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Thoughts about show after our debrief & how to move forward

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Thanks for this response Jason, I think it has cleared up some things but not all. Like others above have said, I'd really like an explanation for what went wrong with the GoT screening as many people are disappointed. I'd also like to know why the fire exits were closed, creating both a big safety issue and not making use of a good exit point - and also why the women's toilets were blocked off on one side. I think I spent longer queueing for the toilets than I did for the guests! Please consider guests with chronic illnesses etc for whom access to toilets, seating and water is even more important.

 

Having redone my fire warden training recently at work I can comment on this. Fire exits are supposed to be kept closed at all times EXCEPT in the event of a fire to allow emergency egress from the building.

 

Sorry, I don't think I was very clear, I was referring to people saying the fire exits were chained up or blocked off. Not just closed. There were exits at the side opened to let people out at night, not sure if they were fire exits or not but it seemed silly to not use them throughout the day.

 

 

Ah okay - different thing entirely and also a definite no no as this is one thing that happened at Hillsborough (And I think the Bradford football stadium) :)

Edited by Knitty Fred

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Maybe selling autograph vouchers online up to 400, which seems like a regular number that the guests can get through each day along with their photo shoots and talks etc.

After those 400 are sold, no more will be available until the day where numbers 401 upwards can be given out but people will have to be told that there's a good chance they won't be seen as people have prepaid have to be seen first.

If a guest gets through the first 400, using the same VQ system with the board, then 401-450 can be called and so forth.

 

And no traders allowed more than 5 online vouchers
Maybe one online voucher per person and a maximum of three items to be signed per voucher. If they want more they'll have to get a 401+ ticket. Fairer for everyone and will cut the waiting time.

To be honest with the actual processing line putting 5 items down probably doesn't take much longer than 3

 

Traders, preorders etc should get a private session before or after the show, they don't need all the formality of queuing, vouchers etc. We aren't talking small change here.

 

I've done three official shows where you could prebuy the autographs, and I bought the 'bigger' ones, just getting the 'smaller' ones in person.

 

First of all its easier to spread the costs, so you can spend more overall.

 

Second it's a much more relaxing experience. No queuing at a silly hour on the chance of getting a decent VT.

 

I don't see why its' one system for photos, and a different one for autos.

And then upon entry, people with preordered auto tickets from 0-30 or whatever can go straight to the guest table to be signed (or after passes. It would work exactly the same as getting a VQT, just online when the sales go live for that guest (which is usually the same evening as the announcement) it's still first come, first served, ticket-wise, and the same amount of money being exchanged so it makes perfect sense.

Also, from SM's point of view, there isn't huge numbers of cash at each guests table.

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On a slightly separate note, can someone please tell me how to send a private message?

 

you can't, they are disabled on this forum

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Loved the whole weekend. It was busy yes. It was warm yes but was prepared. Had deodorant, water, food and emergency sugar (I'm diabetic) We came prepared and had our tickets and a time table. We battled the queues and the crowd and still enjoyed ourselves. Few observations. The side doors could have been accessible to ease congestions. The silent auction. What's the point of a silent auction if you have a normal auction at the end. Also some people can't get to it as they have photo shoots. I lost out due to this. Not too bothered though. The talks I think we're slightly overhyped. My friend payed £25 for the Doctor Who talk as he was told there was going to be exclusive content. There was none.

 

Saying that I thought the whole weekend went well. I think it was essential you came prepared to get the most out of the weekend. The staff were awesome and friendly. Great guests and awesome vendors. Bring on 2015.

 

One last thing. How about this? What about a Showmasters app for your phone where you can log in and see your purchases. You could have the times and locations come up as push notifications as well as schedule changes. Possible?

 

Rob

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I guess it's different systems for autos and photos up to now because every guest signs at a different rate. Some are happy to chat and take over the table photos and are more personable, whereas others really just sign, smile (if you're lucky) and move on to the next making it a bit of a conveyor belt. Also things like their health on the day etc can affect how many autos they can manage to sign, so it's not an easily come by number to work out how many they might get through.

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I'd like to know why the space leading off from the Brompton Hall exit wasn't used at all - too expensive?

It was completely empty of anything official - I saw a few photographers taking shots inside, and I asked the lady on security later in the weekend and it was out of bounds.

