DemiCon Archives

Held May 2 - 4, 1997
Des Moines, Iowa
Venue: The Inn at University

Our Guests Were:

Author Guest-of-Honor

Barbara Hambly

Artist Guest-of-Honor

Mitchell Bentley

Fan Guest-of-Honor

Charles Piehl


Rusty Hevelin

Other Notables-in-Attendance

Brett Bass
Algis Budrys
Rob Chilson
Glen Cook
Robert Cornett
Robert "J.R." Daniels
George Alec Effinger
Erin McKee
Mickey Zucker Reichert

General Statistics:


Approx. 465

Art Show Sales (Gross)

Approx. $5,900

Other Fun Facts:

Trans-Iowa Canal Co. (tm) West Performances

Fan of La Mancha
TICC After Dark

Comments / Observations:

DemiCon VIII was the first DemiCon to be held at a venue other than the Howard Johnson's (despite the latter having changed its name a couple of times during our time there, it was still the same hotel). The switch was prompted by declining quality of the Howard Johnson facilities, coupled by unreasonably high increases in function space rental rates and frequent turnover in sales and management that had damaged our working relationships with key staff personnel.

The Inn offered several advantages over the current state of the Howard Johnson's. Its staff was eager to work with us. There were fewer number of sleeping rooms, so the entire hotel was populated by our members. The consuite facility was large and well laid-out. The wonderful Outback Steakhouse was right next door.

Of course, the new facility had its disadvantages, too. There were, in fact, too few sleeping rooms, so a number of our members had to find room accomodations elsewhere (although there were several other hotels very near the Inn). There was not enough available parking. The main programming room, while spacious, had some design problems that made it difficult to hear at times. The smoking consuite had to be placed inconveniently far from the main consuite.

In anticipation of the inevitable disorientation that would be experienced by DemiCon regulars, one of the Des Moines Science Fiction Society members (Sallie Abba) took it upon herself to prepare and distribute a survey regarding that year's convention, requesting feedback about the venue, services, and overall "feel" of the con. Approximately 25% of the attending DemiCon members completed and returned the survey. If you are interested in a summary of the results, click here (NOTE: Link N/A -- Under development).

Overall, the membership reaction to the new facility was positive. Plans were made to return to the Inn for DemiCon IX, but due to an odd series of events, the 1998 convention ended up back at its original hotel. For information on the hotel situation at DemiCon 9, click here.

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