For those who missed it, the exciting "pre-show coverage" consisted of attendees entering the the ballroom and mingling. There was no announcer talking, and all you could hear is the mumble-mumble hubbub of a crowd. Every five minutes or so an announcer comes on to tell you what you're watching and what's coming.
I must say that this is borderline insane, and the sort of thing that can drive your audience away. When you give a start time, if there's nothing gong on there's a good chance people might...well, y'know leave. Beyond that, it makes you look like chumps.
The "Meet the Writers" event starts at 5:30. Just tell the public that that's when things start. Why? Because that's when things start!
The good news is that "Meet the Writers" has started and the first interviewees are Tracy Letts, playwright and screenwriter of August: Osage County. He's there's with Dermot Mulroney who acts in the film. So, it's really "Meet the Writers...and some others." That's okay (sort of), since they clearly want to get some celebrities in there. But at least in this particular case, I like seeing Dermot there because back in my days when I did publicity, I worked on two movies with him. He's an exceedingly nice fellow -- and he went to Northwestern, as well. So...yes, I'm biased. But not about him being a nice guy. He just is.
(Now up: Vince Gilligan of Breaking Bad, along with actress Betsy Brandt from the show.)