These are my notes on the meeting held Sunday morning at the Known World Dance Symposium. Corrections and additions are encouraged.
Post-mortem on this year:
Publicly KWDS 9 was a success. People enjoyed the event. There were lots of tracks of classes. They were able to bring in non-SCA professionals to teach. The Ohio Union people were great. The bad news is that it lost about $1800. They were planning for 200. They got about 175. This is about what the event has been getting, but they were hoping for more. The schedule included a lot of Middle Eastern and World Dance classes, which they had hoped would bring in people from the belly dance community that don’t normally go to this event, but then a major belly dance event got scheduled opposite it in Columbus.
The event budget was around $9000. They had to put down a deposit of $4000 more than a year in advance to lock in the site. This is necessary for a venue like this because other people are trying to reserve space well in advance. They tried to get interest from the university music department, but that was unsuccessful. They did get money from the SCA, Inc. to pay for bringing in pros. The swag [water bottles and tote bags] was not expensive. It only added $5.25 per person.
Advice for future events:
Don’t be afraid of a big site. This is not a typical SCA event. It is a conference.
Ask the Corporation for help. There is something called the Bone bequest which is money specifically for promoting music and dance in the SCA. Take advantage of any student discounts you can get. Start early with your site contact. Ask for trade-offs. Often a site will give you discounts on room rental if you buy catered food or book hotel rooms. Be wary of how things are priced because sometimes there are extra fees for things like setting up tables and chairs or requiring that an employee be paid to run equipment. Ask Laurels who they would like to learn from.
The next KWDS:
Mistress Deonna von Aachen will be running the next one in Saratoga Springs on June 20-23, 2013. There is a Facebook page. Look for Knowne World (with an “e”). There will be a website soon. The date is on the kingdom calendar.
The evening site will be Universal Preservation Hall. This is a historic site with wooden floors and wonderful acoustics. They are used to having dances because Dance Flurry is held there every February. The down side is that it is one large room, so other space will be needed for classes. It is also old enough to not be up to current fire safety and accessibility standards, which means there has to be a fire marshal. There are two possibilities for more space, neither of which is nailed down yet. A couple blocks away there is a former school with 14 wooden-floored classrooms that is rentable, with us having the room keys all weekend. It is not air-conditioned, but Saratoga Springs is cool in the summer. Neither this site nor the hall requires catering, so it would be possible to have a dessert revel and dayboard. The other location is Skidmore College. We will definitely be able to use their dorm rooms for $63 per person per night. This
includes a shuttle trolley ticket. We will be able to have late night dancing there. There are vending machines, so drinks would be available all night. It may be possible to have classes there as well, instead of the former school, but we won’t know what space, if any, will be available for a while yet, because they haven't set their schedule yet, and they have a lot of stuff in the summer. Their classrooms are carpeted. Saratoga Springs is also home to the National Museum of Dance, the Horseracing Museum and other attractions. It is a small city, so lots of things are within walking distance.
Deonna did not have the site fees available, but it will have a discount for pre-registration and a site fee for attending the ball only. They will have online registration through ACCEPS. (People noted that some have had problems with ACCEPS, but Darius said it now accepts Canadian credit cards.) The assistant autocrat is not a dancer and will be focusing on administration. Wilhelm is the class coordinator. Deonna may be able to get John Tyson to teach music classes.
There was some discussion of whether it is better for all the classes to begin and end at the same time, or whether it is better to have the option of different length classes. The music people felt the classes were too long. A lot of people felt that having skewed class tracks was bad. Having all the longer classes in one time slot was suggested. Deonna said she was considering having a half hour break between classes, especially if people have to move between sites. Some people thought the lunch break was too long. People liked the long dinner break. Felice asked if having green rooms was helpful. No one knew they were there. There needs to be a place to store instruments. Monique asked if it would be better to have only one track of music classes, so the classes wouldn’t be drawing against each other. Someone else noted that in that case, if that class isn’t something you can do, you are out of luck. Deonna wants to have a track of non-dance
music. Would it be a waste to try to have another music class opposite someone like John Tyson? Someone suggested having a master class day, perhaps on Thursday, with just one track.
Phillip asked if there were any other future bids besides Drachenwald. There is some talk of the St. Louis area.
Darius said that Judith told him that she intends to put a bid in for Drachenwald in 2015 at the same site in Miltenburg, Germany where they have the Academia della Danza event. That event is normally held in March, but she did not tell him any dates. People stay in a youth hostel. They would expect a smaller event. When KWDS was in Lochach about thirty people came from the US. People asked about the possibility of getting a travel agent to put together a tour package because having someone to make travel arrangements would make it more likely people would go.
Someone asked whether it would be two years after that before there could be another KWDS. The consensus was that an annual event is not a good idea, but since fewer people would go to a KWDS outside the US, it would be good to have the next one in 2016.
Permanent Web Site
Darius and Gwommy are working on a permanent website for KWDS. Darius has registered kwds.com and kwdms.com as domains and is hosting the site. They have a start on constructing the site, which they showed on a laptop. It has not gone public yet. It will include the ability to give event staff and teachers accounts, so they can update content themselves. People were impressed enough to ask if the template could be made available to adapt to other events.
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