Tag Archives: Duran Duran fan conventions

Is Time Too Heavy To Hold?

Six years ago, on this weekend, I was in Chicago at our Duran Duran Fan Convention that we called Durandemonium. This convention took place over 3 days with a variety of events that ranged from Duran games to watching A Diamond in the Mind in a movie theater to a dinner and dance. By any and all accounts, it was a success as people came and had fun. In fact, many people formed friendships that night and kept in touch past that weekend. From our standpoint, it was also a success in that we were able to pull it off without losing our minds or going into serious debt. Of course, the question that is always hanging out there is will there ever be another one?

Looking back at the convention, the first two main emotions and thoughts that pop up in my mind are pride and fun. Contrary to what some might believe but planning and hosting a three day convention isn’t easy. There are lots of details that need to be planned, decided on and completed. I remember the months leading up to the convention and how many phone calls were made to the hotel, to the restaurant, and more. My email inbox was always full of quick questions, answers, and new concerns that would that risen to the surface since the last time I had checked it. I swear that as the messages increased so did the worry. Would we get it all done? Would people come? Would they have fun? The money worry doubled the anxiety as each venue required deposits and at one point, I was literally on the line for $20,000 if we didn’t have enough people show up. Yet, we pushed through with the help of all of the people on the convention committee and managed to hold it without any major problem. I still feel proud about that. I always will.

I can also admit that I had a ton of fun that weekend in between having to be “on” at various points. I danced my heart out at our dinner as well at Late Bar (an 80s club in Chicago), Howl at the Moon (a piano bar chain) and NEO (club that held an 80s night). I enjoyed quite a few drinks and many laughs over the course of the weekend. If all that wasn’t enough, I got to sing and dance to A Diamond in the Mind on the big screen with other Duranies. Who wouldn’t love that? If all that wasn’t enough, I saw people talking, laughing and forming connections with each other. It reminded me of when Rhonda and I met and bonded at a different convention in New Orleans in 2004. Mission definitely accomplished.

So the next question that usually follows is: Will there be another convention? If so, when? I won’t lie. We have thought about it many times. Sometimes, we have even picked out a place, a venue and started initial talks but something always stops the process. For one thing, it requires a serious commitment in terms of the amount of work. It literally took us months of planning to pull it off. During that time, Rhonda and I weren’t doing much else but planning and blogging. I didn’t have big projects outside of work and things were relatively calm on Rhonda’s end. Nowadays, it is tough for us to do that. After all, we are in the midst of a new writing project.

On top of that, it was stressful, not just because of the planning but also as the person putting myself financially on the line. I didn’t mind doing it but, ideally, if we were to do it again, I would love, love, love to be able to raise money ahead of time so that I am not paying thousands of dollars upfront to reserve spaces. This, of course, not only takes work but also faith in other fans. Do enough fans want a convention? Would they be willing to give money ahead of time? Do they like one we had last time? After all, we have gotten criticism for just meetups. Conventions can be much worse in terms of disagreeing with how we are organizing or when or where. That gets tough to take. On top of all that, hosting a major event like that isn’t always easy. Neither Rhonda nor myself are super excited about being the ones up front and out in the spotlight. We are much more comfortable doing behind the scenes work but hosting an event means that you have to step up, to some extent.

So the answer to the question is that I don’t know. I am not sure whether or not we will hold another convention. Personally, I am not opposed to the idea and rather enjoy putting something like this together but I also feel strongly that it would have to be the right time and place and that both of us would need to be 100% on board to do it right. So what do the rest of you think? Would fans be interested in another Durandemonium or has that time passed?

-A

A 2018 Duran Convention??

There is one question that Rhonda and I have asked ourselves a lot over the last week or so.  That question is:  Have we lost our minds?!?  Why are we asking this?  What else would we be asking ourselves considering that we are seriously thinking about organizing another Duran fan convention.

To catch people up who might not have been around a few years ago, Rhonda and I organized a weekend long convention in 2013 in Chicago with the help of some good friends.  We called that little love child, Durandemonium, and featured various activities, including an author’s panel, Duran games, a banquet, a dance, clubbing at an 80s club, watching A Diamond in the Mind at a movie theater and more.  While we didn’t have a huge crowd, it was very successful in that those who attended had a great time!!  Many people there met many other fans who they are now good friends with.  As organizers, we could not ask for more!

