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#1937595 Some things to share so you know a little more about the show

Posted by showmasters on 12 July 2015 - 03:15 AM

I do this every year and and its cool to understand and lean some things about what goes on behind
the scenes :-)
 
 
1. This years show looks like it will totally sell out including Friday, this has surprised us all.
 
2. We have taken all the halls we could for this years event which is 6 halls in total so there is the space we need.
 
3. Just so you know next year we plan to take the entire complex all 9 halls making this the unrivalled
   Comic Con in Europe as we have lots of things we want to introduce that we will need more space
   for, that new things we have planed for 2016 ;-)
 
4. We have around 100 more trained crew that we had last year to help you all get what you want.
 
5. Last year we had around x 100 tv and film guests this year its more like 135 
 
6. The Diamond passes have helped to fund the A list guests we have this year and put the event up there
   with the top events in the world 
 
7. As we are in 6 halls we wanted you all to get around easy so for your convenance we have put a
   extra staircase to the next floor this staircase costs £7500,00 to have built, by the way there are
   plenty of other ways up to the next floors like the staircase in each corner of the ground floor but we
   wanted to make it very easy to get around. 
 
8. The crew and guest will consume over 10,000 bottles of Water over the 3 days 
 
9. Next year the Friday will be a full day starting at 10am and ending at 8pm to help grow the event
   and give us all more time with the activities we have planed 
 
10. To be a Pit boss ? Red Shirt  you have to have worked ever job type before you get the shirt there is
     around 70 pit bosses at this years show there to help you.
 
11. The crew and all the people that work full time are all people like yourself that came to the events
     then got more involved and then started to crew and get even more involved to a point where some
     of the crew work together up to 30 times a year and some work at our offices full time employees
     that help to run the events for you to all attend , so its people just like you that run the events , real  
     fans running events for real fans.
 
12. This will be our 10th anniversary for LFCC 
 
13. The budget for the guests cars and coaches for the weekend is now around the same price as the
     entire first budget of LFCC 1   10 years ago 
 
14. We put up all our guests and crew and use over 800 room nights in 8 hotels across London .
 
15. We use over 1000 silver 800 Black and 500 Blue pens over the weekend of the show.
 
16. Fans are coming from all over the world for this years LFCC and we hear people starting to say in
     the US, why do we not have events like this with these A list guests? this is the first year that this feed  
     back has been so loud.
 
17. It takes over 3 months to find and get approval of the images that are used at the event .
 
18. On average heads of crew and the organisers each walk around 14 miles over a show weekend.
 
19. The Showmasters office crew has 125 years of joint event organising experience and have attended
     jointly over 3500 events in there time as a fan and organiser 
 
20. Everyone that works at Showmasters is a collector and a fan of TV and Film in some way.
 
 
Well there is some fun and interesting bits of info for you to learn and get to know us a little more :-)
 
We all look forward to putting on a really fun weekend for you all.
 
Jason :-)
 
 
 
 
 
 
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#1946454 Post event thoughts of weekend from Showmasters

Posted by showmasters on 23 July 2015 - 10:48 AM

Hi everyone 


Well that was a blast, and what a lot of work that was to put on.

As is normal, there were a few issues we feel we need to share with you all. I have seen from last year that a few of you still feel the need to start to say we do not care or we are deliberately not responding to you when the facts is that the show does not end for us when you all leave at 6pm on Sunday. We have to get everything we have built out of the venue by the next day and we also have to look after all of our guests and get them home whether it be in LA or Glasgow, we have to look after that. Then we also have to load the trucks to get everything we have built back to our warehouse's etc, and then when they are back there we have to unload them so it does take us two or three days to get that part of the show put to bed. Then there is the photos to upload and any refunds to do also, so there is a lot of different things that has to happen before we can come on here and comment.

We do care a lot, and more that most to get the events working right for you all and to give many of you the best days you could possibly have at a comic con.  We are in a state of growing and with such growth there are growing pains, we do learn and we do managed to fix things and we rarely have the same problem twice.

So to the event itself.

Selling out meant we did not have any walk-ups and this meant there was space to queue you all outside of the building.  In the past a lot of the queuing space was taken up with an amount of people that we could not guess would be there so this has caused issues in the past at this event, but this did not happen this year and we feel this will not happen again as the event will be a sell out going forward.

Getting everyone in to the show in a safe and timely manner is important to us and after 9am when the doors opened on Saturday it was on average about 55 minutes from the back of the line to get it, and the door line was totally in by 1pm with people turning up throughout the day.  On Sunday it was around 40 minutes this was a fair entrance time for so many of you. Going forward we will have both large ground halls, so we plan to use the entrance of the Grand Hall as that door will work even better to get everyone in a little faster.

This year we arranged for food and water and toilets to be available to people in the queue before the doors opened, something that was needed and we felt the queuing and entrance this time was much better than last year's event.

YALC, Goldpass and disable entrance on Saturday, there were some teething problems. We could not get our scanners to scan all ticket types and this did create a delay with less people going through via a scanner that we would have liked, and then we had the disable lift stop working to get people over the 3 steps going into the lobby.   So we had to direct  disable people to the other entrance where they were let in right away, so they did not have to get into the big queue, but these two things did slow down the line on Saturday. Also with the scanners not all working on all tickets the ones we had did have had to work harder and that meant that we got a little behind getting the YALC passes process and everyone wrist banded, the scanners were fixed for Sunday and things went very well on Sunday morning without any issues we could see.

