First Ever Harry Potter Midnight Magic Party at Barnes and Noble at Georgia Tech, 7/27/07

We didn't know what to expect, but I planned for 50 to 500 - fortunate for the store, because we had around 700 people throughout the night (until 1 AM!) in the cafe and first-floor starting at 8 PM


Sometimes you just have to take charge! 

 (All photos courtesy of Dorina, my former coworker - thanks so much!)

Getting ready in the back room (books sequestered until 11 PM):

Robert gives me "the look"

Robert can't resist hamming-it-up for the camera (with me in the foreground)!

Dorina and Wes - our resident Harry Potter fanatics

Harry's kid brother?

Waiting for midnight and getting ready for the signed-cover-art-poster-competition: 127 questions* (contestants weren't told the total before hand to limit "gaming" the quiz) in 7 minutes, 27 seconds (7/27/07, the date of the release) - highest score to win!

(*Why so many questions in so little time? We had to have some way for their to be an obvious winner - the materials we had to work with were supplied by the publisher and ranged from a cross-word puzzle to a word-circle, mostly designed for younger kids; to make it a challenge for the Tech crowd, I designed the "test" to be pretty much impossible to perform perfectly on in the time limit - the winning score was in fact, 118 or so and the next was 100, with the average in the 60's. Because there was so much diversity in the types of puzzles and because there were so many questions, the average participant, spent precious time trying to decide what to do first, or haphazradly flipped back and forth between different sections, while the winner, a Harry Potter fanatic (and academically focused Tech student,) looked over all the questions and figured out the best order to answer the to maximize the score. Most of the participants seemed pleasantly suprised at how difficult it was and realized that they probably didn't win becuase only as they were finishing did they understand they didn't choose a strategy that would give them a chance at the best score - the winner did and announced to us when done that they were confident they had won!)

Costume contest!

Harry Potter Scene It! Trivia to help pass the time (Thanks Clay Karwish, class of 2010!)

Wes preparing to announce the start of the contest and count-down the time remaining

Ready to start the competition!

Chris and Ashley relaxing before the onslaught

Up on the front counter directing the growing crowd (Store Director G. Maloney in the background)


Look closer...

and still closer... (pixelation yikes!)

More crowd lining up...

More costumes, Dorina and Mr. Maloney

Our last customers of the night were two cast members from "Dreamgirls" (on the right) - we had already locked the doors, but we couldn't stand in the way of getting the final Harry Potter on the final release night (thanks Carl, Ibrahim and Dorina)!

Thanks to everyone who helped make the night a terrific success!