It’s coming up fast!
Vent Haven ConVENTion 2018
Last year, almost as soon as we finished the conVENTion, we started again.
The Marriott had messed up. I won’t go into everything they did, but they screwed up big time.
The management’s attitude was they were the only game in town. We’d just have to deal with it.
You don’t do that.
In that part of Kentucky, the towns are not far apart. So Mark started looking around. He set up an appointment with the Holiday Inn about a mile down the road. (In a different town.)
Usually Mark & Ken handle all the details. This year, Mark asked me to help.
He called and wanted me to meet him in Kentucky.
I flew out from Maryland and met him at the airport. We coordinated so our flights would arrive approximately the same time.
We called the hotel and took their shuttle to the Holiday Inn. Mark wanted to have the same experience as our conventioneers.
Once there, we met Ken who had driven down from Ohio. The management welcomed us and we checked into our rooms. From there we had a tour, lunch and then meetings to discuss the convention details.
The new hotel would require us to make some changes to the show room set up. Other than that, we felt it was a perfect fit.
One of the problems in the past was people who made reservations at the convention hotel without registering for the conVENTion.
Mark would plan on their registrations coming through. He even called some who said they would definitely be there.
At the last minute, some of those folks dropped out.
Maybe life got in the way. Maybe they were unable to get off work. We don’t fault them for that.
The problem was, because they had reserved rooms, other attendees couldn’t stay at the hotel. They had to book rooms at other locations.
Plus, when they dropped their rooms, our room count went down. This would result in higher costs for the conVENTion, as the room count is a part of the contract,
We decided this year, we would institute a new policy. Like other conventions, people would need to register BEFORE they could book a room at the conVENTion rate.
Mark asked me to take over the conVENTion website. I redesigned things and we relaunched. We began accepting registrations in October – much earlier than ever before.
At the time I wrote this article, we were well ahead of registrations from previous years.
And this year will be amazing!
The theme for 2018 is the Power of Funny.
Jeff Dunham will present the keynote lecture on this topic. Jeff is one of the funniest guys around. I personally can’t wait to see what he has in store.
Wednesday night’s show will feature Marty Hahne, Neal Bacon, Lisa Laird and my long time buddy Al Moessinger.
Liz Von Seggen will present an “Introduction To Vent” for those just starting out. I believe everyone should consider attending to brush up on their basics.
Thursday Jim Barber will lecture on the Business of Vent. Bob Rumba will show his creativity and inspire yours with his “Setting Up Publicity Shots Live” lecture.
Thursday is also the Junior & Senior Open Mics. This is your chance to see the future of ventriloquism and learn along with them.
Thursday night’s show is another I am really looking forward to. David Crone will M.C., Dan Sachoff, Trish Dunn and Nick Pawlow will take the stage.
To close the evening Al Getler will talk about making the media work for you, followed by the popular General Open Mic!
Friday the youth get a chance to learn from the pros at Junior Vent University. For the adults, there will be a series of workshops. I’m looking forward to Shane West’s on creating character voices. Liz Von Seggen on Voicing The Gospel will be available for anyone who uses vent in the ministry. New lecturers Austin Phillips & Tyler Ellis will present a lecture on Hard Figure Care & Repair. They are both dynamic figure builders and if you use a hard figure, don’t miss that!
Before lunch, the group photo is another can’t miss event. The photos are posted in the Vent Haven Museum and you can become a part of Ventriloquism History!
After lunch, more blockbuster workshops will be available. Mary Ann & Melissa Taylor will discuss extending the life of your soft puppet. Young vent stars Jake LaMarca & Jeffrey Goltz will discuss Comedy Club Experiences. Having worked comedy clubs, I’d love to hear their take, but I am teaming with Mark Wade for Working The Library Market.
After dinner, the International Show takes the stage with Stevo Schuling of Germany as MC. Stevo was unable to attend last year, so I’m looking forward to seeing him there.
The International Show will also feature Warley Santana from Brazil, Learn Ventriloquism student Sari Aalto from Finland and Colin Dymond from the UK.
The Vent Haven Raffle happens right after the show. If you have never attended this – you are in for a lot of fun. The Vent Haven advisors sell tickets that benefit the museum’s operating fund. You get the chance to win some incredible prizes!
After the raffle, things aren’t over. The second night of General Open Mic begins, the dealers rooms are open and of course, the hospitality wing (yes wing) will be hopping!
Saturday morning you will have time to tour the Vent Haven Museum. (Make sure you sign up on Wednesday after you pick up your convention registration.)
After lunch, we have the International Panel Discussion where you get the chance to meet the vents from Friday night’s show. They will discuss ventriloquism in their country and how life is different for them.
Later, My good buddy Ken Groves will moderate a round table discussion called “How Do You Find The Funny?” The panel will consist of Dan Horn, Pete Michaels, Mark Wade and yours truly.
That night, the All Star Show will take the stage. MC Al Getler will bring Keith Hadrill, Phil Hughes and Australia’s Darren Carr to the stage.
Following the show, the dealers rooms will be open until Midnight, and the hospitality wing will be filled as friends say their goodbyes.
I can’t wait.
I hope to see you there!
Are you coming to the ConVENTion? If so, leave a comment below with when you will be arriving!