Parking. The Gate 10 lot worked out great, and saved us a lot of money.
Traditional Evil Fleet pre-convention dinner, held for the second year at Harry & Izzy's. Food was great. The service was the best we've ever had for these dinners, and we've been doing this since Milwaukee.
FedEx. They finished our large print job order about two and a half hours ahead of schedule.
Premier Event Group writeup. Our submission was published in the event catalog and got some nice compliments.
Event attendance. We sell out our events every year. Last year we had four RPG events for 6-7 players that had three no shows each. This year we only had one single table game with 3 no shows, and our overall attendance was 104 out of 116 for 14 events. We would have been worried if we had a repeat of last year but apparently that was a blimp instead of a trend. Thanks to all the players who showed up!
Running Events: I ran three sessions of Paranoia Trek and they were some of the best we've ever had. Friday night I got to help out on two of our other events, playing George Bailey in the It's a Wonderful Death Cthulhu event, and a variety of NPCs in our Shadowrun baseball event Eight Runners Out. Saturday's Can of Whupass had some great new players who made some amazing taunts. And thanks to NASCRAG artist Bill Cavalier for another great job on the illustrations!
Orc Stomp: This was probably the highlight for many of us in the group, and was my wife's idea. One of our GMs (Will) has lost almost 230 pounds in the last year and a half, and ran his first 5K. Four others of us also ran the race and a fifth member joined us in cheering Will as he crossed the finish line. It was the exclamation point on the incredible life changes he's made, and we're all very proud of him.
On a personal note, I was the last person to finish ahead of the Green Raptor and won a ribbon. You got a red ribbon for beating the fast paced runner dressed as a Red Raptor, an orange ribbon for beating the averaged paced runner dressed as a raptor. The Green Raptor ran at the pace of a dinosaur with degenerative arthritis. And I beat her by a whole second! Maybe starting the run listening to songs sung by Mary Nir (mccn on the old board, RIP) helped. Then I was lucky enough to win a game in the race raffle.
Volunteers: The GM HQ was really on top of their game, and very helpful in making sure I included all the info I needed to submit to get by housing reimbursement. Thank you so much!
Hooters: It's our Sunday post convention tradition to have lunch here and get our picture taken with the waitresses before hitting the road. Will looked great.
Going with my wife. Judith is not just the love of my life, a wonderful woman and travelling companion, she's also an insurance policy against bad decisions. She's like the GM who asks the player "Are you sure you want to do that?" Thank you so much, SB2. I really appreciate all that you did.
We gave the Ram another chance this year. Mistake. After our great meal at Harry & Izzy's, we went here for drinks. They gave us the special Gen Con menu but didn't have any of the special Gen Con items available. Understandable that they might not be ready to serve those until tomorrow, but why give us a menu full of things we can't order? To make matters worse, they were out of many regular items too, like dark beers. I could see running out of something like that after being slammed at the convention for several days, but before it event started? Mediocre food, inconsistent service (first waiter apathetic, second waitress was good) drove us to leave after one round and go to Claddagh, were both available drinks and service improved significantly.
Memory. Mostly mine, but a few other people in the group as well. I forgot to pack two items before we left. Fortunately my wife thought to ask me if I packed them when we were just a few miles from home, so we had time to go back. A couple other members had brain cramps at the convention too. Nothing that we couldn't fix, but it caused a few tense moments until we took care of them. I did make a to-do list before we left but forgot to add all the necessary items to that list. I'll have to be more thorough next year.
THE MEH (No ugliness that I can think of this year)
Budget. We were fine money-wise and didn't overspend, but since next year is the 50th Gen Con I'd like to bring enough to have the option to splurge a little, even if we choose not to. There are things we purchase for the events that we run that I will start getting throughout the year instead of waiting until the last minute, and that should help.
Springhill Suites. I still like this hotel, but there were a couple of minor hiccups. Very small trash receptacles in the room, no one came to clean the room on Saturday until after 4 pm. Free breakfast was nice, though I wish they offered turkey sausage more than one morning since we don't eat pork.
Event Catalog book. I know that there's not enough space to include the write-ups of all the Premeire Event Groups that get submitted. Last year there was a list of the Premiere Event Groups whose write-ups wren't chosen. I know space is tight, but it would be nice if room could be made for that next year so that all groups get some kind of acknowledgement in the guide.