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Lizzy

Discussion about the new venue

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Definitely a negative for me - my wife likes coming along and doing some shopping, so it becomes a bit of a day out. Of course we can still do this, but it's going to involve going out of our way a bit more. Certainly won't stop me coming along (that depends on the guests), but on balance I'd prefer it stuck where it is. But to be fair to SM, it looks like it was the centre's decision - and on balance I can understand it.

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I think one of the big issues here is health and safety. The CM events are growing rapidly, the more big name guests they get. With all the normal Saturday shoppers combined with the CM con goers (and I class myself in both categories here), there are undoubtedly too many people in the centre. Showmasters can't up the scale of the event because it's got nowhere to expand to. I, for one, found today a little too cramped for my taste, with the layout of the stars' booths and the photo booth and everything else and not spreading into the wings.

 

Yes, the dealers may lose out on passing trade but I, like many others, will be more tempted to stop, browse and spend money at the dealer's stalls. As it stands, I tend to only buy at Collectormania if I know what I want and where to get it, because I cannot deal with fighting the crowds.

 

Changing venue is a natural progression with a convention. One of the world's biggest conventions in the states has changed venues many times. It now has a capacity of 150,000 people and they're supposedly thinking of changing venue again!

 

Saying that, I will miss the chance to catch up on shopping in between. Being a local, I tend to pop up in my car anyway and if there's any guests I want to meet, then meet them. I don't stress about hotels and the rest. Now I would have to go specifically for the event.

 

I guess I can see both sides.

 

Amanda Tapping is a great guest. She doesn't cancel that often (the year she was pregnant being a notable exception) and she's warm, friendly and very funny. She's quite picky about conventions she does and has fallen out with many organisers over how they treat guests and fans, so the fact that she has agreed to do this is a testament to how Showmasters run their events and treat people.

 

I will be there next June. How many others will be, I don't know.

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Having the convention in the MK centre has the advantage that "newcomers" to the convention scene aren't thrown in at the deep end. I often try to drag my friends along to conventions, but some are unwilling to pay for an entrance fee without knowing what they're letting themselves in for. With the free entrance at the MK centre, they get a fairly relaxed introduction to convention scene and those who don't like it can go shopping for a bit.

Although having a space just for the convention (as in Collectormania Midlands) is good: Talks, car parking, more stalls etc... it may not appeal to some people. The MK centre has the advantage for cheap and nice food. John Lewis does a nice breakfast!

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Yes, the dealers may lose out on passing trade but I, like many others, will be more tempted to stop, browse and spend money at the dealer's stalls. As it stands, I tend to only buy at Collectormania if I know what I want and where to get it, because I cannot deal with fighting the crowds.

 

 

Same, I found myself buying much less than usual. I tried a couple of times to dive into the stalls but backed out again before I got halfway down the first aisle.

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Having the convention in the MK centre has the advantage that "newcomers" to the convention scene aren't thrown in at the deep end.

 

This is a down side. I was going to bring my Mum for her first convention the next time an SG guest was announced. I know she can't justify the £200 for the other UK convention Amanda does or the £80 or so for other cons. So I thought I would introduce her through Collectormania because we can pop in, get autographs/photos, look at people in costumes and then go for lunch and shopping. And it's not too much "geek" for a first timer.

 

I think my Mum will still come to the one at the stadium, but if it wasn't for the fact that she's a bigger geek than me...

 

I see what you mean.

 

 

Same, I found myself buying much less than usual. I tried a couple of times to dive into the stalls but backed out again before I got halfway down the first aisle.

 

I did fight my way in a couple of times but both times because there were certain pictures and things I really wanted. I knew exactly where I was going though... I wasn't leaving it to chance.

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I never even bother to look at the dealers stalls at the Centre because the crowds are so extreme it's just pointless.

 

So that's another positive for the move. There are more positives than negatives for me. The main worry is lack of nearby hotels. That really does put me off a lot.