Going into the layout of the hall there were some things that did catch us out, and I will go into these now. This was our first time using these halls, and as such things do not always go how you think they will go and things also change, and these things create unexpected issues that we have to overcome on the day. Our first issue was the organisers booth, our main hub for information, this was to originally be on the lower ground floor.  We started to get feedback that there was some big issues with one or two of our main guests in getting to some of the photo shoot areas and some of the activities they were involved with, and we saw that there was a need to move both a photo shoot and some access to it and also change around some of the prop photo shoots also. This was asked of us on the Friday morning and as such it was a very last minute thing for us to get in place and get approved in time for the opening, this change of location was very much needed and did work on the days of the show, but communicating this to the public could have been better and informing the crew could also have been better but time was not with us to be able to do this and it's something unlikely to happen again as such a big move of feature location is rare. Our organisers booth was moved upstairs instead of being a part of the sales desk which was what was planned originally. In future it will be located where it has always been just inside the mine doors , this will give everyone a clear place to go to and get the info you need fast and clear from one place.

Diamond passes really worked well, the people that bought these passes are the people that made it possible to get these guests.  I did hear one or two people say that it's unfair that Diamond pass holders got priority, but I am sorry its exactly what they should get as Diamond pass holders all paid upfront and their money paid to underwrite these big guests. In the past it would have been impossible to book these guests in so it is totally right to have given these helpful fans these advantages, and I think we can all see why we need these passes so we can go forward and book more guests of this level for future events and that's exactly what we are going to do.  It worked so well we have more confidence to really go for it on these mega guests so watch this space.


Signage, stairwells and access. Signage is normally provided by the venue but we produced more than we normally produce to help people get around, but being our first event in this venue we did not expect to be using the stairwells on floors 1, 2, 3 and the ones that were going to be used would be not expected to be that busy.   But things changed for us on Friday when one of the lifts that was needed to unload the top floor for another event, and then at the same time another lift both broke down leaving us only 2 out of the 4 lifts working, so stairs came into play in a big way.  

Friday was fine and we felt they worked well, people took some time getting to know where they all were but it settled in quite well and people did start to get to know the venue which is what happens for everyone at a new venue.  But on Saturday when nearly everyone was in the building security felt that the lower halls were close to being full but they could see on CCTV that the upper halls were still quite empty, they decided to send the last of the front door into the lifts in the Gold pass entrance and let the last ticket holders enter into the show on the 3rd floor.  With hindsight this was not a good decision as it meant that these people saw they were on the top floor and wanted to get to the bottom floor and as such made their way down the lifts and stairs right away, and this created a flow of people wanting to go down the lifts and stairs and a build up of people using the stairs in the right hand side stairwell.  

As soon as we knew of this issue we went over to put some controls in place to make it work and take the pressure of this stairwell. When I got there I could see the other stairwell was empty and I saw a few people that had been trying to get up or down had been in a line for around 10 minutes, and some were getting a little impatient, but as soon as I pointed to the other stairwell and informed them that the other stairwell was empty they all move over and it was soon cleared. The signs for the other stairwell were very clear above the stairwell but I just think people were not looking for another route down, this was the only real stairwell issue and once it was resolved it did not happen again. Sunday was free of any issues as people had started to find their way around the venue better.

One other thing, as soon as we saw there was issue we also get the service lifts manned and started to open these up for the public also, this will be something we will be using from the start going forward as this did help and worked well and helped to make it much easier for people to use the upper halls which were very good spaces for lower foot fall activities.

As to the main staircase up to level 1, it was decided by the security and ourselves to make it one way at the busiest point of the day so it helped with the flow.   There were a lot of people sitting on the floor and this did create some time delays in getting some guests from A to B so this was a bit of a issue. A rest zone is being considered so visitors sit in the walk ways less, so this can be fixed for next year's show.

The venue, I think the venue is good for Comic Con and with next year getting another 40% extra space this will work very well. This year it was a little tight and that was down to it being new to us and working out how the space worked for the first time.  Moving forward we will get into how to best use the space, and use it better, we plan to keep the traders the amount we had this year and do not expect to increase them so that the 40% increase in space will be used more for space for getting around, for features and making more queuing space for photo ops and guests, that way it will make it more pleasant for everyone attending the show.
 
Communication between crew and the fans 
 
This year with the last minute moving of photo shoots and delays created with getting guests from point A to point B we did also see odd times where there was a breakdown of communication, we see this was an issue and we will get this fixed for next year, most of this was created by last minute changes that we do not feel will happen again, so this will be fix for next years event.

Going forward for 2016

With the move now complete we can get into the venue and really make it work better for you all, we plan to have more free things for you all to do and be a part of.   We feel an extra day will also help to get the things you want out of Comic Con so do expect the preview to move to Thursday and the Friday will become a full on open day with full guest line up.

The Super Stage will become used more, and with more free talks.  There are plans for more screenings next year, something that we were not that lucky with getting production companies to get involved with this year.

We do feel we need more crew than ever, and we plan to increase this so you have more people on site to help you with your day. These amazing people are just like you, fans that take time to help make the event happen.  They all do their very best to get everything right but with so many of you and such a big event it has to be expected that some info will not be known at the event. I can reassure you that all our crew will get to know the venue better, and will be totally aware of where things are moving forward, as I have already said, things had to change on the Friday with the layout and this did not help them to be able to do their job, but we will be better next time.

Anyway I hope that helps to answer some of your points, I hope you can see we are improving and will keep on improving each year to make your experience better, at the end of the day we are all fans and we are here to give you one of the best weekend of the year and have fun at London Film and Comic Con.

Thanks you for your understanding  and support.

Jason 
 
 
ps
One thing i forgot to say we will have a App that will update you all and inform you over the days of any changes that happen , this was to be ready for this event but we could not get it to the standard we need ready in time but this will be ready for 2016 LFCC 

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#1875560 Comments

Posted by DavidB on 14 July 2014 - 12:09 PM

I really only want to say one thing - please try not to argue with each other over who's right and who's wrong and attacking each other.

