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[personal profile] raffaellasworld
One of the lessons out of this year (possibly the biggest) was that we need bigger, and different spaces. We need at least 2 modern kitchens, and bigger teaching spaces, in addition to optimally having enough heated sleeping spaces. I learned that I need to have a better concept of true capacity, just because something is rated for X number of people, it dosen't nessisarily mean that many can fit comfortably, much less your average Scadian vs. cubscout. The logisitics of using one kitchen for both classes and meals was difficult enough, and a lot of kitchens aren't set up to work well as teaching spaces. Once I have a firm and clear idea of what the more realistic maximum headcount is, I need to set a cap at or just below that point advertise it, and stick to it no matter what. This may require more prodding of the teachers and staff specifically so we dont reach our cap with half our teachers unregistered. I think ACCEPTS next time will help things along as well.

The site we were at the first year had better teaching spaces but only 60 heated sleeping spaces, and another 20 or so unheated. The good thing about this year's site was that it can sleep up to 200 people in heated  cabins with bunks off the floor. Unfortunately this isn't enough to make up for the lack of additional modern kitchens, and adequate teaching spaces. The cabins worked alright for smaller classes but the more popular ones were beyond standing room only. Sadly for all it's highlights I believe this event has already outgrown this site, although I believe Brighid mentioned that it might be just the thing for an administrative retreat.

Back to searching for viable sites. The other question remains, if we find a site that has  everything we need but is twice the price, what will people be willing to pay for this event and the accomodation of having heated cabins and a food option? It may be a question of waiting to see how well Art of War does this weekend. It may be a slightly different focus, but it's about twice the price and uses the site we had the first year.  Will people pay $80 for a site fee? 

The site they used last in Oregon was fantastic for this! I hope it's used for a Symposium again. I'll volunteer to do their electronic PR if they'd like and we'll fill it to the rafters with foodies! :) 

I think the pre-registrations for classed helped address some teacher concerns from the first year, but there's still more tweaking to be done there as well when reality meets concept. I recieved feedback from one of the students who had registered early that she was frustraited that the teacher's didn't call roll and offer the seating to those who were registered for the class and any leftover seating and standing room to those who were on the wait list or just dropping in.  I think perhaps a quick training session like they do for judges at Kingdom Arts & Sciences might be helpful? This might also help address some potential issues with class fees and reimbursements to help keep the overall costs down and that the event can support itself. It's not as big a deal if a class has a minimal class fee, and it's just a question of additional handouts. If the classes are more supply and labor intensive, the teacher naturally only plans supplies and handouts for those who are registered. In additon to supplies this may well create additional logistical challenges and potentially a change in how the actual hands on aspect of a class goes, if people drop in without registration &/or payment. 

Overall, I'm really happy with how everyone performed, and how things went. All the success I attribute  to others, any issues I take responsibility for, and will attempt to avoid in the future. 
I'm really, really looking forward to next year, being able to take classes and help instead of being on the event steward team.

Some of the class information has already been posted! I so wish I had been able to enjoy more classes, but I'm still thrilled that we had  so many fantastic ones.
information posted online about classes or by teachers:
Renaissance Spain/ Chocolate: http://renaissancespain.blogspot.com/
Katharine's fantastic German studies: http://jillwheezul.livejournal.com/tag/culinary%20symposium
Master Ref's awesome viking food stuff.
Bread without  commercial yeast: http://vikingfoodguy.com/wordpress/papers/baking-bread-without-commercial-yeast/
Fermentation in theory and practice http://vikingfoodguy.com/wordpress/papers/fermentation-in-theory-and-practice/

Hmmm, I've sent out a request that anyone who wants to share their contact information let me know as I won't share without permission. I wonder if it would be possible to create some kind of website where those who want to share their contact information and perhaps website or other documents could add the information themselves so they would be in complete control of exactly what is posted? 

