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LFCC 2015 - SOME HONEST FEEDBACK


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In regards to the stalls - what's on sale is up to the dealers themselves and has nothing to do with Showmasters, so if 90% wanted to sell Funko then that's really down to them.

 

And imagine I still didn't find the one figure I wanted. Saw it at one stall, but had to rush to a photoshoot. Until I made it back it was gone. :(

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I don't normally do this, but as a project and event manager (and geek) myself, and having read many comments on your FB and site, I feel I have to weigh in...   Showmasters truly do deserve recogni

Simple things that Showmasters have been told countless times would help MASSIVELY!   All the maps needs YOU ARE HERE on them! Even on day 3 it was still not done on them all, I think I saw it on 2

I'm a little surprised at the level of negative feedback this year. While the event wasn't perfect it was clear to me that Showmasters have taken on board the feedback from last year and made many cha

I had a great weekend. Sure it was busy but that was expected.

 

To people complaining about the crowds, they should have seen the event had sold out so crowds were expected. I don't like the mass crowds and queues either but I did expect it. Last year I was stuck outside for five hours so was just glad the queue moved this time :)

 

One comment I would make is to if possible make use of the other large hall. On Sunday it was part used for the queue which was fine, but it could be used to expand LFCC with exhibits, stalls, photo sessions, etc (and relieve congestion).

 

All in all a lot of effort had been put into the event. You can never please everyone but I was satisfied.

 

 

 

The large hall wasn't available when set up started cause another event was still going on at that time.

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I wonder if anybody could get me some info about hand made figure stall on the 1st floor (any website, fb,twitter). They were next to canvas stall and Syfy Cam, they selling few Iron Man statues, gremlin, predator, etc.

I have been there but forget to ask about any info.

 

Thanks for help.

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PROGRAM

This is an utter waste of £5. seriously, What the Hell sort of program is this rubbish? a Terminator retro, some half-written crap about wrestling tag teams, and something about scream queens; who gives a damn? does someone not understand a program is supposed to be ABOUT the event?!?! Where was the features on the guests, the write-ups and quick bios? you got some storming guests, and didn't print one goddamn word about them. not one mention of what they were doing so that someone might go "hey, Bill's doing a talk on Sun, let's see if there's tickets spare" etc. This is a shameful effort, I expect some comment about not wanting to write up about people who might have to cancel, but it had all the (wrong) maps and timetables in anyway, so if that's the excuse then what's the point in a program at all? if I went to an Iron Maiden concert and the program was a long bland article about vaguely-related music w/ not a word about Maiden, how do you think people would feel?

 

but it is completely understandable not to fill it with specific articles on guests when there's a chance they'll all cancel and render it all irrelevant.

 

 

no it's not. you sell tickets for months based on it, and do all the magazine/web advertising on it. unless the programs are printed months in advance - which there's no need for - then by the time of printing you should be 99% sure of who's coming, and the odd/rare event like Kurt's surgery shouldn't detract. as i said, a program is supposed to be a guide to the event, all the US programs i have are like this, pimping the event, info on the guests, ACCURATE information etc. it doesn't have to be "filled" (your words, not mine) w/ articles on the guests but a good few pages worth should be.

 

i'm sorry if you can't take some criticism about your efforts but this smacked as just another way to get another £5 off people.

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In regards to the stalls - what's on sale is up to the dealers themselves and has nothing to do with Showmasters, so if 90% wanted to sell Funko then that's really down to them.

 

And imagine I still didn't find the one figure I wanted. Saw it at one stall, but had to rush to a photoshoot. Until I made it back it was gone. :(

 

Oh no! What one was that?!

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I am completely new to any of these type of events, and new to this forum, so forgive my green-ness. But having been to my first event this year these are some thoughts and feedback I would like to voice.

