Sunday, September 26, 2010

FEVERCON

I’m going to address this once.

I’ve been deluged by emails recently—much like the Facebook blowup earlier this year—from people who are going to be attending FeverCon that are upset about other people who are planning to attend FeverCon, asking me to make those other people behave. As if. Do I look like the ruler of the universe? I think that honor belongs to my cat, Moonshadow, LOL.

It appears there are a few people that are bitterly unhappy with everything about the conference, from the itinerary to the food to the goody bags. I’ve seen absurd posts and emails where some of these unhappy people propose I should be giving away free IPods in the Goody Bags, (the iPods we bought for prizes were nearly $200.00 with tax!) These few people are vociferous in their anger and making threats that they certainly intend to air their feelings at the Con, and people had better watch out.

I think many people don’t have any idea what costs are involved behind the scenes in putting on a conference of this scale. Nearly $40.00 a ticket from every ticket is lost off the top between the charges levied by the registration platform, an ecommerce gateway that also charges a per-transaction fee and a monthly fee for having it available, the amount I had to pay my web designers to build the database platform, the credit card companies that charge a per-transaction fee (Amex is insanely high for small merchants) and the bank charges on my account for having the ecommerce account, plus a per-transaction fee. It’s unreal. That money is gone the minute the ticket is sold. It’s the cost of doing business as a small business.

More behind the scenes: we pay for every single mic (there are fourteen on the stage at the concert) every day we use them, each cable, cord, mixer, monitor, amp, stand, speaker, subwoofer, snake cable, lights on the stage—we even have to pay the power bill to the hotel! We pay load in and load out of equipment and staffing for it. (The Con is on a weekend. Hotel staff is $75.00 an hour but weekends are time and a half. Do the math.) We hire the bartenders for both events to run the cash bar. We pay for the lights and decorations for the costume ball (which is going to be awesome!) including the centerpiece candles on the tables we ordered and had shipped to the hotel, to the masses of pink candy, balloons, helium tanks, etc. We pay for the printer and materials to print photos of the event. We hired photographers and audio and video specialists to record the Con for your future enjoyment. We pay for storage room at the hotel to hold the thousands of books and giveaways, the people to stuff the bags, and the rooms for the assistants and planners who are coming in days in advance to set things up.

That doesn’t even begin to touch it. We pay for an insurance policy for the event. The programs had to be designed and printed. The invitations and name badges had to be designed and printed. The goody bags had to be designed, printed and shipped. There are engagement fees, hotel room fees, flights for the speakers. And yes, there is the food and it was absurdly expensive. Will it be exquisite? I very much doubt it. Catered food at Cons rarely is. It’s expensive and adequate. However, I have high hopes. Will the menu please everyone? Of course not. No menu will.

There are so many more charges but I will not—here or anywhere—post a fiscal accounting of the Con. My accountant—who is also charging me for handling the business end of this—is the only one that will see it, as should be. But I assure you I am not making a profit on the Con. In fact, I will likely end up out of pocket on it. And I’m okay with that because I think the weekend is going to be amazing. If anyone creates problems at the Con, hotel security will remove them.

I don’t know how this negativity began festering, but it needs to stop now. If you are genuinely that unhappy about attending the Con, contact Leiha and we’ll figure something out to keep you from having to subject yourself to such a miserable time. Leiha has been a dynamo of planning and execution for the event. She may not be an “official” event planner, but no official planner could have done better.

In six days, we’ll be partying at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta. And although I can’t possibly guarantee that everyone will feel the event was worth the money, most of you will. From scene sketches Eric is going to be acting out with volunteer ‘Macs’ from the audience, to a snippet from Shadowfever read by the sexy-voiced Phil Gigante after breakfast Sunday, to lots of time with me just dancing and hanging out and talking all weekend—not to mention all the surprises we have planned—it’s going to be fabulous!

I’d like to believe people are just nervous and excited and that tends to bring out the best and worst in all of us. I can’t make anyone behave. I’m not the boss of everyone and I don’t want to be. Chill until you get there and see what you think, all right?

Following are the menus. Do NOT write to me to complain. I’ll have cans of tuna for Moonie. She’ll share if anyone’s that miserable.