Sounds fabulous…so why would that make us crazy?!  Well, as organizers, you can imagine that there is work to organize and create such an event.  On top of that, we experienced some stress as we had to sign various contracts that put us in some financial risk (well…a little more than some but…thankfully, we were able to pay our bills!).  Despite whatever stress we had, we recognized that we had learned a lot from organizing that convention and that, at some point, the time would be right to plan another.  A few factors weigh in our decision:  Are we in the right place and time for us to carve out a huge chuck of time into doing this?  (Not really…but I have learned no timing is perfect!  Plus, it is good to have something to look forward to!).  Do we have a location that might work well?  Last time, we loved having it in Chicago but some details weren’t ideal.  So, if we could find an ideal place…that might be a sign.  Is there interest in the fans?  Are people willing to pay enough to cover the costs of putting something like this on?

Well, we are trying to figure out the answers to those questions.  We think we would be able to squeeze in the necessary time and energy to organize another convention despite having other things on our to-do list.  As for the location, we are working on that.  Right now, we think we might have a perfect place at a perfect time.  What about the fans?  Last night, we put out a poll on our Twitter and our Facebook page to see if there is indeed interest enough to pursue this idea.  What exactly was the poll?  Simple.  Would you be willing to spend about $200-$250 for a 3 day Duran Duran convention over a weekend during DD Appreciation Day in Vegas?  We also explained some of the ideas we are thinking of:  author panels, video viewing, our DD Appreciation Day online video parties but in person, games, possibly live band(s), a banquet, a full-40th anniversary celebration for fans, with a recreation of the Rum Runner and/or Only After Dark.  Obviously, these are only initial ideas.  As we move forward (assuming we do) and develop more specifics, including a schedule, we will definitely keep all of you in the loop!

Right now, the response says that we should move forward, which is both exciting and a little nerve-wracking.  All in all, it is pretty exciting!  If you haven’t voted, there is still time to do so!  To vote on twitter, go here:  https://twitter.com/DailyDuranie For facebook go here:  https://www.facebook.com/dailyduranieblog/.      

On that note, I have to work on venue specifics!  Until then, go vote and share the info with others so they can go vote!  We appreciate it!

-A

 

Planning for a little Durandemonium

As we’ve bantered about, we’re planning another Durandemonium for August of 2017. If you want a date, think Duran Duran Appreciation Day because our plan is for Durandemonium to encompass that date. We’re also tentatively thinking that we’ll stick with Chicago as the city – so there’s some planning in advance for ya!

Chicago is centrally located in the US, there is a ton to do as far as nightlife and entertainment options, there is plenty in the way of public transportation, and it is also a place where both Amanda and I are very familiar and ideally – Amanda is able to take all of the equipment we would need for the convention without having to rely on costly shipping.  We are very excited to begin the planning process, which is why I’m writing today.

Durandemonium is for fans. (Fun fact: I’ve never been to ANY convention as an attendee!) We have done some fun things at previous conventions, but what we would really like to know is what YOU might like to do. Please feel free to brainstorm in our comments, understanding that whatever we plan for the convention  will be included in the registration ticket price. For example, sure – we could have a live band perform, and if the sky is the limit – we might even be able to pay to have special appearances, but that cost ultimately gets passed on through the price of registration. No matter, this is brainstorming time and no ideas are bad ideas.

In order to get the creative juices flowing, allow me to list some ideas that have been done at conventions in the past:

  • scavenger hunt
  • club nights
  • banquets
  • icebreaker games
  • private screenings
  • cosplay (dress as your favorite line of lyric!)
  • trivia games
  • pin/merchandise trading/vendor areas

…and so on.  Send in your ideas, and remember – we’re brainstorming. Sky is the limit right now. Dreams are STILL free! (yeah, yeah…we know you want the band there. We are still planning for about 100 people to attend the convention, tops. Who wants to pay $1,000 or likely, even more per ticket? Anyone???)

Looking forward to reading your ideas for fun, good times, and Durandemonium!

-R