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colwot

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About colwot

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  1. This morning we were given one £10 auto voucher and one prop shoot voucher. Were we supposed to get 2 Auto vouchers? The guy giving out the vouchers said we would get the same again tomorrow. Is this correct? Its not a big deal, this isn't what I bought the Gold Pass for. Enjoyed the day, Gold passes make it ever so easy. But if something is promised then we should get it. 2 Diamond Pass Talks! Difficult to give when there aren't any. Mentioned this to the Info Desk and they suggested I post it on here.
  2. There was an issue letting gold passes in this morning. Last year gold passes were given out whilst we were still in the queue before the doors opened. Today those of us, who had not picked up our passes yesterday, had to queue up for passes after the doors were opened. Consequently I got much higher VQ numbers for Dolph and Mads than I had hoped for. I wish I had realised that Gold passes were being allowed to join the Diamond queues without VQ tickets! Lets hope its sorted out tomorrow.
  3. Firstly, I achieved most of what I set out to do, although Friday and Saturday were quite a slog. However for me Sunday was a breeze, pretty much all targets achieved by 12.00! There have been plenty of comments on layout, stairs, and overcrowding, so I'll leave those to one side. To explain where I'm coming from, I collect autographs, I'm not interested in photoshoots. Consequently I didn't buy any Diamond Passes. I like some prop shoots, if the Michael J Fox Diamond included the shoot with him and the De Laurean, I might have been interested. I had a Gold Pass. This is the 3rd LFCC I've gone Gold. Controversial suggestion coming up - everyone who is not a Gold Pass Holder will probably disagree with me. Letting Gold Passes in early was never much of an issue in previous years, as we did not need to collect VQ tickets. On Saturday the Gold Pass queue started moving at about 7.40 by my watch. This was great, it was a long way from the Gold Pass entrance to the Diamond Guests. However on the Sunday it was about 8.53 when Gold Passes were let in, so we arrived at the Diamond Guests at the same time as the first of the normal ticket holders, their entrance being much closer to the Diamond Guests. OK, I got a reasonable VQ number for Christopher Lloyd, but I think Gold Passes must be let in earlier when there is such a long way to go from their entrance to the Diamond Guests. 10 minutes is fine if we're going in the same door as the other queues. I think everyone needs to accept that as the event is so much bigger, than it was a few years ago, you can't get as much done as you used to. More space has meant that queues for autos can be longer. While you used to be able to join the end of a queue of 20 to 30 people, now you are joining the end of a queue of 30 to 40 people, if not more. So it takes longer to get one auto! I didn't get to any talks this year. I also missed Michael J Fox's talk as I was queueing for Sigourney Weaver and I felt I couldn't risk going away and coming back later. Also, now that almost all guests are doing photoshoots and some doing 3 a day plus talks, signing time is much reduced. The queues for bigger guests need more crew members. On Saturday the chap on Bill Paxtons queue was giving out VQ tickets, checking VQ tickets, managing the queue, and trying to persuade people whose VQs were nowhere near being called, to go away and come back later. At least one or two more crew members were needed to keep the area around the queue clear. Better communication to people standing in queues. I was in Richard Dean Andersons queue, on Friday at about 4.00, when he suddenly stopped signing and left. There were several crew members around his desk. It would have been nice if one of them had come across and told the queue what was going on. On Saturday, a queue had formed for Alexander Siddig's auto before he got there. When the crew found out that he was running quite late, special VQ tickets were issued to those, who had been queuing for some time, with the promise that they would be moved to the front of the queue when they came back later. I have to say when I joined the queue in the afternoon, I was a bit miffed to see VQ ticket holders being shown to the front of the queue. But when I found out the reasoning for it, I think it was totally the correct and fairest thing to do. Well done to whoever came up with that plan. We could have done with some outside of the box thinking in Robert Englunds queue at one point on Saturday, I joined the queue when the board said VQ 0-30, and yes, I'm well aware he is a slow signer. However after waiting for 25-30 mins the queue was hardly moving, due to Diamond Pass Holders being shown to the front of the queue. This of course was their right, however it was bad news for the VQ ticket holders waiting in the queue. I think what should have happened is:- the board should have been changed back to Diamond Pass Holders only, and the VQ ticket holders already in the queue should have been filtered through to Robert, say one VQ for every 2 or 3 Diamond Pass Holder. OK, this is slightly against the rules but it would have been reasonably fair to everyone. Fortunately my VQ ticket had not been collected when I was in Roberts queue, so I was able to leave and come back later. This brings me to another point. The crew must get the basics right. The crew do a fantastic job, but there is so much info for them to take in, that it is probably impossible for them to remember everything. When crewing auto queues, do not believe someone when he says "yes my VQ ticket is below 70", you must see the ticket! Also, VQ tickets must be collected in, so they are not passed on, or even sold! I was speaking to Jason at about 4.30 on Saturday. I told him I had met Sigourney Weaver and he said he had not met her yet. If I had thought about it at the time, I could have given him Sigourney Weaver VQ ticket No 22. I know he didn't need it but, I would have made my point! Overall, well done Showmasters, fantastic weekend. I'm saving for next year. Harrison Ford please, I'd even go for a photoshoot!
