Monday, August 20, 2012

Behind the scenes at the ReaderCon

All events happened on Saturday, 18 August 2012

4:30 am   Holy s**t! I remembered setting my alarm at 4:00 am, since I do like to take my sweet time in the shower. What the hell happened? Hmmmm... must remember to turn the alarm volume in full. Okay, showered in 10 minutes, got dressed in 15.

Venue for this year's ReaderCon

5:45 am   Arrived at Filipinas Heritage Library. I'm 15 minutes early for the set time for the Registration Committee, which I'm heading this year. Guard is still sleepy but lets me in. Two things I noticed when I stepped in—I'm the first one at the venue and it's unbearably hot. No airconditioning yet! I can't be sweating like a pig at 6 am. Sheesh! I'm wearing white!

5:50 am   Checked the registration kits to see if they're numbered correctly. Yes. Thank goodness for Joko, Shani, and Iya who went yesterday to help assemble them. Peered at the contents. Program, check. Stubs, check.

6:00 am   I see Iya's car in the driveway. Good, she's on time. Ever dependable Iya, who's heading the Logistics Committee this year. Why is she in white? Then it hits me, we all agreed to come in white to make it easier for us to spot one another.

6:10 am   Joko, Angus, and Jason arrive. Now it gets tricky, I think. I didn't require the Registration Team to meet prior to the event and most of these guys don't know one another. It was also my first time to meet Angus and Monique, another volunteer who's coming in the afternoon. Made quick introductions and hopes that everyone remembers one another's name. It'll be really ironic if we, the ones who keep track of the names of the people coming in, won't be able to remember our team mates' names, no?

6:15 am   Gave Jason and Angus a quick tour of the venue. We all head out for breakfast at McDonald's. Victor (a fellow book club member) and Verne (from FHL) follow us at around 6:45 am.

7:00 am   Back at venue. Took out the registration folders that I prepared days before and showed them to the team. "People sign here, and then here and here and another time here." The team's undermanned. Had to quickly resort to plan B, which basically means that all of us do double tasks. Had to rearrange the registration setup as well. Feels like a headache is coming.

7:20 am   Another round of briefing. Seems like everyone gets their tasks. Headache appears to be going away.

7:30 am   First participant arrives! It's a girl! Volunteers swarm her. No, no, no! Had to literally brush some people off so that girl can register in peace.

8:30 am   Registration now in full swing. Everything seems to be going as planned. Not much human traffic. I'm in the sidelines observing everything. Thinking I haven't had my caffeine fix yet. The Coke I had for breakfast does not count.

9:00 am   Finally getting my 1st cup of coffee. The coffee from Amici, one of the sponsors, is good! I have 3 more cups.

10:00 am   At the sidelines again. Observing, herding people in, doing some ushering. Angus appears to know everyone. He's so cheery with his "Hello." I actually thought that he knows these people personally. I can't imagine myself being that cheery for several hours. Jason is doing a superb job at ushering. He's very personable. Must get him again for next year.

10:30 am    Registration storm seems to have passed. We've survived! Idle talk with my team mates. Idle talk with fellow book club members. Idle talk with some of the vendors. Checked out a couple of booths selling books. Bought 3. Angus gave me a book as well. Thanks!

11:00 am    I see Bebang Siy! Fanboy moment! Asked R to take my picture with her. And then I got my book signed quickly and covertly as well.

12:15 pm   One of the sessions running late. Headache! And some people are registering for the afternoon sessions. We still charge the full fee. Surprisingly, they don't complain. I gather the first batch of volunteers for lunch.

12:20 pm   Eating my McDonald's lunch and then momentarily stopped when I noticed that there were just a couple of packed lunches left. Oh dear. I think there must be more than 10 volunteers who have still yet to have lunch. Found the guy at FHL and told him we need to buy more food. Got back to the pantry and hurriedly finished eating. Talked to the other volunteers if they'd just wait for a few more minutes for the food to arrive. Was kinda expecting bloodshed when delivering this news.