DINNER Friday
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Custom Dinner Buffet

Baby Lettuce Salad with Crisp Vegetables and House Vinaigrette
Grilled Asparagus with Citrus Vinaigrette and Orange Zest
***
Low and Slow BBQ Rubbed Tenderloin of Beef with Bourbon Sauce
Buttermilk Marinated Baked Chicken Breast with Wild Mushrooms, Roasted Shallots, and Red Wine
Sauce
Portobello Mushroom Strudel with Smoked Tomato Coulis
***
Seasonal Fresh Vegetables With Lemon Zest and Herb Butter
Yukon Gold Potato and Caramelized Shallot Gratin
***
Warm Farm Bread, Roasted Garlic Loaf, Tomato Jam and Butter
***
Crème Brule Shooters
Assorted Cakes and Cheesecakes, Torts, and Truffles
***
Iced Tea, Regular, Decaffeinated Coffee & Tazo Teas

LUNCH Saturday
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Deli Lunch Buffet
Chef's Soup Du Jour
Romaine Caesar Salad with Garlic Crostini
Penne Pasta Salad with Shrimp Lemon Dressing
Brown Mustard Potato Salad
***
Tuna Salad, Garlic Seared Roast Beef, Glazed Smoked Ham, Roasted Turkey Breast
Swiss, Cheddar, and Provolone Cheeses
Lettuce, Tomato, Pickle Spears
Mustard & Mayo
Georgia Specialty Breads
***
Homemade Potato Chips
***
New York Black & White Cookies
Carrot Cake Served with Caramelized Walnuts
***
Freshly Brewed Seattle's Best Coffee, Decaf, & Tazo Tea Selection

BREAKFAST Sunday
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
The All American Plated Breakfast
Freshly Scrambled Eggs
***
Smoked Bacon
***
Served with Hyatt Signature Breakfast Potatoes and Roasted Tomato
***
Breakfast Bakeries
Sweet Butter, Jam and Preserves
***
Chilled Juice
Seattle's Best Coffee, Tazo Tea Selection and Soy Milk

30 comments:

Julienne said...

Some people are just born troublemakers and greedy! The food sounds more than adequate and I just wish I lived on the right side of the world. Have a fabulous weekend!

analisa said...

I can't believe what you're telling us !!!! it's so sad !!!
I really don't think these people are truly Maniacs, I know we, the real ones, adore and worship every thing you do and say, and can see the depths you're in to make this event an absolutely unforgettable one.
For what it's worth, I not only am STUNNED at the amount of good things and excelent treats you're giving us, but I'd also do it anyway if we were to eat bread and butter the whole weekend. And I'd be as happy. Just to share with you and my Maniac friends.
Much love, Ana.-

Ricki said...

Karen, I am so grateful for the planning and work you have put into making FeverCon a success. We will not allow a few unhappy, negative people ruin the weekend.

I agree with Analisa in that I can't imagine these folks are true Maniacs.

The itinerary is packed with so many fun activities, and the menu sounds varied and delicious.

I am so looking forward to a fabulous weekend!

You are TOO GOOD to your fans, Karen!

Rae said...

I'm sorry you're getting crap from people Karen! Thank you for planning all this, it is easy to forget all that goes in--unfortunately, you aren't Queen A and cannot just wave your hand and it is all done and ready to go without charge.

This weekend is going to be FABULOUS no matter what! We get to be with you and all the other "stars" of your books, plus all the other friends you're bringing in. You're going above and beyond and that's just freaking awesome.

**hugs** Can't wait till the festivities begin! Viva la Fevah! (thank you from the boards for that one)

PS--the menu also looks delightful, and I'm a really picky eater! :-)

moonlitwaters said...

Negative people fester bad karma. If we just ignore those unhappy individual trouble-makers the world would be a much nicer place. Personally, I thought the ticket prices were not only reasonable but actualy a bit cheap. Other conferences charge much, much more and considering the amount of giveaways and goodies you're proposing we'll receive, the ticket seems to pay for itself.

Kay Theodoratus said...

Glad to see you're walking around the "entitlement" mentality. Maybe they'll realize they aren't the center of the universe ... someday.

Melissa said...

Well, if they are that upset, they can send me their plane ticket and con ticket and I'll use it for them. I have no problem with that! :)

Honestly, I wouldn't worry about the loudmouths. I bet that they aren't even going and wanted to cause trouble for those that are going.

