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Feedback - Saturday problems and other things

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Persephone1    30

It did seem madness that people who had already got their weekend passes had to queue with on the day people & those who hadn't picked theirs up yet? Could there not be separate queues to encourage getting people in the venue quicker? (Only really an issue for the Saturday)

oh and electric monitors for VQ info etc isn't remotely feasible. But having an app with the info on would be very helpful 

Edited by Persephone1
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Queen_Sindel    3,313
2 minutes ago, Persephone1 said:

It did seem madness that people who had already got their weekend passes had to queue with on the day people & those who hadn't picked theirs up yet? Could there not be separate queues to encourage getting people in the venue quicker? (Only really an issue for the Saturday)

oh and electric monitors for VQ info etc isn't remotely feasible. But having an app with the info on would be very helpful 

I'm not sure I can follow. Everyone went in the loading all anyway, and at that Point everyone had their wristbands? So absolutely no difference in getting People into the venue.

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Persephone1    30
8 minutes ago, Queen_Sindel said:

I'm not sure I can follow. Everyone went in the loading all anyway, and at that Point everyone had their wristbands? So absolutely no difference in getting People into the venue.

Well yes & no. All have to be bag checked but waiting behind people whose tickets are being scanned is a minor thing but actually adds up overall in terms of time. If you had two queues one for those with wristbands & those who needed to be scanned those who are already sorted would be in the venue quicker. Ive seen this done at other events & no question it definitely helps with crowd flow after the doors have opened (I agree makes little difference to those who are queuing prior to doors open). On Saturday the queue was down to the train station for about 90 minutes after open. I know people with weekend passes already collected who arrived at 9am & ended up missing 10am shoots as in the queue 

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Raylenth    2,645
51 minutes ago, Steve B said:

Hi,

I'm not sure whether this is the best place for this but I guess an Admin will move or delete it if it isn't! ;)

We were first-time LFCC attendees this year (although we've been to several other Cons) and had a 3 day pass for the event. Overall, we had a brilliant time and massive thanks & congrats ned to go to all the volunteers - they were incredible and all deserve medals!

However, as with every event, there were things that didn’t go so well or seemed odd and opportunities that I thought were missed so I thought I’d post some feedback here:

1. Queue management.

General entry queue management seemed really bad, especially on Saturday.

Why didn’t people who had already queued up and got wristbands / passes on Friday have a separate / fast-track entry line for subsequent days? Not really necessary as the weekend tickets just need to flash their wristbands to pass through into the queue and day passes get scanned on arrival so it would make things harder to have even more separate queues.  The 1 queue works very well.

Why wasn’t the enormous entry hall space used for queueing instead of having everyone standing outside round the block? (By the way, letting people move forward in groups just allowed LOTS of folks who weren’t in the queue to just walk down the street and cut the line closer to the entrance). It was.  I was there early on Friday and Saturday and we were all queued inside the hall as soon as it opened.  Not sure about Sunday as I arrived after 9 when they were queuing around the block

Signage for where the entrance was / where the queue started was also poor / non-existent.

The queue for on-the-day purchases from the Showmasters desk was also incredibly long and slow – it looked like there just weren’t enough staff assigned to man it so the throughput was really low. It was also unclear (to LFCC newbies like us) what could be paid for in the lines (e.g. autographs) and what had to be pre-bought at the desk. This did go a bit wrong.  They had tech difficulties when I was queuing on Sunday which slowed it down even more and there was no indication of what line you sere supposed to be in (1 was dedicated to specific issues rather than just purchasing tickets) but some of the crew were unfortunately confused and telling people to go in the wrong queue.  One chap queued for ages to get to the front and be told he was at the wrong desk - no one's fault but maybe it might be an idea for the crew managing the queues to ask people if they can what they need to determine if firstly the are in the right place and secondly in the right queue.

The re-entry process (for those who went outside for a cigarette) was bizarre. Why force people who have had their hand stamped to walk round the building to join the main queue again instead of letting them back in via the door they just used to pop out for a cigarette? Seems pointless & unnecessary.

2.  Photo opps.

How batches and queue ticket numbers worked seemed really inconsistent & confusing – some photos were done by batch number, others weren’t (or batches / ticket numbers weren’t used) and there seemed to be no logic to it. A bit of clarity & consistency would be helpful in future.

The process for failed photos was also a mess – I saw several people miss out on their photo because the celeb had gone by the time they were sent back for a second go after there was a problem with their original picture. Maybe the celebs shouldn’t be ushered away until everyone who paid for a photo has got one that’s actually ok?