1:10 pm   People are arriving for the afternoon sessions in trickles. In my mind: "Look at the program, people! It says 1:00!" I usher them in and suggest to the Program Committee volunteers to might as well start. Punctuality is the politeness of kings! The people from my book club are getting fidgety for their sessions at 2 pm.

1:45 pm   Quick photo with the Registration Committee while we're still complete. Had to temporarily drag R away from his photographer duties to take our picture. They are all so awesome!

This year's Registration Team
We all look so wholesome in white, no?

2:20 pm   Extremely late start for the book discussion, which should've started at 2 pm. But no worries. We have a live chat with the author, Rafe Bartholomew, who's in New York. Goodness, he's such a looker. Screaming girls (and a few boys) everywhere! I feel like I'm in a rock band concert. Checked out the other book club discussion below. That one's eerily quiet.

3:00 pm   We close registration and pack up everything. Dropped by at the discussion for Fifty Shades of Grey. People are giggly and appear to be having fun. Good! Also checked out the discussion for The Little Prince. Very formal discussion, I must say.

3:30 pm   Suddenly remembered to finalize my writeup for the Readers' Choice Awards. I'm a judge for the essay anthology category and all I have for the citation is a draft in my head. Wrote something within 15 minutes. Hope this is good enough. I don't want to sound amateur-ish in front of Bebang Siy and all these people.

4:45 pm   Awards ceremony in full swing. Went to the podium and announced the winner and read my citation. They seem to find it funny, thank God.

5:30 pm   I am hungry. So hungry that I queued 3 times for the heavy snack of pasta, kani sandwiches, and chicken lollipops.

6:00 pm   Everyone had fun at the socials. But I'm just tired. It's been a long day, but it certainly was fun! The ReaderCon is one of the few events in the metro where readers, book bloggers, book lovers, writers, and publishers come together. I definitely am looking forward to next year's.

Thank you, Scholastic Philippines, Lampara BooksMcDonald’sFlipreadsAnvil Publishing, IncHachette PhilippinesAmici PhilippinesOMF Literature, Inc, and Adarna House for sponsoring this very book-ish event!

And thanks, R, for taking these wonderful pictures!

R in red during the ReaderCon


Anonymous said...

I'm game to be part of the RegTeam again next year! :)

Peter S. said...

That is noted, blurredlights!

Portobello's coffee said...

It really was a fun day! Looking forward to a bigger Readercon next year. Woohoo!

Peter S. said...

With you again as the photographer, Portobello's coffee!

Louize said...

Hi Peter! After reading your accounts of the ReaderCon
(along with Angus' and Monique's), sobrang inggit ako.
I had fun being on the sideline and judging,
but looking at you guys during the event,
there was a different kind of excitement exuding from you.
Next year, I'll volunteer to be on the reg team too.

Peter S. said...

Hi, Louize! Gotcha! I'm sure next year will be more fun with more people involved!

Tina said...

You guys did an awesome job. :) See you soon, Peter!

Peter S. said...

Hello, Tina! Yes, I'll see you again soon!

Orly said...

Congratulations, Peter and the rest of the ReaderCon Team! Good job! Had a lot of fun. Alam nyo na yan!

Peter S. said...

Orly, salamat sa iyong support sa event! And may dala ka pa talaga!

Anonymous said...

Now that I think of it, a lot of things happened! My fragile bones were able to handle that, hahaha! Thanks, and see you next year!

Peter S. said...

See you again soon, Angus! And thanks again for being part of the team!

Visual Velocity said...

Sounds like a long day, but at least you had fun. :)

Peter S. said...

Oh, it was, Visual Velocity!

Stepford Mum said...

Peter, you've got a full team already for next year! A good thing, since I foresee the Readercon becoming an even bigger event. Hooray!!

Peter S. said...

Indeed, Stepford Mum! So excited for next year!