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Jestive

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This is really just my general thoughts on Collectormanias of the past. I still remember the excitement I felt about going to my first Collectormania, C4. We went for the sole purpose of meeting Iyari, and we were not disappointed in the slightest. We also had the chance to meet many other guests and generally had a really fun weekend. I've been to every Collectormania since and every time I have less and less fun.

Maybe it's because by the time the event actually arrives there are only one or two people I actually want to meet. This time I felt so disillusioned that I only met one person, Summer Glau, and I hadn't intended to meet her when going! I decided against meeting Andy Hallett after the Buffy/ Angel talk, I just figured he wasn't worth it, although it was quite funny watching him during the talk.

Maybe it's because the first time is always the best, because you don't know what to expect, and you enjoy the atmosphere more.

Maybe it's because you aren't allowed to take photos of half the guests, and if crew even see a camera they jump down your throat (not all the time but I've had that experience). I need photos, I take pictures of everything, my camera practically lives in my bag, and to have the ability to capture the excitement I feel at meeting a guest taken away from me means I'd rather not pay the money to even bother.

Maybe it's because I don't pay money for the autograph, I pay money to be able to say hi to the guest and maybe have a short conversation (if I can get words out, I'm not very good with nerves. I can sit next to a guest for a whole day and chat, but going up for an autograph my heart starts to race, silly) and with the more popular guests I've felt herded through the queue and barely even made eye contact I was rushed through so quickly (I'm particularly remembering the first time I met Nicholas Brenden (C6?) and meeting Tony Head and Alexis Denisof at C7, although both managed to be lovely in the brief seconds I saw them). So for me, it's not always worth it.

Maybe it's because I find a lot of the crew members annoying, up themselves, and displaying such a lack of customer service I wonder why they're allowed contact with the public (I work in customer service and I'm good at it, it's not difficult), but this could be to do with the age of some. Trying not to be nasty because I've met lovely crew members who are brilliant at what they do, but still, some...

 

Anyway, i'll stop now as I could carry on thinking about it all day and then I'd never get out of the office. Does anyone else have thoughts on the matter, preferably constructive?

 

On a side note, I'm going to see Common Rotation this evening, anyone else going?

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Things have changed a lot since I first went to Collectormania 3.

 

I remember then I got to talk to a lot of guests without paying for an autograph, I got to have photos with them etc - these were the quiet ones who had the open queues.

 

Now people can't do that really, not with many if ANY guests. Photos are often not allowed for the bigger guests, which is one of the main disappointments for me personally because I love the photos.

 

For me, while I've wanted to meet the bigger guests, time and again those lesser known ones have proved to be the friendliest and most approachable ones, and the ones that have stuck in my mind after the event. I've had the time to talk to them, rather than just a 3 second William Shatner "meet" if you can classify it as that.

 

We all go for different reasons. Some people couldn't care less about talking to the guest, while others really want to. It's a hard balance to achieve and while they want to get through as many people as possible, a lot of people are often left disappointed with their experience.

 

As for the crew, I do think things are improving there and not only are the crew themselves learning from it but those in charge are too through feedback etc.

 

I do still enjoy it a lot, don't get me wrong, but it's for totally different reasons than those that originally attracted me to the event in the first place. It's always going to be a SIGNING event predominantly, considering where it is and the nature of the event, which means it probably won't ever change.

 

Hopefully people can still find enjoyment in attending though. I certainly get mine through crewing and being able to see all those who come having a good time and being surrounded by like-minded people with similar interests. That's always going to appeal to me.

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Good point there with the signing event, although I've never really gone for the signing.

I don't think I'll go again as a member of the public, I'd rather crew the event. Then, as you say, you get to see the enjoyment of other people. Although I've only crewed once for LFCC2 I enjoyed that far more than either of the events I've been to since. Maybe that's the problem, one crewing experience and going as a 'customer' is ruined forever!

