September 22, 2004
March 05, 2004
Committee Meeting, 3 March 2004
- SFWA has been contacted, and Catherine Asaro said she would assign us a liaison shortly.
- The Chairman's Discretionary Practical Joke Fund "pig" was emptied after the February meeting, and netted $485 (including ~$20 of mixed change that went back in, one paperclip, one jellybean, and a fuzzy ducky pen).
- Noreascon Four was contacted by the Heinlein Society regarding a possible blood drive. N4 has opted not to host such a blood drive, but will encourage people in the PRs and with at-con literature to give blood before and after N4.
- N4 will have tables at: Lunacon, DeepSouthCon, Minicon, Anime Boston, and possibly Eastercon between now and mid-April.
- Next meeting: April 14, 2004
Registration and Rates: Our registration numbers are now over 4000: 3073 Attending, 864 Supporting, 99 Child, 4 Guest, 3 Family, 2 Other, for a total of 4045.
We decided that children's at-the-door rates will generally be half of the adult rates. The remaining details of the at-the-door rates are still under discussion.
MCFI committed (philosophically, but without operational details) to reimbursing committee, staff, volunteers, and program participants after the convention if our budgetary figures are met. if only partial refunds are possible, we will ensure equity between program participant and volunteer refunds.
Contracts and RFPs/RFQs
- Noreascon Four has signed a contract with decorator company Freeman. Freeman was the decorator for, most recently, MilPhil. Decorator Liaison has shifted to Exhibits, from Convention Services. The contract represents quite a bit of work by Jim Hudson (now DH for Exhibits).
- The Children's Services RFP for at-con day-care services has gone out, and we've had at least one set of question-and-answer regarding it. The deadline for the RFP is March 15. Many thanks to Sandra Childress for her work in making this happen.
- Budgetary RFQs have gone out from technical services in order to more appropriately calculate our budget and needs for technical equipment.
Division and Area Reports:
Site Selection: Site Selection filings have now been received from both Nippon in 2007 and Columbus in 2007.
Hugos: Hugo nominations will close March 25; the roster of nominations will be announced April 11. Final ballots will appear in PR6.
- We did some tests of cell phones at Boskone. Verizon worked well every where we tried, and we had some success with some others also. Nextels had problems, but since the Sheraton is making them their method of choice and are working to upgrade service, they may be a viable option.
- The Office meeting at the open meeting was mostly one in which we presented our views on Office and then took a few questions from the audience.
- Pat McMurray has had to resign as head of Rangers. Jim is talking with one possibility for his replacement.
Volunteers: Melanie has put together a substantial proposal on how we should handle volunteers, including levels, how sign off occurs, promotion policy, what supplies are needed, and so on. Jim hopes to get pieces of this up on the internal Web site soon.
- Mike Pins did some wireless tests at Boskone. We plan to have two subnets one for external, one for internal allowing connection to the Internet, and, internally, sharing of resources.
- The Hynes is installing wireless service also. If they have a one-price for the whole con for everyone rate which they are considering and if this rate is reasonable, we may go that route.
- We established a move-in policy.
- It turns out that the Hynes defines a "Personally Owned Vehicle" as 24 foot or less, which simplifies some of what we're doing. Bobbi is checking with the Hynes on several other details, including exactly what we can move between Hynes and Sheraton.
- We're still looking at exactly how we're handling the trucks, but we plan at this point to have two local trucks and one truck that comes up from Baltimore. Local trucks will be loaded on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday pre-con.
- Current MCFI storage may not be big enough for all we need. Later in the year, we'll investigate "surge" storage.
- We're discussing how to sell-off any DVD players, copiers, etc. that we have to buy for the con. Once we work out a few more details, we'll put our plans on the Web.
- We have a Dock Master: Jeff Hulten, who did the job at the last two Worldcons.
- We're still looking for someone to handle Procurement, but we have some ideas on how we could handle this.