 

SOME people had a great time. That doesn't make them SM apologists or whatever. They just genuinely did.

 

OTHER people had the worst time in their life. That doesn't make them evil or trolls. We all know that things went wrong, and hopefully in time Jason will come and address them but that won't happen straight away. SM do need to look at everything and take it all in before commenting on it, which I think is the most sensible way to approach it. So do know you're not being ignored :)

 

So please, whether good or bad feedback, there's really no need to cause arguments amongst yourselves. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on their own experience.

 

Thank you.


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#1874347 Troubles at London Film and Comic Con- an open letter:

Posted by Xchasingtailsx on 13 July 2014 - 11:31 AM

Well That was an abomination.

I attended the London film and comic con at Earls court on Saturday ... Well no , that's not strictly true. I tried to. What I actually did was queue around the entirety of the perimeter of earls court in the baking 26 degrees direct sunshine for 4 hours with NOTHING but sunburn and sunstroke to show for it.

I imagine that you think that I'm just another complainer, and yet I have NEVER written a complaint email in my life, and as I sit here nursing my pasty British skin now with added 3rd degree burns, I fear having a British stiff upper lip about this would do me no good.

I'm also an events coordinator you see, for a large international events company so far from just whining let me tell you what a monumental mess up this was:

Now who stops selling tickets weeks before an event....when you still have tickets?!?! Whose stupid idea was that? Tickets cost £15 for early bird right? And £8 on the day... And you had enough left that you were declaring on your website that there was still "plenty" left that you could get them at the door. Are you kidding me? Not only did you turn down additional revenue by taking those tickets down early which makes no business sense at all, but you clearly didn't have enough tickets to ever say "plenty".

Now I concede that we would have been fine had we purchased early bird tickets in advance. Probably. I do. However, when you stop selling them online weeks before hand yet still actively advertise the event (for example at the comic con in Wales a short time previously!) that makes it very difficult to do!

You had a great line up. But that means nothing if the attendee experience is that appalling. I don't give a rats backside if Stan lee was there while I waited outside burning and seeing nothing , Thor could have graced us with his hammer swinging presence and I would still have been unswayed. On Stan lee though... If you are going to stop selling early bird tickets so ridiculously far before the event , perhaps don't continue to sell tickets for the internal events online. I met a lad in the war weary queue that had paid for a ticket to Stan lee that I can only assume you had no intention of honouring, because he was standing in the queue with us... Waiting to get inside, without a front door ticket!

I was advised by the ONE singular visible member of your venue staff that the queue time was 30 minutes. 4 hours later I gave up waiting for that 30 minutes to pass. Had they been briefed? Did they have any idea what was going on?

My guess is no. Especially as I at one point (and in a desperate search of a venue staff member) walked straight through the recently doors unimpeded, as so many other people seemed to be doing.

I could have walked straight in and carried on in.... But I didn't- for the sake of the queue camaraderie I did what I came to do - I sought out a staff member , and asked them what in the seven kingdoms was going on.

No tickets. No more tickets she told me. For any days. So what the hell was there a queue still circling the entirety of earls court for?! What had I waited four full, hot , painful hours for? Nothing. Why not a single member of staff was telling anyone in the queue this is utterly beyond me.

Not that I needed a ticket apparently. And if I had needed one by the way, the guys behind me in the queue for a time should just have got their friend inside to queue jump the patiently waiting attendees and get some extras as he did for them. (How was that allowed to happen?!)

However for the sake of your precious bottom line I should let you know - I left at this point. Not just the lobby, the venue. The event. With nothing to show for the hours of driving , the extortionate parking fees and the hours of my life that I will never get back...

... And the skin that i will be peeling from my extensive sunburn for days to come.

But for fun lets say I wouldn't be let in without a ticket, as most well functioning profitable events....how about implementing a ticket system that actually works? Apparently when challenged on why early bird tickets couldn't be sold nearer to the event it was due to the fear that people would not be receiving them in the post?!?

Heavens no!

Whilst I appreciate that Royal Mail is at best shoddy and at worst a chocolate teapot- what i cannot understand is why in this day and age you felt it necessary to post tickets at all! Have you not heard of e-tickets? It would certainly have saved the ONE ticket booth operator from his torment; running the gauntlet against thousands of angry people. Just a tip to save you some money in future as you turned away thousands pre event and even more at the door.

People wanted to attend you event- they really did! That's good! They couldn't though, and that's bad, maybe in future now they won't!- and that's worse.

And whilst we're on infrastructure- what about a functioning queuing system?! Not only did your staff fail to monitor queue jumping, and the enormous discontent brewing in the queue for the lack of information, signage, wait time indication and the rest... But you honestly expected thousands of hot, angry people who had been promised plenty of tickets were available and had been there since 07:00 in the morning queuing to obediently move around cones with no manner of barriers at all?! I watched at least 30 people cut in much further ahead than me. At least. Self policing doesn't work when everyone feels like being a jerk.

There was 3 sandwich board signs on the epic queue route telling me how I could buy a program for £5.00 , entirely redundant information for me and everyone else considering that we were never going to get in. How about some relevant queue time information? We were stood there dreaming of air con and shade not the programme telling us all we had missed!

On that....I also heard that the air con was broken inside... Brilliant.

Which is also why- by the way- you had a serious fire hazard at every door to the venue as people broke from the queue to crowd the doors - all of them. Shockingly the little A4 hand-drawn signs saying "re entry only" "exit only" "tickets" didn't mean a great deal to any of us. Especially when not one venue staff member was watching them at all.

Then there was the people selling tepid drinks to people in the queue for extortionate sums while people wilted- too afraid to leave the queue despite the sage advice from one of your staff when we went to see what was going on :"I'm sure someone will hold your place in the queue while you go buy a drink" - so naive.....

