December 31st, 2003


oh no, not another learning experience

The Arisia prereg packet has gone out -- indeed, by the time some of you read this, it will be in your mailboxes. Once again, I am using this journal as a repository of useful information for next year. The things I've learned this year:

  • Mailing houses are great for 6000-piece booklet mailings, but they're not really necessary for 1200-piece single-sheet self-mailers. Doing a 1200-piece mailing by hand is certainly work, but between mail merges, automatic folding machines, and permit postage, I cut the manual work to a third of what it would otherwise have been. And I saved a valuable week in turnaround time by not using the mailing house. Which means that folks will get their mailer in time to be reminded to buy T tokens on Friday, before they go up. And they'll have time to make hotel reservations before the block goes away in a week or so.
  • If I had had three reams of 28-lb paper on hand (instead of just 20-lb), or had thought to pick some up before printing out the mail merge overnight, I could have cut the manual work in half again by using a single wafer sealer instead of two. As it was, it probably took about three or four task-hours to seal the mailing. Using a single sealer would also have allowed me to use paper wafer seals instead of plastic, as I wouldn't have had to worry about covering the postage. That would have been a bit cheaper, a little easier to apply, and a lot easier to open.
  • Printing things in landscape mode is slow. Better to put the text in a sideways table cell; the mail merge would probably not have required two printing passes if I had done this.
  • I had been led to believe that Arisia's account was not authorized to use the nonprofit rate (not all nonprofits qualify). I was misinformed; although we haven't used the nonprofit rate, not only are we eligible but we're already in the system. By the time I found this out it was too late to reprint with nonprofit indica and still make it into people's mailboxes in time, but next time we'll definitely be taking advantage of this.

Many thanks to kalessin, deguspice, roozle, and a couple of those non-LJ-using folks who show up at division head meetings from time to time.