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Old 25th January 2007, 04:07 PM   #1
kittynh
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TAM6 The Forum Table!!!

That's right, I'm officially declaring that we are having SOME table space at TAM6.

I don't care if I have to steal space from Shermer, or whatever. Heck, I'll set up shop in the ladies room, we are having some space.

I've already some ideas....

Like information on how to order your forum tshirt. JREF Euro stickers (for free, you know just to show how really NICE we are on the forum), and perhaps a small booklet with Language Award winners.

Other ideas very welcome.

We're gonna need a sign too. And peopel willing to hang out at least between speakers to tell people how great the forum is, and some sort of handout. With photos of the guy licking Rebeccas butt.

We are going to be like the Mormons and recruit!!! How does "Forum membership entitles you to as many underage wives as you like" sound?
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Old 25th January 2007, 04:18 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by kittynh View Post
That's right, I'm officially declaring that we are having SOME table space at TAM6.

Like information on how to order your forum tshirt. JREF Euro stickers (for free, you know just to show how really NICE we are on the forum), and perhaps a small booklet with Language Award winners.

Other ideas very welcome.

We're gonna need a sign too. And peopel willing to hang out at least between speakers to tell people how great the forum is, and some sort of handout. With photos of the guy licking Rebeccas butt.
Can I design the sign?
And can I redesign for forum shirt? The only reason I didn't buy it was because it hurt my design sensibilities...there is so much empty shirt space that could be used!
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Old 25th January 2007, 05:18 PM   #3
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I think that's a wonderful idea. I mainly lurk here (<20 posts since 2002) but would love to have a specific place to find forum information at TAM. My wife and I considered going to a couple of forum events but without a single place to get info we were just too lazy.
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Old 25th January 2007, 05:36 PM   #4
kittynh
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You missed the best part of TAM!!!!

Me with a giant chocolate lollipop!!!

We so need a table!

Design skills welcome! Go to it! We should order a banner type thingy that we can resuse perhaps? Because there will be mini TAM and big TAM and cruises and such.

I was thinking right now our budget provides for a half used up Sharpie and an old tablecloth. We may need some donations.

The shirts are not touchable I think. But we may have a say specail TAM forum shirt for an even perhaps as a fundraiser to help pay for the forum? I'm going to have to check. We should help raise money as well as awareness, but I do like the JREF euro logo giveaway (need donations!). I have one on my car and it's cool.
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Old 25th January 2007, 05:40 PM   #5
tkingdoll
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Originally Posted by DiskoVilante View Post
Can I design the sign?
And can I redesign for forum shirt? The only reason I didn't buy it was because it hurt my design sensibilities...there is so much empty shirt space that could be used!
Sorry, you cannot redesign the forum shirt. They all need to match, it's called branding. Also, people chose whether to have the logo large and centred or small and discreet and most chose small and discreet.

A giraffe is a horse designed by committee.

However, it would be good to have generic forum designs for people who don't want their screen names on there. Darat and I discussed options including asking for fun submissions from forum members, but there wasn't time before TAM5. That would be a nice thing to get going at a later date, so feel free to start thinking about fun designs.

It should also be noted that any forum-related items will have to be properly branded and approved by Jeff Wagg

Last edited by tkingdoll; 25th January 2007 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 25th January 2007, 05:42 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by kittynh View Post
You missed the best part of TAM!!!!

Me with a giant chocolate lollipop!!!

We so need a table!

Design skills welcome! Go to it! We should order a banner type thingy that we can resuse perhaps? Because there will be mini TAM and big TAM and cruises and such.

I was thinking right now our budget provides for a half used up Sharpie and an old tablecloth. We may need some donations.

The shirts are not touchable I think. But we may have a say specail TAM forum shirt for an even perhaps as a fundraiser to help pay for the forum? I'm going to have to check. We should help raise money as well as awareness, but I do like the JREF euro logo giveaway (need donations!). I have one on my car and it's cool.
I'll make the banner free of charge.

