Hi Y’all! I am back from my week long hiatus! I missed all of you terribly but it was great to have a little break 🙂 I am totally jazzed about BoutOfBooks starting today!
However, I am here to do a quick and dirty round-up of my experience at Authors After Dark NOLA or AADNola!
NOTE: This year I did NOT go as a blogger but just a reader! Even my tag just said my name and that changed the dynamic of the con for me. In most ways it was better as just a reader and in others it wasn’t as fulfilling. I also did not stay in the same hotel as the con and because I signed up late did not get tickets to many of the events. I want to mention that so you keep my experience in perspective!
Things I Loved:
- Meeting Missie The Unread Reader and Pam Midnyte Reader! Seriously–highlight of my freaking con. Had I not gotten sick (I came home with bronchitis) there would have been major debauchery had with these two. We are just peas in a pod!
- Meeting my twitter buddy Annie-Lou! She is by far one of my favorite people ever! She is freaking blast! Plus, she kept me in the loop! Seriously freaking awesome!
- Finally meeting Diana FREAKING Rowland! Y’all know I am a fan girl of EPIC proportions! We are now twitter friends too! I am still freaking out over the cute stuff she gave her cafe zombie gals!
- The White Trash Zombie Cafe outfits! I am hoping Pam got a better picture of them but y’all I think we rocked the casbah. I have my tray in a place of honor in my room! Loved it!
- Seeing all my blogger buddies that I haven’t seen since last year! I didn’t get to spend hardly any time with anyone but even just a moment was enough to realize what an amazing group of friends I have! This is the reason I go to cons! I love authors don’t get me wrong BUT it is my fellow readers that always make the event one to remember!
- On the same note: Melissa S, Jess H, and Heather L! These are authors that I totally consider friends that I fan girl over! It is always a joy to hang with them 🙂 🙂
- The sight-seeing! Seriously New Orleans is a hot mess on a bender every day but it is a totally great city to sight see in!
- Going shopping with TXBookJunkie! We had fun Friday morning just checking out the city!
- The Food (outside the convention)! I gained 5lbs and not even caring! It was amazing 🙂
- The hotel I stayed in: Prince Conti! I would recommend this hotel to anyone 🙂
The Rest: (I didn’t love or hate these things but since they are commonly asked I will let you know)
- Swag: I only got 8 books (4 in my welcome bag, 2 from Mel, and 2 from lunch) and all my swag fit in one bag. I don’t personally think conventions are about the swag but since it is part of the “selling” of a con it is important to note. I didn’t get to attend the opening night event so I am not sure if there was more there. Also, they had run out of bags by the time I registered so I am not sure if the original bags had more in them.
- Drama: As a reader, I found it minimal this year compared to last year. I don’t think there were any major issues but I do still feel that planners need to be nicer in general to the people who pay to come. I know that they are under a LOT of stress while putting on the convention but by year 4 you should probably either work on having someone be your “face” or work on how you treat people. Kindness and consideration go a long way. No one pays to be snipped at. The pre-emails that were rather harsh in tone and the blog post about how the con is not about you were a little uncalled for too. The con should actually be about the attendees since they pay to be there. As I said, there probably needs to be a coordinator/pr person that is a little more generally “personable”. The con itself is great but negativity can be a hamper.
- Guidebook: This is a both a plus and a minus. I am going to use the last day as a #fail as originally the going home event was at 9am and that morning it updated to 8am. They were giving the baskets away and there were a lot of people not there yet. On the other hand, the guidebook was dead useful for keeping track of what was going on. So I think it is a great tool that just needs a little work for next year.