Thursday, January 22, 2015

HRM Steampunk Symposium 4 Recap - Part I

Home, unloaded (mostly) and already powering full speed ahead into planning and prepping for our next event, but before we get to that, let's recap our first event of the year, Her Royal Majesties Steampunk Symposium.

This show is the first show of the year for us and we always look forward to gearing up and spending the weekend on the Queen Mary for the weekend. This year was no exception.

Normally we leave around 2 or 3 pm to get up to Long Beach between 4 or 5 depending on whether or not someone has dorked traffic one of the freeways. This year we didn't actually hit the road until 7pm, because Cindy had to work until 5 and then had to fight her way out of downtown La Jolla, those of you who live in San Diego for any period of time know what I'm talking about. Of course, this also means that since we were slated to load up and go when she got home, the Traffic Gods[tm] decided to be extra rude and made the drive home much slower.

It all worked out since I still wasn't done loading up. Between herding the kids, and having my day discombobulated from having to run all over town, I was a bit behind in what I needed to do.

We finally hit the road about 7 pm and made our way to Long Beach by 9 pm. The Traffic Gods[tm] must have felt bad for the earlier mess and gave us a clear path, except for the road work that we had to navigate through up near Camp Pendelton.

Once we got to the Queen Mary, we unloaded the show stuff and dropped everything in our booth space, leaving the step up to be done first thing Friday morning when we had access to the vendor room. We usually try to get at least the grid wall up the night before, but Cindy and I just wanted to get unloaded and then check into the hotel room and then find the bar for a much needed drink.

The antics and adventures we had when we checked in can be read about over here.

Set up always tends to be an adventure no matter how many times we've put up the booth in different locations. This year was no different.

The vendor room was in a new location from last year, which meant new placement in the room. We didn't really pay much attention to the space when we rolled in Thursday night and dropped off all the grid wall and tubs, Friday morning we were whistling a different tune.

Normally our booth space is 10 feet x 10 feet, this tends to be standard for most conventions that we got to, however, do to the layout of the room and there being two huge pillars along the side we were on, our space was 8 feet wide x 12 feet deep, which gave us 96 square feet of space to work with, instead of 100 square feet. While 4 square feet (2 ft x 2 ft) doesn't really sound like much, when it comes to display space it's actually a lot of room to put stuff.  Now, we're down 4 square feet, but we have a new set up to try out for the t-shirts which gets them off the table and stored (in theory) in a much easier way to control inventory and get at the certain sizes. So on to the grid wall set up we go!

Loading in
We really have a love/hate relationship with grid wall. It's the best way for us to set up the booth and display a good portion of our inventory and it's also great for space delineation. What it's not, is great to move around, it's heavy, and bites the heck out of your fingers if you get them in the way. Thankfully, we were able to get rid of the 8 foot pieces we had and now only have to deal with 6 foot x 2 foot panels and 5 foot x 1 foot panels.

So in comes the grid wall along the back wall....oh wait...that's not a straight wall, it had a built in cabinet that curves outward into the booth, which of course means, we can't put a table along the back. ~scowl,grumble,swear~

Putting up the banner
Time to rethink the booth layout, which at this point Cindy makes the smart move and goes for more coffee as I sit there working things out in my head and cursing under my breath.

After some shuffling and creative thinking, we got the grid wall up and used the curve to our advantage, though it did cost us a couple extra feet of display space and the second table that we normally have, but we were able to get everything in the booth displayed, though it was a bit too crowded for my tastes. Of course, us artists are our own worst critics too.

Here we are all set up and ready for the first customers on Friday, not to bad for not having our usual amount of space.

All set up and ready for customers

 We ended up tweaking and rearranging things throughout the weekend, but over all we were happy with the set up that we cobbled together.

Cindy & Colleen
Once the doors opened for the day, things flew by, before we knew it they were announcing that it was 4:45 and the vendor hall was going to close 15 minutes later.

While we both devoured lunch at some point during the day, we couldn't wait for the room to close down so we could head out and get dinner.

Glorious Guinness

True to form we, went to the room, changed and headed out to the shuttle to have dinner at our usual haunt, The Auld Dubliner.

In past years the vendor room has closed at 6pm, which usually doesn't put us at the Pub until 7/7:30 depending on how long it takes us to change and take the shuttle over. This year vending closed at 5pm and we were at the pub by 6pm, which of course, was packed to the gills. Thankfully there was a couple leaving and we were able to get a table pretty quickly.
Selfies or ceiling photos ?

With drinks & dinner ordered, we chatting with Mike & Bre, from L.O.S.E.R, who were sharing a room with us. Of course what dinner isn't complete with a few fun(ny) photos and some photos of the Pub decor:
The bar area, with a rather impressive whiskey selection

We're not sure if Mike is trying to serenade Bre or eat her brains.

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