The Arisia party had a convention in one night--name badges, dealer's table, other stuff I don't remember. I wasn't there, but it sounded exceedingly neat, and I hope I have a chance to see such a thing at some future convention.
I spent most of my day time in the dealers' room, which made me realize that there were almost no panels in the evening. I vote for at least a few evening panels if that's tolerable for the panelists.
I might post about the panels I missed in the hopes of getting a little post-con discussion.
I did get to a Tolkien panel--I wish I remembered more of it, but it was good to hear a lot of people say that they don't hate Tom Bombadil. I don't either. Actually, this fits with my previous comments about silly endearments--a lot of people find even small amounts of silliness in fiction hard to take, and I wonder why.
Imho, part of the point of Tom Bombadil is that dignity doesn't matter. You can have dignity if you want (it's part of how Gondor works), but it doesn't make you either good or powerful.
My experiment with little buttons went reasonably well--they sold ok, and will presumably do better as I get a better idea of what slogans to put on them and how to display them.
If what I heard at my table was a fair sample, at least 80% of attendees were pro-Kerry/anti-Bush.
It was good meeting elisem and many thanks to papersky for staying up very late talking with me.