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we are busy at the show over the weekend and we will tell everything next week

 

but we have thought of every thing for this move and we know it to be right for you the fans and to keep Collectormania MK the best event for the fans in the Uk

 

and just to let you all know

 

free entry

 

free buses to and from center MK,train station,and coach station

 

more room to walk about

 

more space for big guests

 

new hotel at the stadium coming on line early next year were fans can stay at and party on though the night

 

free talks on two stages

 

this is just some of the things we are planing

 

we will bring you all up to date after the weekend

 

see you all soon

 

jason

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Blimey Jason how early did you get up this morning! :D

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free buses to and from center MK

 

new hotel at the stadium coming on line early next year were fans can stay at and party on though the night

 

 

That'll do for me :D I love you guys.

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I dont think Jason will have gone to bed before making that post.

 

I trust Jason and his team on this one. I think that having the event in the centre poses so many difficulties, risks and makes it very hard to evaluate. By moving the venue, everything will be contained, into one large area, no moving around for talks, no moving around for hotels, no moving around for the party, its all here in one place. I think its the right move and Im sure it will be as popular as ever.

 

A

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One thing to think about is that the dealers pay a fair wedge of money to be able to stand at these events. Without the dealer stands, some of the BIG names would not be able to attend as im sure the revenue from the dealers off sets the fees that these big names charge.

One of the main reasons that dealers like the MK centre is passing trade.

Move venue, you risk loosing the dealers and the knock on effect of the big names !

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I think what people are not getting is that this move is not Showmasters choice, the centre are planning to use that space for something more permanent from what I understand, it's the centre's decision not to have the show there anymore, Showmasters are simply adapting to the situation.

 

Yes it's sad for everyone that it's moving, but I guess it's that or not have a MK event at all.

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One thing to think about is that the dealers pay a fair wedge of money to be able to stand at these events. Without the dealer stands, some of the BIG names would not be able to attend as im sure the revenue from the dealers off sets the fees that these big names charge.

One of the main reasons that dealers like the MK centre is passing trade.

Move venue, you risk loosing the dealers and the knock on effect of the big names !

 

Hmmmm. LFCC doesn't seem to have a problem getting dealers.

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Stuff on the hotel:

http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index...;upload_id=1329 (Aug 2007): "Secondly, a 128-bed hotel will be linked to the front west stand of the stadium, having appropriate support areas including an indoor swimming pool available to both hotel guests and players. Several rooms on the pitchside will double up as executive suites during a major event."

http://www.mkd.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=113028 (June 2008): "The plan is also for the boxes to be used as pitch-view rooms for the hotel, set to be opened in April next year."

http://www.buryfc.co.uk/page/AwayTravel/0,...1081168,00.html (Aug 2007): "When "stage two" of the project is completed, the stadium will have a capacity of nearly 31,000 as well as housing a four-star hotel, a health club and conference facilities including a grand ballroom. The stadium complex also holds a multi-purpose indoor arena with a capacity of 5,000 for exhibitions and indoor sporting events."

http://www.miltonkeynes.gov.uk/mkgrowth/do...s_and_regen.pdf Local government documentation (page 2, Key points June 2008): "In Dec 2007 a £28.52m financing deal with Clydesdale Bank (in Milton Keynes) was signed. This will enable the completion of the next stage which includes a four-star 172 bedroom hotel, restaurant and leisure and retail units."

http://cmis.milton-keynes.gov.uk/CmisWebPu...?Document=14750 Local government documentation - changes to planning permission (page 2): "Full permission is sought for the changes to the design of the stadium building, a new free standing mixed use building, the integration of the 200 bed hotel accommodation and the health and fitness facilities within the stadium, while outline consent is sought for the relocating of the previously permitted drive thru hot food facilities and the provision of restaurant and drinking establishments within several new buildings around the site.... The amended stadium design will incorporate the 200-bed space hotel accommodation, which in the original planning permission was allocated within the media village and previously only agreed as outline consent. The hotel rooms are orientated around the stadium building on three floors, some of which will be in the form of hotel apartments with views onto the main football pitch and these rooms will double up as corporate boxes during match days and other events. The change in design will also include the provision of 162 square metres of health and fitness floorspace within the stadium for the benefit of both the club members, as well as hotel and conference guests."

