San Fran, CA WonderCon 2011 Table?

Discussion in 'Pacific Regional Discussion' started by kay_dee, Sep 14, 2010.

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  1. kay_dee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    FYI - the deadline to submit an application for a free fan table at WonderCon is September 24th. Fan Tables tend to be first come, first to get it (I think they take prior year participation into account too and give people some seniority).

    So the CR and the group should decide if they want to apply for a table for next year, and if they can commit to having members staff it and set up/tear down.

    Rachel, if you decide you do want a table - I will forward you the information via e-mail to download and fax or mail the form. Please e-mail me as I don't check this forum all the time.
  2. Jedi_Tenken Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2000
    star 4
    I'd imagine this would be put to a vote?
  3. Tatooinepadme Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 3
    People need to decide if they are willing to staff it or not. Since it is right at the end of tax season, I cannot promise how much I will be able to help so there needs to be someone who is willing to help coordinate.
  4. Nebelwerfer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 8, 2008
    star 3
    I can be there at least one of those days
  5. irishjedimaster Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2010
    star 1
    I can pull a shift, tentatively, on one of those days as well.
  6. Jedi_Tenken Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2000
    star 4
    I still say do the bare bones table thing... [face_peace]
  7. Nebelwerfer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 8, 2008
    star 3
    yah that way we dont have to worry about it being manned 24/7. The banner should be all we need
  8. Jedi_Tenken Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2000
    star 4
    Banner, flies, sign up clip board, business cards... Anything more is rather troublesome especially during setup and break down. Members of SFFF can just use it as a place to sit and chill. ^^
  9. kay_dee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    You guys might want to check with the convention contact to see if they expect the table to at least be manned 50% of the time.

    I personally don't want to be responsible for a table that is not manned again for another year. I don't want my name associated with it if that is the plan.

    Fan Tables are supposed to be manned for some portion of the con. Some conventions (like Dragon*con) have very strict rules about the table being manned 100% of the time, so you should check into the expectations of the convention.

    My feeling after last year is it is unethical and unfair to take a table away from another fan group or an artist that needs a table if you have no intention to be there. Last year was pathetic. I'm sorry. That's how I feel and I don't want to see a repeat of last year with people not doing table duty, and I'm sitting over at the RL table as people walk by an empty SFFF table and ask me what's up.

    It was a lot of work for us to set up that table, and tear it down.
  10. Jedi_Tenken Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2000
    star 4
    That's the thing though, no one wants that responsibility really... We've been through this before. We're not soldiers and so there is no sense of duty to man anything, much less a table. I think there's too much emphasis of having to do something to make it work, rather than doing whatever people want to do that's probably more fun or at least more free. Even my own Rogue Squadron which is tailored like a military unit is not obligated to do anything for me and nor will I make them.

    Over the last few years people feel obligated to do this but that doesn't mean they wanted to really. Cos technically there's no need for any of us to sacrifice time when we can do our own thing and geek out in whatever way we see fit using this time. Furthermore most of us will probably not be there all 3-days making manning logistics that much more difficult.

    Bottom line is if we have the numbers to man a table and people want to that is fine. However, if not, the idea of a table and this pulling teeth mentality to get it manned becomes rather pointless. Cos if people are grumpy manning the table then that doesn't have a good image effect for the public as well. I actually don't ever recall the table being that much of a boon to SF Fan Force in the way of getting new members anyway... I think the message boards and word of mouth is more valuable. Besides, I think the spotlight is on the costuming groups anyway which are the bigger attraction while the emphasis of SFFF is more casual. You can't really be casual when you're trying to put on a display for strangers. ^^
  11. Jedi_Tenken Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2000
    star 4
    If people want to do the table I'll totally volunteer to take on the op especially because I know Rach will be overwhelmed with tax season. I have no preset mission profile which means I can handle it.

    However, I still say keeping it very simple will work to our benefit better and a loose rotation is much better. In other words. No valuables left at the table and people can come and go as they please. If people have questions about the club and there isn't coverage well that's what the website is for isn't it? A table we over decorate is one we can not keep safe and it's like trying way too hard to impress.
  12. kay_dee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    I simply noticed that a loose rotation (no scheduled shifts) last year didn't result in much table manning happening. I was willing to try it last year, and it seemed to result in an empty booth the majority of the time from what I saw. You had spill over from RL at the table and Bonnie Burton taking pics of RL members (who were not even SFFF members) at the table.

