terryoquinn lost 290 'Lost': Revisiting Zap2Locke Con, Part 1Although it happened more than a week ago, I know some of you still want to hear about the “Lost” meet-up I co-hosted back in Chicago. I meant to write about it last week, but then Michael Emerson won the Emmy, I wrote a response in order to be topical, and yea, the week kind of got away from me. I figured more people would be interested in last week’s discussion than in reading about a party they didn’t attend. But it’s high time I dropped a recap of the events, mostly to make those that didn’t attend madly jealous that they couldn’t. I’m cruel like that.

A little background in case you might have forgotten: along with Long Live Locke’s Erika Olson, Zap2it’s senior producer Andy Grieser, and my wife Diana, I co-hosted a meet-up for “Lost” fans in Chicago. Even though we live in Boston, Chicago made sense for the meet-up as 1) Zap2it has an office there, 2) Erika lives there, and 3) Diana and I hadn’t actually traveled anywhere in two years. In addition, while organizing a meet-up might have been logistically easier on our part, this way I could totally blame Erika if the meet-up was lame. Crafty, I know.

Thus was born Zap2Locke Con, and soon after was born the realization that what we assumed would be a small, informal gathering would be something bigger. We originally used the word “Con” semi-ironically in the title of the event, referencing much bigger geektastic events such as Comic-Con and Wizard Con. But within a week of announcing it, we all realized we couldn’t just grab a table at a bar and call it a day. So we started to organize.

The basic idea? Transform a space in Chicago into our very own Dharma station. Luckily, Andy knew the perfect place: The Dark Horse Tap & Grill. A bar near Wrigley Field that also unwittingly refers to “What Kate Did“? Perfect. So we decided to christen The Dark Horse “Station 108” for this one-time only event, and worked on designing some print materials in order to transform the bar’s beer garden into the perfect place for the event.

Enter Diana, who used her mad design skills to take all the information gleaned from a few conference calls to design a variety of posters, tri-folds, and even specialized menus in order to sell the atmosphere. You can see these over on the Facebook page for the event, or here if you don’t have a Facebook account. I’m especially proud of the way that the menus came out: we took the Dark Horse’s existing menu and created “Hurley’s Hummus,” “Paulo’s Pulled Pork Nachos,” “Mr. Cluck’s Chicken Wings,” and my personal favorite, “Katesadillas.” Drink options ranged from the punny (“Jack and Coke,” “Jin and Tonic”) to our signature drink of the evening, “Wrecks on the Beach.” Sadly, they didn’t have any MacCutcheon whiskey on hand.

While the event was scheduled for Friday, we arrived on Thursday to Chicago. We arrived early partly to ensure we didn’t travel all day and then host a gathering, but also for the practical reasons that we had to produce many of the materials in Chicago. We couldn’t exactly put completed tri-folds into our carry-on luggage and expect them to survive. And while having a 2’x3′ poster for everyone to sign was a great idea, it wasn’t the most practical thing to check in at the airport. And since this wasn’t some corporate-backed mega-event (yet), the four of us had to make sure all the t’s were crossed, i’s were dotted, and all buttons that save the world pushed in order to make this event go smoothly.

Did it go smoothly? Well, you’ll have to wait until next time to find out. Sufficed to say, things started off…oddly. Anger. Confusion. Inappropriate toupees. Someone got sucked into a jet engine. Oh wait, I might be confusing the Con with something else. But don’t worry: it all ended well. A lot better than “Lost” itself will probably end.

Ryan invites you to join the hundreds already in Zap2It’s Guide to Lost Facebook group.

Posted by:Ryan McGee