And I'm going to figure out how to touch them'n shirts.
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Old 25th January 2007, 05:54 PM   #7
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Very cool idea Kittynh. I can help out in the land of design of flyers and easel back signs (for posting forum events schedule and such).

As for the shirts, the logo is fine but, hey, we could always have some quotes to take up all that blank space Certainly there are plenty of good quotes to be had from the forum and it would showcase a bit of what we are too. Get people to submit their favorite forum quotes and have a vote on which could be put on shirts. No reason there can't be some variation in the shirts as long as the logo is there.
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Old 25th January 2007, 05:58 PM   #8
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Folks, I do appreciate the enthusiasm to make forum stuff and raise money.. really, I do. We're talking about spending more money actually.

But, Teek is right. The JREF has a long history of making items that don't promote the brand, and that must end. So, if you're interested in designing something, by all means do so, but keep in mind that we won't produce anything, or allow anything to be produced, unless it meets our brand requirements.

That said, have fun! Get me involved early if you think it's something that might work.

Thanks!
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Old 25th January 2007, 06:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by kittynh View Post
That's right, I'm officially declaring that we are having SOME table space at TAM6.

We're gonna need a sign too. And peopel willing to hang out at least between speakers to tell people how great the forum is, and some sort of handout. With photos of the guy licking Rebeccas butt.

We are going to be like the Mormons and recruit!!! How does "Forum membership entitles you to as many underage wives as you like" sound?
You could mention that the ratio of hot smart skepdudes to girls is about 20 to 1.

No wait, don't.

I volunteer to help and can help out in other ways.
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Old 25th January 2007, 06:48 PM   #10
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I love the idea of a forum table! So much so that I want to muddy it up a bit.

(Note: as a project manager, there's nothing I hate more than scope creep. Therefore, please know that I am wincing as I attempt to creep the scope of this very project.)

I think it would be interesting for such a table to serve an additional purpose at TAM, specifically some sort of newbie outreach/welcoming/assistance. It's very easy to feel overwhelmed coming to something like TAM for the first time when you don't know a single person, and getting plugged in to the forum crew could be extremely helpful. It's one thing to tell newbies "feel free to ask anyone a question," but think how much better it would be to add, "and the people with these stickers on their badges will be extra happy to help you out and feed you chocolate."
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Old 25th January 2007, 07:43 PM   #11
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I live in Vegas. I don't know what that means--but I think some clever skeptics can find ways to utilize my JREF zeal and I'm open to exploitation.
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Old 25th January 2007, 07:58 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Desktop Icon View Post
I think it would be interesting for such a table to serve an additional purpose at TAM, specifically some sort of newbie outreach/welcoming/assistance. It's very easy to feel overwhelmed coming to something like TAM for the first time when you don't know a single person, and getting plugged in to the forum crew could be extremely helpful. It's one thing to tell newbies "feel free to ask anyone a question," but think how much better it would be to add, "and the people with these stickers on their badges will be extra happy to help you out and feed you chocolate."
I can personally attest that this is an excellent idea. I was at TAM2 and had a very difficult time meeting other forumites. Maybe it was me. But, anyway, having a place to go to meet up with at least one other familiar name (if not face) would have been a big help.
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Old 25th January 2007, 08:40 PM   #13
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KittyNH,
Please remind me as mini-TAM or TAM6 approaches. I'll make sure you have space for at least the "welcome to your first TAM" function.
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Old 25th January 2007, 09:26 PM   #14
kittynh
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yeah, this isn't really going to be about selling anything I think. Just promoting the forum. So we do have shirts. We will promote them!

And designs are great, but the WAGG MAN is in charge.

And we are talking stuff has to be done quite nicely to fit in with the professionalism of JREF.

WAGG MAN in charge.

No whining allowed. That said, I still think Euro stickers would be cheap and fun and people like something free. JREF has a lot of stuff to sell, so maybe we should be just on selling the forum? What I'm saying is let's just be friendly. A good place for people to check in and find a friend...well the forum!

