some time to receive the postcards. (There was some brief discussion of ConCom members receiving PenguiCon mailings; it was suggested by Kimba that at least a few people get the mailings so that we know when people should be receiving them.)

There was some further discussion about why PreRegistration numbers are down. Aaron pointed out that we've done a lot of pre-convention soliciting, including CafePenguicon at several SF cons and having a table at the LinuxFest in Ohio. He also mentioned a publicity blitz that would involving flyers (with tear-offs) and taking them to coffeehouses, bookstores and so forth in the metro area. Matt suggested that having programming listed on the website will help a lot. Anne asked if we had the NiftyGuests listed on the website; Ron said that they were, and BillPutt suggested that we could “spotlight” the NiftyGuests. Anne suggested that we should mention the guests every time we send out a reminder about registration; Kimba said she'll be doing that in the next week or so.

(Kimba briefly reiterated that she needs to have registration forms for the NiftyGuests and GOHs, or at least a list, and has not received them.)

Attention returned to publicity; it was agreed that several e-mails would be bad publicity, but that we could send out a single e-mail reminder about registration. Anne suggested we include information about the Hotel (Aaron chipped in saying we should mention how many rooms are left, Susan chipped in saying we should include the contact information for the Hotel). It was noted that we could get better numbers in the future by having more/better guests to appeal to the ScienceFiction reading crowd (as opposed to the “computer geek” crowd, which we've got a good hold on at this point).

At this point, we moved on to the discussion of the [Hotel]. Brendan noted that as of his last meeting with the Livonia HolidayInn representative, we had 173 roomnights (NOT rooms) booked. This seemed at odds with the PreRegistration numbers. We briefly discussed whether we could boost registration by getting EugeneRoddenberryJr to come to the con again this year. This seemed a possibility in terms of availability, and programming, but it was agreed that we could not pay for his travel or hotel expenses. Susan pointed out shortly after that if we get 400 roomnights booked, we get the pool for twenty-four hours and BillPutt recommended this information be included in the e-mail. There was further discussion about the function space; with 400 roomnights booked, we receive function space free. Otherwise function space costs would be on a sliding scale, if over 200 roomnights. It was recommended that those ConCom members who had not booked rooms yet do so, and RachelWeisenfeld also pointed out that some RoomParties had not booked rooms yet. BillPutt pointed out that this process was a bit unusual; usually the convention and hotel would assign party rooms, rather than having the parties register and then inform the convention of the room. Susan points out that if there are complaints about the hotel, we should tell them it has been granted a $10 million upgrade for next year. We do not currently have a contract for next year.

Discussion moved on to guests of honour. Anne notes that ChrisDiBona was encouraged by his wife to stay in our hotel and “saturate” in the experience, and he had decided to take her advice. Everything else related to the GuestsOfHonor is going as planned.

The next topic was hospitality. SteveDeHart said everything was going well with ConSuite planning, and that they were working on a final shopping list at the time. He asked for the location of a local CostCo or Sam's Club, and several people were able to oblige him. (GeraldGentry noted that he also had some food - namely condiments - for the dealers' room.) There was some discussion of a small caffeine bar in the ConSuite, namely that anything with unusual amounts of caffeine would be labelled as such so that parents would be aware. There was some consensus that while the con is kid-friendly, it is not a convention for children and that labelling those foods would be sufficient notice. ChuckChild noted that they were still working on OpenCola stuff, and asked people to contact him if they had knowledge or contracts of soda fountain equipment companies.

PatriciaAltergott noted that she'd only received two e-mails from GoH liaisons about GoH food preferences for the GreenRoom, namely those of FrankHayes and Maria. Brendan noted that ChrisDiBona had requested fruit. Patricia asked people to e-mail her with any other food preferences. She also asked for a number of panelists so that she could plan accordingly; Susan suggested approximately 60. Patricia also asked people to contact with her with names and numbers of staff of other departments. It was agreed that people wearing panelist badges or ribbons, or StaffMember / ConCom badges or ribbons should be allowed into the GreenRoom.

Gift baskets were briefly discussed; some people had offerings and suggestions (SteveGutterman's list among them penguin pencil sharpeners from Susan, and a coupon for convention t-shirts). Rikhei volunteered to help Anne put them together.

It was agreed that the GoH dinner Thursday night would be at Ground Round. Aaron offered to call and make reservations.

Kimba expressed some concern that guests of GOHs would not be easily recognizable by GreenRoom staff, but it was agreed that this is usually a very small group of people, and that this year there would likely not be any such guests.

Discussion turned briefly to room parties. RachelWeisenfeld said that there are at least 10 party rooms reserved at this point, and also non-room parties (such as the Pirate Party and the Aegis Black Sweater party), bringing the total party estimate to about 14. Rachel mentioned that they could e-mail her that day or the following to get advertising.

Brendan interjected with an updated roomnight number - 234.

Aaron moved discussion on to LUGWrangler updates. Dan noted that some of the LinuxUserGroups seem more excited than others (like MUG). Aaron pointed out that some of the less excited ones may be presenting at the con, or may have been subjected to Aaron's pushing it on them for the last year. DanDeSloover was wondering whether it would be okay to share the website address, and a few people reiterated the need to have programming information on the website as soon as possible, even if the schedule and room grid was not available yet.

Dan noted that the programming was more tech-heavy than he expected it to be, and Aaron noted that had been a goal of his. Dan said he was going to send out another reminder to the LUGs.

