(Photos by Ben McFarland)
Indianapolis, IN: The first thing you learn about booth setup is to pace yourself. The kobolds arrived in Indianapolis on Tuesday night, got the badges organized, and found some of the booth materials already in place at #2439. Kobold-in-Chief Wolfgang Baur (your humble narrator) and Chief Cryptoanalyst and Booth Monkey #1 Wade Rockett intended to carry or drive the rest to the exhibitor’s hall. A simple enough operation… but we did not know then of the marshaling yard.
Meek little kobolds that we are, we got in line at Exhibitor HQ. We told them, “We’re the first ones here! We came all the way from Seattle! We just want to unload our precious goods and freebies at booth #2439!”
The volunteers shook their heads. “You’ll have to go to the marshaling yard,” they said.
“Where is that?”
“It’s a secret,” they said…
I’d never heard of a marshalling yard before. Most conventions allow exhibitors to go straight to the loading dock, but Gen Con has hundreds and hundreds of exhibitors, from the smallest new publisher to the mightest titans such as Paizo, Privateer, and—of course—Kobold World Enterprises, Consolidated.
To handle all that, the con needs a staging area to keep the loading docks from being swamped by too many companies hauling their freight in all at once. They need a place to make exhibitors wait a while, and appreciate the heat.
Once we found the marshaling yard and obtained a magical slip of paper that got us onto the docks, we pushed the boxes on squeaking flatbed dollies up the ramps and around a pinball section into the hall. This is where the kobold crew learned the second lesson of the day… air conditioning is for customers.
Yes, that’s right, no A/C in the exhibitor’s hall on Wednesday before the show. A Wednesday, we soon learned, of ludicriously high temperatures in Indianapolis.
But kobolds are diligent creatures. We wrestled our boxes into place, and got them open with a box cutter borrowed from Paizo (our scissors were packed in a box. D’oh!). The heat continued, but we were undeterred: we got the area nice and booth-shaped.
A small business is always about blood, sweat, and tears. Today, it was mostly about sweat, but tomorrow, it’s all about the joy of Opening Day! (The blood and tears are scheduled for Sunday.)
More news right here tomorrow on KQ Radio and the all-KQ network—”all kobolds, all the time.” We’re having a blast, but it’s now time for a refreshing beverage…