Date: 2011-04-19 07:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] viking-food-guy.livejournal.com
I would love to see the site in Sandy used again. It had the extra kitchen, and the hugeness of the dining hall gave people a place to hang out, which was nice. The price was pretty reasonable, too. They were pleased with how clean we left the site, and our seneschal and his wife are tight with the Camp Fire folks, so I'm sure we could use it again.

Compared to what a hotel at 12th Night costs, an $80 site fee might not be unreasonable...

Date: 2011-04-19 07:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ayeshadream.livejournal.com
I LOVED that site! It seemed a bit of a treck to the cabin because it just happened to be a bit muddy but it really wasn't very far at all, and the cabins and even the "outdoor" cooking spaces were awesome! If/ when you use that site again please let me know if there's anything at all I can do to help. I can do PR, teacher recruitment and all manner of things long distance. :)

I'm still waffling about whether to make the drive down to Carnival this Saturday. When I've gone down before it was oodles of fun, but I'm still a bit crispy around the edges. If I do go I plan to gift the head chef (nettie, I believe) and the person teaching the Scappi class with some Saba I got to help Eduardo make. I also recieved an email that one of the pottery cups left at the symposium belongs to Yseult of Broceliande and she asked that I hand it off to someone down there to be returned with the 12th night decorations that they borrowed from Adiantum. :)

If I don't one of the ladies from Dragons Lair is coming and if it works with when she leaves to pick up her kids she said she'd be willing to take my box of decorations so we don't have to figure out where when to do the exchange.

Date: 2011-04-19 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] viking-food-guy.livejournal.com
We're going, and it would be great to see you, but I understand about the crispy part. :)

I'll try and make sure the decorations get where they need to go to make it home to you.

Date: 2011-04-20 12:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dame-eleanor.livejournal.com
If it means have a super site...$80 is definitely doable. CS is not one's ordinary, run o'the mill event, so premium price should be expected. Having said that...of course there are some in the SCA who might be priced out at that level. It'll be a balancing act, for sure.

Date: 2011-04-19 08:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gwen-the-potter.livejournal.com
A survey may be in order - of those that attended, and maybe of everyone else (post on the Steps). It might give you an idea of what the die-hard foodies are willing to spend, if the site is better.

Me, I would probably not pay $80 for a weekend - but I am a food wimp. Whereas if I had a weekend of pottery workshops and kiln building and firings...well,that's a horse of a different color...hmmm... An Tir Pottery Symposium...

Down girl, down. I don't need another project. No really. Not gonna do it. Really.

Date: 2011-04-19 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ayeshadream.livejournal.com
How about a Known World Pottery Symposium? Hmm? The thought has potential, but what all specific logistics would you need and where would you possibly find a site to accomodate it? Perhaps a community college or something of that nature that has a pottery program?

think, think, think, think, think.

Wait, I'm supposed to be taking 2 weeks off then deciding what I'm doing for next year's A&S. :)

Date: 2011-04-19 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gwen-the-potter.livejournal.com
Maybe a Known World Academy of Vessels...you know, baskets, pottery, wood turning, weaving, metal work...

Date: 2011-04-19 09:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ayeshadream.livejournal.com
I wonder what the fees and logistics would be of renting space at a local community college. Hmm, or maybe even Evergreen, I bet they have potter, and even underwater basket weaving facilities. :)

Date: 2011-04-19 09:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ayeshadream.livejournal.com
I just called evergreen to do a preliminary enquiry about whether this would be feasible.

They routinely rent out conference space during the summer and they definately have the spaces for us. I think it might just be a matter of cost. If this looks like something that might be worth persuing I'd say a site visit would be in order, with you , and possibly someone interested in each track (a wood worker like Ralg, metal worker, basket maker) if possible to go check out the spaces to see if it will work for what we want.

