ConJose Comments and Things Future Worldcons Should Do

Pre-Hugo Reception

The room (Almaden Ballroom) was a little too small. It's reported to be 2772 sq. ft. and, theoretically, can hold 400 people for a reception. We had about 180 people, and a room closer to 3000 sq. ft. would have been better.

I hear the food was really good. The hotel threw in two small cash bars at no charge. We spent about $4,500 on food for about 180 people, and about $100 on miscellaneous. We could have easily gone through another 20%-30% more food (we billed the reception as having "light refreshments," but many of the nominees use it as dinner). Close to 95% of the nominees/acceptors and presenters showed up.

Noreascon has an advantage in that we could negotiate with both the Hynes and the Sheraton for this reception. Suite 300 in the Hynes is 3,400 sq. ft. and that new Contstitution Ballroom in the Sheraton is 6,600 sq. ft, both would provide a nice venue for this event.

Another in an endless series of ConJose "communication" tales: If the division directors are invited, the host needs to be told. The day before the event, I was specficially told that only people on the invitation list were supposed to come. After the event, I heard that division directors had been explicitly invited at the Sunday meeting, but most never had time to stop in.

Program Ops

"In an ideal situation," the location of the Green Room and the location of Program Ops would have been swapped, and more food/drink would have hit the Green Room earlier in the con (like Saturday morning - I think more stuff got to the room by Sunday). Program Ops had more than adequate space, and it was swimming in space when the Hilton office was killed and combined.


They never really planned how to best use the space they had. The rooms closer to the Hilton were used for workshops (good), but the larger ones would have also been good for things like SFWA, ASFA and WSFS (which were in rooms in the main program area). The 75-minute long items were generally less problematic than they'd been in Chicago.

How to handle major readings needs to be rethought a little. They did put Terry Pratchett in a big room for his reading (good, because it was packed), but his was the only item I had to practically put the "STOP" sign in his face before he stopped, and he was unhappy about that (and, yes, of course I'd let him run a little over anyway). Just give some of the big readers a longer slot in addition to a bigger room. For N4, I recommend scheduling readings for Terry and Phil in a large room at 4pm and not schedule another item in that room until at least 7pm.

MCFI Party

Always pack at least one large cooler. Coolers are sturdy and are usually easy to find so they're good for packing "vital items" (knives, small bowls, spoons, garbage bags, paper towels, first aid kit), and invaluable for cooling beer during the party. Also, have a small plastic bin marked "records" that the current membership list, cash box and forms always goes into for the trip between the table and the party.

Pre-reg and Reg

This really did need a "hard end" becuase I suspect part of the badge delay was over the fact that pre-reg never really did end. Badges should be printed at least one-two weeks in advance. The location of Registration shouldn't impede traffic.


Needs to be open earlier and much more clearly marked.

Party Boards

Grid on party floors is a good idea. However, we should have a party board in the Hynes and one in the lobby of the party hotel.

Dealers Room

This seemed to be fine, though I agree it should have opened a little earlier.

Exhibit Hall

Find out what happened to the pro gallery (Christine Valada?).

Given the slap-dash nature of Exhibits this year (and last), it could have been a whole lot worse. ConJose should not have given what appeared to be free space to a religious group ( - what's to stop the Scientologists from asking for the same treatment?). The site selection area was almost too easy to find, and a number of people went there, voted/converted and left the room.

I didn't see any commercial exhibits at all.


Surprisingly inconsistant. The big signs were pretty good in the Convention Center. However, it took them three days to get the Program Room door signs right (which, frankly, is why Program ought to be printing them and not Sign Shop).

We should buy at least two inkjet-type printers that can handle 11 X 17 paper. The Sign Shop and Program share the b/w one, the the Sign Shop and Exhibits share the color one. I think such printers are in the $500 range now and will probably be even cheaper in early 2004 when they would need to be bought.


This area in particular must be staffed by people who comprehend that they are supposed to be supplying a service (timely information) to the attendees. I can't tell you how many people said "I sent them information on X and they just ignored it (or ran it too late)." The Hugo break-out issue didn't make any sense at all!


Organize this early in the con rather than late. While I had permission to approach publishers for pre-Hugo reception sponsorships, I was told the Hugo Program Book were also calling publishers and asking for advertising at the same time, so I didn't wind up calling anyone.

It would have made so much more sense for the Hugo program book and the pre-Hugo reception to create a combined rate to help support both enterprises and work together on getting ads/sponsorships.