I attended DST 3 in London at the Excel a few years back, and it’s been my favourite con (mainly for the layout, guests, things to do and air con), followed closely by last year’s LFCC.
I was hoping this would of eventually got a similar line up as the previous DST with a few captains attending the event, but I was happy enough with George Takei, Walter and Christopher Lloyd attending (esp with failing to get Christopher Lloyds autograph at LFCC because I didn’t have a diamond/gold pass).
My main goal was to get 3 those autographs and have my photos with George and Walter (separately) .
I was a bit worried about the photoshoots as they clashed and from my experience of previous SM events sometimes the photo line organisation is a mess.
Anyway got to the venue at around 8am as the car park book emailed stated it opened at 8am.
Went into the NEC and saw a queue of people in Star Trek costumes, went to join it and the steward told us to go back to the other hall to get our hand stamped.
Then we went back to join the queue outside of Hall 4. Stood in the queue for about 20 minutes then the steward made another queue next to ours, so people that had just turned up were next to people that had been queuing for hours.
It was a bit odd that they had the banner up with all the captains on but only 1 was attending.
It came 9am the doors opened and every one moved forwards and similar to LFCC they had 1 or 2 people to check peoples hand stamps and quite a lot of people just walked past them without showing. So people could of got in for free.
It was my 11st SM Con, so I went to straight to get the VQ tickets. I have to say even though I was possibly around the 300th person I the queue outside.
I managed to get all under 50 VQ tickets for Walter, George and Christopher Lloyd.
Then I went to get the photos for George and Walter to sign from the store.
There was only 2 people serving with around 50 people trying to buy photos it was a bit manic
Got both of the photos I wanted & joined the Walter autograph line.
What a lovely guy, very kind and friendly.
Joined the Christopher Lloyd line and got him to sign my Back to the Future picture, he shook my hand and said thank you.
Joined the George Takei line which wasn’t moving much, but eventually I got my autograph off George Takei.
Now it was around 10am and my photo shoot was around 4pm.
There wasn’t a lot to do at the convention, compared to the last DST in London.
There wasn’t many stalls and the museum had been cut down.
The Chill out area was just playing some Star Trek promo on repeat, last time they showed Star Trek episodes.
So skip ahead after 5 hours of wondering round inside and outside the NEC to pass the time.
It was a pain having to get past the crowd of people that were taking photos of guests on the bridge, maybe have it not in the entrance next time?
I went to the Walter photoshoot early, told the crew member and showed him my George Takei ticket and he put me in line behind the VIP/fast pass ticket holders with the other people that had clashed photoshoots.
It went smoothly. I had my photo with Walter and headed over to the George Takei photoshoot
There was a big crowd for his photoshoot, but the crew handled it perfectly.
He kept the queuing area empty and called people in batches and only called the next batch number when the previous queue batch had gone down. Perfect.
Overall a good con experience.
Good photoshoot queue management.
It wasn't stupidly hot inside (possibly due to the weather or aircon).
Lack of entrance ticket checking (same thing happened at LFCC)
Bridge crowds near the entrance.