TO ALL OUR GUESTS OF HONOUR - WELCOME!
We hope you're going to have a fine time at our convention, even though on Friday at least we do plan to work you very hard. Separately, you will have received from our Programme Director, Chris Donaldson, a list of your engagements, along with an envelope containing full details of the events we're scheduling.. in SEVEN programme streams!
But this is an attempt to provide the sort of letter I'd have liked to find in my own key-slot when serving as GoH at other cons, emphasising what needs to be borne in mind throughout.
First let me remind you that during the convention we have undertaken to fund your accommodation, your meals (including e.g. wine or beer) plus your spouse's, if applicable, and your travel costs, part or all of which we have arranged to make available in cash, if we were asked to do so in advance.
On your departure, however, you will be required to settle at the hotel cashier's desk a bill in respect of (a) any drinks you signed for other than those taken with a meal, (b) any room service charges you incurred, (c) any use of hotel facilities such as cleaning, repairs, or the like; and (d) any phone calls you made via the hotel switchboard.
We operate, as you know, on a limited budget, and we feel the above is a reasonable condition to impose.
Now, as to what we're asking you to do: the worst day, as I said, will be the first. Please look at your engagement list. You will see that we want all of you at the opening ceremony, immediately before the first Guest of Honour speech. (These are all at 1200 hours, except Waldemar Kumming's which takes place in the Fan Room at 1700 on Saturday). Then we've scheduled you for a press conference; then at 1600 we want you to appear as a group at a session called "Does the Team Think?" to answer questions and give the audience their first chance to hear from all of you together. This will end at 1700, but at 2100 we want you all back together again, along with a great many other people, at the "Meet the Pros" party. The idea, again, is to let the members know who you are and what you look like. This will last about an hour.
You may by now be wondering when you get any lunch on Friday. We thought of that...! You are requested to lunch together in the Buttery (hotel restaurant, entrance floor) with members of the committee, directly following Pierre Barbet's speech. From there you will be escorted to the press conference.
With the exception of Kumming's GoH speech and Barbet's which succeeds the opening ceremony, on each occasion when you are listed to appear on the programme, we request that you make your way to the Green Room half an hour beforehand. The Green Room is adjacent to the Operations Centre. It's a place where all our speakers will have a chance to meet other participants before a panel; or, if giving a solo lecture, to meet the session chairman, tell him/her what he/she should say by way of introduction; and in either case to swig down a probably much-needed drink at our expense... The Green Room, by the way, is not actually green. The term comes from English theatrical usage, and means a place where actors assemble before a performance.
After Friday, things get a little easier. But -!
Please take time to read all the information given to you, above all the convention programme sheet and your engagement list, and items enclosed with the programme book. Remember to check our TV information service in the Metropole (called "Seafacts and Coracle"), and to pick up our daily convention newspaper. Armed with all that data, you should have no problems. If you do, call on one of our gophers (= "go for") or one of our corps of interpreters, as appropriate; they wear distinctive badges. We've done our utmost to smooth your way, but there are bound to be odds and ends we've not provided for. Above all, please remember: our intention is to start everything sharp on time - including YOUR events!
Our sincerest thanks to all of you for being with us!