Is this a general feedback thread? Ah, I'll make it one, it's got a good title. :)
-Justin Chon! Paul Couvela! Lovely blokes
I'd like to see more artists like Couvela, signing for free, with donations for Oxfam if you wanted. He was quite shocked when I gave him a £10 note and joked if I wanted change, but I said no, I'd rather see the money go to a good cause. Over the weekend I gave him £12 for five autographs, they were worth every penny.
-Robert Rankin. Although I'm personally not a reader of his, it was a really good to see an author there!
-So much room! It was lovely! Being able to walk around without starting an intimate relationship with people in front, behind and to your left and right!
-The guests! I don't know whether they were flown in a day before or something, but they seemed so chipper! I didn't have one bad experience.
-Chill Zone, what an excellent idea!
-Gaming Zone, an even better idea!
-Good food, I know this is a venue thing, rather than SM, but it was nice to have some places in there serving decent food. Of course it was expensive, but it was better than having to have hotdog and chips because there was no other choice.
-Still not enough variety in stalls for me.
I don't know what you can do to change this, SM, but it would be exciting and, well, I would start to look forward to going there for the stalls as well as the guests!
-Chill Zone, just not quite big enough, considering there was all this space not being used for stalls.
-The Very Useful Cloakroom wasn't mentioned on the website. I saw it on Saturday, but come Sunday morning when I was checking out of the YHA, I couldn't remember whether it took bags and how much it was. I texted a Crew friend, and she asked others, and they told her there wasn't one. So I ended up shoving my backpack in the YHA lockers for £2. When I got there at 9am, after going in, I looked at the cloakroom and gutted, it did take bags, at £2!
-No posed photos. Heh. Ok, this one isn't directed at Showmasters
, but I'll say it anyway. Get it through your skull that by not letting guests pose with people at an event that you're going to make them buy a photoshoot ticket.
Of course the main guests can't be doing with posed photos, so few people would get to meet them, and it's just not fair. But come off it, Sean Maguire? He was very Open Queue all day, and I saw him jumping up gladly to do posed photos with a big grin on his face (so it obviously wasn't his choice).
That's the thing with professional photo shoots, you get an assured good quality picture, taken by a professional photographer, with a good background, no other people intruding and generally something you can frame on the wall.
One over the table is a personal memory, that's all, and it could be blurry, your eyes could be shut, there could be crew walking behind, but that's what you get.
And quite frankly, I know that this is a business like anything else (so no capitalist arguments pls kthxbai), but really, when the photoshoots are expensive (and with good reason) and in this sort of economic climate, it's insensitive.
I am no way a supporter of The Customer Is Always Right (in fact, I think they're frequently wrong), but, likewise, I don't agree with It's My Way Or The Highway.
I won't let Tesco tell me what food I should buy, so nor am I going to let someone dictate to me that I should fork over precious pennies for a memory of the day.
So I'll take the Highway.
-I didn't get an auto from Sean Maguire, I really wanted to, but he's just so pretty, I was shy.
-I forgot to ask Scott Bakula how his name was pronounced, then I was going to go into my spiel about how Bak-u-la is awesomer because it rhymes with Dracula.
-Webcomic artists! I think this is such an untapped medium over here. I'm sure plenty of people here read webcomics and would like to get the chance to meet the artists behind them. A real money maker, I reckon.
Incidentally, some suggestions:
-Dave Kellett (went to Kent Uni!), Sheldon
-Howard Tayler, Schlock Mercenary
-Pete Tarkulich, Bardsworth
-Sarah Ellerton, Inverloch and The Phoenix Requiem
-Authors! I think LFCC would be perfect to bring in more authors.
Incidentally I know Jonathan Stroud, Garth Nix and Markus Zusak are excellent
speakers at talks. But there's also Kevin Crossley-Holland, Brian Jacques, Marcus Sedgwick, Mal Peet... hint much?