 

1) The layout. Whilst I haven't been to any events by SM before, I have been to trade shows, Expos and the like, and usually you have large maps posted regularly, with clear sign-age, a lot of places have free maps given out at the start. When you have to struggle to find locations, then signings, then times, and then after that there is no guarantee you chosen "star" is even there, it isn't very helpful. There seemed to be little thought put into the layout and what is placed where. that whole 2nd level seemed wasted on what was there when you had lovely guests suffering as much as us fans in the depths of Hades aka Level 1. I don't know how many staff are on the team, and how much notice they have before hand, but seemed like people were just stuffed where there was space, not much continuity. And for those who were struggling with various ailments to finally find Level 3 which I and seemingly countless others did, to then find I couldn't even buy a water up there, bit frustrating. Also the stewarding of areas like the stairwells was lacking, when people are sitting on the stairs taking up a lot of room its difficult to keep calm and polite when people are shoving you. Having the cosplay section right in a main thoroughfare by a stairwell was rather counter intuitive as well, given the bulkiness of those items.

 

2) The event stewards. Whilst I never came across any Rudeness myself, I can understand if not condone it, as they were under a lot of stress from frustrated fans and probably not paid very much. However, I don't know how much training they are given, or prep each day. But when speaking to some and they don't know who you are talking about, some rudimentary knowledge of who is at the con would be nice. also a working knowledge of the layout would be good, why were they not kitted out with maps themselves? I have been to other cons were the stewards are volunteer fans, and therefore are more passionate and it worked better. Of course an event this large it wouldn't work, but maybe a better recruitment process may be considered? or at least look at training and equipping staff to deal with queries.

 

3) A large sign/board at the entrance of each day detailing any alterations, amendments, cancellations etc would be a time saver for a lot of people, also as other posters have mentioned use of a twitter account to get this info out would help. I didn't even know about this Forum until AFTER the event, and not everyone who goes to these events is au fait with how things work, being a geek doesn't make us instant experts! and defo not psychic! I personally queued for 45 mins to buy tickets, to be told I was in the wrong queue, nearly missed one photo, missed a few autos and fun with my friends, and when i finally got my ticket and got to the shoot, the time had changed from am to 4 hours later. It wasn't very good.

 

4) The ticketing itself seemed very confusing. No mention on the site about how the allocations worked, and a lot of people who understandably didn't want to miss shoots were then cluttering the lines waiting for other stars. I almost missed my Neve Campbell shoot as was stuck behind Hayley Atwell queuers who were told repeatedly to leave but didn't. so I had to barge my way through to get there. also I spent 40 mins queuing to buy a Sherilyn Fenn ticket, to be told I was in the wrong line, (Sales Desk should be renamed Customer Services to avoid confusion) then when I got to the front of the right queue they couldn't spell or find her name, and when i finally showed them they said they sold out. I was gutted, but then I looked online and was able to purchase one online. seems a little counter intuitive to have to different methods that aren't joined up, and probably led to many disappointed fans, or the other way may explain oversubscribing.

 

5) being soo overcrowded, which led to the heat problems on the 1st level, regardless what is said of whether things were turned on or off is regardless, the fact is that people felt it, guests, staff and visitors alike. This is a business, and therefore I do appreciate the need to maximise revenue, but not when it comes at a price of being nearly dangerous in health and safety aspects. The fact that 2nd massive hall was opened for use just to queue on Sunday, which wasn't used on Friday or Saturday begs the question, why wasn't it used before? things could have been spread out a lot better, with a policed concourse to ensure people weren't sneaking in, and could have provided more room for all involved, and made it more accessible for EVERYONE. some areas seemed very hard to get through, and I hate to imagine how tough it would be if an a Wheelchair or with a pram etc.

 

6) Since this is the modern age, and the only real information being given out was by fans and visitors on the forums, having a phone battery die on you is a literal nightmare, especially since my photo ticket was on there, i had 3% left and just barely got into my Sherilyn one before it died. having a recharge area may not be the worst idea in the world? other cons and festivals have them, so maybe worth looking into for next year?