The whole thing was a shambles.

I've worked on congresses that are in the thousands and never seen a sight as sorry as this event.

I'm not trying to run anyone down, but I had to tell you what I experienced because I'm upset and worse...I'm truly disappointed. All of this could have been quite easily avoided.

And now I've said my piece I'm going to go and lie down and sleep off the sunstroke and put this sorry day behind me. If someone could be so kind as to get back to me and let me know why I should invest my time and money in this event at all next year I would be much obliged.

Or you could ignore it as I suspect will happen...and I will look for answers on Facebook and Twitter instead.

Many thanks,

A queue schmuck (Claire)

P.s : on the plus side I did make a lot of other equally angry friends...
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#1936174 Next Weekend Just Stop For a Minute

Posted by GoldenGreen on 10 July 2015 - 09:26 AM

It can all be too easy to get caught up in the day/s and spend your time going from one area to another, looking at your watch, checking your tickets, joining another queue etc.

 

So as someone who has been going since the first event in 2004, just take a moment, stop, take everything in and actually realise that you are there and what an amazing event this is. In addition to the fund raising that has been going on for Parkinsons Disease through the Up to 88 campaign you will see a number of other charitable organisations raising money through Cosplay etc over the weekend.

 

An event like this is really a demonstration of the massive power of bringing together lots of like minded people and fans for an incredible weekend that can also do a bit of good for others that might also be not as fortunate as well. Say hello to the person in the queue in front of you, you have something in common as you are likely queuing up for a guest you both admire whether that be an auto, a photoshoot, a talk. I've made some great friends over the years.

 

It will get busy at times. Don't forget the showmasters staff, crew and cosplayers are just people like the rest of us, be respectful and pleasant and most of all enjoy it, have a great day or weekend.

 

 


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#1948191 Guest Suggestions

Posted by john.bttf on 28 July 2015 - 11:37 AM

The cast of big bang theory !!!

 

cc514bd2-9de1-4af6-840e-5dc07bd07b54.jpe


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#1876560 What would you like to see?

Posted by DavidB on 14 July 2014 - 07:51 PM

NATALIE DORMER

 

NATALIE DORMER

 

NATALIE DORMER


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#1943423 So I don't look disabled

Posted by Dannycarroll2007 on 20 July 2015 - 06:34 AM

I bet the guy that climbed over the chap in the wheelchair at the mjf shoot regrets it. Not only did I make him apologise I made him wait until the gentleman had safely moved into the photoshoot. In a instant piece of karma Christopher Lloyd put his arm around me and asked if I could escort him through the crowd. He then thanked me, gave my son a hi 5 and said I hope to see you soon.......For that 10 seconds I was Kevin Cossner in the Bodyguard.
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#1816275 Latest guest announcement - JETT LUCAS

Posted by Doc Bones on 02 August 2013 - 06:13 PM

Forum rules state I must be positive! I am very sure that SW fans will be happy. I am just surprised this announcement had as big a build up as it did. Jett is a very cool addition to the line up but does Jason honestly think we will "all" know who he is?
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#1926577 Latest Guest Announcement - SIGOURNEY WEAVER

Posted by KingRichard76 on 18 June 2015 - 09:47 PM

I'm probably gonna get shot down for this - hopefully I won't but here goes.

 

With some of the comments I'm seeing in this thread along the lines of "How much?" "Too expensive" "I won't pay that price" etc etc it just always brings to mind the whole thing when it comes to guests of a MASSIVE size that people claim they want to meet, some of these names have just been very unrealistic:

 

George Lucas.

Mr. Spielberg.

Harrison Ford

Pacino,

Nicholson

De Niro

Tom Hanks

 

ALL massive names, all very known names, all names people would love to meet but then comes the reality that these same guests DO come at a price, and more often than not, that price ain't pretty for many. Stallone and Arnie would cost around £500 (ish) but here we have arguably one of THE biggest guests we're EVER likely to see at a con like this SIGOURNEY "FRICKIN" WEAVER who is up there with GILLIAN ANDERSON and PRINCESS FISHER as the largest ICONIC FEMALES in not just sci fi movies/tv but true SCI FI LEGENDS.

 

Three years ago people were bleating on about how expensive Gillian was, last year the same with Carrie and now we have one of THE biggest names in the genre attending at (lets face it a very affordable price) of £95 and its too expensive? For someone as huge as her its too expensive? I wonder how many people would be moaning about Harrison Ford et al being too expensive IF he was the ridiculously cheap price of £200 - its precisely this reason why I often just shake my head when people want such huge names.

 

At the end of the day, you ask for the name, you beg for the name, you plead for the name... Expect to pay the price tag that is associated with the name.

 

Like I said the other day, this is a luxury that we can afford ourselves (once other finances are out of the way, paying orf a mortgage, insuring the car, making sure we have a roof over our head, keeping warm and making sure we have food in the fridge) then we can treat ourselves to something a bit out of the ordinary and in many cases doesn't come along that often - meeting a TRUE ICON. 

 

Yes, £95 is a lot of money to many, that I understand but cmon, lets face it Sigourney Weaver is worth it. And *Whispers* we're very lucky to have her at this price.

 

#GreetingsandSalutations


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#1798312 Post your photos please.

Posted by stobbs on 26 May 2013 - 08:40 PM

Proposing to Gillian Anderson ... I think she is still mulling it over. :dance: :thumbup:

Posted Image
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#1945578 My main issue about the queue outside (not SM's fault I know)

Posted by Faerie Tanith on 21 July 2015 - 11:28 PM

Please tell me I'm not the only person who was severely annoyed by the people smoking in the queue to get into the venue?
 