I think of it as part of the whole TAM thing. Let us have no person just wandering around feeling left out. We aren't just for the forum, we are the heart of JREF, and need to make people feel welcome and like they have some after the official stuff someplace to meet up with other skeptics. This is about connecting people up. Even if people don't want to join the forum the forum area can be a place they can feel welcome, ask questions, whatever! The bulletin board was just not all that inviting. We want people to feel like family. Well, not eat all the good snacks and scratch your favorite DVD, but still family.
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Old 25th January 2007, 11:05 PM   #15
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Hmm.

Could call the Forum Party the "Meet the JREF Forum" party instead from now on, and give details on the time, place, etc.

What would be the cost of renting a ball room for a night, and getting an actual dj or sound system (good stereo with rad speakers)? That way, it would be party all night, with LOTS of noise and dancing, and no getting kicked out. BYOB? All that you can carry? Then we can do a fundraiser of some sort this next year to get the funds together. I can be a good bartender, just point me to a fridge and and ice machine!
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Old 26th January 2007, 08:33 AM   #16
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I would put the forum table close to the billboard. Since most of the non scheduled events are arranged by forum people the table would be the best place to have information to anyone that want to join in any of the activities.

In fact it seems to me that it is a good division of labour if non-scheduled activities are taken care of by the forum and the official jref run the rest of the show, each knowing about the other but with no responsibility. The forum could take care of the “welcoming people to TAM” or perhaps more accurately named “hanging with other sceptics” part.

I also think that we are going to need a bigger place for the next party if we are going to have more people.
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Old 26th January 2007, 09:40 AM   #17
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What are the branding requirments?
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Old 26th January 2007, 09:59 AM   #18
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Jeff is in charge of the branding.

I think that just needed to be be clearly stated by itself.

The only question that remains is will he do this at all functions, say, at the next NESkeptics get together?

*Yes, that little part of my brain that gets me into trouble finally recovered from Vegas. Evil of me, especially since Jeff just did me a favor.*
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Old 26th January 2007, 10:24 AM   #19
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As Rebecca pointed out, if you rent a party room from the hotel, you must also buy their liquor, their food. Bummer.

The reception might be a good place to do this - it's a social gathering, everyone is invited anyway, and the booze is cash bar. A corner could be set up with tables, signs, forum members hanging around, a big banner. A table in the meeting room could be more low-key with instructions on how to join the forum, tshirts/et al.
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Old 26th January 2007, 01:52 PM   #20
Eos of the Eons
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Originally Posted by Geek Goddess View Post
As Rebecca pointed out, if you rent a party room from the hotel, you must also buy their liquor, their food. Bummer.

The reception might be a good place to do this - it's a social gathering, everyone is invited anyway, and the booze is cash bar. A corner could be set up with tables, signs, forum members hanging around, a big banner. A table in the meeting room could be more low-key with instructions on how to join the forum, tshirts/et al.
Tis a bummer? But could someone look at cost for one night for a party room with liquor and some finger food?

Or music at the reception, and no curfew?

Two options, that is cool!
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Old 26th January 2007, 02:00 PM   #21
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It would be really cool if we all get our rooms on the same floor, and basically take over the place. I really doubt the hotel would be willing to make that happen, though. It's probably pretty tricky for them to plan things such that the previous guests in that part of the hotel all check out in time.
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Old 26th January 2007, 02:26 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by markb View Post
It would be really cool if we all get our rooms on the same floor, and basically take over the place. I really doubt the hotel would be willing to make that happen, though. It's probably pretty tricky for them to plan things such that the previous guests in that part of the hotel all check out in time.
I was wondering why they didn't just set aside a block of rooms under the special rate?

Probably to get us to walk through the casino...
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Old 26th January 2007, 02:47 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by deBergerac View Post
I would put the forum table close to the billboard. Since most of the non scheduled events are arranged by forum people the table would be the best place to have information to anyone that want to join in any of the activities.
I would put the forum table next to the billboard next to the book table. We had a nice line-up of Payment-table-Book-table-FreeNasaStuff-table-AuctionItems-table this year.

