Wanted to add my own thoughts and this seems as good a place as any, rather than start *another* thread on here.
After last year, I was more cautious about this LFCC. I decided to go big and went with a Gold Pass and I have to say it was worth every penny! All 3 mornings I rolled up around 9.30ish and there was no queue at all, so walked straight in. The difference was noticeable right away. It was airy, it was open, it was easy to navigate. The air-con worked all weekend which was excellent (as there were a lot less sweaty people about, including myself!!)
Everything just seemed to click this year. All crew I spoke to knew where everything was, or at least knew someone who would know. I honestly couldn't believe it was the same event after 2015. I don't think I met a single other person going up and down the back stairs; last year some poor people queued for over 30 mins to get down them!!
I managed to get every single person I wanted, both photos and autos. I honestly would never go back from the Gold Pass again. Even little things like being able to grab a water from the Gold Room when I needed a quick refresher was just right!
I'd like to thank Showmasters who have gone up massively in my estimation after this event (look, I go to other smaller events and they're always fine, but this is the real test for the company, and it just worked this year). You did it right. Please don't reduce the space or make any unnecessary changes for next year, if it aint broke, don't fix it!
Ok, so that's all the positive stuff, but there always have to be some downsides too right? Well yes, there were a couple of gripes, which I think it's only fair to mention too.
The Gold Pass. Showmasters, please don't EVER change the terms of the GP again the day before the show!! I get you said there weren't that many £10 guests, but the free talks entrance was of no use whatsoever to me, and people like me, who already had their entire days planned out. I ended up having to pay for the two guests I'd planned to get shoots with which is an extra expense someone who has paid for the privilege to meet anyway really didn't need. An option of either the shoots OR the talks would have kept everyone happy but I genuinely have been left with a bit of a bad taste in my mouth due to this forced change of terms and conditions. So please, don't drop something like this on us at the last minute again.
Photoshoot queues. I thought these were well managed and, on the whole, worked well - although I am speaking from the perspective of someone with a GP, so it could have been different for those that didn't. My one gripe here is this. I get your staff have a job to do, and have set things they need to say, but is it too much to ask for them to check people aren't doing what they're asking before they shout at them to do a particular thing? Example in point, queuing for one guest. Crew member at the front continually yells at the top of her voice "Keep tight against the wall people". I look behind me to see who she's shouting at. The line to so tight to the wall, the only way it could be closer is if the people queuing had been mixed in with the paint and painted on! Yet she continued to yell this line over and over to people doing exactly what she had already asked. A little common sense here would have helped her save her voice and me save my ear drums!
Paid Talks. I absolutely get that it's right for those who have paid to see a talk to be the only ones to see it, otherwise, why pay the extra money. I went into the Jeremy Renner talk and as it was about to start there were loads of people still at the back of the room. Makes perfect sense for them to be moved, fully understand that. What really wasn't acceptable though was the chap who was moving people was screaming at them so loud, and for so long, that Jeremy actually stopped mid-talk as he wasn't sure if someone was shouting something at him, and he was left looking a little unsure, which I'm sure isn't a position anyone wants guests to be in. Hopefully this is something that will be looked at for next year.
Other than those little gripes (well, I personally don't consider the GP change of content little, but in the grand scheme of things they are) I had a great time and am looking forward now to Cardiff in October and probably this event again next year.