OKC Steampunk Expo 2011

19 04 2011

This past weekend I was able to head up to Oklahoma City for the OKC Steampunk Expo. The event was a lot of fun for 25$ (Saturday pass). There were a good amount of vendors selling a good variety of items. I was able to obtain quite a bit of merch that I had been looking for (Ughh…spent far too much $$$…Yeeaaa got some REALLY good stuff). The hotel wasn’t the best place to host the event in my opinion as it was an odd layout and kinda cramped, but they made it work.

I got introduced to Shmoocon and am planning on attending that this year. I also got to meet several craftsmen/women, artists, and shops that are in the OKC area. I can’t wait to explore their shops.

While I did enjoy the fact that they had performers playing in the atrium all day, they didn’t have the speakers setup properly for speech. The music groups sounded great, however, the groups that just talked sounded muffled and muted if you weren’t next to them. They had three guys up there one time and they looked like they were having a great time but I couldn’t understand a word they were saying. Something about bad movies I think. They could have just been making Charlie Brown teacher noises for all I know. Wha-wa-wa-wa-waaa 🙂

I did have issues with how the event was run. Every time I asked a question to one of the staff it seemed that they had to call someone else. In fact, it seemed to be the same 2 or 3 people that questions were asked to. One guy (attendee) I talked to kept asking the staff about the event programs which didn’t show up until almost 5pm on Saturday. No one seemed to be able to give a reason for why besides issues with the printer (again, only a few people seemed to know about what was going on). The guy didn’t seem too thrilled as he claimed they had paid for an ad in the program. Not only was the program missing for the majority of the event, but he didn’t see the ad in the program. I heard them offer a refund, but still…Eek! Feel bad for the guy. He seemed to be excited about the ad too…

**Warning: over heard conversation**
It wasn’t just me who noticed the confusion. Several of the vendors were openly complaining about the vendor room to each other. One even joked about packing up half way through the day. I don’t know how much of that was HaHa joking vs joking-but-kinda-serious-too. Either way it can’t be good when the vendors joke like that in front of staff and attendees.

I understand that this was their first big event and believe me, I don’t know if I could have done as good of a job. However, having attended several big events I do kinda understand how things should work. There should be a hierarchy chain of command. There should be certain people responsible for certain actions/items/events and held responsible for those actions/items/events. The people who know every detail should NOT be running around putting out fires as that should be COMPLETELY delegated out to another responsible party. They should only be there to oversee the whole picture.

Relying on a handful of people to run the whole event HAS to be stressful on everyone. Stressful for the people doing everything, stressful for the people relying on leadership, stressful for the vendors, and aggravating for the attendees.

I can’t wait for next year. I really hope that they don’t get discouraged by the craziness and they they learn from it to put on a better show next year.

I also really hope that they get Abney Park next year. But that is probably just a fanboy fantasy on my part 😀 I was REALLY pleased to hear several people playing Abney Park on their portable music players though.




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