Originally Posted by deBergerac View Post
I also think that we are going to need a bigger place for the next party if we are going to have more people.
We will need a much bigger place for the next party.

Originally Posted by DiskoVilante View Post
What are the branding requirments?
High tolerance of pain.

Originally Posted by Mattfn View Post
Jeff is in charge of the branding.
Ouch.

Originally Posted by Mattfn View Post
I think that just needed to be be clearly stated by itself.
Yep.

Originally Posted by Geek Goddess View Post
As Rebecca pointed out, if you rent a party room from the hotel, you must also buy their liquor, their food. Bummer.
We have to be able to get around that.

Originally Posted by Geek Goddess View Post
The reception might be a good place to do this - it's a social gathering, everyone is invited anyway, and the booze is cash bar. A corner could be set up with tables, signs, forum members hanging around, a big banner. A table in the meeting room could be more low-key with instructions on how to join the forum, tshirts/et al.
That's a really great idea: The Reception was where you could mingle with everyone, so why not simply extend that into the Forum Party? It may not be in the wee hours of the morning, but we would get (just about) everyone to show up anyway.

Originally Posted by markb View Post
It would be really cool if we all get our rooms on the same floor, and basically take over the place. I really doubt the hotel would be willing to make that happen, though. It's probably pretty tricky for them to plan things such that the previous guests in that part of the hotel all check out in time.
It would only be possible, if people would book their rooms as soon as JREF had announced how people signed up for the rooms. But I like the idea of "owning" a whole section of the hotel.
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Old 26th January 2007, 03:40 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by CFLarsen View Post
It would only be possible, if people would book their rooms as soon as JREF had announced how people signed up for the rooms. But I like the idea of "owning" a whole section of the hotel.
I don't think the hotel assigns a room number until you actually check in. They're probably just not setup to do it any other way. What they need are party/no-party rooms, in addition to smoking/no-smoking!
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Old 26th January 2007, 03:57 PM   #25
CFLarsen
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Originally Posted by markb View Post
I don't think the hotel assigns a room number until you actually check in. They're probably just not setup to do it any other way. What they need are party/no-party rooms, in addition to smoking/no-smoking!
Not "rooms". "Floors".
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Old 26th January 2007, 05:41 PM   #26
kittynh
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on a side note, I just read where Renoir met you grandfather Claus!

(the painter, not the film maker)
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Old 26th January 2007, 09:54 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Eos of the Eons View Post
Hmm.

Could call the Forum Party the "Meet the JREF Forum" party instead from now on, and give details on the time, place, etc.

What would be the cost of renting a ball room for a night, and getting an actual dj or sound system (good stereo with rad speakers)? That way, it would be party all night, with LOTS of noise and dancing, and no getting kicked out. BYOB? All that you can carry? Then we can do a fundraiser of some sort this next year to get the funds together. I can be a good bartender, just point me to a fridge and and ice machine!
Rebecca has a pretty good economic breakdown on her Forum Party-The Reckoning thread showing that it would cost something like $600 an hour to do it in a ballroom, with a big disinsentive being that the Riv (or wherever) almost certainly won't let you BYOB. Rebecca was actually able to come out in the black on this one, so I say we all leave it to Rebecca in the future.

My suggestion, though, for future party name: "The Amaz!ing Party"
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Old 26th January 2007, 09:58 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by markb View Post
It would be really cool if we all get our rooms on the same floor, and basically take over the place. I really doubt the hotel would be willing to make that happen, though. It's probably pretty tricky for them to plan things such that the previous guests in that part of the hotel all check out in time.
Wonderful idea! But if the Riv can't manage to save people smoke-free rooms or king beds, could we trust them to keep a whole floor together, I don't think that. . . wait a minute, wait a minute, I'VE GOT IT! All we need is to invite President Bush! He could get the Riv to reserve us two or three floors, guarenteed!
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Old 26th January 2007, 10:30 PM   #29
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One nice thing about the Stardust was their willingness to give us access to two adjacent hospitality suites for TAM3 & TAM4. The Riviera doesn't have anything like that. They have a very strict policy regarding food & beverage: if you are using their facilities, you have to purchase food and drinks from them...and they are NOT CHEAP. But then that's why they're willing to let us use the conference rooms at no charge. They make their money on the catering. At $39 for a gallon of coffee or iced tea, that's a nice piece of change. In fact there was even a clause in our contract that if we were caught bringing in any food or beverage not provided by the hotel, we would be fined $500 per occurence.