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Maybe it's because I find a lot of the crew members annoying, up themselves, and displaying such a lack of customer service I wonder why they're allowed contact with the public

877986[/snapback]

 

I agree with a couple of your points and disagree with others (as is the nature of life) but I wanted to comment on this particular bit. I remember you wanted to crew the last Collectormania and if I remember right you did actually crew the last LFCC (forgive me if I am wrong). If you think alot of the crew are annoying and up themselves why on Earth did you want to work with them? Surely we can't be that bad if you want to join us ^_^:wub:

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Maybe it's because I find a lot of the crew members annoying, up themselves, and displaying such a lack of customer service I wonder why they're allowed contact with the public

877986[/snapback]

 

I agree with a couple of your points and disagree with others (as is the nature of life) but I wanted to comment on this particular bit. I remember you wanted to crew the last Collectormania and if I remember right you did actually crew the last LFCC (forgive me if I am wrong). If you think alot of the crew are annoying and up themselves why on Earth did you want to work with them? Surely we can't be that bad if you want to join us ^_^:wub:

878009[/snapback]

 

Well there are enough crew members to be able to avoid the ones that are annoying, although they're usually only annoying to the public, and not other crew. Plus if people who have good customer experience get put off by the ones without then it would never get any better! :)

 

EDIT: I only crewed once at LFCC2, not at the last one.

Edited by Jestive

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some points in the first post i really agree with. there is certainly something different about these events now. i have talked a lot about it with my friends and to be honest none of us can quite put a finger on what it is.

 

i love all sm events and i will always love them i am sure but it is for an entirely different reason. i go to see friends. i go to meet new people and most importantly i think i go to be part of the team. being part of the crew is such a big deal for me. i love it. i really do.

 

as to the crew being offensive... im not going to defend those that are, but i must stand up for the good crew members that happen to be under 30. we do exist! so many people believe that because someone is young they are not capable of doing a good job and it simply isnt true. i know a lor of very good, young crew members that are just as capable, and in some cases more capable, than some of the older members. of course the reverse is also true and there are always exceptions to every rule. but please try to not generalise. its not fair.

 

=x=

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I rememeber the first time I went. It was because a friend of my BF's wanted an autograph of someone who was there. We spent all day waiting to get this autograph and although thats basically all i remember doing there was a great buzz to it that kind of put you into the mood.

 

CM8 was the first time I have gone properly and thought that because i was there because i wanted to be that buzz would be bigger but it didnt seem to be. It was as though there was more of a bad atmosphere with some of the people that were there. I did notice at one point that there seemed to be more notices up above some of the guests saying no pictures, then there were guests allowing photos.

 

This to me seems a shame. I would have thought that would have wanted to let thier fans have something more personal and although i know there is always the time factor there were some whos queues were limited and were still a bit blah at having thier photo taken. I know that if i go and see someone i would like to have a picture of them and myself. Or even just of them that I have taken, just as something to remember the day a bit better by.

 

Anyway, that is all i can really say as this was the first one i have been to properly - and loved every minute of it, even if it did seem as though there wasnt quite so much of a buzz in the atmosphere.

 

SG

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there always seems to be an issue with taking photos. for me its something that i like to have because i dont always meet a person for their auto. its more about the memories i think.

 

nine times out of ten the photo rule is a personal preference of the guest and sm try to accomodate people the best they can. unfortunately its up to members of the crew to break the news to dissappointed fans and that is not an easy job at all. i hate doing it. but sometimes it has to be done.

 

=x=

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Guest WaterBoy

Wow - A sensible feedback thread!

 

Please can this topic be kep running, and possibly pinned. Its this kind of sensible discussion and feedback that can improve future shows.

 

Paul

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My first Collectormania was only last year (C6) and I had one of the best days of my life, it was my first big convention, i planned for months and I had a lovely day.

 

C7 was fun, had a lovley day but it didnt beat the first time

 

C8 was pretty much the same, great day, meet people etc but didn't have the spark any longer.

