Tuesday, March 06, 2012


Every year I get as far as the above title, sometimes I even get as far as creating separate posts for the separate days, but I never get around to posting!!!

I'm busy, I'm tired, and also, I think, I feel like I have to catch up on the rest before I can update the first. There's history, you see, and I can't talk about the latest one now without referring to all that history! So I am going to catch up!

I've been to six conventions, in 2005 (Narita), 2006 (Uminonakamichi, Fukuoka), 2007 (Nagoya), 2008 (Kagoshima), 2011 (Odaiba, Tokyo) and 2012 (Takamatsu, Shikoku). They were all fantastic, all fun and all follow a set pattern, while being quite unique in the details.

Some things they all have in common:

A raucous Friday night dinner party with excited friends happy to be seeing each other again; casual, often al fresco or buffet dining and often a quiz or games session thrown in,

Workshops on Saturday, including art, crafts, dancing, exercise, and local tours,

A formal Saturday dinner and cabaret, often a sit-down multi-course meal, and a cabaret show featuring acts from club members, usually including music, comedy and dancing. The dress code is often themed to match the official convention theme,

A hospitality room - a space set up for attendees to just hang out and chat with each other, usually filled to the brim with donated food and drinks, and second-hand goods for giveaways,

And a panel discussion on a set theme on Sunday morning, often a theme that fits in with the convention theme.

Several other features are more hit and miss:

Roommates: do you scramble to find one ahead of time or throw yourself into the pot for a random placement? Will it be 2, 3 or 4 person rooms? Roommate disaster stories abound, but success stories are much more common.

Hospitality room: will it be a public space in the hotel, or a private room? Will it be a guest room occupied by a convention committee member? Will it be all day and all night, or have restricted hours? What other spaces does the hotel provide (karaoke, bars, smoking rooms?).

Lunch: will it be provided or are we on our own?

Sunday lunch: often presented as an optional extra, but not part of the official fee - will it be offered at all, and if so, where and how much?

Board Meeting: will the convention committee find a room at the hotel for the Board, or are they on their own? This has been quite important to me, as I have been on the Board for seven years now, and always attend the meeting at conventions!

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