Scott Romanski said...

Sorry you are dealing with morons.(I'm sorry but they are). Wish i could attend, but can't. Hope you all have a great weekend. Hopefully i'll be able to see some vid/pic from the event

mindy said...

I can't believe you had to write this. I hope you have a great time being with fans of your work. I wish I could be there but finances and work make it impossible.

If anyone complains, just tell them they should have given their ticket and things to people who would have had a really great time, if they had been able to go.

The Original Drama Mama said...

I haven't been on the boards in a long time...life has taken over, I'm afraid. Though this may be silly, Karen - you and Leiha feel like old friends to me and I'm so frustrated on your behalf. What should be an incredible weekend is tainted before it can even get started.
No, I'm not going to FeverCon, I really wish I could; but I just don't have the time or the finances. I am a small business owner too, and I struggle to keep my prices affordable! There are SOOOOO many costs that people never consider.(Just got my insurance quote yesterday, actually, it'll suck up half my profits...nice).
I can't wait to hear about all the fun that was had, and the crazy great time I'm sure it will be...I hope to meet you in person one day, but til then...thanks for being such a wonderful writer and for your devotion to your fans!

Melonie

Heather said...

*giant monster hugz* Karen I am so sorry that you even had to address something so awful like this! And I so agree, these people who are *cough, cough* stupid are not true Maniacs!!! I know that Im gonna have a blast no matter what!!! I thank you and all your people for the hard work that they have done, will do and keep on doing. Leave it up to the few to ruin something for the majority! But ruin it they will not darn it!!! Cant wait for the weekend, I get to ATL on the 29th of Sept. and I shall help put these people in there place if needs be!!!

audra said...

I just found out a lovely author passed away at age 45, just a few days ago. Please keep the bitching to a minimum, these authors give us joy and frustration:) Be appreciative!
In fact, get over yourselves! I am bummed that 3 of my favorite authors will be there and I won't. I wouldn't need to eat, just get my books signed.

Lauren said...

I'm so sorry for the stress!!! It sounds like my wedding. two days before, the in-laws were saying they were NOT attending the wedding for some asinine reason. Husband had to convince them to come...I might have had a glass of wine or two during the pre-wedding days. :)

Fevercon will be an event to remember and beautiful and heart-warming! My mom and I are so excited about having a blast and reveling in all things KMM!!! Good luck and hopefully all this negative attitude will blow over!!!

AJY said...

Geesh, I hate that something that something that was supposed to be fun has turned into such a mess.

I'm not attending, but I hope it goes well for KMM and everyone elses sake.

Sometimes, people suck!

Anonymous said...

Wow, some people's behavior is appalling and shameful.

I've attended Dragon*Con in Atlanta many times and it sounds like you've prepared a wonderful convention. The menu looks terrific, and the goody bags extremely generous!

No one can please everyone, and only a fool tries. Please don't take such rude correspondence to heart. I cannot believe that some people are suggesting you give away free iPods! There are always those who are only too happy to spend other people's money, and these people have no clue as to the costs involved or overhead.

As I live in the northeast US and this is one of the busiest times for my work, I can't get away and will miss FeverCon, but I'm looking forward to hearing all about it and seeing the pictures! Have a blast, do NOT worry, and don't let the turkeys get you down.

I'm so sorry you even had to write this post.

-Elyssia

Denise said...

I am always amazed at the selfishness of some people! I truly wanted to be there, and was trying to do so with a group of friends (who all had a blast at my house last year for a "fever craic" party with games, book reviews, plot theories etc with the release of DrF) but because of the economy couldn't do it. It makes me mad people are coming who just want to be pests and not just celebrate a great author and a GREAT series

karen henry said...

Ah Karen,
I'm so sad to hear that someone is complaining about this glorious weekend! Please know for every complaint.....you'll have a thousand of us that are forever gleeful with all you've all done for us!!!
karen
Hey...I agree with Analisa....PB & J would've been awesome!

Daniela said...

I am so so sorry to hear about the troublemakers!!! thats just terrible! Well I really wish I could be there to see how awesome it is going to turn out!!!!!! I will be there in heart!! hope all who go has a blast!!! we love you for all the hard work you do for putting this even together and for all the books!!!! have no worries, life's too short for the BS lol! enjoy it!!!! xoxo!

