What was good?
I met a lot of great people. This is the first time I met my publisher and any of the co-authors at Desert Breeze in real life. We talk on Facebook all the time, but meeting people face to face is awesome. I also met some other Internet friends, and made new acquaintances in the lobby and at the events.
The first night had a Mardi Gras event where participants got to see the huge Mardi Gras floats, listen to appropriate music, get beads, and get a feeling of Mardi Gras. Very cool, lots of fun.
The Fan-Tastic day brought people in on day passes. I met some truly awesome readers and other writers.
What was bad?
The organization of the event leaves a lot to wish for. I don't know how you can be unprepared for managing a large amount of people when you know exactly how many have signed up, but that's the impression I got. "Ooops, that's a really long line, guess we don't have enough buses." "Ooops, we don't have enough food." "Ooops, we're out of coffee." Logistics can be difficult, but the convention has the advantage of knowing how many attendants they have.
Setting details like food and buses to the side for a bit, the fiasco I will remember that has tainted RT Conventions for me for the future is...
The book fair.
Before I start sounding like a real rambling bitch, I want to point out some facts that non-authors often don't know, or don't think about.
- An event such as the RT Convention is planned far in advance. I'm a last minute girl, but I know many authors who started to plan their displays in September last year.
- Displays, posters, swag, and books are ordered far in advance.
- A vast majority of writers travel to the convention. Most come from different parts of the USA, but some come from Australia and the UK. This means that authors have either paid to send their things ahead, or brought them on planes.
- Everyone pays for the conference, for travel, for hotel rooms, and everyone has taken time off from their writing, daytime jobs, families, or whatever they would normally do.