I'm making this public in the hope that more people will find it and actually start thinking.
So, I'm probably not in the best mood because while I'm allegedly on vacation at Bouchercon in Indianapolis, I'm still trying to catch up on things and get ready for a 7 day long class (yes, including Saturday and Sunday) that starts on Monday. But.
Bouchercon runs Thursday to Sunday. When I got to the registration desk on Friday morning, I eventually figured out that they were out of pocket programs already. Not that anyone told me that. But after I wondered how the heck I was supposed to figure out where things were and noticed other people with pocket programs and went back to registration to ask, I was told. It seems they had about 1600 people preregistered, so they printed about 1600 pocket programs, and then stuffed one to a bag. Since they had more at the door registrations on Thursday than their wildest dreams, they ran out. Did they print more? Did they make grids? No. So much for for my ~$100 preregistration fee.
Then I found out that next years Bouchercon was up to $175 already and the hotel rate was going to be $250 +/-. This was all pretty much a slap in the face to Mike Willmoth who had a competing bid with lower costs. But all the sheeple wanted to go to San Francisco or something. OK, I was prepared to sit next year out. ($1000 plus tax for 4 nights hotel is too rich, even for my blood.)
I figured I would give Saint Louis a chance in 2011. Not that the NASFiC there was anything to write home about. (Actually it was, but in the train wreck sense, but that is another story.) Or maybe the new Phoenix bid in 2012. But, as it turns out, that seems to have died too. Mike, please feel free to contact me and let me know what the story is.
The final straw was the business meeting today where they essentially passed a sequence of proposals which would effectively stop any 501c3 from running Bouchercon. Actually you could probably run it as a 501c3 if you made sure you had a loss or broke even. Because they passed a Bylaw requiring ANY PROFITS to be given the the National 501c4 or 501c6 (which a 501c3 probably can't do). Of course they haven't even figured out if they are filling as a 501c4 or 501c6. Which is one problem with this proposal. Another is that they are complaining it is too hard to get people to run Bouchercon. Gee, do you think that not letting the local club keep any of the profits is going to make it easier. Except of course the proposal is flawed. If for example MCFI were to run Bouchercon, they could still pay NESFA rent on the clubhouse, effectively funneling the profits from MCFI to NESFA. That is not to say that MCFI would ever do something like this. But, I'm just using it as an example of why this was a dumb idea.
So, while I haven't figured out if Bouchercon has been taken over by a group of people who are trying to feather their own pockets or they merely don't have a clue, but I've pretty much given up.