I know the cosplay groups would love to have a separate space to get changed/relax. I'm sure even with a surcharge to cover costs, having a corner of somewhere like that to cool down (especially in the winter cons) would be appreciated.

At previous cons, it seems entirely arbitrary whether there have been facilities or not - I've seen cubicles (which aren't hugely useful for most bulky costumes), and sometimes rooms set aside.

It would also free up space from costume groups who have their tables and all their kit.

Someone said it's not Showmasters responsibility to provide water - but if people are willing to pay for it, you could make a hefty profit with people selling water to the queues outside - seems bizarre not to.

I don't have much to add about the rest of the event, but it was by far the worst LFCC I've attended, I didn't even bother going inside on the Sunday, I just couldn't face it. The bottleneck at the entrance with the Dragon Skull and the photo queues really was horrible positioning.

I've much preferred Olympia to EC2, not sure if that's considered too small now, but it at least has the balconies to retreat to.

Someone mentioned the O2 - there was a great event a while back with talks in the cinema screens - having talks in a barely partitioned hall is the worst way to present things, it needs something dedicated.

Areas need to be separated properly to allow people to enjoy it (LFCC is not the only culprit there)

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Pre-purchased autographs also mean that SM have more money before the show to pay for new guests and cover other fees. Attendees that want to pay on the day can still get VQs if they decide they want to meet a popular guest. There will be less crowding outside if there's no pay on the day entry tickets so queueing should be safer and easier to organise. Gold passes would still get priority. I think also it could actually save some attendees a bit of money in the long run with hotel fees. I have in the past booked a hotel which is cheaper than getting gold pass to stay over Saturday night so I can attend on Sunday if I need to and with autograph vouchers (as long as all the guests you wanted were attending same day) this wouldn't be necessary. It would also help disabled people and families who want to guarantee meeting big names but don't want to queue for too long. Its a win-win situation. I understand concern over prices but big names but it is the same at all the big name cons especially in the US. We all have our 'price' that we are prepared/able to pay for the guests we want to meet the most. LFCC is becoming more popular and there will always be people able and prepared to pay these prices.

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Hi thanks for the reply I feel that exclusive guests packages really are an expensive way to go it would be lovely if we could all afford big luxury days out but some of us can't ,even by putting a little money away before the event many of us have little wages that go little way and I feel that you are trying to push these kind of people away from there passion/hobby what with many people travelling down by train or coach there to is more cost and again making it a totally pre paid job I think it wrong as some folks still don't feel safe putting card details on a computer. Despite queuing for two and a half hours I was one of the lucky ones who go in but I also feel that showmasters over pushed the Stan Lee experience when you see that the legendary Stan Lee is coming everyone and his cat got excited will the thought of meeting him but no onw thought how his age won hold back the experience I know we can blame Mr.Lee but still if it wasn't pushed so hard and was addressed clearly from the beginning that he may leave early or come in late I feel so many hearts wouldn't have been broken .So I know that this event is over and then next one is in full planning swing of things but remember the little people showmasters the ones who try to travel and following the cons. Thanks for listening oh and this wasn't my first con I do have twenty two years experience of attending so you do know what to expect but not everyone has that experience ..... thanks again x x

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Also if people are only interested in one guest thats going. They might buy the photoshoot, but not the entry ticket just in case they cancelled. Youd get the photoshoot refunded but not the entry ticket.

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I not sure about the special ticket packet. What if superstar A is announced early on and you buy a super ticket which cover entry, autograph and photo. Then 2 months later superstar B is announced and you want to see them as well. Do you have to buy a super ticket for this person as well which would include entry again so you might be paying entry twice.

How do showmasters get around that as guest get announced at different times?

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Earls Court is big enough. Most people came to meet Stan Lee. No offence but quite a lot of people would boycott the event if it went to the Excel centre.

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I'm not sure how this would work either. Surely if you buy a gold pass you should be able to meet any guest without a TV?

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Still no word on program raffle...

 

I appreciate the post but I didn't have any problems anyway, except I've heard nothing about the raffle...