 

7) I didn't go to get Robert Englund, But I have heard a lot of times in previous events that things had to be amended due to his make up time, it seems hard to believe a star who is such a regular of SM would NOT know how long it requires to get ready and adjust his schedule accordingly.

 

8) Again, not one I was dealing with personally, but a LOT of people including my friends were upset at the handling of the Rose Leslie situation. again, giving Staff clear and consistent information would then lead to the same message going out to fans. when people are being told different things, it leads to confusion, and ultimately disappointed patrons.

 

So these are just my own personal musings. I had a successful time despite the obstacles, literal as well as metaphorical, placed and managed to get everyone i wanted to. Sadly the friends I went with weren't all as fortunate, and its a shame as it does, at these prices, question how things are organised. Yes, you can never plan for every eventuality and cannot please all of the people all of the time, but there were a few glaring issues that I heard and saw people mention previously, that just had NOT been addressed. I hope these can be taken on board constructively, and put into making next years a BETTER experience, with out needing it to be bigger.

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PROGRAM

This is an utter waste of £5. seriously, What the Hell sort of program is this rubbish? a Terminator retro, some half-written crap about wrestling tag teams, and something about scream queens; who gives a damn? does someone not understand a program is supposed to be ABOUT the event?!?! Where was the features on the guests, the write-ups and quick bios? you got some storming guests, and didn't print one goddamn word about them. not one mention of what they were doing so that someone might go "hey, Bill's doing a talk on Sun, let's see if there's tickets spare" etc. This is a shameful effort, I expect some comment about not wanting to write up about people who might have to cancel, but it had all the (wrong) maps and timetables in anyway, so if that's the excuse then what's the point in a program at all? if I went to an Iron Maiden concert and the program was a long bland article about vaguely-related music w/ not a word about Maiden, how do you think people would feel?

 

but it is completely understandable not to fill it with specific articles on guests when there's a chance they'll all cancel and render it all irrelevant.

 

 

no it's not. you sell tickets for months based on it, and do all the magazine/web advertising on it. unless the programs are printed months in advance - which there's no need for - then by the time of printing you should be 99% sure of who's coming, and the odd/rare event like Kurt's surgery shouldn't detract. as i said, a program is supposed to be a guide to the event, all the US programs i have are like this, pimping the event, info on the guests, ACCURATE information etc. it doesn't have to be "filled" (your words, not mine) w/ articles on the guests but a good few pages worth should be.

 

i'm sorry if you can't take some criticism about your efforts but this smacked as just another way to get another £5 off people.

 

I can take criticism, however I can also reply back with my opinion on why we approach it like that :) you may not agree, but that's life isn't it?

 

People weren't forced to buy it. It's just a nice souvenir for some people if they want. Sorry if it wasn't to your tastes but I know plenty that did like it also.

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In regards to the stalls - what's on sale is up to the dealers themselves and has nothing to do with Showmasters, so if 90% wanted to sell Funko then that's really down to them.

 

And imagine I still didn't find the one figure I wanted. Saw it at one stall, but had to rush to a photoshoot. Until I made it back it was gone. :(

 

Oh no! What one was that?!

 

 

One store had the Firefly ones. I was after Mal. (That sounds terribly, terribly wrong. :lol:) I told myself I wasn't going to get into these figures, but that one was love at first sight.

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I've only been to LFCC twice. This year and when Stan was there last year.

 

I experienced the same issues as those already mentioned on here.

 

But I do think people seem to forget, for SM to get these big guests, they need that many ticket sales.

 

If you are going to limit the amount of people going, then you are going to have to raise the ticket price to cover the big guests... which in turn, would be something new for people to complain about.

 

My major issue has and will always be the queues to get in. I'm pretty sure that venue had more than two entrances...

 

I was in danger of missing a £95 photo op because of the time it was taking me to get inside.

 

More frustratingly so, because I already had my weekend wristband that I got on Friday. Yet I was queuing with people who had a single day ticket etc who still need to present their e ticket.

