That was Armadacon 2019 That Was.

ArmadaCons that have been and gone!

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Spudgun
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Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:34 pm

That was Armadacon 2019 That Was.

Post by Spudgun » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:51 am

Although it was great to see everyone again. It was noticed that some faces were missing. The reasons are not important.

I had this odd feeling that some of the organising 'went south'. Kev did the Meet & Greet as Dave Wake went 'missing'. The Masquerade went completey to pot. It crossed my mind that we've become complacent over the years and that some people are 'de-facto' in what they do. Naturally. This leads to confusion and the resultant cock-ups. In this respect, I'm lucky. Being a 'bolt on'. I ask for a time slot, etc and get left to get on with it.

We should remind ourselves that although Dave T suggested dropping the Masquerade for next year and having a 70's themed evening. He's not on the Committee (In conversation. He also suggested other changes). In this instance. I'm inclined to agree with him. One suggestion was: Moving the Opening Ceremony back to Friday. I'm in agreement as the running order of the videos I do appear out of sequence for anyone who wasn't there. Anyway. All decisions should be left in the hands of the Committee. I'll just say; I'm looking at a 70's themed quiz for the Saturday evening.

The good news is; The lighting in the main hall is much improved. I've reviewed the footage and it's fine. No need to mess with it (Once I've got the sound problem sorted).

I'm still having problems with the Hotels Wi-Fi. Last year it was my fault. I fixed that fault at home and it all worked. At the Hotel. My laptop just wouldn't connect. I tested my laptop once I got home again at it worked just fine. Others with laptops didn't seem to have a problem. The only thing I can think of is the fact that my laptop is old. Perhaps it needs a stronger signal before it'll connect (5 bars here. 2 at the Hotel). I did notice that the old Routers are still bolted to the underside of the desks in the Hotel rooms. They're still powered up, but not connected to anything (I spotted the cable dangling from the Router). It's not important and I really ought to get a more modern laptop.

I remain gobsmacked that we still managed to break the £1000 mark at the Charity Auction. Numbers appeared down this year and we still made it. Pretty awesome stuff!

By and large a happy experience for all. However. I do agree with Dave T that we need to 'freshen up' the format.
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lordashram
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Location: Longridge in darkest Lancashire

Re: That was Armadacon 2019 That Was.

Post by lordashram » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:08 am

For once (shock Horror) I agree with Spudgun.
Friday is the official start of the convention and by the logic of the vulcans that when the opening ceremony should sit.

yes things did go to pot on a few occations but.
1. the charity auction ran on time and completed on time.
2. The raffle ran a lot smoother and was completed swiftly.

What did not help was the change in hotel staff, It felt like we had wound the clock back 3 years.
The real ale ran out, with no backup and the times for waiting for food were horrendous.
And this messed up the Saturday evening schedule.

But I am not on the Committee, even though i act it very well.
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

Geoffrey(aka Jasper)
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Re: That was Armadacon 2019 That Was.

Post by Geoffrey(aka Jasper) » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:17 pm

Armadacon 2019 is now a few months behinds us, and rather belatedly here is my two-pennyworth on it:

Basically it was fun.

Okay, in a little bit more depth and as ever, the following points are all JIMHO.

Guests: Great. Armadacon has a tradition of producing interesting guests from surprising backgrounds, and it didn’t disappoint. Hazel Cushion, publisher & agent, was very entertaining and informative. Mark Sinclair gave an entertaining and informative talk on Sci-fi weapons. And Rose Lillith, well, I will confess I skipped her panels, I just couldn’t get behind astrology, however people who did attend her panels said that she was very nice and regarded astrology as her way of helping people. Jodie Taylor was a lot of fun – I will confess I’d only read one of her books to date and, well it wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t enthralled. However I have now brought a copy of the second St. Mary’s novel, and on the recommendation of another attendee I’m trying out a collection of St Mary’s short stories, and they seem to be rather neatly put together.

The Hotel: Overall I thought it was great. Most importantly staff seemed friendly and helpful, and happy to have us there. Last year the hotel seemed a bit run-down and in need of some TLC. This time it seemed fine – though there were reports of leaky windows in the stairways which is alarming, although I am reliably informed that the particular style of window is likely to leak from inception and so this is not necessarily a sign of a hotel on a downward spiral. Barry’s mentioned problems with the wi-fi, well, I too had problems getting my laptop to connect, and in spite of the hotel staff being very helpful it just didn’t want to connect. However my laptop is a good few years old, and my more up-to-date smart phone had no problem connecting to the wi-fi.

Bar prices, I can’t say for certain, but I did get the impression they were noticeably steeper than last year. (Though this may be a false impression.) And with food you have drink, well I thought breakfast was very good and the bar food I had was fine. Though there are confirmed reports of excessive waiting times in the restaurant.