I also saw some people miss out on photos because the celeb had gone by the time they turned up (even though the schedule showed that the shoot was due to have been still going on for a further 15 or 30 mins). Surely if the photo shoot is due to run from 5 - 6, someone turning up at 5:30 shouldn't be told, 'Sorry, you're too late'.

3. Autographs

The process for getting autographs (& photos or selfies) was pretty haphazard with some celebs being told by event staff that they couldn’t get up & pose whilst others were allowed to do whatever they wanted. In addition, despite the fact that the LFCC site states “We will not add any extra restrictions on taking photos whilst queuing or at their autograph table simply due to the photo shoot” people were being told by staff that photos weren’t allowed. Better staff briefing required?   SM will not charge for selfies so if a guest is doing them you can get them and it shouldn't cost you. That conforms to their statement.  However there are times when they have to ban them but it's for a variety of reasons.  It could be to keep the queue moving so more people can get auto's, it could be because the guest doesn't want to do them - it can be uncomfortable having to lean over and do them all the time, they may feel ill, they may have migraines.  It's not a ploy to get people to buy photoshoots. 

4. Food & drink prices

Could someone please have a word with the food vendors in the venue? Not because prices were high (we expect that) but because they seemed completely random. Over the course of the weekend, I bought several pints of cider from the same food kiosk. On Friday, I was charged £4:90, on Saturday morning, I was charged £4:50 and early on Saturday afternoon I was charged £5:00. All for the same drink from the same place. Seems odd, to say the least.

5. Why no ‘official’ parties?

I asked this question of other Con-goers before the event & was told ‘because it’s all about the photos & autos’. But that’s the same at ALL Cons. So, is there any reason why there aren’t any official evening events (i.e. parties) after the Con has closed for the day? Pretty much every other Con I’ve attended has parties of some description in the venue, or in a ‘host’ hotel (or nearby), where Con attendees can gather to have a few drinks, dance & have a good time. They are always incredibly popular and are lots of fun and it feels like LFCC is really missing a trick here by not having any.

Thanks & keep up the good work!

 

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Raylenth    2,645
42 minutes ago, Queen_Sindel said:

And will require just as much if not more Crew to Keep updated. ;) Then Crew Needs to go around and check the info so it can be updated.

There is no "main Person running the Queue." It's a ticketer, the cash desk and the guest assistant. At the max another Crew member handling the line flow. There's not really a way one of them can handle a tablet in Addition. Give it to the ticketer and we'll have the first broken one within the first hour. Never mind that the venue's Wifi sucks.

Photo shoots Queen not the auto lines which work quite well I think.  It would be an idea for the photo's where it's not so obvious which guest is in there and where they are up to.  A couple of times I had trouble getting to and finding the crew member to ask this.  Having a computer display so it doesn't need to be done via the internet connection isn't hard to set up and they have got Lan wiring everywhere though yes there is an issue of having someone to update it.  It's something I hope SM would consider, and maybe trial at a smaller event to see how it works.  The benefits would be massive.

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youell    14
46 minutes ago, Queen_Sindel said:

And will require just as much if not more Crew to Keep updated. ;) Then Crew Needs to go around and check the info so it can be updated.

There is no "main Person running the Queue." It's a ticketer, the cash desk and the guest assistant. At the max another Crew member handling the line flow. There's not really a way one of them can handle a tablet in Addition. Give it to the ticketer and we'll have the first broken one within the first hour. Never mind that the venue's Wifi sucks.

I disagree. I think spending 5-10 seconds inputting the information to be displayed as opposed to spending 15-20 seconds with tens of people asking the same questions is surely time saving. I'm not saying anything specifically about the way it should be done ie. TV Screen, tablet etc. There are probably a few different to display the information and specify what information to be displayed just that I think it would be helpful for all involved and may want to be looked into. I guess it doesn't even need to be digital - could be pre printed and displayed with the batch numbers on a flipper type thing. I'm not sure what is the best actual way of doing this, just that I think something should be done.

I do agree however that the more technology involved, the more likely it is things will break. And then you will have to deal with people complaining about this and that not working. You have enough complaints to deal with.

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youell    14
2 minutes ago, Raylenth said:

Photo shoots Queen not the auto lines which work quite well I think.  It would be an idea for the photo's where it's not so obvious which guest is in there and where they are up to.  A couple of times I had trouble getting to and finding the crew member to ask this.  Having a computer display so it doesn't need to be done via the internet connection isn't hard to set up and they have got Lan wiring everywhere though yes there is an issue of having someone to update it.  It's something I hope SM would consider, and maybe trial at a smaller event to see how it works.  The benefits would be massive.