 

There should have been a dedicated 'quick entry' for those who already had their wristbands on...

 

But again, I understand the capacity of attendees will be high. Due to the fact that the guests are so popular ! So its a difficult situation.

 

The layout wasn't overly confusing to me, it took a few minutes to look over the map/floor guide.

 

I think more seated areas or dedicated chill zones are needed, I was finding myself falling over those who had decided just to plonk themselves anywhere on the floor...

 

And the air con... its never going to be effective with that amount of people. It's as simple as that. Can't really do much else about it. My air con in my place of work doesn't feel like it's on when we have a busy Saturday, so a venue like the Olympia will only be the same.

 

I enjoyed my weekend but can understand the utter frustration of those who missed shoots etc because of the time it took them to get inside and/or between floors.

 

I would have been devastated if I missed my MJF shoot.

 

I think, as mentioned in previous threads, a survey email for any thoughts or new ideas would be great.

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First off this isn't a rant post or a blame post, looking back on everything now I did enjoy myself, even if I didn't realise it at the time... :whistling:

 

I managed to get 95% of everything I had planned done but it was a very demanding weekend, I don't go abroad on holidays - This is my holiday, but it wasn't very relaxing. In previous years I have been able to easily meet 20+ guests for photo shoots and then get them to sign them too. This year was a real struggle to be sure... Going home after the Friday I was thinking to myself "never again... there was just too much of everything... too many attendees, too many guests, too many bottlenecks, too hot, too many floors.." It just felt overwhelming, even for someone used to conventions and high pressure situations. I got to the venue 90 mins before opening and was quite a ways back from the doors, round the corner and down the road... At first I thought they had oversold the Gold passes but when I got in and to shoots there were only really 10 or less golds with me at my times.

Saturday was cooler and I need to say a huge thank you to the crews manning the Prop shoot and Photo areas B & A - I had 6 photo shoot clashes within an hour and you all helped me get through with my Gold pass safely, so thank you :thumbup: . I left Saturday feeling better, thinking that I can do Sunday... this will all be Ok in the end...

Sunday came and it was cooler again, enhancements had been made on recommendations to the photoshoot areas and stairwells - I left early as Iain Glen wasn't personalising and I had a higher VQ for Christopher Lloyd and didn't think I'd get him but left the event with a smile on my face. Yes it was hard work but I had some great moments and caught up with old faces, met new faces and have some great memories to look back on.

Do I think things could have gone better, yes... Do I think things could have been worse, hell yes, if not for the dedication and skill of the team SM have put together. I think maybe LFCC has expanded a little too quickly for it's own good. Things that don't evolve, stagnate and die but there's no need to skip generations when problems and lessons from the past haven't been addressed fully.

I posted this on facebook so thought I might stick it here too, just some thoughts on next year:

  • Entrances as they were this year seemed to work very well so why change. Keep the entrances where they are and don't use the Grand hall entrances either as now you have the 3 floors the National / Central entrances are the closest;
  • Super stage in West ground level (granted I didn't see any of the talks there but did walk through a few times to use the Gold room and it looked good.) Queueing can be done serpentine fashion in the top section of the Grand;
  • Autographs in the Grand hall arranged in two long lines using the full length, main Diamond pass booths at the bottom by the entrance and the Gold room too;
  • Photo shoots in the National spread out around the outside and stuff like the Syfy photo op and licensed extras too (Gibson / Fox stuff.) I understand the reason for spreading out but when you have the bottlenecks and limited interfloor travel options the Olympia has getting from the Grand to the conference centre just for autos and back again for photos seems silly and dangerous
  • Also with regard to the shoots, allow 10 minutes between shoots and not the 5 currently. Every shoot over ran or had issues of one kind or another. If you had more wiggle room between shoots you could soak up these issues better (harder to do with 135 guests so maybe scale back slightly :whistling:);
  • Things will be simpler for the future with regard to batches as there will not be any batch 0, old shop tickets or what have you so that should help. Just diamond - gold - batched - on the day;
  • Stalls on all of the Central first floor, West 1st floor and Grand / National Balconies (making sure to leave at least a meter at the National balcony corners connecting to the Central L1 to minimise bottlenecks.) Plenty of space for all the stallholders but make sure that there is a corridor to the stairwells that is not lined with stalls so as to keep flow between areas moving and safe from a H&S standpoint. I know stalls will want to be around things that draw people past them so maybe have something in the West 1st floor to draw them through;
  • YALC / Gamer zones on 2nd floor of Central (didn't use the 2nd floor myself but had a walk through and it looked nice);
  • Conference center housing a larger cosplay stage and stage 2 in the auditorium. Cosplayers could use the side rooms on level 3 for changing and have a dedicated space in the lobby for photo shoots... Maybe even putting up some themed backdrops.

