[vcf-midatlantic] Ken Thompson video

Ethan O'Toole telmnstr at 757.org
Wed Nov 11 10:35:13 EST 2020

>      o VCF East did not seem welcoming to hybrid exhibitor/seller folks
>        like myself.  While I have not attended the last few fests, the
>        2 I attended I was placed in the consignment room, which was a
>        poor fit for many of us (Bob Applegate selling his new
>        reproductions, the Model M KB restoration guy and a few others
>        next to the pile of broken machines and stacks of old software
>        titles).  In all the fests, there are those who just want a
>        sales table and some sell old stuff. but it felt demeaning to
>        lump everyone who was selling something into 1 space, and a tiny

Oh man you missed it the last two years! The sales area is much larger, 
and hopping. And still the cool system where you can leave your stuff 
there and VCF takes care of it.

>      o I was not a fan of the exhibit/sales floor being closed for
>        presentations. Yes, it presents some logistic challenges to run
>        an exhibit or a sales table when a popular speaker is giving a

VCF isn't so large that the vendors and exhibitors aren't interested in 
the talks. You might see a large loss of attendence to the keynotes if the 
two are open together. If the keynote starts off while everything is 
closed then things open up but keynotes continue then you will have a huge 
exodus of people attending the keynote. This will look rude. Keynote being 
solo event also "forces" some people that might only be there for the 
sales or some particular subject to get a little education and it might 
expand their horizons!

>      o I especially abhorred the "we're closing at 5PM and not coming
>        back to the show until tomorrow" mentality.  Mind you, I am sure
>        the VCF-E venue imposes some usage and scheduling restrictions,
>        and I can understand any of that, but the tone was overbearing. 

Open back up later for a mixer / gaming / party kind of thing after 
dinner? My possie usually does dinner then hits the Silverball Museum in 
Asbury Park. It's fantastic! I don't know that I personally would want to 
give that up but interesting point you make! Maybe more of a mixer type 

>      o Everything seemed so military in planning.  None of the other
>        shows I attend (and I attend VCF-SE, MW, Tandy Assembly, World
>        of Commodore, CRX, CoCOFEST!, and have previously attended
>        C4EXPO and LUCKI EXPO) seemed so regimented in comparison.
>        Possibly some of this list may not think highly of VCF-MW, but
>        it's pretty loose and every year it seems to have just enough

Every event has it's own flavor. I help with a large event that has a 
computer museum and arcade and stuff (23,00 attendees in 2020, over 1200 
volunteers and staff) and with it -- the militarization tends to be 
department by department. The one where the department head is a lawer 
seems to be the most regimented. Unfortuantely the people that sit at the 
top of the event see that and want to duplicate it across other 
departments, and it might suck the fun out of it and they might shed 
volunteers. Some point in the middle is best. Well planned means easier 
execution day-of!!! Keep planning meetings short and sweet, use agenda 
lists and move through them quickly!!!!

I cut the rest of your post but you made a lot of great points and pointed 
out a lot of good things to look at. It is important that each event has 
it's own feel but there is nothing wrong with drawing inspiration and 
building upon ideas.

 			- Ethan

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