  4. That's the fun of the auto pack, spending six months trying to work out who you got! I'll be disappointed if the auto pack is dropped from the new gold passes. It may help to look at the Celebrity Ink website (use the link on the LFCC homepage). I identified several of my summer pack from this website.
  5. How about some of those not going to DSTL, Whoopi Goldberg, Wil Wheaton, Colm Meaney, Roxanne Dawson, Robert Picardo, and of course Patrick Stewart. Also please Emilia Clarke and just to be different - Natalie Dormer.
  6. OK, I enjoyed LFCC but it was obvious that some things need improving. I'm going to try and avoid saying what others have said already, but there will be some overlaps. Entry queues - the problems here come up every few shows. Yes, improvements do get made but then the show gets bigger and the old problems come back. I understand that the venue staff are in charge of the queues outside. Unfortunately a lot of them do not understand the different tickets available. "Gold Ticket you've pre paid? Yes, that's the big prepay queue left hand side of EC2!" Suggestion 1 - Venue staff man the queues with support from Showmasters. 1 blue shirt at the end of each queue making sure people are joining the right queue. Venue security staff positioned where there are queue breaks, making sure no queue jumping. eg early bird queue just round the corner from the front of EC2 there is a queue break. I've stood here in the queue a couple of times and have spent an hour or so pointing queue jumpers to the back of the queue. One day last year there was an EC security man at this point and he did a great job. Suggestion 2 - 3 or 4 blueshirts per queue walk up and down the queue from say 7.30 or 8.00 onwards until the queue has dispersed, just making sure things are OK, and answering any questions, passing any info onto the queuing masses. You really do need to look at barriers for queues. Suggestion 3 - Do not sell talk tickets or photoshoot tickets to anyone who does not have a prepaid ticket. You already do this for DSTL! I'm tempted to say only sell to those who have gold or early entry tickets because times are often not available when tickets are sold.. Suggestion 4 - We need barriers for Auto queues. Suggestion 5 - So Carrie Fisher got stuck in traffic on Saturday and was an hour late. Nobodies fault, these things happen. Don't sell auto tickets for guests who are not in the building. I would have been happy if there was a queue say vt 1-20 up to the pay table,once she was in the building start taking money. But once you have paid you are stuck there. This leads me on to: Suggestion 5 - Better communication between those that know whats going on and the crew at the signing table. This should lead to better communication to the people in the queue. I read somewhere that pit bosses have radios. Do they use them? Do they work? Do more crew need them? Would mobile phones work better? Suggestion 6 - You have got some fantastic crew, surely for a sci fi show you can clone each of them 100 times? No!? Well you certainly need far more crew. Every queue needs more crew, especially if it does not have barriers or if it is not moving. If you are on your own in the middle of a queue which is not moving, you are stuck you can't go and ask someone what is going on, you'll lose your place. More crew and better communication. Suggestion 7 - More space required. Yes, you did add an extra hall but you also added a lot of extra attractions, and thus a huge amount of extra people! Jason was surprised that early bird people did not leave earlier on Saturday. I usually leave about 2.00 or 3.00pm but you had put on so much extra I didn't leave till 5.30pm. Suggestion 8 - Talks - either get the sound right or don't have the talks. I love the talks. Over the years the sound has improved and I think the guy who comperes them, does a great job. It was embarrasing before when there was no compere. Great idea to have a bigger talk area, but the sound was awful. Suggestion 9 - The front page of the website needs big letters saying there is a lot more info in the forums. All adverts need to spell out go to the website for more info. The forum needs a few locked threads at the top of the page that are info only eg the faq thread should only have the faq, and be locked so that only mods can update it. Sure, have a second thread for questions, but keep the updated info easy to find. Its difficult trawling through lots of posts to find something. I don't bother with photoshoots, I consider them to be a necessary evil that takes guests away from signing tables. But they are obviously a great popular opportunity, so what do I know! The introduction of printers has been a fantastic improvement. But once again queuing needs a rethink. I know the rules so maybe you'll delete this, but I stopped going to a show, which was not