Having only ever driven through Chicago on the way to Teslacon, this was our first time actually staying there. Well, not actually in the city, but close. From our window on the seventh floor, a big chunk of O'Hare Airport was clearly visible on the left. Although this was a first-time event, it shares some lineage with the International Steampunk Symposium in Cincinnati, which we've attended several times.
The hotel was quite large...this was taken from one end of the main lobby, looking towards the entrance.
The drive out was long - we did it in one day, arriving late Thursday. We unloaded & did a partial setup that night, then finished Friday morning. Vending rand 4-8, and we did a panel on prop finishing at 10. Saturday was another long day, as we had another panel at 10 as well. Sunday we broke down at 5, left at 6:30, and arrived in Elkhart Indiana around 10 - we wanted to break up the drive back. Overall, a fairly tiring weekend - but still fun!
One minor disaster on the way down...the exhaust from the van melted the corner of one of our containers, and the $3 bags took the brunt of it. We ended up extracting all the charms, gears, & keys from the melted plastic and selling them as a lot - spared us having to sort and re-bag everything.
Oliver was a huge hit, as always - if there's a more photogenic animatronic Steampunk triceratops around, we've never seen it. We sold about a third of our Critter inventory, a whole lot of random frippery, and quite a few wood toys.
Our sales were fine, and our presentations went well. However, while we enjoyed the event, the high cost of the hotel and travel expenses mean we'll have to carefully consider whether we'll want to go back next year.