As with Raylenth, my comments are about photo shoots.

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Queen_Sindel    3,313

Sorry, I misunderstood. Still I'm not too convinced personally. You are working under the assumption that People actually read. I Kind of gave up on that after 10 years of working on the Forum. ;) 

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reedierules89    149

Firstly i wanted to start by saying how much i enjoyed this year not only was there an extremely diverse guest list covering pretty much all the major fandoms doctor who, star wars, star trek, walking dead etc it felt like it wasn't too top heavy in any one fandom which was great. Secondly all my photo shoots and autographs were done at a good pace and very efficient. This year i had so many guests to meet that its the first year where i felt i didn't have as much time to search the stalls but this i was happy with. i think its important to say i bought gold so was there all 3 days and i also had diamond passes for tom skerrit, benedict cumberbatch and mads mikkelson, now i have seen a lot of people complaining about queue lengths of certain guests not getting autos because of vq's etc, this convention is now so big and draws so many people i believe if you want to get everyone you want you cannot do this in one day otherwise you are setting yourself up to be disappointed, i also see that again people saying prices to high for this guest and such its all subjective i don't like sherlock never have done but i am a big fan of hobbit star trek and marvel so it was a no brainer on benedicts diamond pass there was no way if you didnt get his diamond pass that you would get his autograph he is one of the biggest sort after stars atm and it to me was quite obvious that he was gonna pull a massive crowd. LFCC is the only con i go to now because of the variety of guests and as for david bradley's queue he's reprising his role as the first doctor he was gonna be sort after i got in his queue and didn't move till i met him he was a lovely gentlemen and regardless of whether hes a slow signer or not that shouldn't be the point if you wanted him that badly forget the other guests and get in line, this happens every year where i see people putting i didn't meet such and such because of this line etc the tickets are available if you want to make it easier and not be disappointed then buy the gold or diamond pass i do every year and i get everyone i want. For me personally there is no con better than lfcc and look forward to next year.

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I agree with most of what you said. It was a lot busier than previous years and got very little done on Saturday (so glad I did the Friday as well for the first time), while previous years I got pretty much everything done on the Saturday.

I will say that I do think some prices are getting too high. Not for Cumberbatch, but so many guests that are in the 40 - 65 pounds range. Natalie Dormer and Conleth Hill asked twice what Peter Dinklage asked a couple of years ago. I know "everything gets more expensive", but by this rate conventions will soon become unaffordable. I've heard quite a few people say that they spend the same amount as last year, but for less guests.

Loved it this year and got everyone I wanted to meet except John Cleese, but without diamond/gold I did have to sacrifice a lot of sleep xD

Looking forward to next year! Though I fear I should probably already start saving up for that.

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reedierules89    149
13 minutes ago, dogsoldierspoon said:

I agree with most of what you said. It was a lot busier than previous years and got very little done on Saturday (so glad I did the Friday as well for the first time), while previous years I got pretty much everything done on the Saturday.

I will say that I do think some prices are getting too high. Not for Cumberbatch, but so many guests that are in the 40 - 65 pounds range. Natalie Dormer and Conleth Hill asked twice what Peter Dinklage asked a couple of years ago. I know "everything gets more expensive", but by this rate conventions will soon become unaffordable. I've heard quite a few people say that they spend the same amount as last year, but for less guests.

Loved it this year and got everyone I wanted to meet except John Cleese, but without diamond/gold I did have to sacrifice a lot of sleep xD

Looking forward to next year! Though I fear I should probably already start saving up for that.

i think the thing that people don't like is that they are realising they are having to prioritize who they want cos they can't afford everyone and i'm afraid to say thats life, i mean iv been collecting doctor who autographs for years and the days of getting a doctor for 10 pound are long gone thats just one example.

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Mark1972    2

Queen . I have to commend the chap at john cleese queue outside signing area. How he kept his cool with a guy with a vt waiting along the wall next to diamonds. He refused to go away and reckoned he had a right to get the autograph because he payed entry to the event. He was repeatedly told only diamonds and still stayed there .

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bobd_uk    49

I thought the photo shoots were the best organised I've seen since I've been going to SM events (10 years).  It was well signed and well managed for the 5 shoots that I had.  The main problem I saw were people who didn't know what time, or what area their shoot was in.  I'd say that I saw at least 10-15 different schedules around the venue, with 3-4 of them being in the photoshoot area.  If people can't get that info for themselves then it really is their issue and having extra info probably won't help them.  (In addition to the paper schedules mentioned, it was also available via links on twitter and facebook, a pinned post on the forum and the top link on the website).