Just to give you an idea of food costs, the continental breakfast was $10.50 per person plus 25.75% for tax and gratuity for just coffee and danish. Adding the fruit was another $3.25 per person, and adding yogurt would have added another $3.25, plus the requisite tax and service charge.

There were quite a few problems with the hotel, #1 being the fact that so many people were put in smoking rooms after requesting non-smoking (myself included!). And how many of you noticed that the sound man slept through most of Friday morning's presentations? (He was fired on the spot after being awakened.)

I also couldn't get the use of any of the smaller Capri rooms after Thursday as they were booked for other functions. I would have loved to have had a room or two available for meetings, interviews, etc.

There's no problem getting a table for the forum for the next TAM. If I had known you wanted one this time, it would have been available.

I know I may be addressing some issues that were first broached in another thread, but I've been so busy, I figure I may as well post everything here.

We will do a directory of attendees next time. I meant to do it this time, but ran out of time. And if I recall correctly, the list would have been 18 pages long, and making 825 copies of every item for the registration packets was getting expensive.

If whoever got a defective bag will contact me, I'll send you a good bag.

Thanks for all the suggestions for future speakers, etc. We're compiling lists and we've already started lining up speakers for TAM 5.5 and 6. Bill Nye has been invited several times. Maybe one year he'll accept. We'd love to have him.

Keep in mind that if we move from the Riviera, the cost to attend TAM will go up. Especially if we don't charge extra for the evening shows. Those shows were extra in order to keep the main registration price the same as TAM4. Our concern is keeping the event affordable...both the registration costs and the room costs.
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Old 26th January 2007, 10:46 PM   #30
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Thanks for the information, Linda.

I think all of JREF's decisions made sense, and you guys accomplished a wonderful thing with the money. I go to a much large conference every year that charges about the same amount, but doesn't provide any food for breakfast OR lunch, does have coffee, and all the speakers pay their own way and speak for no cost. You guys do an amazing thing!
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Old 26th January 2007, 11:14 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Linda View Post
Bill Nye has been invited several times. Maybe one year he'll accept. We'd love to have him.
He is coming to a local community college here in Tulsa February 8th and I am going to do my best--beg, if necessary--to convince him to come to a future TAM.

Linda (and your husband)--you are due many, many thanks. Being an educational foundation, are there any government grants available? My wife (and I to a lesser degree) has written a number of grant requests and would like to help out in any way that we possibly could in this area.

It seems that the government and private sector coffers are more open to "education" than many other things. My wife and I have been on several trips on the government's dime to attend conferences.

If anyone knows, please help me find a place to look.
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Old 27th January 2007, 12:54 PM   #32
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Thanks Linda!!!

I just want a chance for some good PR for the forum also. Scholarship fundraising, education advice, and just a fun way to meet new people!

Paul A. suggested we have a nice trifold brochure on the forum printed up.

I plan on seeking private donations for the price of the banner (JREF approve ofcourse!) and printing a brochure and perhaps a million dollar bill with Randi's picture on it (anyone with skills to design such a million dollar bill please PM me). I'd like to give away JREF euro stickers too, just because people that are socially shy will come over for the freebie, and then talk.

Kitten pointed out to me that a lot of us JREF skeptics are a little socially awkward. Let's face it, we've been out in the "Real" world where you just don't open you mouth and say you are an atheist without people looking shocked. It takes a little time to figure out at TAM YOU ARE NORMAL!!!