 

I know that I only come to these conventions with a very limited amount of money in my pocket but through going with friends (who have money) and getting my timing right and watching for dead or open ques I manage to meet a load of people. So i don't feel cheated out of money at all, I just feel like I've had a lovely day, with my friends and thats that ;)

 

KIWI :P

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I just had a thought about photos.

 

Presumably it must be known in advance what the guests (or agents?) preference is regarding photos - surely it's part of the contract? although it doesn't seem to apply to the press or SM's own photographer just as a point of order.

 

But anyway, could an icon or something be included on the main website page against the names to indicate if they will be allowing photos or not? Then for those people attending for whom getting a photo is important, they'd be better informed as to whether the guest they want to see will be allowing it or not and whether they want to attend - especially if travelling rather than only finding out when you join the queue.

 

It does seem that more and more are not allowing it which is a pity. I can understand no posed photos but taking one while in the queue or just to one side as you leave doesn't take long and doesn't really hold things up. Posed photos are nice but I'm personally just as happy to take a quick one while the guest is signing - it's something at least. And if flash is an issue, at least at MK it's often sunny enough for that not to be a major problem.

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i agree with one of the things said, the smaller the guest the more time they give and the more friendly they are, however when i met gene wilder at a book signing he let fans pose with him for a photograph however he was still very aloof and unfriendly

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That would make sence. At least you would know before hand. I know I saw a couple of people who had obviously REALLY gotten thier hopes up on getting a photograph and then didnt.

 

If they were to know beforehand then at least they would not feel let down on the day.

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Wow - A sensible feedback thread!

 

Please can this topic be kept running, and possibly pinned.  Its this kind of sensible discussion and feedback that can  improve future shows.

 

Paul

878098[/snapback]

 

 

Well said. We are always looking to improve the service we provide and continuously try to work out what is feasable to implement to make the fans experience more memorable. We are always listening.

 

jason

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I just had a thought about photos.

 

 

But anyway, could an icon or something be included on the main website page against the names to indicate if they will be allowing photos or not? Then for those people attending for whom getting a photo is important, they'd be better informed as to whether the guest they want to see will be allowing it or not and whether they want to attend - especially if travelling rather than only finding out when you join the queue.

 

878104[/snapback]

 

Unfortunately that is not always possible. Many guests start out the day doing photos and want to do photos but at the end of the day when they still have lots of people to get through and not much time they have to make a decision between meeting everyone or continuing to do photos. I know this happened with Andy Hallett. At the end of the day we made the decision to not allow photos for the last 100 people because he wanted the chance to talk to everyone and not have to just rush through. This meant the status of photos changed for some people whilst they were already in the queue. That's why it is often impossible to say weeks/days in advance when sometimes they don't even know minutes.

 

I do know how annoying it is as someone who doesn't care about the autograph and just goes for the photo and the chance to meet the guest. However, I can see it from the other side too as telling someone that time has run out and they've not yet met the guest they love is truely horrendous.

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I do think that generally the photo rule would be a guest choice rather than Showmasters themselves.

 

If you see busy queues that are allowing photos, there'll be a crew member at the end of it that will get your camera ready and take your photo for you, so time isn't ALWAYS an issue.

 

It can be organised well so that even if the guest is busy, the photos can be managed so it doesn't cut into the numbers meeting the guest.

 

So it would seem that there's no real reason to cut photos out JUST due to timing constraints etc. It must be a personal preference, and so if it IS, then it probably would be possible to post the information beforehand.

 

Then again, this would just result in people complaining as usual, just like with prices etc. People will always complain regardless of when the information is given.

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I do think the party is one of the things that needs to be addressed the most. Not for me personally, but there always seems to be a lot of comments after it.

 

(1) Advertising guests - While it may hook people into buying party tickets, and that's a sensible selling technique, it's not gonna do any favours to get peoples hopes up and then NO ONE turns up. Don't put specific names, just generally say that some guests MAY attend if they choose. Have it as a nice surprise!

 

(2) Music - Don't ever have another live band. It's too specific, and doesn't fit a lot of tastes. At least then the DJ will have enough time to do a proper VARIED set and perhaps send more people home happy!