 

As a non-smoker, and having got up at 5 in the morning to make sure I had time to take a shower and made efforts to keep fresh throughout the day, I was a little more than miffed to have countless peoples' cigarette smoke blown back into my face while in the queue. 

Since it wasn't inside the venue itself I know there's nothing SM can do, so I'm not blaming anybody in particular for allowing it. People smoke, that's whatever. But several times I literally received a facefull of somebody elses smoke, didn't matter which way I turned-- people were smoking up and down the line the whole way. 


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#1877329 Thoughts about show after our debrief & how to move forward

Posted by showmasters on 15 July 2014 - 12:11 PM


 

Hi Everyone 

 

After having the time to talk to all heads of crew I feel it is time to talk to you about the weekend and what we feel worked, whats needs to be improved and to clear up some of the issues over the weekend.

 

To start with, it was the busiest LFCC ever and even though we took on a another hall, the venue was full on Saturday by around 12 noon.

 

For this years event we did expect bigger crowds so we took on more crew, we went from 250 trained crew to 350 and for the first time ever we also took on volunteers that helped with things like holding doors open and running, etc, so the total was around 380.

 

As well as crew we took on more space in the venue, the Brompton Hall which was a very large space that we had used many years ago to run a entire EMS show in. This extra hall space would help with capacity and also give us a bigger space to put on a Super stage so more people can get into the talks, free or paid, as some of these over the last few years have run out of seats.

 

These two aspects we felt would cope with the EXPECTED demand from the fans over the weekend.

 

We also kept an eye on the pre-sold ticket sales as this is a good guide to what to expect, numbers wise.

 

Every year the numbers attending LFCC go up, sometimes by 10% and in the past couple of years by 20% to 30%, and we try to predict this and after each event we rearrange how the following year will need to expand to cope with the growth. We all work hard at these events - every one of us from newbie crew to all the heads of each department, and if we do not get our predictions right it's very hard work indeed on us all. So we really try to get the numbers right.

 

This year LFCC we estimated growth of 40% in one weekend, and thats a lot of people to service and look after and provide what they want and expect out of the weekend.

 

We are all there to help deliver what they want out of the weekend, but some things are out of our control and things in life do change. At that point we are the ones that have to explain why things have changed, make the right choice for the majority of attendees and get the best out of a changing situation so that we can fix it to the best of our ability. We do this every day at LFCC and we are on top of as much of it as we can.

 

The crowds outside of the venue were very large this year and also there seemed to be many people that felt it was a good idea to wait outside the main doors for the standard entrance to be let in. Some  of these people were there from 9.30am and this did not help when we needed to get people in lines ready for the opening. This did continue to create issues for our crew up to 11am, as some standard ticket holders would not move on down to where the Transformers vehicles were parked even when asked several times. This did not help us keep the entrance clear so it was not easy for people to see what doors to go to or where to line up.

 

 

 

After the doors are all open and everyone in the lines are in, it wasn't an issue but in the morning it would have been so much easier if some of these people did do as we asked and moved down the to the truck so we could have made our job a little easier. Next time we will have more crew to move people along and communicate this, we had around 25 out there in total and more will be needed next time.

 

I do have some points I feel need to be understood and clarified.

 

The Early pre-paid ticket holders line all gained entrance by 10.45am on Saturday   

 

The Standard pre-paid ticket holders line all gained entrance by 12.15pm on Saturday  

 

All Golds and Silvers had a dedicated Entrance and were let in first as normal.

 

The entrance to the gates at Earls Court are manned by their staff and in the past we have been kept waiting in our car as the other door is opened first. This is not something we have control over and we have tried in the past to get them to open at the same time, but as we are not the only people in the building they will not agree to this happening.

 

We stopped selling pre-sold Standard tickets way before the cut off time for the online shop. This was so that we did not over sell the event. We did not go over our limit in advance, and we had spare capacity on the day on Saturday for several thousand tickets, however these were used up by many more Early entry walk ups on the morning than was expected.

 

On Sunday there was never a time where the health and safety officers and ourselves felt there was an issue with capacity and it seemed to be about right all day so there was no need to stop walk-ins 

 

In the future we feel it has come to a point where we are not going to sell on-the-day Walk-in tickets for the Saturday, as this day is now at a point where its going to be at capacity very early. All tickets structures will be looked at fully for next year's event as we are at a point where we are now getting more and more bigger guests offered to us and we will have this type of demand at this event every year. So the way forward will be to first look at pre-selling Saturday only to start with and to keep an eye on if we need to pre sell Sunday also.

 

We are also looking at exclusive ticket packages for bigger A-list guests, where this would be  a dedicated ticket that would guarantee you get to meet this A-list guest and guarantee getting the photo op and signing  all in the same ticket. These would be a stand alone ticket with all this included. General admission people would get to buy pre-sold photo ops and autographs at the show (subject to availability) but the people who bought the exclusive packages would get priority first. we want to have these big A list guest at our events, but we do not want people upset when they just turn up and cannot get everything they want, so we feel this maybe the way forward.

 

Stan Lee's manager and his crew had the last word over what Stan does and will not do. This is subject to change on the day as we are all human and sometimes things change we get tired or we get ill.  These things mean that you can agree a contact and have it all worked out but at the end of the day if you are just not up to it you cannot make yourself or make someone do something they they really should not be doing. So we respect that his team have last call on what activities Stan does or does not do. We all want Stan to be meeting fans for many years to come and we would not do anything endanger that.

 

Stan was flown in on Thursday morning so he could rest up and relax ready for the Friday night signing and this allowed him to be ready. Something we were told not to say was that he was going to film something on Thursday or Friday  and when it came clear it was Thursday, Stan told his people  "why not do a signing in the morning" that way he could get to see more people at his last European show, we worked out how this could happen and told you all of this extra possibility of meeting this legend.

