Takeover 2000 aftermath
JAL / Nostalgia / Takeover organizer
For those who do not know, my main concern with the scene, apart from visiting the more scene-oriented IRC-channels and demoparties now and then, is helping organize the annual Takeover demoparty, held in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Takeover has been held for four times now, this year's edition being held on 16-18 June. Organizing a demo party is not easy, even after four years. There are a myriad of things to think about, and since every year is slightly (or much) different than the year before, when everything is over, the last sceners have left the party place and the crew has cleaned every last bit of rubbish, a sigh of relief goes through the minds of the organization team - "yes, we have done it, again!". It would be nice if that was that, if all the energy put in and now gone were enough, and after a long and well deserved holiday we could start the next edition. Unfortunately, life is never that easy.
First, there's the next day. A demo party involves tons of stuff: about ten demo PCs, network equipment (a couple of routers, dozens of switches, a good kilometer of cables, four servers, a raid controller weighing 25 kilos), a big screen and
projector, disco lights (although not many people noticed, Takeover 2000 featured a three-hour DJ-show), a few 380V power distributors, a few hundred power connections, the organizers' PCs, the remaining T-shirts and other stuff-for-sale, and so on. All this stuff has to be brought back to the sponsors or stored for later use. This takes six people a good day.
Secondly, there's the usual party aftermath, like updating the website ("thank you all for coming"), putting the releases online, making the official results available. And, of course, listening to the scene about what they thought of the whole event. Typically, it takes a few days for this to be arranged, since it hasn't got the highest of priorities.
Thirdly, there's the bills. Loads of bills: Party T-shirts. Catering. University personal. Party booklets. Wristbands. Party hall big screen. Sleeping hall. Cleaning crew. Mouse mats. It would be nice to be able to pay them immediately. But bills are paid by sponsor money. And for some reason, sponsors never pay on time. So there's phone calls to be made. Lots of phone calls.
And then of course, there's the evaluation. No matter what people you put together in an organizing team, and no matter how successful the event organized was, no matter how smoothly the whole operation went, there are always minor and major problems that rear their ugly heads before, during or after the party. Frictions between organizers ("I really think you should have consulted the rest of us sooner"), problems to be dealt with next year ("now we know we need a permit, make a note for next year"), the general feeling ("man, it was too easy this year, no problems at all, boring!") - without a proper evaluation, things creep up next year, and you don't want that.
And then... Then it's time to think about next year's event. Who of the organizing team wants to participate again? Do we need more organizers? Who will be next year's crew? What goodies will we introduce next year? What went wrong this year? What can we improve next year? Do last year's sponsors want to sponsor again? Do we need more or different sponsors? As you might have heard, chances are high that Takeover 2001 will be the last in series, which puts extra strain on the organization to make it a really memorable event.
Now that I have disclosed some of the maybe less obvious "things to do when organizing a demo party", there's only one thing left to say:
Come to 2001, a Takeover Odyssey, the best and biggest Takeover in Takeover history.
JAL / Nostalgia / Takeover organizer