    It ended up feeling like RL was manning SFFF table for you guys. That's not right.

    If I'd seen more SFFF members manning the table each day I'd feel differently, but it just didn't seem to happen.

    So based on last year's experiment, the fact I saw little table manning happening, I vote no on the table.

    If you go ahead with the current plan of no scheudled shifts, I don't want a part of the SFFF table this year. Sorry, I felt used and burnt out last year.

    I want to emphasize, the Convention doesn't have to give you a table. We had a long standing excellent history with the con because we did man our table. If you don't man it, you can't just say that's what the web site is for. Most artists scramble to get tables they pay for and you are taking away space for others who would sit there and use the table to sell artwork and promote their livelyhood. Or another fan club who will actively man their table.

    I know this might seem a bit contrary to what I said last year, but last year I was under the assumption that our table was going to be manned much more than it was with this new 'no scheduled shifts' experiment. It wasn't. In my mind, the experiment failed.
  13. Taeriel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    My opinion is that we should not have a table this year. I'm sorry I didn't chime in at the beginning, but I was waiting to see what the majority of the membership would say as that would make the difference in my recommendation.

    I agree that club members should not be obligated to do table shifts if they do not want to do so. Having been the one to cover the table while missing popular panels for a couple of years - yes, I can say that it can detract from enjoyment of the convention. It's up to club membership to decide whether they would rather give up some of their convention time to represent the club at the table, or if they would rather spend the time out doing other things at the convention. Either choice is completely valid and fair. There is nothing saying that we have to have a table, and the con would be more easygoing for a lot of the group without the responsibility.

    However - if we are not going to plan to man the table a fair fraction of the time then we should absolutely not have it. Fan tables are not there for groups to have an occasional meeting point or a place to sit when in between doing other stuff. They are not there for our convenience and pleasure. Tables are there for honest promotion of the club. Putting out a few fliers and calling that "promotion" is not valid, at least not for this convention.

    I made a point to take a shift at the table the day I was at the con last year. But there were only one or two other people who did the same and as a result the table was empty a lot of the time that day. I imagine it was more so the other two days. So I have to agree that the "people stop by when they feel like it" approach was not successful.

    It's pretty simple. If the group wants to commit to manning the table a reasonable portion of the time, then let's go ahead and get the table. It doesn't have to be every single hour, certainly, but it should be a reasonable percentage. If the group doesn't want to do that - and the above opinions seem to be saying that is the case - then we should not get the table. And really, it's fine not to have one.

    So the question before the club is this - do you A) want to commit to manning the table a fair portion of the time (we can discuss what the fraction should be), or B) skip the table this year? That is the question we have to honestly answer to decide whether to submit the application or not.

  14. Jedi_Tenken Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2000
    star 4
    That's a fine analysis and true for the most part. Had I been inclined to vote last year for the table I would have even voted AGAINST the table then cos I knew this would happen. As I was in my self-imposed exile I didn't feel like reading into the situation further. Bottom line is that SFFF's strength has been diluted over the years from people moving away and/or losing interest. We don't have the numbers the RL and 501st do nor that special sense of duty that both groups instill. Putting on a uniform even if it's not real makes you feel like you apart of something bigger and thus you feel that you have a sense of responsibility to support that anyway you can. Therefore, sign ups come easy to the RL and 501st and that's great.

    SFFF... ^^ teehee... we just wanna hang out every once in a while, do some events when we feel like it, and just have fun geeking out. Are we chained to this table or something? Feels like it sometimes... The universe will not implode if SFFF doesn't have a table at WC. The club will not implode if there is no table at WonderCon either. So if it came down to a vote I would also vote no. It's too much work, stress, and annoyance for too little gain... In fact, I wonder... has ANYONE here found this club through that table at WonderCon? I honestly would love to know, cos even with my special ability of near photographic memory I don't recall one person.

