Monday, September 27, 2010

Stella's AAD Recount.

Authors After Dark is now over for 2010. What a wild freaking ride. For those who don’t know, I’m the Convention Director, and the one who gets the ulcers for a year before the event. Don’t get me wrong, I love this event, and I love doing it, and what it represents.

I might bitch about the craziness while there, and I might lose it a bit, but on the whole, I live for this kinda thing. So lets get to my recount, shall we?

Thursday was an insane. We got up early, packed the uhaul and made our way down to the event hotel. When we got there, we started to unpack and get it all set up. WOW. 5 hours after we got there we still weren’t done, but the excitement was setting in for me. I was very happy to finally be there and getting it all out to everyone. I don’t think people realize that after a years worth of planning, of storing stuff in your house, its like Christmas to get it all set up and know that SO MANY people are getting SO MANY goodies. I love playing Santa. (no not Satan, though I probably channeled the evil that weekend...)

Anyway, suffice to say that Friday and Saturday went really well. The bloggers got a fuck ton of extra books, each meal went off well, tons of books and goodies and everyone was really happy with the food and the choices (that chocolate cake was DIVINE!).

Parties were fun as well. Tons of goodies and alcohol, and OMG it was great to see the authors that attended last year and welcome the ones that came for their first year. Having friends there, people I get to see only a few times a year, is worth all the aggravation and insanity. As a self imposed hermit, it’s nice to interact with others that I have something in common with. Writing is a solitary existence, and when we, as authors get to hangout with other authors and readers, it makes it all worth it.

I realize this account is sorta generalized, but that’s because most of the weekend was a blur. Anyone that was there will tell you I didn’t sit down for more then 5 minutes at a stretch, missed all but one of my panels and only made one of my appointments. I worked my ass off to make it perfect, and I think I was close to succeeding.

Sadly, we had some issues, some of them are things that could be avoided for next year, and some of them have to be addressed here.

We had a crasher. Normally I would be so excited that we had a crasher to the event, but this was totally uncool. AAD, in essence is an event that works for the reader. We make it more then affordable, because we believe in the reader/ author relationship. So many cons make money off their events, we don’t make one dime other then for the charities. Because of this, extra things are absorbed by Jacki and the staff, at our own expense.

So with a crasher coming in and having dinner, and taking books, books and a meal they didn’t pay for, hurts not only the con but the attendees. The crasher came in, disrespected the event, the event staff and hosts and more importantly, the attendees because they ate on their dime. A crasher didn’t feel the need to pay for this, but had the brass balls to come in, and apparently felt that they were above everyone else that DID follow the rules. That chaps my ass. That shows a blatant disrespect for their fellow readers and the people that worked so hard to make the event so worthwhile.

Unfortunately, since someone thought it was acceptable to take advantage...we have to tighten up and hire security to be sure the right people are getting what they paid for.

Second, Hotel issues. PLEASE DON’T WORRY! Next year’s event will be at a different hotel, one that actually isn’t a bunch of ass hats that were trying to thwart us behind the scenes. I’m sorry to all the attendees that had issues with the hotel (especially the ones that got charges on their room when they shouldn’t have, I hope that worked out) and I’m really sorry about the issues with the schedule. Because the hotel didn’t bother to mention us losing a room till I got there Thursday morning, I didn’t have time to make the changes seamless. I will do better next year, I promise.

Now what to expect for next year:

  • Two tattoo artists… ooh did we mention there was a tattoo artist this year? Yes there was and Geoff was awesome. Next year, expect him with a friend to rock the event with ink galore!
  • A Mythos Masquerade
  • A Steampunk Ball
  • A fantastic BDSM event (information to come!)
  • A Karaoke party with Jen Armintrout and Resplendence Publishing
  • Amazing Vendors

And much more! Stay tuned to the AAD blog for all the happenings and a NEW layout for next year!

Thanks again to all the authors and attendees for making this year something to remember. We couldn’t have done it without you guys. I’m looking forward to many more years of this con, and goodies galore!


Bronwyn Green said...

You worked your ass off and it showed. (Not your ass...the hard work.) The conference was a blast and I can't wait until next year. Thank you for everything you did to make AAD blast for readers and authors! You rock!

Unknown said...

Looking forward to next year already Stella! Thank you for the awesome time.

Kayleigh Jamison said...

You know I had a blast, and found the event to be a total success for me from a career standpoint, as well as a personal one with all of the wonderful people I got to be with.

I was disappointed in the hotel's asshattery, but don't blame you for that at all.

I was unaware of the crasher until the following day, which is probably good because that means it didn't mar my Saturday night. It's not cool, though. At all, and that's all I'll say about that.

Anonymous said...

You did a fantastic job; I heard nothing but compliments on the conference while I was there. A fabulous slate of events, delicious meals, tons and tons of freebies and a tiara! I didn't know about the crasher, but you're right, it's disrespectful. Hotels are hard to predict and it's not reflection on you. Well done. Congratulate yourself on a fantastic job.

KellyS said...

Hey Stella! You rocked, seriously! I had such a great time and am already planning next year's steampunk and mythos costumes. It is so special to meet these people who write what I love! Now my TBR and wishlist and 'check out this author' is a mile long, but I'll have it all by August! Femme Fatales are working on plans, LOL. Sucks about the crasher and the hotel junk, but seriously, from an outside eye it was seamless! Thank You! muah!

Miss Mindy said...

Stella, I was blown away by AAD! I wouldn't have known there were any issues at all. I'm already planning next year with Kelly and the other Joey Hill Forum Femme Fatales. We are working on getting even more of us there in 2011.

I wish I would have known about the crasher. I would have loved to give my 'assistance' in escorting them from the event you worked so hard on.

Ok, you are killing me with the 'BDSM' event teaser. Dying for more details on that. ;)

Stella Price said...



Jaime D said...

*looks around*

Who, me? No idea what you're talking about. Excuse me while I adjust my halo.

LadyGrace said...

You work so hard on the conference and it shows. I thought that you and the staff do a fabulous job. I like going to this conference because it was fabulous. I can't wait to go next year.

JoAnna said...

I can't wait until next year.
Next year I'm signing up for the whole weekend, instead of a day pass. You did an awesome job!
I'm really intrigued by the hints of the events for next year!
The staff for AAD was awesome as well.

RENEE said...

You were awesome,Stella! A great time again.

And next year...Karaoke baby!!! I'm so there!