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.
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
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
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
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
The All American Plated Breakfast
Freshly Scrambled Eggs
Served with Hyatt Signature Breakfast Potatoes and Roasted Tomato
Sweet Butter, Jam and Preserves
Seattle's Best Coffee, Tazo Tea Selection and Soy Milk
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I’m going to address this once.