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I opted out of going to LFCC in the end figured it probably wasn't worth it as its a stressful and expensive journey and can only afford to travel to London once this year so figured seeing as the guests this year aren't that interesting to me I'd pass on going and maybe there would be better guests at other London events later in the year

 

I do feel sad that I missed on meeting Stan Lee though as I appreciate all that he has done and respect the guy (even though I'm not a comic book reader, I did grow up being a fan of the likes of Spiderman and mainly X-Men), sounds like I might of had a complete waste of a journey though if I did go as it seems that quite a few missed out on meeting him :(

 

SM out of all the events I go to like this are by far the most organized and better one to attend (and I have been to a few of their events now), only gripe I have with SM events is that they never seem to cater for gamers (get voice actors) lol there is a huge lack of these guests sadly *shakes fist* I'd love that to improve, start by getting David Hayter (voice of Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid) :P

 

If this event was going to move to Excel (which some have mentioned) I'd actually love that as it would be much easier and cheaper to get to than Earls Court or the other place that I forget lol but I doubt it will happen unfortunately bah :unsure:

 

I also agree with some other posters this event was mainly popular as Stan Lee was in attendance and it was said its his last European signing and unless there is a super awesome guest it will be a more easier event to enjoy next time, I was semi expecting all this in a way but I'm sure everyone else was too just maaybe not on the huge scale it ended up being I guess and thus problems where unfortunately had (from reading various different comments/threads)

 

Also I just saw a short advertisement on the last LFCC event and it mentioned and showed Stan Lee which was awesome and yup it looked packed out lol nice costumes too xD (it was on channel 5 news I was actually watching X-Men when it came on lol)

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Thanks for this response Jason, I think it has cleared up some things but not all. Like others above have said, I'd really like an explanation for what went wrong with the GoT screening as many people are disappointed. I'd also like to know why the fire exits were closed, creating both a big safety issue and not making use of a good exit point - and also why the women's toilets were blocked off on one side. I think I spent longer queueing for the toilets than I did for the guests! Please consider guests with chronic illnesses etc for whom access to toilets, seating and water is even more important.

 

Having redone my fire warden training recently at work I can comment on this. Fire exits are supposed to be kept closed at all times EXCEPT in the event of a fire to allow emergency egress from the building.

 

Sorry, I don't think I was very clear, I was referring to people saying the fire exits were chained up or blocked off. Not just closed. There were exits at the side opened to let people out at night, not sure if they were fire exits or not but it seemed silly to not use them throughout the day.

 

 

 

i can say 100% there was no chained up or blocked off active fire exits.

 

all light fire exits we unlocked and open that is 100% and the venue keeps records of this and the fire officer was there all day every day and we would not be aloud to open if it was any other way.

 

​i hope that clears this up for you

 

jason

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Thanks for this response Jason, I think it has cleared up some things but not all. Like others above have said, I'd really like an explanation for what went wrong with the GoT screening as many people are disappointed. I'd also like to know why the fire exits were closed, creating both a big safety issue and not making use of a good exit point - and also why the women's toilets were blocked off on one side. I think I spent longer queueing for the toilets than I did for the guests! Please consider guests with chronic illnesses etc for whom access to toilets, seating and water is even more important.

 

Having redone my fire warden training recently at work I can comment on this. Fire exits are supposed to be kept closed at all times EXCEPT in the event of a fire to allow emergency egress from the building.

 

 

I think they were refuring to the pictures of the doors being chained shut which is something else entirely.

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Here are my good & bad experiences from my Friday - Sunday time at the event

 

GOOD :

 

1 - Stan Lee extra autograph session Friday daytime, without this I fear I would have not got to meet him and get my treasured comics signed so it was so nice of him to do this extra slot

2 - Stan Lee, what a legend and such a funny man as I was lucky enough to attend his talk on the Sunday and really enjoyed listening to his stories

3 - Comic Artists, some really cool artists there and me and my friends got quite a few things drawn

4 - Retro Gaming, was brilliant to see all the old arcade machines and games consoles and play them for free

5 - Food, only on the Sunday managed to get food at the venue but the panini I had was delicious

6 - Guests, I only met a handful I guests but all we're lovely and some even allowed me to have a selfie with them

7 - Stalls, there were loads of companies there selling a huge array of cool stuff and this year saw a lot of new stalls and managed to buy a few new little bits

8 - Crew, don't know her name but a crew member in blue on the door Sunday was incredibly helpful

9 - Free Talks, went to the Star Trek and Dr Who free talks and loved them

10 - Cosplayers, again some amazing people and costumes and enjoyed the shows they did and also greatful to them all for stopping and letting us take pics of them

