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Birth of the Centennial 
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Post Re: Birth of the Centennial
James Gifford wrote:
The week we went public - one of the ugliest parts of the story. Sigh - here goes.

[Edited by Original Author to remove erratum from the bitstream] When we handed over the checks... we were treated like welcome guests and more by the [Westin], who had been downright hardass until that point. They in fact tossed in the Presidential Suite, where I and my family stayed and where most of the after-hours socializing and executive planning took place - I don't know how we would have managed without it. The [Hyatt], on the other hand, went from being friendly to being completely indifferent and impossible, leading to one angry confrontation after another. (Over such things as the $5,000 in AV costs they'd "forgotten" to include in the up-front billing... and we had to pay more cash up front to get them to finish outfitting the meeting rooms.)



EEEEEK!! You stayed at the Westin, which checked you into a suite. It was the Hyatt that demanded 5 K. Please!! Turn this paragraph around. [Done.] [Good, thanks.]

Tina


Last edited by TinaBlack on Sat Jun 20, 2009 7:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Sat Jun 20, 2009 3:05 pm
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Post Re: Birth of the Centennial
Peter Scott wrote:
[...Continued...]

Shortly after I started the Centennial effort, Alan Milner became active in the society's executive and assumed a fundraising duty. Alan was very good at standing in front of a room of people who had paid to attend the society's worldcon dinner and asking them for money - lots of it. (I would then announce that I had plans to spend it. No money was ever allocated to the Centennial effort explicitly, aside from paying some of my Worldcon expenses, though.)

Alan understandably liked events that attracted high-rollers.


When I heard this, I remember snickering and saying "What does he want, a black tie dinner at the SF Museum in Seattle?

When the answer was yes, I started laughing.

Tina


Sat Jun 20, 2009 3:08 pm
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Post Re: Birth of the Centennial
Bill Patterson wrote:
The short and wearying version of the Heinlein realia is that by the spring of 2007 I had been trying for more than a year to organize a traveling Heinlein exhibit, but the various institutions involved flaked out repeatedly. It was supposed to start with the SF museum in Seattle, and move on to the Butler Public Library, with possibly a stop at Kansas State University where James Gunn is an influential academic.


Jim Gunn spent his career at the University of Kansas in Lawrence -- a different University entirely. And Jim was responsible for quite a few of the writers who came to the Centennial -- Ben Bova, Frederik Pohl, and Robert Wilson were among the guests he selected.


Last edited by TinaBlack on Sat Jun 20, 2009 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jun 20, 2009 3:34 pm
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Post Re: Birth of the Centennial
Peter Scott wrote:
[... Continued...]

We decided that we would not have a "con suite" - a staple of s-f cons, to be sure, but whose main purpose appears to be to provide free junk food around the clock. After all, it's not like we had any shortage of places for people to congregate and chat. And we were distinctly short on volunteers to staff such a room, and needed people to look after Green Room supplies. Finally, we were really close to a food court with lots of choices of much better food. Likewise, we provided no support for private room parties - there wasn't much time for them anyway, and the hotels had rather draconian forkage and corkage rules. We weren't going to stop them, just not encourage them. Again, no one minded.

[... To be continued...]


I will say that a convention suite -- for half the price of the reception during the banquet -- would have considerably watered down the impact of "THE SUITE" which was so obnoxiously bruited.

Sorry, we'll disagree about this forever -- but we handed them a niche and they ran with it.


Sat Jun 20, 2009 3:39 pm
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Post Re: Birth of the Centennial
TinaBlack wrote:
I will say that a convention suite -- for half the price of the reception during the banquet -- would have considerably watered down the impact of "THE SUITE" which was so obnoxiously bruited.

Sorry, we'll disagree about this forever -- but we handed them a niche and they ran with it.


That someone else competed with our banquet reception was unpreventable, but to have undercut our own event would have been plain irrational. In any case, the attendance of the reception exceeded expectations and at the last minute we had to move a wall to accommodate more tables, so the leakage wasn't bad.


Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:06 pm
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Post Re: Birth of the Centennial
Peter Scott wrote:
TinaBlack wrote:
I will say that a convention suite -- for half the price of the reception during the banquet -- would have considerably watered down the impact of "THE SUITE" which was so obnoxiously bruited.

Sorry, we'll disagree about this forever -- but we handed them a niche and they ran with it.


That someone else competed with our banquet reception was unpreventable, but to have undercut our own event would have been plain irrational. In any case, the attendance of the reception exceeded expectations and at the last minute we had to move a wall to accommodate more tables, so the leakage wasn't bad.


Different. There was the banquet, and opposite it was the reception for those who chose not to do the banquet -- also sponsored by the Centennial.

THE SUITE was a night thing that was almost the only party in town besides the Campbell Conference social hour. And this is the niche into which half the reception budget should have gone -- a night place to socialize -- i.e. a con suite by any other name. Ah well, it's water under the bridge. All I did was go to bed anyway. :)


Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:12 pm
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Post Re: Birth of the Centennial
TinaBlack wrote:
Different. There was the banquet, and opposite it was the reception for those who chose not to do the banquet -- also sponsored by the Centennial.

THE SUITE was a night thing that was almost the only party in town besides the Campbell Conference social hour. And this is the niche into which half the reception budget should have gone -- a night place to socialize -- i.e. a con suite by any other name.


Thanks for the clarification, I was speaking loosely. I take it that *the suite* stayed open much longer than the gala? Well, good for them; the gala went on until some hour I don't quite recall but I certainly had no energy left to do anything else, not with stuff starting at 10am the next day, and the room continued to be used for screening of something or other until at least midnight anyway.

The gala was the place to be. Anything else that went on afterward or elsewhere that night was a pale reflection of a thin shadow of a dismal echo of that glorious event.


Sat Jun 20, 2009 4:54 pm
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Post Re: Birth of the Centennial
TinaBlack wrote:
EEEEEK!! You stayed at the Westin, which checked you into a suite. It was the Hyatt that demanded 5 K. Please!! Turn this paragraph around.

Oh, freakin' hell, she's right. I am going to edit the original post so as to remove the erratum from the bitstream.

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In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:04 pm
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Post Re: Birth of the Centennial
TinaBlack wrote:
Jim Gunn spent his career at the University of Kansas in Lawrence -- a different University entirely. And Jim was responsible for quite a few of the writers who came to the Centennial -- Ben Bova, Frederik Pohl, and Robert Wilson were among the guests he selected.

There's no way to overstate the gracious help and time we got from Jim Gunn. To pick a tiny nit, though, many of those names actually came to the SFRA conference, which was under our umbrella, and only coincidentally participated in the Centennial itself. I complain not; the blending was seamless, mutually positive and a boon to everyone.


Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:16 pm
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Post Re: Birth of the Centennial
TinaBlack wrote:
Bill Patterson wrote:
The short and wearying version of the Heinlein realia is that by the spring of 2007 I had been trying for more than a year to organize a traveling Heinlein exhibit, but the various institutions involved flaked out repeatedly. It was supposed to start with the SF museum in Seattle, and move on to the Butler Public Library, with possibly a stop at Kansas State University where James Gunn is an influential academic.


Jim Gunn spent his career at the University of Kansas in Lawrence -- a different University entirely. And Jim was responsible for quite a few of the writers who came to the Centennial -- Ben Bova, Frederik Pohl, and Robert Wilson were among the guests he selected.

University of Kansas is correct. I think Jim Gunn may also have been part of the SFRA meeting as well.

I actually tried to join SFRA by walking up to their registration table and pulling out cash, but was tut-tutted and told to go online and register that way. Yeah, like I had time to go online then. Still haven't joined.


Sat Jun 20, 2009 5:54 pm
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