Category Archives: convention

Sometimes she wonders, and she laughs in her frustration

I’m not supposed to be talking about convention stuff yet, by my own rules.  *sigh*

Oh to have foresight….

In any case, I just want to reassure anyone who is interested that yes, we’re still working on it. In fact, we’ve been working on it since January!  Can I just tell you that it is not nearly as easy as it might seem? I’ve mentioned before that I’d worked on a fan convention for DD, and I have to say, aside from a few minor bumps, that convention fell together fairly easily. I don’t remember major issues with booking a hotel, coming up with a deposit, or much of anything.  I suppose my memory could just be overly kind, but I really don’t remember pulling my hair out much. We were all concerned about the event going over well, but that goes along with the territory, right? Well, live and learn.

This time, I just thought we’d call some hotels, get some rates, sign a contract and be done.  At first, that’s exactly what it felt like, too! The trouble started when we realized that we weren’t getting a lot of hotels to call us back or contact us. Those that did contact us and seemed like they had reasonable prices wanted nothing short of Amanda’s signature, in blood, along with promises of her first born and next of kin would be owed to the hotel. I don’t mind sharing that most hotels no longer offer reasonable cancellation policies. Once you sign on the dotted line (in the aforementioned blood), you are on the hook for 80-90% of the total anticipated revenue. Yes my friends, that means sleeping rooms as well as the agreed food/beverage minimum. I can do the math for you, but we’re talking about many MANY Duran Duran tours worth of savings should the convention fall-apart along the way. Not just a couple thousand dollars, but tens of thousands. That’s not just a small risk, it’s suicidal for a couple of bloggers!  We’ve been asked to provide insurance policies of at least a million dollars in the event of an accident…and some other very crazy, yet necessary assurances.  I keep reminding myself that we’re not a company, just a couple of fans who are trying to have a really big party!

So we’ve been working very diligently since January 2nd to find a place, and our team of convention planners have been doing such an amazing job trying to find a place.  It isn’t just Amanda and I working on this – we have six other people in on this deal with us, and we don’t know what we’d do without every single one of them. There have been many hours of blood, sweat tears going into this, and we’ve barely just begun. We are so determined to make this work and yet there have been times when Amanda and I have had to give ourselves pep talks, and read pep talks from the rest of the team, to keep going. Where there is a will, there is a way.

That brings us to today, where we finally are at a point that we’ve been at before but not with nearly as much certainty – where I think we might actually have a hotel and all of the details (such as cost, city, place and date!) to share early next week. I can’t give you that information today purely because there are a few different dates we’ve looked at, depending on the hotel and I don’t want to say one thing here and end up needing to do another next week.  I can promise you that this will be a great time that no one should miss. The other thing I can tell you is that the band had better not decide to tour or do dates in the US during Autumn, or else!

I’m looking at all of you: Nick, Simon, John, Roger & Dom.  I didn’t think I’d ever say this – but don’t you DARE think of doing a show during Autumn!

With that in mind, I have some numbers to crunch.  We want to give everyone the best bang for their buck and pick the nicest hotel that we think most people can still afford. Conventions are not cheap, and we are trying to do right by everyone. This is going to be a weekend of fun, laughter and even a little pampering.  It will likely be one of the only, if not the only weekend that we can all get together for a Duran event for the next year since the band isn’t touring – and we want to do it up right.

-R

One of Those Days

More on that whole friendship and family thing…

Funny how the best laid plans never seem to quite work out. I had big plans for yesterday afternoon, including giving my son a Pre-Algebra test. (In case you’re unaware, I homeschool my 13 year-old son.) Well, it didn’t happen. We had “kind of a lot” go on, and I found myself on the phone not once, but twice with Amanda in one day. We weren’t even planning for Duran Duran shows!!

No, we’re working with a great team of people to get a convention planned, and while I can’t give you details right now, we’re trying to figure out the “big budget” for the entire event. I’m really not trying to tease you all about the convention details, either. We’re working on a few things, and once contracts have been signed and everyone feels ready, I promise I will shout everything from every rooftop I can find, as well as on this blog. Rather than give you eye-droppers full of information every few weeks, we’d really just like to give you everything at one time. Call us crazy. (We really are.)

In any case, a few things became glaringly apparent to me last night. One, I am not good with money. I mean, I’m good with budgets, but they stress me out all at the same time. I had SUCH a stomach-ache last night. You see, we’re not cavalier about the idea of how much a weekend should cost or the value that should be found within. We know what we would expect of a convention, and we want to deliver. We also know far too much about what kinds of things like this cost. We insist that we do right by our fellow fans, and we insist a lot more out of ourselves than we ever would of other people. So yes, it’s stressful.

While I sat on the floor talking to Amanda, with my computer in front of me and little slips of paper with lists, calculations, and my calculator scattered on the floor around me…I attempted to fold myself basically in half trying to make my stomach ache go away. (it didn’t work, by the way) My nerves were working overtime at this point.  I was desperately trying not to bite my nails off, and all the while – Miss Amanda sounded as cool as a cucumber on the other end. She said she wasn’t at all nervous, and she certainly didn’t sound it.  I think I began every single sentence with “I worry that….” and she had answers for nearly all of it.  If she didn’t have answers, she was certainly trying to be far more creative, where all I continued to do was throw more worry around as though it were confetti at New Years Eve.

What I realized was that it isn’t just our friendship that continues to keep us working together, it is the way we compliment one another so well. Where I completely fail, Amanda is strong. Where Amanda might falter, I tend to navigate well. We are lucky our paths crossed, and believe me, when one of us isn’t around or our attention is suddenly diverted…the other feels the absence. I am not sure I would want to continue the blog or develop our plans for the next year without Amanda’s input. Not only would it never be the same, I don’t think I could completely handle everything without her. That’s friendship.

So I say to the rest of you, sure – this fandom is competitive in a way that drives me crazy. I can’t stand the politics of it all at times. I love the band, I love the music and I love going to shows. I don’t love the vibe that comes over any and all of us whenever the band is around and even semi-accessible. We become a shark feeding-frenzy.  I really hate that, and I try not to get involved.  Sometimes I fail miserably, but I try. All of that aside though, the friendships I’ve made along the way are more than worth it. I don’t have photos with the band, I don’t own drumsticks that Roger has given me at a show. I don’t collect their signatures as though they’re trophies. I have friends. Those prizes are worth their weight in gold and then some.

-R