 

The Friday pre show signing worked very well and I know many of you got to see him there. This made our day much longer and my crew worked longer hours to make this happen as well as opening up the venue to the public early. You may not be aware that this did have a big cost, but it was right for the fans attending so some of you could see him before and would take the pressure off the other days.

 

When talking to Stan's people I was told that the photo shots were a good way for him to interact with more people as it is a little faster than a signing session and also its easier on Stan so we renegotiated with Stan's people to take part in more photo ops.

 

Stan told me himself that the photo ops we had at LFCC - "AMAZING" thats the most efficient he has ever seen anything like that and it was really well run. At the same time I had the only moment really with him over the day as I was busy running the show but I asked him, "so you created all this in a way what dose that feel Like? His response to me was he never thought it would get this big where so many people would care so much to travel to one place it's just astounding , that for me made my day.

 

On the note of photo ops, all that took place over the weekend were managed well and efficiently and more were taken than ever before even though there was many clashes as there was so many guests. It seems to have been looked after well with the crew helping people to be in the right queues so they got all of them and did not have to miss any of them which was quite a amazing thing, as i say we are here to help.

 

We have read about one of two things regarding touching guests. At the end of the day our crew pass on what's been asked from the guests themselves and in this case it was communicated  that no touching was requested.  This can simply be if a guest shakes the hand of everyone in a photo op then they may not be able to sign for 4 hours afterwards. Just think about that. Also most guests are polite and may not want to say no to someone when a hand is offered out, so simply we ask that no touching of the guest please. I think that everyone can understand this if they think about it. 

 

Signing sessions with Stan on Friday went well with numbers will over what was expected of him, he was also enjoying the experience and was in full form.

 

Saturday again was all within what we had expected and his numbers again were good and above what we felt he would get through during the day, but by the end of the day he was quite tired and it was catching up with him. He did not feel that he could stand and talk to everyone in the meet and greet but he wanted to do it and not let his fans down that had come to meet him.  As he was not coming back again it would be their only chance so we suggested that he sat on the stage and talked to them from there in one go and then many would hear what he had to say not just two of three and he could be sitting down and not have to stand. He liked that idea and was happy with the new plan and he could still give everyone who was there special attention.

 

Sunday was a different story. the day started off when I was informed very late from Stan's team that he was going to arrive late. Stan had a bad night and was very tired.  I told them that we could work around this without any issue  and if we needed to change photo ops times around we could do this or whatever we needed to make it easy on Stan. So they just keep me up to date on what is happening and what time they thought he would be in - at that time I was told they thought it would be around a hour later than it should have been. At 10.30 his team told me he was going to be there very soon, and at 11.11 he was in the building. He had a very bad night and he wanted to take it easy, so his team and ourselves agreed to take it a little slower and whenever he wanted to stop for a break we would stop.

 

This was the plan but then halfway through the day I think the tiredness just hit him and hit him hard and he just did not have the energy to keep going.  At that time we called a stop to the signing so he could have a bigger rest, at that point his management and ourselves could see talking to Stan he was very tired, but he did not want to let anyone down and he wanted to know if all the gold and silver pass people had been seen and if there was still the talk that fans came for and the photo ops. So we said we would work out a plan.

 

We agreed to stop the signings and we needed to tell the fans this ASAP.  We also agreed to hold on making a decision on if we could go ahead with the photo ops or not and to just see how he felt near the time.  If we took some time out for Stan to rest he would be able to do the talk he felt and he so wanted to do that so we put this new plan into action .

 

I informed everyone personally who was in line about this change of events and that he would not be signing for the people that had been queueing, I also informed as many gold and silver pass holders we could find that we were trying to arrange a signing for them but it was 50/50 at this time but we would try. He wanted to do this for them  and we tried to pass over how disappointed Stan was himself as he so wanted to meet as many of you as he could but his team and ourselves felt that we had to protect him as he just wanted to please as many fans as he could but it was not right to let him push himself that much so we went with this plan.

 

He rested and got ready to go on stage and just before going on stage he said he was up for signing for the last of the silvers and golds that he had not met yet and he was up for the photo ops and was feeling better. He apologised for letting anyone down which we all know is just not the case, he went on to the stage and was full on and a trooper and also did all the photo ops for everyone there.

 

I hope that helps you understand what was going on behind the scenes now, and at this point I wish to say sorry for anyone that did not get what they wanted from the event or Stan. This is his last ever time here in the UK and we worked very hard to make this happen, everything that was arranged and planned out for Stan to do over the weekend was approved by Stan and his team every step of the way , at no time would we or his team allow Stan to over work himself, but Stan does want to please people and that was something we needed to look out for and look after. We were all there this weekend to give everyone a rare last chance to meet this legend , we know some of you are not happy and did not get everything you wanted, but we did manage to give many people this last chance.

 

If you feel that we have not acted correctly then do please contact us via email and we will respond to you personally.

 

I personally would also like to say thank you to the many people that came up to me and thanked me when I had informed them that the signings had stopped for definite, several of you said thank you for being honest and just telling it as it was.  It's  something I try to do with everyone and I to respect all that attend our events. There were some hard decisions to take but they needed to be taken and we did what was best for the many and the one (i.e Stan Lee.)

 

 

Now to some other aspects of the show 

 

The air con was working on all days 100% although some people have said that we only had it on Sunday when it was the fact that it rained in the morning cooling down the hall and the roof and the air helping to keep it a little cooler for longer. 
 