 

(3) Staff/Prices - I'm sure it's nothing to do with SMs themselves but there have been a lot of complaints about that so I'm not sure what can be done there ...

 

(4) Venue - If there IS another suitable venue then I'm sure it would have been used by now, so I think the stadium is the only place unfortunately, no matter how many people don't like it much.

 

I guess they're the main things. There seems to be more space outside so perhaps that could be used a bit more.

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Thanks for your responses. I can see it from all sides and realise that sometimes things have to change on the spot but I'd still imagine it would sometimes be in the contract if it was a definite 'no' and some indication could be given on the website in advance if it was known there would be no chance.

 

I've been to other events with queues just as busy as any queue at Cx where they've still let you take a quick shot while the guest is signing or you stand to one side, out of the way as you leave and take a quick one and it didn't seem to hold things up particularly.

 

Obviously if the guest really doesn't want any photos, that's different but I would suggest some thought be put into seeing if there's some way to make it possible. As DavidB says above there's not necessarily reason to stop it just because of timing - it can be done without being disruptive and grabbing a shot from the queue while you're already waiting takes nothing away from anyone.

 

Anyway, don't want to get bogged down on this one subject. It's not all I go for but is a nice extra to put with the autograph and just wanted to make the suggestion and hope it gets given some thought.

 

One thing I did like very much about C8 (not sure if this was done at C7) was the virtual queue tickets had the guests name on and the day they were valid for. Haven't seen it mentioned anywhere and that was a big help. Also noticed a few more radio headsets being used but there still seemed to be some poor coordination keeping the various signs about tickets numbers up to date and consistent which could be tightened up a bit but it wasn't bad by any means. Maybe just a few more radios would help - still saw quite a few people running around passing messages.

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I'll just drop in here to give props (and thanks) to the young girl who was crewing Adam West at about 12.00 on the Saturday.

 

Even though there was no posed photos allowed she took my camera and pulled off a couple of shots of me with Adam.

 

They've been developed and are ace. This did not intrude on Mr. West's time or the signing and despite that fact that I look immensly fat in the photos (not the fault of the crew member - blame Greggs' Chocolate Donuts) this meeting and the photos actually made my weekend.

 

So - it can be done with a busy guest as long as the crew are helpful.

 

Well done.

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Start treating the people who attend the event with the proper amount of respect and dignity.

 

Until Showmasters start doing that, all the other issues pale in to insignificance.

 

I don't think they realise the effect which the cattle market and rude/thuggish crew are having on people. To have a guest like Shatner, trumpet it from the rooftops that you've got him, and then treat many of the people who came to see him to physical threats and verbal abuse beggars belief.

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Start treating the people who attend the event with the proper amount of respect and dignity.

 

Until Showmasters start doing that, all the other issues pale in to insignificance.

 

I don't think they realise the effect which the cattle market and rude/thuggish crew are having on people. To have a guest like Shatner, trumpet it from the rooftops that you've got him, and then treat many of the people who came to see him to physical threats and verbal abuse beggars belief.

878146[/snapback]

 

That's not being helpful though.

 

I'm sure you have your own proper ideas on how to improve the event, so why not actually give them rather than just slagging off the organisers?

 

I know it's easy to moan, but unless you want to offer your own REAL ideas and suggestions for improvements then no one will take you seriously.

 

So go ahead . . .

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I've been to other events with queues just as busy as any queue at Cx where they've still let you take a quick shot while the guest is signing or you stand to one side, out of the way as you leave and take a quick one and it didn't seem to hold things up particularly.

 

878136[/snapback]

 

Sorry thought we were talking about posed photos ^_^ . No taking a few shots whilst in the queue or getting the crew member to do it whilst the guests is signing your photo doesn't add extra time on. I think Showmasters have taken this on board because now many guests have a crew member assigned to getting cameras ready and taking those shots. I should know I was one. Yes, people trusted me with their expensive cameras *bg*.

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