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2 minutes ago, Mark1972 said:

Queen . I have to commend the chap at john cleese queue outside signing area. How he kept his cool with a guy with a vt waiting along the wall next to diamonds. He refused to go away and reckoned he had a right to get the autograph because he payed entry to the event. He was repeatedly told only diamonds and still stayed there .

Was that right at the end of the day? If so I have to agree the guy sorting the queue was great and the other guy (or at least someone similar to him) was just being a total idiot

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Queen_Sindel    3,313
5 minutes ago, Mark1972 said:

Queen . I have to commend the chap at john cleese queue outside signing area. How he kept his cool with a guy with a vt waiting along the wall next to diamonds. He refused to go away and reckoned he had a right to get the autograph because he payed entry to the event. He was repeatedly told only diamonds and still stayed there .

I will make sure to mention that and try to get it to the Crew member. Thank you for posting.

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Queen_Sindel    3,313
3 hours ago, Steve B said:

The process for failed photos was also a mess – I saw several people miss out on their photo because the celeb had gone by the time they were sent back for a second go after there was a problem with their original picture. Maybe the celebs shouldn’t be ushered away until everyone who paid for a photo has got one that’s actually ok?

I also saw some people miss out on photos because the celeb had gone by the time they turned up (even though the schedule showed that the shoot was due to have been still going on for a further 15 or 30 mins). Surely if the photo shoot is due to run from 5 - 6, someone turning up at 5:30 shouldn't be told, 'Sorry, you're too late'.

 

I'd like to have a few more Details on those. For the first bit, the Crew always asks People to check their photo before they leave the area and raise any issues there. It would be very unusual to experience what you are describing that often.

There was one misunderstanding with the Tom Wilson tombstone shoot that was apparently ended earlier than it should. Otherwise no shoot set up for an hour would be finished 30 minutes beforehand. That would mean half of the tickets didn't Show up, and that won't happen. I would really like Details about that so I can put it on my query list.

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Davinia1    3

I thought there were too many people there as well - guests and attendees, and some people behaving very badly(not guests!). And "blue shirts" didn't have relevant info for guests they were near. Also, I was told incorrectly how to get to the exit by 3 "blue shirts" and ended up having a security officer escort me to the exit as I had spent 25 minutes trying to get out!  Only ended up getting 1 of 3 auto's I wanted as stood in an open queue at 9.10 am as was told guest would be here shortly - but actually arrived at 10.15 am. By this time the other two guests I wanted to see were in high hundreds and no chance to see them. Have to say the lady "red shirt" I spoke to at Richard Dean Anderson's queue was superb and gave me all the answers I needed, she was a star.

Will have to think really hard about attending again, but I doubt it.

Who would have thought SM could get too big?!!

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Queen_Sindel    3,313
10 minutes ago, Mark1972 said:

Queen. 10 years doing the forum . You should have a forum anniversary party. Invite everyone.

You realize that would take you about a day travel to get to me? ;)

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clarenewman    13

This was my first major convention, and I had a great time! My observations were these - just things that could have made it even better?

1) Some kind of signage on the wall or balcony for each of the halls - A and B or something, just because as a first-timer I found it SO DISORIENTATING when getting around for shoots/talks etc?

2) The busiest part of the show was the autograph area and it was the one that had the least ventilation. It was so stifling, so some kind of air con machines or spacing it out a bit more perhaps? It was so crazy, and there (I think) was a way of moving photo E/F further up the corridor towards G so you could have had some more auto booths there. 

3) This really doesn't have much to do with the organisers but i think something needs to be said to the venue - the cost of food and drink was ridiculous. £2.30 for a small bottle of water in those temperatures was a disgrace. And of all that volume there were only two small places to sit and eat. When you're on your feet all day it'd be good to have a proper place to do that.

4) I was lucky enough to get in the very tiny batch of VQ for Benedict's autograph on Saturday, but honestly, I think it was incredibly foolish to even offer them on a sold out day when you have upwards of 450 Diamond Pass holders and him doing four hours of pictures and a talk. By giving out VQ, it gave people hope, and it made them go for it. I was one, and I just got there before the swarm arrived, and watching that swarm was horrible. My opinion on that one is, if you have a guest that's sold out their pics and DPs, don't offer VQs. Takes the scrum and the risk out of it.

5) I really wanted a pic with Groot but I never found him, or the Ford Anglia, despite wandering around the venue. The floor plan never specified where they were so next time it'd be great if everything was listed on it, along with a full floor plan of the autograph area (not just "guest hall"). That way there's no confusion, people know exactly where they need to go to find their people. Without that plan, people were running and panicking they wouldn't get to their chosen queue. 