Den: Debbie was able to measure the Den space at Boskone.
Insurance: Gary is sending Jim a copy of the current proposal for comment. Jim will send a copy to Deb.
- The Hynes requires guards at the doors, and the exact requirement is going to be nailed down by Bobbi.
- Joe Rico will be working with areas to nail down what our other needs are (e.g., guards in art show, etc.)
Fire Marshal Liaison/Safety Officer: Sam attended Boskone and talked with a number of the people in the Hynes and Sheraton. It turns out that approval of plans for the Hynes is actually handled through the Hynes, which simplifies things a bit.
Ribbons: We'll have them.
Elevator Management: Vlad has recruited a group of neos as staff: Tom Whitmore, Kevin Standlee, and Peter Jarvis.
Events will be having a working meeting in mid-April to develop build schedules, run scripts and at-con staffing.
First Night held a brainstorming session at the February open meeting.
Friday Night/Retros: The Friday Night Event (The Time Machine) creative team has met twice in Boston. We are looking into cost and feasibility of various set devices. We're considering Retro Hugo MC suggestions. All is well.
Hugos: Waiting for nominations to come out.
Masquerade: Have received some of the writeups for the next PR.
Closing Ceremonies also brainstormed at the February meeting.
Film: Have done the preliminary design of Sheraton Grand, Republic B, and Hynes 208. Mike is awaiting the Hugo nominees before doing the preliminary film schedule. Current plan is have it done by late April.
Anime: Have done the preliminary design on Republic A. Have done tentative scheduling of the room.
Dances: Regency and Sockhop/swing dance are moving forward, as is a time travel dance in Hynes 200 as part of First Night.
Music Everywhere: Dave Grubbs has been having lots of meeting with different areas about music requirements. He did a test of various ideas at Boskone.
Tech: The budgetary RFQs have been sent out to vendors. We are making great strides in Sheraton design (mostly at the Open Meeting). We are expecting to have Hynes Auditorium designs reasonably well nailed down after the April Events meeting.
Art Show: Mailing has gone out and is now posted to the public and committee web sites. Congratulations to Gay Ellen and the Art Show staff on that, it's going to be a great show.
Concourse: We're working on the Concourse design. We're trying to fit a lot of things into the Concourse, and it's going to overflow. So one question is how we should use the big (30-40' wide) Hynes corridors. There are 5 we can work with: the interior one outside halls C and D, two along Boylston Street on the 2nd and 3rd floors, the first floor one between the two rotundas, and the 3rd floor one between the Art Show and the Auditorium balcony. For the Concourse itself, we are working on estimating how much space and furniture the various exhibits need.
Freeman Decorating has been selected as our decorator, and the contract has now been signed. We have obtained CAD drawings of the Hynes layout from Freeman.
We're exploring the idea of integrating some of the exhibits integrated based roughly on decades. That may not work for the Pro or Fan Galleries, or the Doc Smith, commercial, or various Guest of Honor exhibits, but we can try integrating several of the others, such as:
- Fan History
- 50 years of Hugos
- Worldcon History
- Worldcon Innovations
- Maybe other fan exhibits
This would be extra work, compared setting up the individual exhibits, but it would be more interesting and draw more people. We're also looking into how we might use AV to improve things; one idea was to have each case of Hugos be associated with a monitor which would show at least who won each year, and ideally pictures of the people, ceremony, convention, etc.
During the day, the Mended Drum will be mostly an extension on the food service (with beer, etc. available, working like a sidewalk cafe). It may serve as a central place to watch live video of the Main Stage events (GoH speeches, Hugos, Masquerade) while they are going on, with beverages and kibitzing. And I'm seeing it as a place for live music after those events, until we close at 2am. So it'll be pretty small during the day, expanding in the evenings.
Dealers Room: Is actively taking reservations.
