Once again, I find that my convention-going experience consists of show up, throw party, leave. Well, not quite: I learned a lot about the difference between 4-year-olds and 6-year-olds while supervising the bounce castle on Thursday, and got to go to the last panel of the con on Monday. The rest of the time I was doing party prep, talking people into working on the party, cleaning up after the party and after a hotel-based miscommunication about the party cleanup, borrowing and returning equipment for the party, and so on.
The party itself went absolutely fabulously. I had at least three dozen people working on the party. People really took the theme idea and ran with it. On top of the details I planned, we had a lot of subtle details that I didn't know would be there. This gave the party feel a lot of depth and really contributed to making it feel like an Arisia. I was flying for the entire time.
Having a PA system with a microphone was tremendously useful, so much so that I will repeat it with bookshelf components at other parties. Having fallback plans for movie projection was a good idea. Doing dry runs for tech was a good idea, but we should have done more of it. Not doing the bulk of the shopping until the morning of the party would have allowed us to adjust the amounts, except that we failed to close that loop. Having something compelling (in this case, free ice cream) at the end of the party really helped keep the party going in the small hours as people were there waiting for it.
I was afraid that opening at 8 would be too early, but it wasn't, and we had a line to get in when we opened. Making one door exit-only really helped with the traffic flow. We sold 44 memberships (!) and signed up some really great dealers and artists. And I've been noticing a lot of buzz.
Now I have ten days to put on a road rally and finish up the FY04 Arisia books. Wish me luck!