Had a real good time at the Fan Faire!
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make it for the whole run. I had just started a new job at the beginning of that very week, and that left a big 'ol gap in my available time off.
So my wife ("Kushi") and I left SoCal at 1:00 on Friday afternoon to head through the desert to Vegas. Too bad so many other jerks had the same plan! Traffic SUCKED, and we didn't get to The Rio until nearly 7:00!
Check-in at the hotel took quite a while, then we threw down our bags and went to go find the Fan Faire check-in/registration area so we could have our passes in time for the party. And what did we find? An empty check-in area!!!
Actually, it wasn't quite empty...after wandering around a bit looking for ANY open rooms in the convention area, a trip back past the registration desks led us to a couple girls who seemed to know more about where they were than we did. I asked if they were with Sony and they said yes, so I explained our situation of needing to check in. They sympathized, but were unable to help because they weren't Sony employees, but rather models trying to find the costumes they were to be wearing at the party tonight.
That was a bust, so Kushi and I went over to where the party was going to be held, and at this point was just about to begin. I found an SOE employee and asked how we could get our badges so we could attend the party tonight. He left to investigate, and came back to tell us that he couldn't get us our badges, but he would let us into the party anyway.
Later on, when two friends/guildmates got to town halfway into the party, we had to do more begging and cajoling to find a way to get them in without having their pre-paid, pre-registered badges.
It seems to me that when you're dealing with a primarily adult population, there should be more planning put around the fact that people have jobs and can't always get there when it's most convenient. Be prepared for the late arrivals, even if it means having the security guards watch a box of registration materials at the door to the party, and having an SOE employee come over to check in the occasional stray. For those that had to deal with the much lengthier hassles of one-offing the latecomers, I hope they'd agree that having the badges accessible would have been a bit of a time saver.
The party itself was great, and I didn't even dance OR swim ;) The open bar really helped relieve the stress from driving through a desert traffic jam, and we met a fellow Permafrostian and had a nice time getting to know him. The live band was pretty slick with their karaoke setup, and they were about 8000 times more talented than the group at the previous week's SOE Block Party.
After a couple drinks, I decided I'd give the Karaoke a try, and when I went up to the table to find the song list, I met BRASSE! I knew her (if only a little) from a time when we were both working on the same panel that was putting together Prima guides for EQ2's original release and the Kingdom of Sky expansion. Her maps are positively phenomenal! (give her a job, SOE!) We planned out a Billy Idol rock block, but though we were told we would simply have to wait about an hour to get up there, but the band got tired and went home before we got our chance :(
I drowned my sorrows in a giant omelet, and then went back to the room for a nice, alcohol-aided slumber.
By the way...we never did see any costumed-models show up at the party. They could still be sitting there - at the Fan Faire registration desk - to this very day, waiting for costumes that will never come...