The Exhibits Division still has some staffing needs. For example, we need lead people for the Fan Lounge, to organize the Mended Drum, and to replace Jim Hudson as Decorator Liaison. If you have suggestions, let Jim Hudson know.
Personnel: Appointed TR Smith as housing staff (she'll be specializing in working with the Sheraton, which she got familiar with at Boskone. Appointed Elka Davidoff to be Party Tsar. Appointed Nancy Cobb as Hynes staff.
Sheraton: Based on the experiences with Boskone, we are planning on increasing the staff working with the Sheraton reservations/front desk (and cutting back on the Marriott, which seems to be working well so far). We're continuing to research their systems to try to find why people are having problems booking rooms when the Sheraton claims we aren't out of them. We're working with the Sheraton to try to get pickup reports to help identify those issues.
At the B41 debriefing, we've identified many of the failing areas at the Sheraton (reservations, front desk, attention to detail on setup), and are working with them to try to prevent them fron occuring at N4.
Marriott: Met with their reservations manager; things going smoothly, but she's working to see if she can give us better rooms layouts for handling specific requests.
Hynes: Jim Mann, Jim Hudson, Sam Pierce, and Ben Yalow met with the new Hynes CSM and their security director the Monday after Boskone; questions got answered, and lines of communication got opened.
Child Care: An RFP has been issued
Registration: We've been working ut the details of how Registration will be set up.
Information: The Information weblog has been set up, and Sheila Perry will monitor and moderate the blog, gathering information and suggestions.
Children's Services: Had a discussion at the February Open Meeting.
Program has been very, very active. Priscilla notes that she has some 150 confirmed program participants and more than 600 potential program items (many with precis already written!) this early in the game. Priscilla plans to generate lists of confirmed program participants for posting to the public portion of the N4 web site. Program's weblog has been very successful
Program will hold its "frenzy" the Friday of the May Open Meeting.
Program will offer a differently-configured "writers' workshop" concept at N4.
- PR 6 deadline is fast approaching; material needs to be in by the end of the week
- PR 6 will include Hugo/Retro-Hugo final ballots, and so will go o the printer as soon as ballots are dropped in
- Newsletter had a session at the Open Meeting.
- Joe, Edie, and Geri discussed a number of smaller, specialized publications with people at the Open Meeting, including some "wish list" items.
- Souvenir Book is on track.
- PR 7 will be sent in August and should include last-minute news.
- The most recent Division Heads meeting was held 2-3 January.
- Our next Open Meeting will be Monday, February 16. If you have not yet made hotel reservations (for the meeting, for Boskone if you'll be there, or both), you should do so by January 22.
- Many thanks to Chicon 2000 (and Chairman Tom Veal) for an unexpected Pass-Along Funds disbursement! We'll use the funds wisely (which is a pity, really, as I'd hoped to put it all in the Chairman's Discretionary Practical Joke Fund).
- Arisia (Deb Geisler and Tony Lewis)
- Boskone (Dale Farmer)
- Confusion (Sharon Sbarsky)
- Lunacon (Saul Jaffe)
- DeepSouthCon (Pat Molloy)
- Our e-commerce site experienced two problems since our last meeting: one was a hardware problem, and we deferred our rate increase for several days while it was repaired. The other was a bit of weirdness we didn't know about. We were using NESFA's online credit card company , and were unaware that the account had been set up with a limit of $3500 per month. We obliterated that in September, doing approximately $35K of business (10 times the limit!) and their fraud department temporarily shut us down. Mike Benveniste discovered the problem and scrambled to fix it. The repair was exacerbated by the fact that that the credit card company is in what Mike refers to as "the smoking section": San Diego.
- Deb announced that we will be shamelessly exploiting a private university in Boston, Mass. (Note: Deb is in the Dept. of Communication and Journalism of Suffolk University) One group of students is arranging files of media contacts, addresses and contact information for college science departments, additional data about paid advertising, and suggestions for our PR/Marketing efforts. This group will be doing a presentation in 2-3 weeks and passing along their data. Another group will take over from them next semester, er, year, and will help in our publicity distribution and other efforts.