Dawn said...

Karen, I agree with what everyone else here has already said.

I've never gone to an event like this before, but decided that the opportunity is unique, built for fun, and I know how much you appreciate your fans and try to personally give back to us. I know that it's the experience that I'm paying for...if you can't come into this with love in your heart and a positive attitude - prepared to have a good time - stay home!

I can't wait for this weekend. Please don't let other people get you down...I'm certain that they are the minority.

SummerRses said...

I also am sorry you had to deal with this. Please don't let it put a damper on the wonderful weekend that has been planned.

You're response was awesome. (And so kind of Moonshadow to offer to share his tuna! lol)

As my grandfather use to say, take a deep breath, enjoy the world, and let the bad stuff just roll off your back like water on a duck.

Have an awesome weekend everyone!!

SummerRses said...

(Okay, I meant Moonie in the post above, not Moonshadow. I guess my mind is too much on ShadowFever. LOL)

alba said...

Huge Hugs Karen & Leiha I am sure once everyone gets there all the childish behavior will subside....
At least I hope they do when the wee ones are around.



'

Livy said...

My goodness! If they don't want to go or are unhappy about things pertaining to the event then they should give up their ticket and let people like me have them who would be blissful happy to be there no matter the circumstances.

T. M. Sulsona said...

Some people need to grow up and shut up. Don't go if you're going to bring negative energy and bring everyone else down. Do us all a favor and stay home. Thank you Karen for offering such a wonderful time. I'm sure I'll love it. *hugs* See you tomorrow! :)

claudia celestial girl said...

Karen - you rock! You needn't provide any explanation at all. The fun, and careful planning, will be evident for everyone, even those who are not here to enjoy - and that's probably the source of the sour notes. It is truly amazing that so much thought went into this. As a fan I can only thank you, and hope that the event grows in the future.

Zina said...

Gosh, I'm sorry for all the crap you're taking, I personally am Happy as a clam, cna clams really be happy- they get put in my chowder??? Anyway I canna wait and I'm bringing my own Highlander.
Zina

firedancer731 said...

*Disclaimer: I am NOT defending these horrible things that people are saying.* I just wanted to mention that if you are paying $40 off the top- that is way too much. I am an accountant and I have done a lot of ecommerce myself. Whoever is advising you should have done a better job. I realize you have loads of advisors and friends helping you, but if you ever need advice, please hit me up. For free of course, I am a huge fan. But yes, all of those other fees add up. And as far as the goodie bag goes- this isn't a flippin' Apple convention! If you want an iPod, use the $350 and go buy yourself two. If you want to go to a book convention, then STFU and be happy. Otherwise just don't go!

Novels On The Run said...

Hi Karen,

We are mad Fever worshippers at Novels on the Run. We have given your blog an Award.
Come pick it up from www.novelsontherun.blogspot.com

p.s. Would I sound overly desperate if I pleaded for more books in the Fever series. 5 just isn't enough. I am new to the series and WOW!!!!!! Barrons!!!!! I am reading Highlander too, but....Fever...wow!!!!! I have the Fever, I admit it:D


Michelle

Lesaleer said...

I can not believe that some people have the audacity to complain!!!!!
If I could have afforded to go, I would NOT spend my time prior, during or after complaining! Just the thought of FeverCon gets me excited and eager to meet everyone of my fellow maniacs!!
THANK YOU Karen, for putting so much time, money and thought into the event. I was unable to attend this year, but I can just imagine how FABULOUS it was!!!
If you would have not given any goody bags at all or told me to buy my own food, HECK, I would have gladly done that just so I could go and hang out with wonderful people and meet the wonderful author!
Thank you and Leiha for all you do!! You bring joy to peoples' lives through your writing and your dedication to your fans!

Sheri said...

Wow, Karen, I'm sorry some people are trying to spoil your efforts here. I know how expensive and difficult events can be to put on as I've done them myself. You are to be commended for doing this for your fans. Don't let anyone else bring you down. There might be a few negative people, but I'm sure you'll find hundreds more (like me) who appreciate your work and would love to have been there. Kudos to you, Karen! Thanks for all your hard work!