As soon as we saw that there was going to be an issue with the number of people that has turned up for the pay on the day standard walk up tickets we sent two teams of two crew to go up the line to tell everyone in the line that we have had to stop letting people in on this line and we will be letting some in as people leave the event and that it was not looking likely that many of them would gain access ,we we kept them out there till the line started to move again at around 3pm and then we started to go at full speed again as more people when home by the end of the day everyone that had stayed in line go it but many had left to go home but this only happened on the saturday Sunday all that came got into the show. 
 

At no point was there any issues with anyone reporting getting hurt due to the amount of people attending the event. I did deal with one person who trod on a piece of glass which some thoughtless person had left outside, but which i dealt with.

 

Apart from Stan being tired he loved being at the event and really enjoyed meeting all the fans and he was pleased to have been able to say goodbye  to his European fans in such a big way.
 
We had more comic guests at the event than anywhere in the UK who signed for FREE.
 
It was the first book zone which was just quite amazing and made a lot of people happy with over 60 authors, again signing for FREE.
 
More TV/Film guests than at any European con, over 100 of them with more photo ops than ever before and more talks than ever before with lots also being FREE

 

we killed the EE network in Earls Court from Saturday after 11am till around 4pm and again on sunday as the volume of people phoning each other and sending photos to each other was just to much for it to cope.

 

Also we created gridlocks outside Earls Court with the volume of fans attending 

 

 

          One last important point: THE DUSTY BATMOBILE :-)

 

Could I tell you that this was created to look like it had just come out of Acme Chemicals?

 

Or I could just tell you we took the clean up and prep crew off this task so we could look after the Stan Lee pre show signing as it was a last minute thing we just did not have the crew to do both tasks. Unfortunately these volunteers do not grow on trees and finding good people at short notice it hard. So it ended up with having a dusty Batmobile at the show. for that I am sorry also.

 
We at Showmasters do listen and we do not make the same mistakes twice. we will take on board all your points and fix the things that need fixing and improving like we do every year.  New things have to start somewhere and be improved till they are running well , just like we did with our photo ops, and VQ systems. In the end we will get it running to the standards you expect from us.
 
On a personal note we only ever want to run the best events that are safe, fun and something to look back on and be proud of. this weekend I did not get to see much of the event as it was so busy and things needed attention so there was little time to stand back and see what we in the office have been working towards for the last year, but it will all have been worth it if we have made the majority of people happy over the weekend. If not we are truly sorry and we will work hard to get it right for everyone in the future.
 
Thank you for taking the time to read all this and i hope you see we do care and do want to get it right for you all.
 
Yours sincerely  
Jason 

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#1987510 Photos Thread

Posted by AmbroseGirl on 30 July 2016 - 09:15 PM

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#1943433 LFCC 2015 - SOME HONEST FEEDBACK

Posted by CreamPye on 20 July 2015 - 06:59 AM

I don't normally do this, but as a project and event manager (and geek) myself, and having read many comments on your FB and site, I feel I have to weigh in...

Showmasters truly do deserve recognition, and a huge thank you, for securing so many great names for this single event, and allowing thousands of fans to meet them, make new friends and share the LFCC experience. THANK YOU SM!!

However, while I know it can't be easy to handle such a massive volume of people, some basic things should be addressed to ensure the best possible EXPERIENCE for everyone (fans, guests and SM themselves)...

1. Don't oversubscribe!! Review total ticket and pass allocations, to ensure that all receive the experience they paid for. I understand that numbers (and / or £££) are needed for the event to be commercially viable, but this must never be given priority.

2. Manage flows and queues better. While the queue management outside the venue was as good as can be expected, internally it was the complete opposite. Layout, flow, ticket-type / batch prioritisation and general management could be greatly improved, to avoid the chaos (both in the queues and surrounding areas) I witnessed in almost every one I had the horror of joining.

3. Address venue entrance security. Particularly later in the day(s), I'm 100% sure that all people weren't being screened as they entered the venue. Consequently, I'm certain that many who hadn't even bought a ticket were able to just walk in, and wouldn't have been factored into SM's calculations for venue capacity etc. This only compounded the issues.

4. Better briefing and communication. I was given contradictory / incorrect info. almost every time I had to ask the staff for ANY piece of information, and was once sent round in circles for half an hour. EVERYONE I spoke to had a similar experience. Fully briefing staff pre-event (and daily, to address any issues from the previous days), and improving internal communication between staff, and to the paying public (through better announcements, better maps, perhaps even a mobile event app) would prevent most of these issues... The following quote from a conversation between two SM staff sums this up really... "Ask him (pointing to a colleague)... That's my 'go-to' quote" (to anyone who asks a question).

5. Ensure the air conditioning is working correctly. I'm sure the temperature was at least bordering on a health and safely-violating level in a few areas of the venue.

Assuming they have an event wash-up meeting (which I pray to god they do), I think this should include representatives from the paying public, to give unbiased feedback and improve the future experience. I'd be happy to volunteer as one of these...

Just to clarify... All-in-all, I got everything I wanted from this event, and WILL come back... But DAMN, it was a hard slog!!!
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#1987756 Famke Janssen?

Posted by Dent_1 on 31 July 2016 - 01:41 PM

Don't really know where to start with Famke as meeting her with a Diamond Pass was something of a mixed bag to say the least.

 

My top three female guests I have always wanted to meet were Gillian Anderson, Sigourney Weaver and Famke Janssen so as with Sigourney last year, I bought a Diamond Pass for Famke as the value was pretty good I thought: £170 = 2x autos (£45ea) + photoshoot (£45) + talk (£20) = £15 premium to guarantee meeting her. Not bad seeing as I wanted everything included.

