Interesting. I have lived in Kansas City since 1997. My wife first moved here in the 1980s. Until today neither of us had found reason to enter Bartle Hall. MidAmeriCon II changed that. It is our first SciFi convention we have attended.
Both of us entered to pick up our badges and information packets. The information we received via e-mail recommended entering via the 13th St. entrance. That brought us in on ground level, and we walked on ground level a whole block inside, past 14th St., to get the 2300 lobby where the badges and packets were. In that block we went from ground level to at least a floor above grade: we could see 14th street below us out the windows.
It was there we picked up the badge, the MidAmericCon II booklet and the MidAmeriCon II Pocket Program. Perhaps I am the wrong type of fan, but the program seems mostly a lot of promotion. The Pocket Program seems the really helpful piece of information that we received.
It begins with a Get Started section that has policy notes, then goes on to a section with listings, day-by-day of the various panels and events. That is followed by separate sections for Academic and Film Festival, both of which have their own day-do-day schedule listings. Not sure why the Academic needs to be separated, but the film festival makes sense.
So I’ve been flipping pages in the program book, looking for panels and events that sound interesting. We intend to be there at 1 p.m. Wednesday for the “How to Enjoy Your First Convention” presentation, and I’ve circled an item or two each hour between then and 5 p.m. that might be worth attending.
At 5 p.m. we want to attend the opening ceremonies (see how exciting, pompous, or boring they are) — if we can find the Heinlein stadium anywhere on the maps they have provided.
We also need time to wander the display halls and see all the vendors and other color going on. There are supposed to be nightly parties in the exhibit hall (note to self: bring ear plugs), along with various featured music performances.
The game room is another level of experience we probably won’t have much time to explore. We are talking board games, online games, in person RPGs, along with sessions and panels with discussions and tips on how to set up and design your own.
The convention is also a time to connect with some people we’ve gotten to know over the past few years via writer’s blogs — see how well we hit it off in person vs. the conversations we have developed. We might even get to join some private party conversations (private meaning invitation-only confidential) that won’t be reported on this blog, but that might give us additional color into the Con from people who are more seasoned than we are. Of course, as some of the home-town contingent, we also have local advice and flavor to offer — if anyone bothers to listen to it.
I am trying to figure out what we want to carry with us, and how we want to carry it, during the day. My hope is to be able to take notes on the various events we attend, as we attend them, and then pull that together for a daily post that has at least a little color and a little interest, to chronicle the Con from the perspective of the first time attendee.