a patch on a Showmasters show, because of bad entry queue handling, overcrowding, and appalling auto queue handling. To end on a positive note, I learnt my lesson some years ago at Milton Keynes, when I got there too late to meet Carrie Fisher. To get the best out of these shows, get there early and have a plan. I got a gold pass this time but I still needed to get a VT for Stan Lee. When I saw that you were going to hand out the gold passes in the queue half an hour before opening, I decided get there early on Friday, get my gold pass and then go straight to the gold pass entry at Brompton Hall for my VT. I turned up at about 4.30 and the gold pass queue was about the same length as the early bird used to be at 7.30am! Gold passes were handed out almost straight away. I was surprised that nobody else was leaving the queue. I went to the gold pass entry at EC1 and there was nobody there. Went for a coffee, at 6.00pm there were only about 12 of us in the gold pass queue, got VT No3 and straight in for a Stan Lee auto! So to sum up, I enjoyed the show and did everything I wanted, but the problems were there for all to see. A lot of thinking and planning is required before the next one.
  7. I'm really looking forward to next weekend. Just one point I'd like to raise, having been caught out a couple of times before. Picture the scene, you've got a little bit of time before your next talk/photoshoot and there's only about 10 people in the queue for a signature you want. You're almost there, then the couple in front of you produce a video camera and microphone and start interviewing the guest. From past experience, these interviews can go on for 10-15 minutes. What is Showmasters policy on press interviews at signing tables?
  8. Completely agree, I have been caught out several times in the past when people were on open queue when I arrived and when I went back later they had been on VTs for a couple of hours and I ended up with a high number. It defeats the point of queuing up outside for an hour and a half in order to get low VTs! As far as I'm concerned its far better if guests start off with VTs and then go open queue later if they are not busy.
  9. showmasters told me this 2 days before the event on the thursday leaving me stuck. A Tardis and Dalek can not be carried along the street and we were told that all vehicles had to be unloaded by friday afternoon and then removed from site. Unloading was to be done on a queueing system and that there was nowhere to unload outside LFCC and that if i was not there on the Friday i could not unload. As i was only able to attend on the sunday i was stuck. I really do feel that this was unfair and that after purchasing photoshoot tickets i have been let down. Can the tickets be refunded please. Next time, put the Dalek in the Tardis, its bigger inside than out, set the Tardis to rematerialise inside Earls Court 2 - problem solved! Sorry I realise this in not very helpful but I couldn't resist it. Glad you got sorted out in the end.
  10. Special mention to the crew handling the 4 GoT auto queues on Sunday. Well done, this was a tough one to handle with no VQ tickets and lots of people wanting to join the queues.
  11. I understand where you are coming from. When I got there on Sunday, the Pay on the Door queue had about 20 people in it and the Pre Booked queue was disappearing round the corner! Yes it was tempting to join the short queue,but I've always found that the pre paid queue moves pretty quickly. I think the current system works fairly well.
  12. I'm just being curious, what is Showmasters policy re. the press interviewing guests at their signing table? I would imagine its Ok if the guest is not busy and there's no queue, but it's a bit of a pain if you're behind them in the queue and they interview the guest for 10 minutes or more. However, this weekend I have seen the pit boss tell the press to contact the guest's agent to ask for an interview.
  13. I have felt for a long time that what the talks need is a compere to take control of the talk, direct the microphones to the questioner, help the guest when the guest can't hear or understand the question, and fill in if the audience dries up by asking questions him or herself. The chap who compered the Hayden talk today did pretty much that. Consequently this talk flowed really well. Perhaps he asked too many questions himself, but it was a sterling effort. The chap who did the Game of Thrones and X-files talks today also did a good job. A pity that neither of them were at Gillians talk yesterday, this talk was crying out for someone to take control. Sound was much better today but that could of been because the hall wasn't so busy. Since there are now more paid for talks the quality of talk needs to be improved, I think a compere may be the answer.
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