- This same university will be providing a group of video production and editing students who will craft a 5-10 minute video spot for us during the spring for airing on local cable access stations.
- And there's that M.A.-level college course.
- Finally, the New England School of Art and Design will be providing us with a group of graduate students in internal design who will design our concourse area.
- We must complete the ballots with corrected WSFS 2003 Constitution special exclusion language.
- We must generate PINs for all members and attach them to Reg records.
- We must generate label output for PR5 which contains the PIN information.
- We must generate labels for those who have elected not to receive PRs and send them postcards telling them how to vote online or where to download the nomination form.
January 08, 2004
Committee Meeting, 7 January 2004
Tim Szczesuil, N4's Treasurer, notes that we've come through our January audit with flying colors. N4/MCFI requested that NESFA's audit committee review our books so that an external review could keep us on track. Tim has filed N4's tax forms for our recently-ended fiscal year.
Adina Adler, N4's Webmaster, notes that changes have been happening rapidly on the web site. The online ballot will be added in later this week (it is in final form and undergoing one final test phase) and linked up.
Please note that if you find any broken links on the web site, you should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Member Services Request for quotes for child care will be sent at the end of the month to companies that might be able to provide professional day care. Tourism/tours information has been gathered for a Red Sox ticket buy and for the LotR exhibit at the Science Museum.
NOTE: MCFI, N4's sponsoring organization, last night decided not to increase rates beyond the current $180 level for full, attending memberships. We will hold rates at this level through the end of pre-reg.
NOTE: It is N4 policy, as set by MCFI, that only attending and supporting members of the convention are "members" for WSFS (Site Selection, Hugo voting, and next year's Hugo nomination) purposes. One-day and children's admissions are not members. (Children who are attending members, however, are eligible to vote, based on the stipulations in the WSFS Constitution.)
Convention Services We're asking committee members to respond to the cell phone survey at their earliest convenience. Convention Services will have several break-out sessions at the Open Meeting, and will be providing information about procurement, logistics, etc.
Publications Progress Report 5 is out and should be in most people's hands by now. Progress Report 6 timelines and content will be available shortly.
NOTE: MCFI last night approved Publications' proposed advertising rate for full pages, black and white, with the base of: $600 per page for pro ads, and $150 per page for fan ads. Joe Siclari, N4's Publications DH, will be posting the full rate structure shortly.
Exhibits Laurie Mann, Exhibits DH, notes that Dealers' Room applications have been coming in at a good clip; Art Show will have its mailing ready and will ship it in the next couple of weeks. If you're local and can help us get that mailing out, we'd appreciate it - Art Show Director Gay Ellen Dennett will let us know when we'll be doing the processing.
Facilities Reservations are now being taken for N4 hotel rooms. All suite reservations will need to go through N4 facilities; all other reservations are made directly with the hotels. You may reserve by going to http://www.noreascon.org/facilities/ and following the appropriate links. (Suite prices begin at $231 in the Sheraton and $337 in the Marriott.) Ben notes that we've had problems with the reservation system at the Sheraton; if you hit a glitch, please let us know at email@example.com.
Events Marc Gordon, the Events DH, reports that the major events are moving right along: the Guests have all agreed to the basic structure for the Friday night Retro Hugo/Guest evening; Masquerade is delighted with the prizes offered by Harper-Collins and by Terry Pratchett; and there will be two event-related break-outs at the Open Meeting (one on Opening Ceremonies/First Night and one on Closing Ceremonies).
Program Priscilla Olson, our DH for Program, happily announced that the first N4 Program invitations have gone out via email and snailmail. Because of the hard work of a number of people, Program has a working database, online forms, etc. Priscilla says she's gotten back about 150 responses to date.
