It is in the books.
Done. Complete. Conquered. And a dozen other words to describe the finish of something, many said words being of a triumphant, jubilant nature.
Many expect me to go on ad infinitum with paragraph upon paragraph about the Con from Day -1 to the final moment as I have been prone to that in the past. But no, the flow of this blog...and the way I tend to handle things of late... demand that this be more of a rat-a-tat-tat tommy gun version of how things went, so that's exactly what you'll get. So slide up to the bar or into a corner booth, tip your fedora back, get something wet and...well, however you want it.... and settle in.
PULP ARK 2012- WHAT WORKED/WAS BETTER (as compared to Pulp Ark I and in general)
Now, some of you are saying-'Wait, that's a special event. You brought those kids in special. They shouldn't count toward your numbers.' Well, here's why they do. Those kids came through, saw the show that greats like Felix Silla, Allan Gilbreath, Big Daddy Cool Johnny Delarocca, Stephen Jared, Jennifer Mulvihill, Kat Hibpshman, Lee Houston Jr., Sean Taylor, Andrea Judy, Order of Tyr, The Pulptress, and others I'm sure I'm forgetting put on for them, THEN they went into the dealer's hall and spent MONEY! And I don't mean a dollar here or there. The vendors who were set up when they came through, some didn't sell a thing, but several sold a lot. So by the fact that the students spent money like any con goer on any day of a con, yeah, they count.
FACILITIES- Last year, our first year, we had a cool outlet, the old opera house in Batesville. It was neat, cool, but really just a one-off location. With the increase in guests and such we wanted this year, a new spot had to be found so off to the Independence County Fairgrounds we went. Yep, The Fairgrounds. Where there was a cattle show thrown into the mix at the last minute. So, odd? Yes. Some have said 'the strangest venue for a con' they've ever been to. But as far as functionality and improvement over last year, you bet your bottom dollar it was. We filled the dealers hall with vendors and guests and used one corner for a panel area. We made full use of their kitchen and then we had the pavilion which contained a performance stage. This location definitely lent itself well to the con.
PROGRAMMING- Lots of positive comments about the programming, about the panels, about the classrooms, and more.
In final total, between the auction and the trivia contest, a total of $800.00 was raised for the local Literacy Project (Nicole, I have 25 dollars for you that came in on the last day!)
PUBLICITY-Definitely an improvement over last year. Lots of coverage, particularly in the two weeks prior to the show. Many fans came in saying they heard it on the radio or saw it in the paper.
PULP ARK 2012-WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER/NEEDS IMPROVING
(Notice, some of the headings will be the same as above as this is written with an eye toward growing the Con over its two previous years)
ATTENDANCE-Of course bringing more people in would potentially help. Several vendors/guests made good money this weekend, several didn't. Would a higher number of fans through the door help with that? Maybe, possibly, probably even highly likely. Increasing attendance is always on our minds.
We are definitely wanting to increase the school trip attendance. As said above, we count those as solid numbers and have the potential of tripling that next year, if not more.
CELEBRITY GUESTS- This was a whole new arena for Pulp Ark! Although things went rather smoothly, there were enough bumps and bruises and lessons learned for me personally that a few things will be different last year. Part of what we have to look at is how many celebrities we can bring in, making sure their needs are met as they should be regardless of what they tell you they don't need, and things such as that. Mr. Silla was a perfect first celebrity for Pulp Ark and is definitely one we want back. He and his 'people' were patient and allowed me to learn how to handle this different end of things as I needed to.
PROGRAMMING-Not that there would be things to improve here, but of course making changes, additions, subtractions, etc. is something every Con will do year to year. Definitely some things we'll keep, for sure some things we'll let go of and others we'll add.
ORGANIZATION- This is probably the one section most people wouldn't put in an After Con report...but as many know, I am in no way most people.
A few comments this weekend have talked about Pulp Ark being a 'devil may care' con, a 'fly by the seat of your pants event' and these have been presented as compliments. And in part, they are. But I also recognize that many of the guests who came would have preferred things to be more streamlined and less haphazard. Some got downright frustrated that a panel or a classroom or something else didn't go exactly as they felt it should have or if they'd had more notice about X event, they could have helped or done more. All of this is completely 100 percent true.
So was PULP ARK 2012 a success? You bet! Definitely an improvement over last year and growth in several ways! Will there be a Pulp Ark 3? At this point, don't see why not. Will it be bigger, better, and more than this year? That discussion is relative as to what you (or we who put Pulp Ark together) think those terms mean. There are several directions that Pulp Ark could go next year and in the future and that decision probably has to be made first- What sort of Con do we want Pulp Ark to be? It's sort of neat that we are at a point to where that is a question to answer and that we could really go a variety of directions, depending on what and how much of various things we want to put into it.
Pulp Ark 2012! Done! Pulp Ark 2013! Several Fans and Guests have already said they will be back!