The lady I spoke with didn't have a price list for the pottery, wood and metal shops, but the lecture hall holds up to 300 people and runs $500-600 per day, smaller workshop spaces hold up to 80 people and run $200-300 per day, and the longhouse where conferences usually have a banquet and final wrap up seats up to 200 and runs $600 per day, which doesn't include catering.

Work At Evergreen

Date: 2011-04-19 10:05 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
So I work at evergreen (next door to conference services) I would be happy to help if needed.
Maeva (too lazy to login to LJ)

Re: Work At Evergreen

Date: 2011-04-19 10:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ayeshadream.livejournal.com
Awesome! I'll let you know if this is going to be persued. I'm not sure if it will work for us to be able to use the workshops there, but I think this might be our best bet for having a shot at a functional hands on classes for all these different media.

Date: 2011-04-19 11:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] copper-oxide.livejournal.com
**swoons with the happy thought**

Date: 2011-04-19 11:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dame-eleanor.livejournal.com
I would totally take a pottery workshop! Especially if it involved time on a wheel!! *squee!!!*

Date: 2011-04-19 11:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] julillamagna.livejournal.com
I agree with most of the comments posted thus far: despite the crowding, it was a wonderful weekend. I may have been one of the offenders regarding taking attendance: I did a preliminary seat count at our cabin Saturday morning and it appeared that (with a few extras) there'd be enough seating, but it was shoulder-to-shoulder.

I loved the Sandy site! The cabins were luxe - showers IN the units! - and the trek didn't seem terribly far (nuffin' like the very long drive to get there).

I'm all in favour of having contacts listed (including my own). Perhaps next year we can consent ahead of time, and that information can be included in the packets. By the bye, if there was a general mailing sent to CS folks, I didn't get it. Might be time to check and see if that extra punctuation mark got out of my e-mail!

Date: 2011-04-19 11:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] copper-oxide.livejournal.com
You can share my email on the list.

Date: 2011-04-19 11:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dame-eleanor.livejournal.com
Please feel free to share my contact info!

Date: 2011-04-20 01:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slug-queen.livejournal.com
This be Liutgard/Father Abelard here:

$80 for a weekend? Nope. I have a really hard time sucking it up to go to 12th Night, and that is with a real hotel room.... And I only make it every other year or so.

As a teacher, the classes in the cabins didn't work so well. As an attendee, the hall was about 1/4 the size needed, and there was really no other place to hang out/schmooze.

And I know you had no control over it, but damn it was hard to keep my robes out of the mud!

Date: 2011-04-20 04:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ayeshadream.livejournal.com
I'm going to keep looking of course, but I'm concerned that if we want to find a bigger site that the event fee may need to go up, otherwise we can get this site for this price which clearly isn't big enough.

Ironically, having tallied up the numbers from the weekend in preparation for settling up with the camp we really only had 5-10 more people than the main building says it seats, and that includes our kitchen and gate staff. I'm guessing their numbering was based on either cubscouts or incredibly fit (i.e. skinny) campers because there's no way it was reflected in the same number of SCAdian bodies.

I think part of the problem was that in addressing one issue from the first year, anther arose. The first year we sent out a notice that reservations filled up based on people sending an email, not when payment was recieved. This year I logged payments as they were received and didn't make assumptions that anyone wanted to be housed or fed unless they paid or were teaching and contacted me directly to let me know that they were coming and would pay at the gate. In the future I will set aside space for the teachers in advance and check them off as their registrations come in rather than getting to the end of the registration and realizing that a sizable number of teacher's hadn't registered and we clearly need them to be there to teach. It seems such a simple thing, but I freely admit that I missed some details with this event that I normally don't think I would, and hope I never do again.

Other lessons include don't get pregnant when planning a major event, don't get horribly sick the two weeks leading up to the event, and avoid having a parent have a massive heart attack a week and a half before your event. It's been one hell of a ride, but I take responsibility for every mis-step and will do everything I can to avoid the same issues in the future, at least the ones that can be avoided, and deal better with the ones that can't be.


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