Related news: GoH Books
Tony Lewis, who is editing GoH Peter Weston's book for NESFA Press, noted that we will have books for all four guests, but that we only have one firm title (William Tenn's book will be "Dancing Naked") at this point. Fred Lerner will edit a book by fan guest Jack Speer; Laurie Mann is editor of the Tenn book; and Priscilla Olson and Sheila Perry are editors of the Pratchett book. (Mr. Pratchett does not, alas, like the working title of "Oh, Bugger! by Wossname.")
We'll have tables at:
Please do come by the tables at these conventions and put in an hour smiling and selling memberships. The people whose names appear in parentheses above are the point people, but they'd *LOVE* company.
Our next meetings:
Open Meeting, February 16, 2004, on-site at the Sheraton Boston. Basic schedule: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on-site; 6 p.m. at the NESFA clubhouse to unload the truck if you can help. Dinner will be provided by Boskone 41 and Noreascon Four.
March 3, 7:30 p.m.: MCFI/N4 meeting, NESFA clubhouse.
April 14, 7:30 p.m.: MCFI/N4 meeting, NESFA clubhouse.
(September 2-6, 2004: Noreascon Four.)
December 13, 2003
Committee Meeting, 3 Dec. 03
Chairman's Report: Hugo and Retro-Hugo online nominating ballots are going through their final testing. They will open to the public when the Progress Report goes out later this month. Hotel blocks are being set up and will be ready for people to begin making their reservations also when the PR goes out. Deb will be sending out the order for Hugo rockets soon. We'll be ordering 40; any extras will be sold to LACon.
Deb got a letter from Harper Collins; they will contribute $500 to a masquerade prize for the best Discworld-themed costume at the Noreascon 4 masquerade. We have also made contact with the Outreach Coordinator at the NASA Space Center in Huntsville; they are interested in providing us with exhibits.
The Suffolk University course has been approved by the Dean of the college. Because it is held off-campus, we'll be able to offer reduced tuition.
Treasurer's report: The books are completely closed for last year. Tax returns are due on January 15; we hope to get them out in December.
Webmaster: We're redesigning the web site to have simple and more easily extensible menues. We're also extending the search capabilities.
Publicity: Deb showed the result of the Suffolk University class that used us as their project. The class was divided into 4 groups, each one of which produced a big binder of stuff. For example, all of the contact information for newspapers and magazines in New England, contact info for science departments at colleges, and more. The students have made excellent suggestions for changes to our collateral, and Deb also played a sample radio spot that they produced. There was also a suggestion to do a kid's version of the N4 website, if we can find a volunteer to do that. The students love the Lens Family and think that should be our principal logo. Deb will be bringing the binder to Smofcon to share with other Worldcons.
We have also produced a color flyer aimed at people who may not be familiar with Worldcons. This will be distributed to bookstores, colleges, universites, corporate entities, etc. Deb has also learned that billboards are apparently not as expensive as we think.
Leslie reported that the Program Brainstorming blog has been producing a lot of good ideas, and the News blog has a steady readership.
Member Services Sharon reported that most of the area heads would be meeting at Smofcon, and would also be coming to Boskone so they can tour the site.
Current pre-registration figures are: 2741 attending, 751 supporting, 90 child, 4 guest, 2 family, 2 other, for a total of 3590. Tony Lewis notes that we now have a member from Switzerland. Hugo PINs will be generated and printed on the labels of PR5 (for use in voting online). We'll also be sending out postcards to people who don't get PRs (where there are several people at one address sharing one PR).
Deb has contacted Peter Jarvis to ask when Torcon will be doing a Hugo nominations mailing and to ask for a list of Torcon's members.
Ann reported that installments are still operational. Should we stop offering it now, or keep it going? There was some discussion and the concensus was that we should keep it going until about 3 months before the convention (after that it doesn't make a lot of sense). Sharon reported that we've had 26 online purchases of various sorts. We need to improve the email we send to people who purchase online. Deb suggested that we should do a "how did you hear about us" poll on the online purchase site; Mark suggested we could send out postcards with a survey.