Other than those minor things, I had a great time!! 

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andeedee    25

I had a great LFCC this year as for the first time I was able to do the Friday and got Autos and pics with the guests I wanted. For the most part Saturday went like clockwork I had pics with Biff and Delorean and John Rhys Davies in the morning and managed to bag a spot at the last minute Superman duo shoot. Then after dinner it just seemed to get busier and everything started running late. I like the idea of having the photo shoots in one area but maybe some barriers needed to separate those areas and maybe having one entrance which you show your batch ticket to a red shirt and they could maybe divert people who are like batch 11 for shoot after next. I know a lot of people were just chilling out in this bit but I'm sure there would still be room for this

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Queen_Sindel    3,313
5 minutes ago, Vegasdanny said:

Double the price of Gold? It's already £250!! And you get virtually no benefit  other than getting in 5 mins earlier! most General ticket punters won't spend that amount on getting autographs yet gold passes pay out the £250 and STILL have to pay out for the autos! It's a complete joke. I believe gold passes should get just as much priority as a diamond pass. However I do think that diamond passes should have an exclusive time slot on each day and the diamond passes should be limited to a realistic number. If showmasters sell 500 diamond passes then it's gotta to be announced that that guest will be exclusive to diamond pass users only. Maybe that's the way forward? Everything paid up front. If it sells out online then that's it. Taking pressure off the event and avoiding disappointment for fans that wait hours and hours only to be turned away. 

You don't Need VQ tickets for 90 percent of the guests with a Gold Ticket? Sorry if you are more interested in the Diamond Guests, but for me that would still Count as a Major benefit today.

Broken record time again: we have been repeating til we were blue in the face that the only guarantee to meet a Diamond Pass guest is a Diamond Pass. Some attendees have confirmed that a warning was given when VQ tickets were handed out for Diamond Pass guests. Even Benedict saw a very tiny number of VQ tickets, and on Saturday I would have deemed that impossible.

Imagine no VQ tickets and being announced Benedict had gone open Queue. Stampede of epic proportions.

Autograph only presales won't happen, that has also been stated by the Office a couple of times. They tried it and it is not working.

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lois Lawson    297

On the whole, me and my daughter had a fantastic weekend, couldn't fault the guests or the crew who were extremely friendly.

BUT i just want to make 2 points:

Firstly, I missed my Julian Glover photoshoot on Saturday because his time had been moved from 4.45pm to 11am. I had everything written down in order of the day and also saw it was that time in the programme so i never thought to look. I ended up queuing at Pilou's photoshoot for about 20 minutes until i realised. There's no point asking for a refund because the shoot went ahead. I was very dissapointed as i've wanted to meet Julian for years ( I kept missing him at other events ) Yes, i did meet him to get an auto but now i have no picture. All i can say is please announce a bit clearer on here if times are going to change. When you update the schedule, you could write what has been updated aswell.

 

Secondly, this VQ collection needs sorting out. Me and my daughter split up to get the VQ's, she does one side and i do the other. Yes, she is 18, but she is small. She was crying her eyes out by 9:15 yesterday because of the scrum of people pushing, shoving, snatching and climbing over her to get the tickets. Why can't people  just form an orderly queue? The word vulture springs to mind. I hope this is sorted for next year as there's no need for it.

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Queen_Sindel    3,313
4 minutes ago, lois Lawson said:

On the whole, me and my daughter had a fantastic weekend, couldn't fault the guests or the crew who were extremely friendly.

BUT i just want to make 2 points:

Firstly, I missed my Julian Glover photoshoot on Saturday because his time had been moved from 4.45pm to 11am. I had everything written down in order of the day and also saw it was that time in the programme so i never thought to look. I ended up queuing at Pilou's photoshoot for about 20 minutes until i realised. There's no point asking for a refund because the shoot went ahead. I was very dissapointed as i've wanted to meet Julian for years ( I kept missing him at other events ) Yes, i did meet him to get an auto but now i have no picture. All i can say is please announce a bit clearer on here if times are going to change. When you update the schedule, you could write what has been updated as well.

The latest schedule update is always marked in the thread title? I am not sure if I am understanding correctly.

I'm really sorry you missed your shoot. When David on Twitter or I on here were informed of a Change we did post about it. For the Superman duo shoot even TooTall came on to post. But unfortunately as this is a really busy Show the News just doesn't reach us and the Crew is too busy to run online.

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