Another thing I think needs to change / evolve is the ground markings... They have worked well in the past for smaller events but for the crowds this weekend, they were largely ignored. Tensa barriers (or something similar) are needed for autograph areas for sure (like you guys had at DST3 with a line in and a way out.) I've lost count of the number of times people walked through lines to get somewhere else and I myself had to do it a few times when leaving a table as there was no way out. For photo shoot areas just make sure there is enough room and not near stalls, eateries or places where people congregate...

I'll draw this to a close now but a few final thoughts, I spend all day at work watching people and trying to figure out what they are thinking / going to do... If they are a threat of some kind or just in need of help. I'm able to do this because of the systems in place that keep things ordered and clear - This was not how a lot of people I talked to at LFCC felt. Yes you're never going to get this event to run like clockwork... but the words haphazard and unsafe were used a number of times by a number of people - now I know that the crew and staff do the best they can, lord knows I could never do that and keep as calm or helpful as you are. You will always have my admiration for what you do and for who you help us all to see - What I'm trying and probably failing to get to is, please, for next year, don't expand... don't try to out do yourselves, Don't get more guests, don't get more stalls, don't get more shiny shiny... just keep it simple :thumbup:

 

Thank you for the weekend and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for us all :clap:

 

Anthony

 

 

Edited by Zahariel
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In regards to the stalls - what's on sale is up to the dealers themselves and has nothing to do with Showmasters, so if 90% wanted to sell Funko then that's really down to them.

 

And imagine I still didn't find the one figure I wanted. Saw it at one stall, but had to rush to a photoshoot. Until I made it back it was gone. :(

 

Oh no! What one was that?!

 

 

One store had the Firefly ones. I was after Mal. (That sounds terribly, terribly wrong. :lol:) I told myself I wasn't going to get into these figures, but that one was love at first sight.

 

I made that same vow, But I then saw Buffy, and suffered your fate....!

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I had to laugh at the Funko sellers - I picked up a few from one stall that were selling 3 for £25, got 9 that way and two pop!rides... then went around other stalls to see some selling single standards for £15... 3 for £27, 2 for £20... did these guys not go around and check what the other sellers were selling theirs at and try to compete...? Why sell for £15 when you can pick them up online for less then £10 most places...

 

Edited because i'm a twit and 'minchb'

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Yeah I'd gone in with around a £10-11 price point depending on what they were, so was pleasantly surprised by a couple of offers. Sadly if you're a smaller dealer, you can't really afford to compete with the bigger ones.

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We have an honest question towards SM about the organization of these events; because we've been to quite a few LFCCs etc in the last few years.
Every year - after X amount of days/weeks, SM releases a statement on the forum about things they could have improved, things that went alright & they'll definitely be implimenting again the following year.