11 - Displays, the batmobiles and Transformers were so cool and was nice to see the old style bumblebee and barricade

 

 

BAD :

 

1 - Overselling of tickets, it became clear before and during my time there too many tickets had been sold in advance already so perhaps no on the door sales were appropriate ? I had read the capacity for the venue was around 10,000 people so how many tickets were actually sold ? and I assume staff on the door had counters to know how many people were inside the building at any one time.. hence why at some point Saturday no further entry was being allowed for the pay on day people

2 - EC1 doors locked, I am not the only person who noticed but most of the main doors were padlocked and this was a crowd control thing I imagine because to begin with most doors were open but to stop people getting in and out wherever I assume they locked them so we could only get into the one door on the far right as before then they had men in suits stopping people when those doors were used before the padlocks added

3 - Overcrowding, on Saturday EC2 was incredibly full and at around 12.30 one of our group went out to get fresh air but about 1pm text us saying she wasn't allowed back in as it was a one out one in situation

4 - AC, until Sunday this was not on so the venue was very hot .. I can only imagine this was a cost saving exercise but it really needed to be on Saturday

5 - VQ Tickets, on Saturday one of our group got number 880 for a guest and had picked up that ticket around 10.30am so even then it was obvious she wouldn't get her autograph - I think selling autographs in advance would be better but a very low number ! so they all deffo get seen .. after that operate a VQ or just open queue at the later part of the day?

6 - Sound System, the super stage sound was pretty dire and it was quite hard to hear what was being said at times

7 - Queue System, it was just chaos on Saturday so I was glad I had a ticket already but for the Stan Lee talk there was nobody helping with crowd control or where to queue and so 2000 people were just making up their own line and it was crazy

8 - Raffle & Programme, enough had been said on this already but it really was a farce ! On Friday and Saturday I asked several crew members in blue and red shirts including the Ticket Sales Office where two blue shirts didn't know and directed me to a red shirt ( possibly Kev if I remember his name correctly ) and none of them knew, also nobody at the Organisers Booth knew, nobody in EC1 at the main stall where they were selling the programmes knew.. it was only by luck late on Saturday we saw the bits of paper on the Auction Table and so kept returning to check if we had won.. but about 4.15pm on Sunday while I was in the Stan Lee talk someone else in my group outside saw these programmes being away for free, we only bought these for the chance of the promised prizes but do feel very swindled in how it was handled

 

 

I can't think of much more at the mo but hope these good and bad points are taken on board :-)

 

Overall I got what I wanted from the event but it wasn't without it's hiccups and I certainly won't buy a programme again lol I am an autograph hunter ( mainly Star Trek ) so am looking forward to DST3 and already have my hotel booked for it

 

Thanks

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I've much preferred Olympia to EC2, not sure if that's considered too small now, but it at least has the balconies to retreat to.

You could probably get more people in at Olympia, but you would probably need to take 3 venues looking at this. I suspect that the logistics (and cost) of that would be too problemmatical. (The same considerations probably also rule out them hiring the conference centre there for decently-staged talks).

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Why are all the raffle threads being deleted? There wasn't any rudeness? And I was trying to answer a statement that Showmaster submitted. ??

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How to move forward... stop hiding or deleting posts that aren't saying how great everything is and actually accept some responsibility. I have no complaints at all about the show but the way this keeps happening is really souring the whole Showmasters experience.

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Some of the shoots were stupidly rushed this weekend. One photographer barely gave any time to get in front of the camera never mind get into a pose.



And we had crew members repeatedly telling us to get closer in the queue but any closer and in some countries that would be classed as being married.



Also one was a ghostbuster with a really cool proton pack, but sorry miss crew member, any closer and I might have had an eye put out. I kinda felt they were telling people to get closer without noticing how close we all were.



Some of the other crew were great though and really friendly, especially the cheerful brunette lady in D (I think it was) on saturday who took tickets.




Also the green screen shoots were great

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Thank you Jason, as someone who has been to the majority of your events I feel guilty when forced to complain. Although this event was hot and uncomfortable, something that is obviously out of your control, the guests I did get near were great and did bring some positivity to a generally taxing and horrendous time.

