My my, what a weekend :) Just like 2008 (and unlike 2009) we were supposed to be guests, but ended up being ~100% gopher. Despite that we came home yesterday I'm already having a hard time recalling everything that's happened. We were -that- busy.
|Photo by Freek Giele. Model is Kimberley vd Hurk.|
Dana at the convention
All in all, Dana was a champ! Everybody loved her custom convention shirts and she flirted and smiled and played with anyone who showed an interest. She was happy while awake, she slept perfectly during the day and didn't give a peep during the night. Would you believe that not even the loud-and-scary-as-heck pachinko machine scared her? If anything it had an hypnotic effect on her.
Only on Sunday did she start getting agitated, which is why we left earlier than expected.
|Photo by Freek Gielen.|
After taking Dana for her first swimming lesson we packed everything up and departed on our 1.5 hour drive to Almelo. Along the way we stopped for our now-traditional schnitzel lunch at the AC restaurant close to Hengelo. Man, those schnitzels are huge! At the hotel we were greeted by a handful of volunteers who were busy offloading a truck full of game room equipment. Before heading up to our (new, luxurious and huge) room me and Dana took a short nap in the car :)
Looking at our overall performance I have to say that this year we were much slower than the last few years. I'm putting this down to the lack of expert, german manpower and the lack of a proper overview of progress. Where we finished building the whole con by Thursday evening last year, we were still putting all the video rooms together on Friday this year. Ouch! Definite room for improvement. Another thing that was a glaring deterioration compared to the last few years was the equipment used in the video rooms. All screens were rickety and showing their age.
Building the bag room on the third floor also took a lot of time because we're using two types of racks. On the one hand the Ikea Ivar racks are -very- easy to put together with a minimum of manpower. But on the other hand the Gamma racks (despite two definite positive points) are hell to put together and most gophers quit after doing two.
I'm getting hazy on details already! It's only my first day back at the office and I'm already forgetting what I did each day ^_^; Either way, most of the morning I ran around the hotel, chasing details and making sure that important details weren't forgotten. I then spent an hour or two at the Dealer Room together with Robert, to welcome the arriving dealers. Unfortunately we ran into a small number of minor mishaps, mostly caused by things falling between the cracks.
This year the Dealer Room's been dealt with by a staff member who does it on the side of other things he manages. He did great, but he was also very willing to accept the offer we made: starting per Anime 2011 Marli and I will be handling the dealer room again.
With that out of the way I headed out for an emergency trip to Hotel Hengelo (to drop off bus vouchers) and to Ikea (to buy spare shelves for the bag room). When I returned the line of waiting visitors was getting pretty big and Anime 2010 was about to get started. Excitement was in the air!
Friday night was the only time I got to see some anime, namely Bakemonogari which I've obviously seen already. It's good I was over there though, because it seems that someone inadvertently had pushed a wrong button on the HD-recorder's remote which screwed up the playlist. With the help of another senior gopher we got the program running again within twenty minutes' time.
Eat, drink, sleep :)
I was a bit anxious at the breakfast table, because my presentation was slated for 0930. Because it was planned half an hour before we would start admitting Saturday-only guests attendance was a bit low. I think I had something like 25-30 people in there. My talk went well, though (again) it was a bit quick. Kaijuu provided some additional details when needed and we fielded a lot of questions from the audience. Good stuff.
In the afternoon I took a nap with Dana and Marli went off to the AMV Competition. Unfortunately the scoring of the AMV went completely awry, leading to a lot off stress and anxiety with the parties involved. Much frustration was felt, which had luckily subsided by the end of the night.
After dinner I helped out Kaijuu with the quiz which was planned for Sunday morning. This year we were going to run things very differently, but we were having some technical problems with the quiz software. We spent the better part of three hours up in his room getting a number of things done, after which is was time for a new event: the ecchi music video contest.
The EMV is comparable to the AMV insofar that it revolves around music videos built with anime materials. The difference however is that the EMV was strictly 18+ due to the pornographic and sometimes violent content. Some videos were really good, some were just awful. Either way we had a lot of fun, with Kaijuu presenting, Marli and some of our friends judging and me heckling Kaijuu and the crowd through a text editor running on-screen. ^_^ We went to bed around 0200.
The quiz on Sunday morning turned out to be a great success! Not too many contestants showed up (42!), but it was a great proof of the technical wizardry Kaijuu had been working on for so long. You see, his goal was to replace the pen&paper approach to the quiz by combining a dutch quizing program with 100+ Playstation Buzz! controllers. We had serious doubts about whether it was going to work and setting everything up took well over 1.5 hours. But in the end it worked wonderfully! By question #2 the crowd knew how to work the buttons and everyone was really into it! I'd put a lot of work into the quiz backup plan, but I'm sincerely happy that we didn't have to use it!
After the quiz things quickly wound down for us... Marli'd already packed most of our stuff into the bags and I finished up. By 1200 Dana had her lunch and we said our goodbyes. We were dead-tired, but by 1545 we reached home after a long and weary drive.
What a weekend!
Let's see, what did we get this year? I'm trying to remember...
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