Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Expo update #1

Two years ago I attended the Creative Screenwriting Expo as a volunteer. Last year I volunteered again, then ended up working for two days as the Volunteer Coordinator's right hand.

For more on that experience, see "How I spent My Weekend" Parts One, Two and Three.

I've been moving up. This year I'll be official. If you volunteer you'll be working with me, although I'm not sure yet in what capacity exactly. No matter what I will most definitely be carrying my beloved walkie-talkie. But I have a feeling based on what I've seen so far that things will run a lot more smoothly this year.

Yes, it is at the same location as last year. But this time the new owner of Creative Screenwriting, Bill Donovan, has hired a professional marketing and event planning crew that appears to have things well in hand.

The first bit of good news is that they got the whole hotel this year, so no sharing. One of the reasons we had so much trouble last year was because half the upstairs of the hotel was taken over by lawyers. Not this time.

But I feel like I have a unique opportunity to get some suggestions from the gallery. Speakers and attendees alike out there who read my blog and attended last year's Expo: besides the cramped basement rooms, what bothered you the most about last year's Expo? What worked? What would make you come back this year?


  1. My Emily is all growsed up.

    All growsed up.

    I'm so proud right now.

    Congratulations on becoming official this year.

    I've never attended Expo, so I got nothin'.

  2. Anonymous11:31 PM

    Well, "besides the cramped basement rooms," is brushing past a whole lot of what was just unacceptable about last year! Of course, even that would have been fine if it hadn't been combined with the addition of the new "Gold Pass," allowing one class of customers to go to whatever they wanted, thereby rendering moot the tickets that the rest of us had purchased. (Yep, I'm still bitter about being turned away at the door from my first workshop. It was the one I wanted to hear more than anything else all weekend!)

    Overall, I've always had a largely positive experience at the Expo (I've been to the last three.) The downside to me is the commercialized nature of the beast, how so much of its engine seems to run on bleeding money from the novice wannabes. Then again, it's great that there's a time and place for all of the people who wanna be to gather. The thing that would most make me want to attend again would be a workshop list featuring fewer gurus and more working professionals.

    In any event, I'm glad to hear that improvements are on their way, and that there is someone on this year's staff who already has an eye on the participants' experience. Congrats on your increased involvement.

  3. I don't think the Gold Pass is going anywhere. The pass just means that they get in first if they're early. Once it's time to start the session, whoever's standing outside is supposed to get in on equal footing. But it shouldn't be an issue as long as there is enough room in the class. That's why it's so important to stay away from the basement.

    But yeah, Gold Pass is here to stay for better or worse.

  4. I've got a Gold Pass.

    a Gold Pass to LIFE.

  5. Anonymous1:04 PM

    Yeah, I didn't think the Gold Pass option would go away. Too much money to be had, and frankly it's a cool option for attendees to have.

    The problem was what happened if a room filled with Passers, meaning no room for those who didn't buy a pass, whether we had otherwise bought tickets or not. You're left unable to get into the class you wanted, and scrambling to find something else to do for two hours.

    As you say, avoiding ridiculously tiny meeting rooms would fix that nicely.


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