Every year we see something in the nature of "a lot of tickets were sold but X% of the people went in the venue, did what they had to do and left; leaving space for others". We're wondering if SM doesn't underestimate the amount of people that actually stay at the venue the entire day. We're not saying we know every person visiting a comic con (because that would be rediculous) but we do know a lot of con visitors and we can honestly say that all of the people we know stay for the duration of the day; whether they are cosplayers or just hanging around for events to happen. We don't know anyone who actually leaves after having been at the venue for 2 hours because it's too expensive a trip for most of them to just spend 2-4 hours there and leave. If they pay to soak up the con experience, they want to take all of it in, not just the morning.

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Alllllllright, so I've slept for 10 hours straight and even though my throat is infected now (no surprise there!) and I am still completely jet lagged from attending SDCC a week earlier but never mind. If anything I say is not making sense, please quote and ask, I'll get back to it and elaborate as soon as my vision is less clouded ^^

 

 

1) photo shoots and people waiting despite not being called

I will never, never, NEVER understand why people wait for a photo shoot to begin when its at least 30 minutes beforehand. You're mingling with people that are waiting for the shoot currently going on, blocking people's view and you're causing an uproar when told to leave? Seriously? I've seen some of these people during the weekend and lo and behold, it were usually the same people all over again. I can understand you're afraid to be missing out on something but you're creating a health and safety risk yourself by congesting an otherwise unoccupied area with your unnecessary presence.

 

My suggestion: Choose another area for photo shoots that's isn't as congested as this year's areas were. Use mobile stances to separate the area. Have a queue manager placed at the entrance of the area. Refuse entry to people who're way to early. Send them away repeatedly. If they wish to be close by even though they could do more useful things, let them hover. If they become rude and impatient, consider removing them from the desired photoshoot and give them a refund. There's gotta be a learning effect.

 

 

2) Volunteers

All the volunteers were amazing. I can't praise Luke enough (as I did before and in another thread) - I have to agree with the information flow.

 

My suggestion: Be very clear on how volunteering works. Explain how different areas have different volunteers to be staffed with. Try to be more open about how some volunteers might not have all the info. Maybe have a more visible, easily reachable info booth. Maybe even several of them - have those be connected via phones / walkie talkies etc. Volunteers can't always have all the info - make sure customers know this in order to protect customers AND volunteers at the same time.

 

 

3) Air Con

the air conditioning - has this even been turned on? And before you reply, Jason, I know it has been during certain periods of time because I felt it on the gallery, close to the walls toward the extra room where MJF and others would have their signings. But curiously I didn't feel it the entire time I was sat there. Just for some periods of time. This has me wondering if the system shut down or if it's just timed to be working for some parts of the day - which, I must say, would be a shame and a health and safety risk.

 

My suggestion: A different floor plan would help with congested and warm areas. Also make sure the damn thing is turned on the entire time.

 

 

4) Exclusive content

How are gold passes and diamond passes in any way more exclusive than the regular weekend tickets if there are too many of them? I understand they helped to get recognized actors to your event but I saw at least numbers as high as 450 for MJF and I would not have felt too exclusive then. If even some of these people that have paid a lot of money miss out on things or are treated like cattle (!) - you're doing it wrong.

 

My suggestion: DO NOT OVERSELL! Do not suggest to me that there is a limit if this limit is as high as some forms of regular tickets might be.

 

 

5) The rules of the tickets / convention

For all it takes ... stick to the rules! If you tell us beforehand what the correct order to queue is, STICK TO IT GODDAMMIT! Every other photo session had different rules in regards of the order people could join the queue. What? How is that even possible? I can only assume volunteers were not properly informed which is a pity and you could have prevented this from happening. Less frustration, less hassle.

 

My suggestion: STICK TO THE RULES YOU CREATED!

 

 

6) :closedeyes: - I also overheard someone saying they didn't even have a ticket and they walked straight in. How is that even possible? What?

 

 

7) Twitter / RSS feed

can we have a live-feed of the event on a special Twitter account? That would be insanely useful. RSS feed anyone? SDCC has an own app for the entire schedule ... just saying.

