I’m catching up, really…

I'm catching up, really I am. Just sent the much-belated Vermont response (the next and last set of packets arrive this Saturday, so I have a bit of a break now), and finished up the Kriti minutes from yesterday's long planning meeting. In case it's of interest, I'll post some of the notes here, to give you a sense of some of the things one thinks about in planning a literary festival:

Part I: Festival Wrap-Up

IA: Response to Event

Essentially, everyone who attended loved the festival and thought we did a great job. There were, of course, minor issues, but overall, it was fabulous. Pat yourselves on the back, y'all. And then, when you're done patting, consider these minor notes:

- we're still collecting responses; Nikhil and others are working on the online questionnaire; hopefully this will be ready this week

- the food from India House was great and they were good to work with

- everyone loved the rapid-fire reading on Thursday; definitely keep that format

- we had mixed feelings about the value of the Vermilion event; we didn't actually make money on it (in fact, we lost money, since we subsidized staff), and we're not sure it did much for us publicity-wise; on the other hand, it was a nice meal and a pleasant event, reasonably well-attended

- for next time, a better fund-raising high-end event might be catered at a house party or art gallery

- we strongly need a long lunch break each day, or even better, have food available for sale on-site

- we desperately need tea and coffee available on-site

- we needed more supervisory staff, most specifically, a registration supervisor and a volunteer supervisor; we also needed more volunteers signed up in advance

- we need to train the registration volunteers on the site location and way to handle/guide attendees

- people wanted more large group activities; Purvi suggested a brief all-group opening and closing each day, which might be worth considering (i.e., 9:30 gather for coffee/tea, opening remarks). We might incorporate some rapid-fire readings into that as well, giving lesser-known authors a chance to read to a large crowd.

- we need better signage directing people to the rooms; we meant to do this, but never quite got to it

- we should do packet stuffing earlier, not the morning of the festival opening, so we can be relaxed and well set up for the opening of registration; maybe Thursday afternoon would have worked

- the dealer's room was a disaster; we need a better location for selling, and more sellers in place, so the room is more of a draw

- it'd be nice to do a dinner on Friday specifically for people who are new to the festival and don't know anyone, where one of the staff guides them to a local eatery and they can get to know each other

IB: Post-Production

- MA has a bunch of NW's stuff that she needs to get back to them; Venu, can we schedule a time to meet up?

- MA also needs a bill from NW from Venu

- MA needs to return boombox to Tanya

- we have many many programs; Satya, do you want some for your design portfolio? anyone else? MA will store them, along with the grid wall

- Kazi needs to get MA the video camera and tapes

- Sheelah will supervise editing

- MA, Sujata, and anyone else interested will get together sometime in December with Sheelah and log the tapes (this involves sitting and watching them, marking where the interesting bits are; this will also undoubtedly involve wine).

- the digital clips will be turned into both a half-hour tape for grant apps, and many brief clips for our website (MA will get permission as needed from panelists/staff)

- MA has written almost all of the checks; we lost a little money, but not too much. Another 50 attendees and we would have made a small profit :-). Next time, she will make better allowances for unexpected expenses.

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