 

One thing if I may bring it up, the Hammersmith flyover is closed until at least late summer of 2015 so for those like myself who use either the M1 or M4 it means huge traffic problems. It actually took my son and I 5 hours to travel back home, two and a half of which were spent travelling the 6 miles from the venue to the M4. Maybe you could check on the state of the roads and organise the evnt around the roadworks, I know it's a big ask but I am not the only one who will be hit by these delays.

 

Even though I missed a lot of the guests I wanted to meet, I am looking forward to the winter LFCC and will definitely be there. It's good to know that you are prepared to take on board complaints regarding event organisation, something which another un-named London and Midlands event organiser refuses to do.

 

Thanks again, and keep up the brilliant work.

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My two pennyworth....firstly, much appreciate the original opening statememt on page 1 - seems a more balanced reaction than on Sat night. Also, although I didnt come to see Stan (yes, shocker.....some of us didnt come to see Stan, Carrie or John Hurt!) it is good to get more background as there were some worrying posts on here and regardless of being a fan or not, a 91 year old fella needs to be treated a little differently than a 30 year old. Happy to read that it appears he WAS looked after.

 

Is it worth considering (brace yourselves people!) moving out of London? The Nec im Brum is huge and would allow the natural expansion of the show.

 

Also though, is big beautiful? "Our biggest ever!" but at what cost? Did we NEED the line up of Stan AND Carrie AND others like John Hurt or Jenna Coleman etc....was the limit of dreams stretched too far?

 

Im kind of curious to see how prepaid g.teed auto's with EA &/or photoshoots COULD work - the cost is crucial and simplicity too. People say Silver or Gold passes do the trick but not if you are like me who wanted to meet the BSG chaps and Summer only and then took the chamce on the day for VT's for Terry and Lena etc.

 

Prepaid auto's also rule out the option to "ooh....I fancy an extra auto" when you arrive....I would have bought an extra Summer auto if a particular photo had been available free (I assumed it would be being her most famous pose from Terminator but wasnt and after the agony of getting to the front of the queue I could go out and buy it off a dealer and come back again).

 

Do you need to advertise the show in The Metro newspaper anymore? Did that drag a lot of casual people to the show crippling the venue?

 

Finally, deleting posts for whatever reason leaves a bitter taste for those who post - it "looks" like you are massaging the facts - a lot of comments are offered by fans of SM to make future SM events positive...dont fear our feedback.

 

As one person has said on here - great you are talking to your staff for a debrief but you can talk to us too - I know this forum ticks that box but Im sure some of us would happily meet for a debrief if we knew it would be a positive experience too.

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I had an absolutely fantastic time at the event :)

 

I really do not like the idea of exclusive packages though. As others have said with Gold/Silver/then these packages, it will be outpricing the event for fans and also with so many of these 'special deals' mean that you would have no chance of getting an autograph if that's all you wanted to buy.

 

It would also cause problems with if the signings had to be shortened for any reason & if there were still virtual tickets, would make these useless...you could have number 25 & it means nothing as there are 100 gold tickets, 100 silver & 200 VIP in front of you....

 

Agree would be good for Sat to be prepaid only, as long as we got full updates on ticket status (how many available, how many left etc)

 

:)

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There are still a couple of things that I think could do with some additional information.

 

Firstly, as others have said, what happened with the raffle? Was it meant to work this way? If not, what went wrong? Were all of the "1000s" of prizes handed out? Will the winning numbers ever be published to claim prizes or is it totally over? Was it actually legal (I do not expect you to post an answer to this if not which I believe is the case, but I really think it is something that needs to be looked into if you intend on doing this again).

 

Secondly, there may have already been discussion about this and if so I apologise but I haven't seen it, but what was going on with the comic stage in EC2? I dont think I ever saw a talk actually ocuring in there throughout the whole weekend, just people sitting down resting. It might have just been my timing, but the only comic talk which I intended on going to was the Gail Simone one, and part way through the Sunday she put a sign up on her table saying that the talk had been moved "to the left of this sign". What this meant was that it was just a table in the corner outside the green room that about a dozen people just huddled around. It turned out this was actually a blessing in disguise though, as the fact that there were not many people there and it was so intimate meant that whe actually showed us pages on her ipad from unanounced stuff she is working on, and we were the first people to be told about a few things. What was the reasoning for the comic talks being moved, was there a problem with the stage or did people just see it as a hastle to move from one hall to the other and not bother?

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