 

Went and got 3 autos from her about 11am Saturday. It had a bit of a rushed feel, a certain panic in the motions of the crew is probably the best way to put it. I was grateful she obliged with my request for two in blue pen, and another in gold, Famke asking me if I wanted any with personalisations. On my last one I asked if she would put a line of dialogue from GoldenEye I wanted, she looked a little flustered and in retrospect the quote was a little long so she put an alternate that was probably better, but then put a REALLY rushed signature.

In the good column I greeted her, she said hello back but she didn't look like she enjoyed being there, in the bad column I gave her a compliment that was flat out blanked. And that was the total interaction. I have some autos from her previously on official merchandise she has been paid to do and the signatures she gave yesterday looked sloppy in comparison.

 

Anyway, when putting my autos away I saw I had smudged the gold one with quote(!) but I had a spare pic so paid for another auto in a different pen. I nearly didn't as I hadn't been bowled over by the first meeting with her minutes before. I went up to her the second time and said: "You know that one you kindly just did me with the great quote? Well I smudged it like an idiot" she was like "Oh no!" and really took her time to re-do it much more slowly. I thanked her again and told her this was a gift from my partner for my birthday and she very sincerely wished me a happy Birthday. So two very different interactions within the space of about 5mins.

 

However this second interaction was somewhat ruined at the end.... I will say that I am not normally much of a handshaker for hygiene reasons, but for whatever reason, maybe me just being instinctively grateful for her doing my pic and quote again, I extended my hand to shake hers whilst saying thanks. This was greeted with her bodyguard (standing over her the whole time) actually smacking my hand away, which was (insert swear word) appalling. There were no signs saying no handshakes, nobody telling you that either, why wouldn't an attendee maybe go to shake a guest's hand?

 

If she didn't want to shake hands then fair enough. Brent Spiner does fist bumps. Peter Dinklage didn't want to shake. I carry hand-sanitizer everywhere I go. I GET it. But for that minder to actually strike me, even if only my hand, is bang out of order and unfortunately says a lot about Famke if that is what she is happy for her staff to do. I would seriously suggest Showmasters take that feedback and do something with it.

 

Then I went for the AM photoshoot everyone is talking about...

I think we all should have known something was amiss when entering the booth we were all greeted with: "NO HANDSHAKES! NO ARMS AROUND! NO HUGGING! WE CAN MAKE IT LOOK LIKE YOU ARE TOUCHING, BUT NO TOUCHING WHATSOEVER!" Talk about a mood killer.

Famke was very static and on a stool, very icy and mannequin-like. I was happy to make the best of it, I got a nice Patrick Stewart photoshoot even with us both in chairs for some "fan distance" but the photo I got from Famke is without a doubt the worst I have ever had with any celeb at 8 years of Showmasters events. I got the same wince/grimace you can see on everyone else's photoshoots posted on the forum - it looks like she really did not want to be there and is a horrible momento of the experience.

 

Now, I've read a lot the last day or so about her mention of lack of sleep at her talk, or broken ribs or whatever. And you know what, I'm not buying it. It's not an excuse.

Why? Because I was in hospital Thursday, had to go home sick from work Friday and had the pleasure of a kidney stone Friday night. I got to London yesterday drained and worse for wear and SOMEHOW I managed to crack a smile at photoshoots, and somehow be pleasant whilst talking to guests and other fans I had never met. But I am forgetting two massive differences between Famke and I:

 

1) She is being paid to be there. Show up and put the effort in. It is disrespectful to every paying fan not to.

2) We're talking about a professional actress here, if you're not having fun, fake it. She should be expert. Not every celeb is an ace at the signing table, building rapport can be difficult with certain people, but to not even a smile at the photoshoots? Sorry, not acceptable. Seriously, check out the photo library when they're uploaded. Hilarious for all the wrong reasons! And will be very interesting to see if she was any better today.

 

I had a glance around her signing area later in the day and the signatures she was banging out at this point looked so bad and rushed, but there were times where she was sitting waiting for the next bunch of people to come to the desk. I don't get it. Mix in the fact they were blocking her off with some vertical banner thing and a security guard next to that, blocking anyone from seeing her or taking a poor distance shot of her at the table, and it made for a very bizarre experience.

 

For her talk at the end of the day, she seemed much more 'on-form', and whilst I didn't find it terribly engaging, it makes you wonder why she was so different earlier in the day. There did seem to be points where they were struggling for audience questions (the girl next to me got to ask 3!), says it all really when even your paying fans can't be bothered to get their hands in the air.

 

I know this has been a long one so thanks for reading if you have. I mentioned Sigourney and Gillian earlier, people with ENORMOUS fan followings, and you look back and realise not only how good they were at the time, but just how much better they are as guests overall when you have encounters like mine with Famke yesterday. So am I glad I met her? Well I wouldn't have not met her. I got some nice autos from her but an awful photoshoot. Overall, disappointing.


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#1945881 LUNCH WITH A GUEST

Posted by 13thScream on 22 July 2015 - 12:55 PM

The poor guest would be stuffed after lunch batch 4!!


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#1944272 Photo thread

Posted by blondie47 on 20 July 2015 - 06:21 PM

Rose was definitely my favourite guest, she was so sweet! Decided to go for my grad announcement with her and she was all up for it.

 

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Also I couldn't take a good photo of the Daenerys cosplayers who won second place in the costume show case but wow she was amazing! Had Emilia Clarke's expressions down to a t! :thumbup:


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#1933310 We have an amazing EXCLUSIVE for LFCC!

Posted by D4vem88 on 03 July 2015 - 06:06 PM

*puts credit card away*
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#1816256 Latest guest announcement - JETT LUCAS

Posted by Pebbles22 on 02 August 2013 - 06:06 PM

To be honest I was expecting someone I would have heard of as Jason said it is someone we all know. I have never heard of him, sorry. Not someone for me as I am not a SW fan but I am sure he is a good guest for those who like SW.
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