Bright Ideas and True Confessions: How and What to Do and Why


Excerpts from an (unpublished) "Handbook for Autocrats" by Duchess Leah Kasmira of Natterhelm

Preparation for any event should begin as early as is humanly possible. At the very outside, three months is a minimum amount of time in which to prepare a good event. As autocrat, you will be ultimately responsible (that is, "where the buck stops") for all of the organization and fluidity of your event. It is up to you to make the reservations, develop a menu (if you are feeding people), organize the entertainment, get out the invitations and write up publicity announcements for the kingdom, principality and local newsletters, supervise any construction projects and/or interior decorating, schedule the arts and crafts projects and contests, and any other activities, and to see to the comfort of your ruling noble and any visiting dignitaries. It sounds like an awful lot, and it is, but the key is to delegate the work-only the work, and never the responsibility! You will have to do the co-ordinating, supervising, and entertaining of visiting dignitaries yourself, as well as making reservations and mailing the publicity releases and announcements. This is very time-consuming in itself. Therefore it is most important that you know what you are going to do before you do it!

[Then followed a step-by-step explanation of the planning and carrying out of the above.]

Another excerpt from the same manuscript has some good ideas for the follow-up on an event (still addressed to the autocrat):

The ball has not stopped rolling yet. Now you must draft reports of the event to send to your ruling noble, local seneschal (and principality seneschal, if it was a principality event), the SCA newsletters, and the mundane media. Include, in the report to the seneschal and ruling noble, an accounting of the affairs of the evening, an account of the finances, and a criticism of the affair-what went right, what went wrong, why, and what you think might be done about it-for future reference, and the advisement of future autocrats. To the SCA newsletters, you need send only a social report of who won what, etc., but make it concise, to conserve space. For the mundane media, a social report, modified to emphasize the local interests and the local members will suffice. Use both mundane and Society names for this, and include any interesting pictures you can spare-black and white glossy, unless they specify something else.


The final step is the mailing out of thank-you notes to those who have been very helpful, people who have donated time and/or goods (be sure these people are recognized in all of the reports mentioned in the previous paragraph), and to any media who gave you coverage-with encouragement for them to feel free to repeat their helpfulness in the future.

Now, finally, you may consider your work done.


Copyright © by Sandra Dodd, 1991
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