Published April 11th, 2012 at 10:00 am EST/EDT

In keeping with the habit I’ve cultivated of posting a con review after going to a con, here are my thoughts on MARCON. This one’s going to be a wee bit different from all the other ones I’ve posted, though.

Like all the others I’ve written about so far, however, this was a first-time convention experience. I’d never been to MARCON before, though I’d heard really great things about it from various friends and had always wanted to go some year (especially last year when Leslie Fish was the Music Guest of Honor…sigh).

Unlike all the other conventions I’ve reviewed, I saw very little of this one. The reason for this is that we vended at this con, which meant that I spent most of the weekend behind a table. Sean was with me—Ally stayed in Indy that weekend because of Easter commitments to her church—and our neighbors didn’t mind if we made a bit of music in our booth space. We also got to talk to some new people, and I got to see a couple of Ohio friends I don’t see very often.

MARCON does a couple of really nifty things that I haven’t seen at any other conventions. Number one, because we were dealers, we got to partake in snacky things. Every so often, people with trollies would make a circuit of the dealer’s room and offer us soda. As someone who doesn’t regularly drink soda, I wish they had had water on the trolley as well, but as someone who was in the mood for soda at the time, it worked out all right anyway. And they did have water in the corner of the room where they kept the soda when it wasn’t being distributed on trollies. They also had baked goods in that same corner that were there for the dealers to munch on.

The other thing I thought was nifty was the green room they had set up for panelists. There were seating areas for talking and relaxing, a special check-in table so panelists didn’t have to wait in a long line (vendors had a special check-in line, too), and oh yeah, more snacky things.

The convention staff were helpful and friendly, which is always a major plus. The hotel staffperson who helped us unload our car was very professional and helpful. And overall it was a good weekend.

But as always, there are downsides. Probably my biggest gripe is that we had to pay $8.00 a day to park. Of course, that’s not the convention’s fault and they have no control over it—and actually, $8.00 a day was the event rate, so being conventioneers meant we got to pay less.

The garage was also really confusing and the ceilings are low enough that I don’t recommend unloading anything out of a hatchback. Again, not the convention’s fault.

So there’s the con review for MARCON, such as it is. If we go back next year—which we might not due to it being on Easter weekend and Ally having prior commitments that weekend—I hope to be able to experience more of the programming.

As it was I sat for a bit in open filk, which was fun. It was good to see Peter Alway again, even if I didn’t get to talk to him much, and hear his dulcimer piece “May Damsels’ Dance”.

And of course there was our concert, made slightly weird by the fact that it was just Sean and myself. Not bad-weird, just different-weird. It was a lot of fun nonetheless. Our audience seemed into it. Three of our listeners even bought copies of “Cold September Ground” after the fact.

Oh, and I will have a v-blog of the weekend up at some point. But first I need to have the time to edit it. …yeah.

Thanks again to the friends who put us up for the weekend. You were a tremendous help, and it was fabulous to see you again.

Next stop: Penguicon

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