Publications: PR 5 is going to press tomorrow. It's a 48-page progress report because it includes the WSFS constitution and 8 pages of ballots and instructions, and 13 pages of ads. It should go out for mailing within a week and a half and start reaching people before Christmas.
Guy and Rose-Marie Lillian will be our Program Book editors.
Exhibits:Joyce Scrivner will oversee the Worldcon History exhibit. We're set up an Exhibits Brainstorming blog. The Art Show mailing is scheduled to go out in the beginning of January. Deb feels that Gay Ellen was overly ambitious when her copy for PR5 said that the Art Show would open at 6am on Thursday. This has been corrected to 6pm.
Program: Priscilla is disappointed that the program mailing hasn't gone out yet; there have been various technical problems with the program database. She does plan to get the mailing out next week.
Events: The Masquerade people have a flyer that they've been distributing to costuming groups.
Deb notes that Susan deGuardiola will be posting a pattern for a poodle skirt, if anyone wants to make one for the Sock Hop.
Facilities: Ben has negotiated an addendum to our Hynes contract, which Deb is signing right now, which adds Exhibit Hall A and about half of the first floor to our Hynes space for $11,000, which is slightly less than half of what they normally charge. This means that Registration and related areas can be on the first floor, which will be very convenient for everyone. This frees up some suite space in the Sheraton and also means that we can use the first floor Hynes entrance from the Prudential Mall.
If you want to reserve a hotel suite for N4, you can't do that through the usual hotel reservation system; you must talk to Facilities.
Convention Services: We'll be surveying committee cell phone ownership so we can check coverage and find out who's willing to use their cell phones. Melanie continues to get volunteers.
We have two decorator proposals that we're evaluating. It looks like many of our union concerns won't be as bad as we thought they were. We should be able to put up most of the art show ourselves with some union labor. The teamsters will do move-in and move-out of dealers with forklifts. We can't use our pallet jack, but we can use carts. There will be another decorator group meeting at Smofcon to review the proposals. Freeman has the ability to take any artwork (like our Lens Family trio) and turn it into a 9' x 10' carpet for $300. Many silly ideas for carpets were proposed. We will make a decorator selection before the end of December and should have a contract in place around the beginning of the year.
Joe Rico has agreed to be our Security Guard liaison; he'll be in contact with the areas that need guards like the Art Show. Gary Feldbaum is working on getting quotes for insurance.
Budget 3.0 will be available in late December. ConJose is finishing up their accounting and expects to send some more pass-along funds. Deb expects to meet with division heads at Smofcon.
Schedule: We are not planning to have any more Gulp meetings. Tables at upcoming conventions will include Philcon, Arisia, Confusion, and Boskone, and fliers to Chattacon and Capricon.
GoH books: The Guest of Honor books are being produced through NESFA Press. The Tenn book is about 2/3 done; the title will be Dancing Naked. We are still discussing content with Pratchett's agents. The Weston book is in title discussions.
New Business: In working to obtain sponsorships and advertising, it would be useful to try to collect some demographic information about our members. We discussed the possibility of doing a survey at Boskone or by mail. Or else doing a survey at N4 itself (which would be more useful to upcoming conventions than to us). We will think about this.
Mark suggested we float a balloon at Smofcon that we'd like to run one in the 2006-2008 timeframe, details to be decided later. We previously ran Smofcons 3 and 15; the one this weekend is 21. The suggestion was approved.
October 31, 2003
Committee Meeting, 29 Oct 03
Deb began by apologizing for her lack of voice which permitted her to speak only in a whisper throughout the meeting.
We noted with great sadness the passing of Hal Clement. A card of sympathy was signed by the people physically present at the meeting, to be sent to Hal's wife Mary Stubbs.
