we haven't been to a Chevron, but we have attended Massive Events weekend cons so:
These types of events are generally much, much smaller & far more personable than your avarage LFCC or signing event. There are usually some traders there, but not to the extent of a signing event. The fact that the events are smaller, often means VQ tickets aren't necessary. There will be a sort of queuing system which will be based on ticket type and/or number but you'll have plenty of time with guests, depending on the number of attendees.
Events are probably planned throughout the weekend, and if not we recommend the nearest bar
RE Drinks reception. it depends on the number of Gold attendees, really. It's the Friday night where a set of tables are set up with some small snacks and candy, you will be served wine or soda (or water) and devided into small groups of 10-15 people. The attending guests will spend X amount of time at each table in a sort of clock-wise system where after the X time, they'll move over to the next table. It's usually a very casual type thing, don't be affraid to talk
hope this helps!