Which brings us to . . .

The Masquerade: It was fun, but small (four entrants) and late (over an hour!) I’ve mentioned the excessive waiting times in the restaurant, apparently two masqueraders went to get something to eat before the start of the masquerade, and their food hadn’t arrived forty-five minutes after ordering it . . .

However, when the Masquerade finally got going it was also fun and none of the entries went on too long.
I gather there is some talk of replacing the masquerade with a 70s themed party. Hmmm . . . okay the idea of a 70s themed party leaves me cold, and one quiet year is not, IMHO, a reason for scrapping the masquerade. But as said this JIMHO and YMMV, or indeed the majority’s mileage may vary.

Although would it be possible to have a bit of a longer break between Masquerade rehearsals and the actual Masquerade?

And also more people attending would probably lead to more people entering the masquerade. Which brings us to . . .

Numbers: This an awkward one, but they were down this year. (Mid-fifties was the figure mentioned.) A lot of familiar faces were absent – though apparently there was a lot of the dreaded lurgi going around – though I think I saw a few new faces as well, but low numbers of attendees are worrisome. I said this was awkward because publicity for Armadacon has always been a bit of a problem in terms of actually getting people through the door, but one constructive criticism I might make – advertise the guests early – especially if they’re well known guests.

Of course, Armadacon can’t advertise guests before they’ve agreed to appear, which might make it worthwhile to be thinking of guests for Armadacon 2021 now. I also realise – and I am thinking of the time Colin Baker was a guest – it’s difficult to know which guests will attract attendees. But I do think the more notice Armadacon can get for a guest the better.

Organisation: Well, firstly a big thank you to everyone who helped organise Armadacon. It wouldn’t have been possible without you. Thank you.

However . . . 2019 did seem a bit hands off. The judges for the Masquerade found out they were on at the last minute, as did two of the members of David Wake’s panel on how SF sees the future. While Armadacon doesn’t really lend itself to micro-managing and detailed plans can get derailed all too easily, I do feel that a less off-the-cuff style would be helpful.

And that, somewhat belatedly is my take on Armadacon 2019. Once again a big thank you to all those who made it possible.

Looking forward to Armadacon 2020.
Last edited by Geoffrey(aka Jasper) on Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"I Want My Chirfugging Goose Back!"

Spudgun
Posts: 3518
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:34 pm

Re: That was Armadacon 2019 That Was.

Post by Spudgun » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:45 pm

I shall speak as 'The Keeper of the Archive'.

Armadacon has evolved over the years. Some events have become more popular. Some events have been constant. Some events have become less popular. By and large. Guest Panels have been a constant. However. The likes of Roy Lowrey and Richard Bonehill have 'emptied out' the Hotel as opposed to the 'normal' guests. It would seem that any guest that has a physical content gets more bums on seats.

The Masquerade has blown hot and cold for more years than I can count. Sometimes there's lots of entries. Sometimes there's not.

The Charity Auction has become Armadacon's 'jewel in the crown'. The Turkey Readings is a close 2nd. Both events have evolved. By looking at the footage. It would seem that comedy is the driving force.

The saturday evening quiz has been a rare event. Although I don't record them. I do remember them (I ran one at the Fleet Hotel). They're popular. If I had to make a sweeping statement. I'd say that an event where the audiance gets involved is popular. Mind you. I ran a quiz on the Friday (Bits & Pieces) and that wasn't all that popular. Timing is everything?

I've since discovered that there's different protocals for connecting to the Hotel's wi-fi. My old laptop only had the one loaded. It's probably why my laptop wouldn't connect. I suspect that your laptop wouldn't connect for the same reason. I've bought a newer laptop that has multiple protocals.

As I've mentioned. I' ve got Armadacon footage that goes back to Armadacon 2. Some things get noticed. Other things are just the way things are.
Frau Nydor is watching YOU!

Geoffrey(aka Jasper)
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Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: That was Armadacon 2019 That Was.

Post by Geoffrey(aka Jasper) » Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:53 pm

I'll look into matter of wi-fi protocols etc. Thanks for the tip Barry.
"I Want My Chirfugging Goose Back!"

Spudgun
Posts: 3518
Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:34 pm

Re: That was Armadacon 2019 That Was.

Post by Spudgun » Mon Feb 10, 2020 9:26 pm

I found out about the protocals by accident, when I had my two laptops side by side. My 'new' laptop has Windows 10. My old laptop didn't. My old laptop would connect to my home hub no problem, but not the Hotels. If I remember correctly. My Windows 10 laptop has 4 wi-fi protocals loaded. The only way I'll be able to test the wi-fi is; Use the laptop in the car park when I book the room for this year (I tried this with my old laptop before I went home last year and it did detect a signal, but wouldn't connect).
Frau Nydor is watching YOU!

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