Plus, we will have better control of the bulletin board. Like a nice sharpie so people can write BIG notes. It will perhaps give a focus to newcomers. My first TAM I was so scared I hung out with Linda...she's wonderful, but she's a little busy to babysit.

My hope is that when people think of the forum that belong to JREF (but not the forum) they will have a good feel for all that we do. And how supportive we are.

Geek, good plan to have perhaps a little set up at the opening night meeting. Then a table in the meeting area, so volunteers don't miss any of the talk.

This is going to be fun.

And I'll be asking for donations for the banner and such ....so this won't cost JREF anything.
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Old 28th January 2007, 06:05 PM   #33
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For the forum party, I brought some chocolate and 2 bottles of wine . The wine came from the ABC shop on the ground floor, because, let's face it, I'm not going to fly it from Europe only to have homeland security blow it up.

ABC's wine was not expensive by hotel standards. I assume ABC is wholly owned by the hotel, so if we bought by the crate we would surely get a discount? OK, everyone might pay $8 more than in the supermarket for the same bottle, but come on, it costs hundreds just to get there, what's a few bucks apiece?

On rooms- they put me in a smoking room too and they did so again a week later. Their booking system seems inefficient and greedy- I was told I could specify a non smoking room for a $10 surcharge, but only request one otherwise. As they had to move me next day and remake the bed , change linen and towels etc, it's hard to see why they do this. It must cost them money as well as goodwill.

How many of the 800 attendees actually stayed in the Riv?
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Old 28th January 2007, 08:52 PM   #34
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I vote for chocolate and a place to pick up our forum badges (or this year, stickers). Anything else is just clutter.
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Old 29th January 2007, 09:56 AM   #35
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Food & drink need to be provided by the hotel.....ABC is not part of the Riviera and wouldn't be where their catered food & drink would come from anyway. Anything we bring in, no matter where we got it from, doesn't meet the criteria.
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Old 29th January 2007, 05:20 PM   #36
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Yes, I fear that if we're at the Riviera again next year, we might just be forced to have our party elsewhere, because the Riviera is litterally chasing us out of the place with their particular rules on that subject.

The very nature of events taking place during the party and at some of the other forum events (like the chocolate challenge, the international beer tasting, the scotch party the day before) means we're violating the rules and risking several hundreds of dollars in fines just bringing our own snacks and drinks there.

Frankly, I think the best way to show the Riviera that they seriously f**ked up their service is NOT by having the next conference there again. But of course, their lack of care for how they (mis)treated us may be directly related to the price they charged us for the rooms and the conference, which if I understand Linda correctly, is way cheaper than any other place large enough to handle a group the size of JREF. Which would leave only one alternative: have the conference take place in a different hotel as the one where everyone is staying, and shuttle everyone back and forth. Not a very desirable solution either.

Anyway, my personal opinion is that the Riviera has failed us miserably. Perhaps it's time to try another place. There's bound to be a few other hotels, on the strip or not, that are large and cheap enough to deal with us.
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Old 29th January 2007, 09:14 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by exarch View Post
There's bound to be a few other hotels, on the strip or not, that are large and cheap enough to deal with us.
Yeah, and I wouldn't mind going off the strip if we can find a better hotel for a similar price. I've heard good things about The Orleans from multiple sources, and it's operated by the same company as the Stardust, which treated us pretty well.
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Old 29th January 2007, 09:44 PM   #38
kittynh
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yeah, I mean I actually liked the location of the Tuscany. But too small to hold all the TAM attendees.

But a short walk to the strip can be better than right on the strip.
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Old 29th January 2007, 11:19 PM   #39
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The walk from the Tuscany to the strip was actually shorter than the walk from the Riviera to, say, the Wynn. And that was the direction most strip-crawls took (all those I was on anyway).
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Old 30th January 2007, 03:06 AM   #40
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We could hold the TAM6 Forum Party at the Stardust lot. I think there's a big, open space by June 2008....
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