 

Also of interest about the general area around the stadium is

http://www.footballgroundguide.com/mk_dons.htm - whilst it's primarily about the stadium from a football supporters point of view, it does have advice on travel, local watering holes etc, and does mention that the "limited" car parking that some places refer to is about 2,000 spaces.

And i guess that if you go here: http://www.mkdons.premiumtv.co.uk/page/Con...,,10420,00.html you might be able to find something about the facilities.

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I'm happy to wait and see how the new venue turns out, it will be nice to have talks for C15 and Amanda Tapping is an excellent first guest. I am confident showmasters can make C15 just as good a previous events. One thing I did notice however was showmasters will be extremely busy next year as Manchester is summer 09 and LFCC July & C15 June. At least summer 2009 is going to be fantastic.

 

Thanks Showmasters :D

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I'll miss the MK Centre but I think the chnages are good. Hopefully it means bigger guests and a more relaxed atmosphere. All the other big SM cons are places like LFCC and G-Mex ect so I can only imagine it being as good as them. I look fowrad to it. :D

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Having just returned from this Collectormania, the main view I could gather was that the move was a bad idea.

The layout for C15 looks ridiculous, youl certainly need your walking shoes on,plus the dealers seem to be next to each other in a ring, I overheard 1 dealer who wont be going because they love the atmosphere of being close to each other plus the passing shopper trade will disappear.

I also overheard one of the American dealers complaining about the move and more so the date change which has thrown his whole schedule for next year out the window

We thought if the centre MK cut down on space then maybe cut down on dealers so more signers could get in, but will look forwad to the excuses, sorry reasons next week

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Having just returned from this Collectormania, the main view I could gather was that the move was a bad idea.

The layout for C15 looks ridiculous, youl certainly need your walking shoes on,plus the dealers seem to be next to each other in a ring, I overheard 1 dealer who wont be going because they love the atmosphere of being close to each other plus the passing shopper trade will disappear.

I also overheard one of the American dealers complaining about the move and more so the date change which has thrown his whole schedule for next year out the window

We thought if the centre MK cut down on space then maybe cut down on dealers so more signers could get in, but will look forwad to the excuses, sorry reasons next week

 

I think you misunderstand, it's not a case of cutting down space, from what I understand the entire Middleton Hall is being turned into shops, there is not going to be any place to put Collectormania in the MK Centre anymore. Everyone, us the punters, and the dealers, are going to just have to deal with it, there's nothing else that can be done.

 

The first Collectormania in the Stadium is going to be in the actual stadium because the Arena isnt going to be ready in time, but after that it will be in the Arena and I think be laid out similar to LFCC and Gmex with the dealers all near eachother. The stadium itself doesnt have any large areas that they could do that in, so they're going to do the best they can for the next one with what's available. As for the date, that's the first date that was available for use, again it is out of Showmasters hands, they have to make the best of what they've been offered.

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Having just returned from this Collectormania, the main view I could gather was that the move was a bad idea.

The layout for C15 looks ridiculous, youl certainly need your walking shoes on,plus the dealers seem to be next to each other in a ring, I overheard 1 dealer who wont be going because they love the atmosphere of being close to each other plus the passing shopper trade will disappear.

I also overheard one of the American dealers complaining about the move and more so the date change which has thrown his whole schedule for next year out the window

We thought if the centre MK cut down on space then maybe cut down on dealers so more signers could get in, but will look forwad to the excuses, sorry reasons next week

 

Echoes what I overheard on friday.

 

And yes, it does look like there'll be a lot of walking to do to get round the whole thing. I'll be very interested to see how they handle the Virtual Queue system. At the moment, it's really easy to wander round the signing area and see what number they're up to for each guest and get a feel for how quickly or slowly it's going. With the new layout it does look like it's going to be a lot harder and it looks very spread out. Unless they can have screens up or something around the place showing what numbers each guest is up to, there could be a lot of walking around and confusion.