In Worldcon business, we dealt with the following:
Hugo/Retro Hugo award bases. The 2004 Hugo Award bases will be designed and crafted by Boston-area fan and engineer Scott Lefton. The Retrospective Hugo Awards for 1953 will be designed and crafted by Chicagoans Patrick J. and Leah O'Connor. The specific designs will not be released until the awards are actually presented at the convention.
Annual elections were held, as provided in the MCFI Constitution. The current officers (Deb Geisler, Tim Szczesuil, and Ann Broomhead) were re-elected unopposed.
E-commerce and publicity.
Hugo Awards. The nomination ballots will be printed in PR5 and sent out at the beginning of December. Online balloting will also occur; Elaine Brennan is working with the people who did the ConJose online ballot. We have had no final word yet from Torcon 3 about their members or how they will handle distribution of nomination ballots to them. We have several action items:
New Appointments. Geri Sullivan is now Deputy Division Head for Publications. Other new appointments have been made and are listed on the N4 committee page.
Member Services. Sharon Sbarsky provided us with on-line purchase information since the last meeting, and the numbers are really impressive. Some 135 new attending were sold online in a scant month, clearly making the annoyance worthwhile. Ann Broomhead noted that the installment plan is now a monthly payment and that we have had roughly 110 or so take advantage of it so far, with 21 now paid up in full. Bonnie had the following pre-reg figures (but notes that there will be a few more put in by the end of the week, as she had been unable to process online orders for the last two weeks):
Publications. Progress Report 5 is now in production. Any changes, updates, or modifications to reports should reach Joe Siclari by the end of the week. PR 5 is expected to go to the printers by November 25. It will contain Hugo/Retro nomination forms, hotel information, many reports, etc. Also an article about Hal Clement.
Exhibits. At the Division Heads meeting last weekend, a concept for a re-design of general exhibits was suggested. This is now being batted around on the exhibits list, and we're looking at trying to re-sort and evaluate all of the fan exhibits in particular. (We are also thinking of creating a weblog to solicit ideas and feedback on the fan exhibits.) We also plan to add a major Hal Clement retrospective exhibit.
Events/Extravaganzas. Many ongoing discussions have been happening, and various events are really gelling. Events has been having productive discussions about space use, technical needs, and staffing.
Program. Priscilla Olson noted that program is building their initial invitation list and working on a new program program. (That was not redundant.) The software will be beta-tested by Boskone, and then will be used to send out N4 program letters shortly after that. Program's brainstorming blog is getting hit very regularly, with many good suggestions.
Facilities. Ben Yalow is working with our hotels to ensure that the blocks are correctly set up and ready to go. We are investigating costs for getting part of the first floor of the Hynes for convention use (most likely for Registration). Office will do cell phone coverage tests during Boskone.
Convention Services. Work here has focused processing volunteer offers more efficiently, communication at con (specifically what kinds of tech, who needs it, etc.), decorator (Jim Hudson will be coming to Boston to meet with decorators in several weeks), and insurance (including the special needs for the Retro Art Exhibit).
Timelines. A concatenated convention timeline has been created. Division-by-division timelines are being developed and will be updated (with concurrent modifications to the con-wide timeline) regularly.
Other news of note
Division heads meeting was held last weekend. There was much useful work, generating quite a few action items. Please expect to hear much more from us in the next few weeks as we all scurry off to do stuff. Among the most important stuff is getting a lot more information to everyone on the committee.
Tables at conventions. We plan tables at the following autumn conventions: Windycon (Pam Fremon), Orycon (Ruth Sachter), Capclave (Priscilla Olson), and Philcon (Sharon Sbarsky). We will not have a table at World Fantasy (but Sharon will have reg forms, just in case).
Guest of Honor note. Peter Weston is quite excited - he is now the grandfather of Matthew, an absolutely adorable little 6-week-old. Peter will be coming to Boston for Boskone in February, and he has accepted our invitation to come to the N4 Committee Open Meeting after Boskone.