2012 Annual Gathering of American Mensa

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Program book cover

The 2012 Annual Gathering of American Mensa, "The End of Time AG", was held July 4-8, 2012 in Reno Nevada. Ken Wright was the chairman. Attendance was 1843, making it the fifth best-attended AG at the time.

The anchor hotels were the Silver Legacy and Circus Circus Reno. These casino hotels are interconnected by a wide sky-bridge mezzanine level that blurs your awareness of where one property ends and the next begins. A third hotel casino, The Eldorado, is also connected to the Silver Legacy by the sky-bridge, though the transition was architechually more clear. The Eldorado was not used by the AG, though attendees did partake of the entertainment and food venues there.

The hospitality and game/tournament room were in a separate building, 1/2 block away from the anchor hotel, but much farther from the event space inside the anchor hotels. It was necessary to cross a few hundred feet of smoky casino floor and go outdoors to reach it. The route included a sidewalk made from lumpy paver bricks - artful yes, but rough on folks in chairs, on crutches or just wearing heels. The location of hospitality / games / tournaments was considered better than the prior year: an upholstered parking garage accessed by overly busy elevators (Portland) or "The Hospitality Suite at the End of the Universe" (Denver). Hospitality food was catered by the Silver Legacy hotel and reported to be satisfactory: generally of high quantity and quality. Gripes included a lack of vegetarian options, running out of turkey early in the Thanksgiving-themed dinner and the chocolate fountain malfunctioning during the chocolate buffet dessert Saturday night.

This AG drew praise for its 7-tracks of general interest programming, plus the usual Leadership Development Workshop (LDW) tracks. Programs included a "debate room" where various topics such as gay marriage and evolution vs. creationism were discussed in a format which included the use of hand signals to signify agreement or disagreement. There were a few instances of under-guessing the size of room that a given speaker would draw, but not many.

There was some squawking about the spread-out locations, with a long hike to get to the furthest-flung places. e.g., from the Circus Circus sky tower, where the debate room was located, to the Reno Ballroom, where the hospitality, games, and tournaments were based. With nearly 2,000 people attending, it is difficult to find a property anywhere in the USA where this will not be an issue. Some found this opportunity for exercise to be beneficial.

The Annual Business Meeting agenda included several member-proposed bylaw changes, but these ended up not actually being debated due to the member who proposed them being absent due to work commitments.

The AG was preceded by Colloquium 2012.2: Social and Video Gaming, at the same location a day before. It had a separate registration fee of $69 (including one meal).

Registration and hotel fees

Registration for the 2012 AG was $75 by 7/31/2011, $85 by 12/31/2011, $95 by 3/31/2012, $105 by 6/15/2012, and $120 after. The per-day rate was $40. Young Mensans were free up to age 3, $40 for ages 4 to 12, $55 for ages 13 to 20, or $20 per day. There was a 3-meal dining plan for $93. The hotel room rates were $89 and up at Circus Circus, $99 and up at Silver Legacy.

External links

Official reports

(require American Mensa member login)

Meeting reports

(require American Mensa member login)


Preceded by:
2011: Portland
Annual Gathering of American Mensa
2012
Succeeded by:
2013: Fort Worth