Kate (kate_nepveu) wrote,
Kate
kate_nepveu

WisCon overall report

I had a great time. Enormously busy and shorter on panels that I would have liked, but productive and fun and thought-provoking.

Thursday was, as previously documented here, completely lost to travel.

Friday I slept really late. After lunch I lent a hand to popelizbet at the Gathering and got the Con or Bust T-shirts set up in the dealer's room with the lovely Aqueduct Press folks. As if that weren't enough, during this time was also born the impromptu Con or Bust mini-auction. So I did not look at the clothing swap until most things were gone (though both dresses I brought were snagged, and I saw someone wearing one of them later, to my absolute delight), and did not look at the Tiptree Auction preview at all.

At the end of all that running around, I was losing the ability to form sentences, so got my stitching and sat down where I could say hi to people as they went by, yet be still. Which was very restorative.

Then the POC dinner, which was awesome—so many people! (Too many for what the hotel was expecting, alas. But everyone got seats and flatware eventually, and I hope enough food.) By the way, I am very sorry for telling everyone the wrong Final Four in the Faceoff: Wendy Watson had been knocked out in the prior round. Then I took a nap.

I mostly stuck to the Carl Brandon Society party because I was selling T-shirts and popelizbet was doing the final rounds of the Characters of Color Faceoff (I'll do a full post of the rounds later). I did stop quick by the LJ/DW party to thank [personal profile] holyoutlaw and [personal profile] juliebata for the icon stickers; I've saved my badge holder so I can reuse my sticker for later cons. I crashed out almost immediately after midnight, though I looked really wistfully in at the vid party, which had just moved into their sing-along playlist and seemed like a lot of fun. I hope someone posts playlists for that. (And it got at least one person entirely unfamiliar with vids to come for a couple of hours, too, which I thought was great.)

ETA: playlists! Premieres and Nearly New vid show; party playlists.

On Saturday morning I did Con or Bust stuff, and then was feeling mopey for no good reason so resorted to solitude and loud music before my panels. I was on two panels in a row; I was pretty happy with Vigorous Debate, or Verbal Harassment?, but thought that Fanfic 401 had intrinsic structural problems. I went to another, How To Describe Nonwhite Characters Sans Fail, which . . . did not quite live up to its description. (Posts about everything forthcoming.) Then, thankfully, dinner (when my companions asked what I was in the mood for, I said, "Something substantial," because I hadn't actually had lunch). We went to Chautara Restaurant, which was good though I personally disapproved of their putting cabbage-ish things in masala dosa. Then the Con or Bust mini-auction at the Haiku Earring Party, at which I admired other people's earrings and haiku—there were some really awesome ones, and I can't wait for the documentation to be posted so I can find them again.

Sunday I managed to make a morning panel! (The Body Language of Online Interaction, which was interesting.) After lunch, I sat in the lobby for people to get their auction winnings, and had some really great conversations with people who wandered by. I furiously took notes at the fast-paced SIBLING OF REVENGE OF NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL, which was 95% hilarious, and then had whiplash by going straight to my last panel on FAIL! and how to avoid it. Despite the whiplash, I was quite happy with that panel.

More lobby-sitting for auction winners, more conversations. Then the Guest of Honor and other speeches; I was not quite the audience for much of Nisi Shawl's speech because I am entirely lacking in religious belief, but it was brave and heartfelt and important. (There's a short summary in this PDF; it was live-transcribed through CART but I don't know if that translates to something that can easily or will be put online.) There were memorials to Joanna Russ; a presentation from the Tiptree Award; a presentation from Carl Brandon Society (I'm glad to see them putting out what they do, because sometimes I think that doesn't get communicated clearly, but I won't lie, I would have liked any mention that they act as Con or Bust's fiscal agent in their list of projects); and the announcement of Andrea Hairston and Debbie Notkin as next year's Guests of Honor. Also, we all sang a song about the 2010 Tiptree Winner to the tune of a well-known folk ballad which I will not name because it's a terrible earworm and a horrible fucking song. But it is easy to sing and someone had done a great job getting the lyrics to scan.

Stopped in at the Genderfloomp Dance Party around 11 to say hi to glvalentine and ended up staying for about an hour. I gently bopped in place against a wall and admired people's clothes and dancing (in particular, someone was rocking the hell out of a white tailcoat, black dress, and knee-high boots, and one of the Japanese contingent was leaping really impressively in kimono-style robe and traditional sandals). And now I've actually heard (and liked) a Lady Gaga song, because I live under a rock. (It was "Born This Way," though now that I think about it I have also heard violin covers of "Bad Romance" and "Alejandro.")

Then I toured the parties to say bye to people, which turned into at least two more good lengthy conversations, though I realized it was time to go to bed already when someone asked me how I thought a panel had gone and I forgot that they had been on it with me. (I apologized when I realized what I'd done a couple minutes later. Still.) Packed to the silly fourth Indiana Jones movie and got to show roomie [personal profile] tanyad the Yale Law School bits before we collapsed.

Then today I came home.

Overall I was very impressed with the con's logistics. I think every con should immediately adopt putting the panel description on the back of the name tents, along with a "your next panel is:" line, because OMG SO USEFUL. Also using stapled manilla folders to make name-tent-holders is brilliant.

Great signs; visible and apparently-extensive accessibility efforts (not perfect; for instance, in my Sunday morning panel, the room hadn't been reset from the prior night, so people had to move chairs and tape on the fly, but it was a concern present at all times); terrific hotel (those party rooms!) and very friendly hotel staff.

Morning ETA: POC Safer Space rocked and I was entirely remiss not to mention it last night, thank you for organizing Tempest.

Minor suggestions: I could not easily find the registration hours or dealer's room hours on the website. In an enormous effort, Tempest made Twitter hashtags for every panel, which were available in that room, but a central list of them would have been awesome. (I don't like that stuff on Twitter vanishes after a while, but if people are going to report by Twitter or not at all, then Twitter it is.) Certain aspects of panels would be improved if everyone had a microphone, rather than sharing two among themselves.

A couple of not-good things happened at panels that I was at, but did not snowball into enormous FAIL as they could have (yes, I will explain more in the panel reports). I gather that at least one panel was worse than that, but am waiting for details (and will link).

Panel reports I will be posting:

In this order:

And then in some order:

I am totally excited to continue these discussions. But not when I promised myself to be in bed 45 minutes ago.

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Tags: cons, cons: wiscon, cons: wiscon: 2011
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