RachelSherman was not present, so discussion about volunteer needs was minimal. JohnGuest asked people to e-mail RachelSherman with their volunteer needs for each department. Crash space for volunteers was discussed, namely that it would be present, and that 2 roomnights (i.e. one room for two nights) should be reserved for the volunteers (and that this information was on the website). Aaron said he'd do this.

Gerald then updated us on Ops. He has a full staff lined up, and just needs to work out schedules. He asked if there was someone doing prizes, which there was not. He said if someone else could gather the prizes, he'd distribute them. MattArnold noted that everything that comes from the truck goes to [Ops], and that the prizes could stay there. (Donations of games to the GameLibrary should be should be specifically marked to distinguish them from game prizes, pointed out ClarkRodeffer.)

It was agreed that ConCom would post room numbers and phone numbers in Ops, and that if someone neded to contact another ConCom member, that they should go to Ops.

Discussion moved on to programming. Susan said that confirmations would be going out that week, and that she and TracyWorcester would be meeting on Wednesday of that week to clear up any problems. Kimba pointed out that she would really like panelists to prereg by March 31st, even if they are not able to pay until the convention. There was also some discussion about creating a list of panelists for registration so that panelist registration could take place at the door. This list should go to RonWilson. Susan said she'd send a list to Kimba as soon as possible, and updates when she got them, and asked Kimba to let her know if anyone on that list was not registered.

(BillKolasa offered to be a science fiction panelist.)

SteveDeHart asked to be contacted with any food-related programming that might be going on in ConSuite.

The publicity blitz was the next topic of discussion. The publicity blitz mainly consists of plastering flyers (with tear-offs) everywhere in the metro area, particularly college campuses. People have been recruited. It was decided the publicity blitz would be Saturday, April 2nd. Pizza will be provided. People will meet at MattArnold's place at noon, and then leave at 1pm to distribute. People can come by any time after that to distribute. Anne also suggested that in case people did not want to drive to Matt's, the flyer be available on the wiki ( which it now is, on the PenguiconPublicity page). (Rikhei found herself volunteering to do Eastern Michigan University's campus.) Matt also suggested refreshing the list of “plastering” locales from last year.

Then we discussed the DealersRoom. BillPutt kindly noted that Francine does her job so well, we barely notice her. She wanted to confirm the rooms we have (Ambassador A, B, and C). She needs a count of the electrical outlets. She also asked about Hotel staff - there will be someone available to lock the door. Brendan asked to be told how many 8' tables she needs. She also asked that the hours (F4-8, Sa11-7, Su12-4) be listed in the ProgramBook, and noted that the hours listed in the ProgramBook in the past have been incorrect.

There was some discussion about t-shirts, namely a previous legal issue with Offworld and the lack of formal language about selling other previous shirts. It was agreed we have great shirts, and that we may want to reprint shirts from previous conventions. Francine recommended we use Matt's badge art for the shirt, and this was agreed upon by many. Francine offered and agreed to send Aaron numbers on how many conventions shirts sold in the past, and in what sizes. (Also was going to send it to Ron {W. or B.?} and Matt.)

Patricia also suggested we have a dealers' row listed on the website.

Matt asked people to contact him with information for the program book as soon as possible (i.e. immediately). Inclusions should be a restaurant list, a blurb about the ConSuite, DealersRoom hours, and so forth. Aaron asked if he needed to write a “Welcome to Penguicon” blurb, and Matt jokingly threatened to write it and sign Aaron's name if he did not.

Other business:

- AtTheDoorRegistration on Friday begins at 3, official programming begins at 4:30.

- Kimba asked for a list of GoHs and NiftyGuests and stressed that they do not need to pay, as long as they simply fill out the forms. She also asked for a list of staff people for each department.

- Rikhei offered to be PrizeGoddess. RachelWeisenfeld clarified that the RoomParties prize for first place is a membership for next year, and she was going to make up a “fake” gift certificate that Aaron would sign to make it official

- BillPutt asked people to let him know what signs they need.

- MikeGriffin has been largely uncommunicative with regard to (gaming? anime?). MorganKollin expressed interest and Tracy is going to contact him.

- BillPutt asked about A/V for Rick; Susan noted that the confirmation slip will include people's A/V needs. Bill also asked that people/departments let him know if they have other A/V needs.

- RonBlanchett and Aaron are working on the InfoKiosks; Ron will be getting the programming from Aaron's site, and information from Matt (Brendan?) regarding the local restaurants. Aaron will be providing the hardware. It was noted that the content of the InfoKiosks will be fixed.

- It's unlikely that there will be free wireless access in the function space (other than the room we are meeting in), because the hotel is likely to scan and shut it off. People should be informed of the existence of the ComputerLounge4.0. (Also, it was noted that there are no jacks for wired access in the lobby, so we'll have to pay for wireless access for Kimba to do that.) BillPutt is going to put up a sign about lack of free wireless.

- JohnGuest noted that the tentative date for next year's PenguiCon is April 14th 2007. The current plan is to renew the contract with the HolidayInn. There are a few people that we're looking at for GoHs at this point.

- Kimba asked for people to contact her if they want something special printed on their badge.

- No Saturday night GoH dinner.

- BuffyTheMusical is Friday night.

- The is at the HolidayInn on April 8th, socializing at 10AM, meeting at 11AM, and the hotel staff will join us from noon to 2PM. Agenda for the hotel part of the meeting is posted at Apr2006MeetingMinutes.

penguicon4.0/minutes/minutes-2006-03.txt · Last modified: 2017/01/14 11:24 (external edit)