    You are absolutely correct on another note, another group would love to have a table at Wondercon. One with causes and/or something to represent. Does Star Wars REALLY need more representation? lol... Is our lil club that hard to find on a google search? ^^ I doubt it... Gonna try it actually! Stay tuned! XD



  15. Jedi_Tenken Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2000
    star 4
    teehee...

    http://i340.photobucket.com/albums/o330/jeditenken/SWclub.jpg

    We're #1! We're #1 We're #1! ^^
  16. Taeriel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2003
    star 5
    Yes, the club is fortunate that the website has all the right keywords and whatnot to be at the top of that google search. And it makes sense, since SFFF is probably the only SW club to promote SF as their location. :p
  17. Jedi_Tenken Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2000
    star 4
    True! But we're still #1! ^^
  18. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    Well, I may be the lone voice crying in the wilderness, but I would vote to have a table and I would man it at least one shift each day of the Con. I couldn't go last year 'cause I had to do chemo, but this year I'm okay.

    I had fun manning the table in past years watching the little kids faces when they saw our Yoda sculpture. And talking to the adults about our club.

  19. Ms_Skywalker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 17, 2005
    star 3
    I would have to vote no on the table. I always bring my little brother Sean to these events and he gets very antsy sitting down for even 30 minutes.
  20. Tatooinepadme Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 3
    Considering that there was not a great interest in manning the table and Kathy's excellent point that we should not be taking space away from clubs who really want it, I have decided that we are not getting a table. That does not mean we cannot promote the club but it will just be in a less formal way. Maybe its time to talk about making a new business card and we can give those to people to hand out if they want.
  21. Nebelwerfer Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 8, 2008
    star 3
    A lot of us are in other costuming clubs, have hectic work schedules and or have children to look after, so maybe this is the best way to go this year.
  22. kay_dee Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2002
    star 4
    OK - I couldn't log in here for a while. There are pros and cons to having a table for sure. It does work for recruiting when it is manned steadily every day. RL increase in membership and participation is a testament to it. And though I found SFFF here on the forum, I didn't really meet a lot of members and decide to become an active participant until I finally ventured out to WonderCon and stopped by the table to meet Brittany, Anne, Ming - etc throughout the day (I reintroduced myself to Matt and Dale who I'd met a few years ago at Clone Wars IMAX). If there were no table, I would never have just walked up to some guy I thought could or could not be Ming and introduce myself. And if there were nobody at the table to meet, that would have pretty much felt the same as "no table."

    So I hate to be the total 'table killer' but I figured last year was a test to see if flexible shifts would work since there were more and more people questioning wanting to have a table and didn't want to be locked down to any set shifts. I didn't want to see the table go last year, so thought we'd give flexible table shifts thing a shot. It didn't go so well. Oh well.

  23. Jedi_Tenken Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2000
    star 4
    Kat, by no means are you a "table killer". If fact I believe I was the one bring up the point that we don't have the man power to hold a table this year that's constantly manned and near impossible to muster such a number at this point for the course of 3-days without just leaving the thing unmanned for more than probably half the time. It is not the Rebel Legion's responsibility to watch our table so you have every right to bring up the valid points you offered concerning your feelings as the CO of Endor Base.

    In the end, I think we as a group, have weighed the pros and cons of having a table really. A table we get is one we can not constantly man and it becomes a impossible scenario without it being a logistical nightmare. The only way it would be remotely possible is with double shifts or triple shifts which I and many of us have done in the past (NOT FUN...). Double/Triple shifts then has the internal affect of demoralizing your own people and that is something I think has been ignored thus far. As a club we are always down to meet new people for sure, but when the venue itself becomes a source of demoralization then it's time to take a step back and reorient priorities and figure out other options.

    This past year, this group has gone through a lot of changes. We do have some awesome new members in the mix as well which is great but not enough to make up for the last few years of overall decline. Maybe by next year we can bring the idea of a WonderCon table... back to... the... err... table. ^^ Regardless, we can very much still do lots of fun things for WonderCon as well as promote the club, maybe a dinner, hand out business cards to other fans we run into, actually go to the panels we want to... etc. A internally happy club will reflect better to possible future joiners in the long run.


    Ah... the AOTC IMAX event... ^^ if you only knew what I knew about that event. It's kinda true, those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Good thing I don't forget. Mando'ad draar digur. ;)
  24. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    I think if we wear our SFFF t-shirts at least one day at Wonder Con, people who are interested in joining an SF-based Star Wars club will talk to us. We just need to be visible in the crowd.

    Oh, dread thought--a list of people and days of who will wear the shirt just flashed thru my mind! Ah well, it's less obstructive of attending programs than having to man the table.

    I think I found the club thru the boards, but I'm probably the exception. I may appear shy and retiring, but when it's something I want, I go for it.
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