 

Although I have reservations, it's not far for me to travel to so I will go as I really want to meet Amanda but I will miss the vibe and atmosphere it currently has, although few have come close to the fun and excitement of C4 which was the first one I went to.

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Oh I am sure the dealers are moaning but if they want to still be part of an event , they will soon decide to go, or at least give it a try then make up their mind.

Same as all those posting saying they will miss the shops etc , but at the end of the day if there is a load of guests one wants to see and now be able to hear free talks, then the move is going to be better .

I personally think it should attract better guests in a venue rather than beside weekend shoppers, and if free transport is organised then hopefully noone will miss out.

I think too many looking for negatives instead waiting to see who they manage to attract next year.

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The first Collectormania in the Stadium is going to be in the actual stadium because the Arena isnt going to be ready in time, but after that it will be in the Arena and I think be laid out similar to LFCC and Gmex with the dealers all near eachother. The stadium itself doesnt have any large areas that they could do that in, so they're going to do the best they can for the next one with what's available. As for the date, that's the first date that was available for use, again it is out of Showmasters hands, they have to make the best of what they've been offered.

 

That explains a lot. I missed the fact it was to be a temporary arrangement for the first one and would be more organised after that.

 

I'd still like to see it go back to the current timings though - I always look forward to going twice each year, even if I have to keep an eye on my spending :) but I guess we'll just have to see. At least it's staying local-ish.

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The first Collectormania in the Stadium is going to be in the actual stadium because the Arena isnt going to be ready in time, but after that it will be in the Arena and I think be laid out similar to LFCC and Gmex with the dealers all near eachother. The stadium itself doesnt have any large areas that they could do that in, so they're going to do the best they can for the next one with what's available. As for the date, that's the first date that was available for use, again it is out of Showmasters hands, they have to make the best of what they've been offered.

 

That explains a lot. I missed the fact it was to be a temporary arrangement for the first one and would be more organised after that.

 

I'd still like to see it go back to the current timings though - I always look forward to going twice each year, even if I have to keep an eye on my spending :) but I guess we'll just have to see. At least it's staying local-ish.

 

it will still be twice a year, next year the first one will be in June and the second in October.

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ive only been to MK once and the "passers by" were a pain in the ar5e

i see its move to a hall as a plus and dont mind paying £10 to get in because the "man,woman and buggy" types just get in the way at the stalls, buy sod all or stand around gawping at stuff "they used to have but threw away and wish theyd kept"

if they chuck in a free auto like they did at Mid with Nic Courtenay then again no complaints

as for the "doing a bit of shopping in between" i do regular shopping trips in town 52 weeks a year with the missus so to have day where i can spend my dough on SF and Horror stuff and nothing else for one day again is a plus

Edited by vintageSW77

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Oh I am sure the dealers are moaning but if they want to still be part of an event , they will soon decide to go, or at least give it a try then make up their mind.

Same as all those posting saying they will miss the shops etc , but at the end of the day if there is a load of guests one wants to see and now be able to hear free talks, then the move is going to be better .

I personally think it should attract better guests in a venue rather than beside weekend shoppers, and if free transport is organised then hopefully noone will miss out.

I think too many looking for negatives instead waiting to see who they manage to attract next year.

 

I can understand that bigger guests may prefer a more controlled and controllable environment. Though the really big guests do often seem to be the ones that cause most disappointment for some people as they tend not to be as 'interactive' as most of the collectormania guests are, rushing through people, very long queues etc etc.

 

As an event it is unique amongst these type of things, no other comes close to it when it's good, in my view. It somehow feels more personal than others I've been to and I hope they manage to keep some of what makes it stand out and not just turn it into 'just another' big hall event.

 

Just because I and others are disappointed by this news doesn't mean we don't understand the reasoning behind it - and the fact that in this case that it's actually necessary to move.

 

Talks are ok but not a deal breaker for me. I will await developments with interest.

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