 

 

8) The other things ..

there were no other events that might have attracted the crowd(s) - no small panels, no workshops, no BTS, nothing. If you wanna do SDCC but in the UK - start considering this. And start it now.

 

 

9) Eventbrite yay and nay!

There are mixed feelings on the eventbrite cooperation for me. First of all, it went amazingly well to scan the barcodes off my Apple Watch - it raised some concerns by some of the volunteers but it worked like a charm. Please do advice your staff that smartphones and watches can be scanned these days, too. There was someone in a photo area that refused to scan a smartphone .. why?

 

My concern (and I've explained this to a lovely pit lord at photo A!) was that when I imported my Eventbrite into Passbook on the iphone, it did not (!) say which days or which batches. Neither in the app nor in passbook. I managed to transfer the vouchers onto the Apple Watch and then there they were ... but really? Please team up with Eventbrite in the future but please do a demo run of things on Android and iPhone. If I hadn't brought my Apple Watch, I would have been in the wrong shoots seven (!) times.

 

My suggestion: Do test runs, add batch and day BEFORE the guest name. Please KEEP (!) Eventbrite!

 

 

10) Is there a way to sit?

Too little seating arrangements. Why not team up with a sponsor (say IKEA) that finds old display couches they won't be using for sale, setting them up and making this a sitting area. Up in the third floor there were a couple of benches I lovingly enjoyed.

 

My suggestion: Find me more places to sit. Especially during the lunch break this caused the problem that some areas would get congested by people sitting down.

 

 

11) Blimey, how do I queue?

please please please please please more solid barriers, more volunteers along the entry queue - the flimsy tape on Sunday was ripped apart in seconds and everyone was fearing a stampede. For the amount of people you've had in the venue, the queue needs more security and more volunteers. For safety reasons alone. If you wanna challenge SDCC in any way, make sure people are save.

 

 

12) No selling / handing tickets to others and then ...

there was no ID check ... seriously? Anyone could have gone in? Also, my friend needed to be scanned on Friday, holds his phone toward the volunteer, he scans it and goes "you don't have to be scanned again, we did already ..." Um? But he didn't get a wristband so he could have handed his phone to ANYONE ...

 

My suggestion: Check SDCC. Or ask me how they did it. Because yeah, that was better.

 

 

13) Venue Layout

the layout of the venue and the decisions to have things were they were. I heard vendors complain on the phone how they were pissed to have been placed close to photo areas. I. Can. Relate.

 

 

14) The guests and their commitments...

... like navigating guests through the crowds. I know this cannot always be avoided but guys, what are they supposed to think if they have to be navigated through noisy, angry, waiting people - Hayley didn't look comfortable at all. If the venue does not have sneaky stairways or other areas you can use to have a quicker access to other parts of the venue, it isn't a good venue to navigate an actress like Sigourney Weaver. Just saying.

 

 

15) Photo Booths

can you update the signs at the photo booths please? They regularly showed the last guest that had been in there and this is one reason people kept asking "who's that for?" - avoid that, please.

 

 

16) Health and Safety / Loudspeakers

there was some info on the loudspeaker but I daresay, I did NOT understand what the lady was saying, just that BTTF or MjF talk was concerned. If you have non-English visitors (as you wanna have, since you aim at an international audience like SDCC does) you may wanna re-consider. You can't tell me there is no one in your team that speaks either German or French or Spanish? There. Have screens, have info in English + 1 other language at least. Done deal.

 

 

17) Vendors and Space

space between vendors was too small. How am I supposed to move from A to B if the only way is through there and people are OBVIOUSLY looking at things right left and center?

 

 

18) Customizable Diamond Passes

I'd love to see different options for diamond passes. Let's say they don't include entry (which I prefer) but there is an option you don't want or need, you drop the option and get another. Let's say you don't need an autograph but would much rather have a nice, relaxed photo shoot. Something along those lines. Make it more customizable.

 

 

19) Photoshoot times of popular guests

I know it had to be done but how are you assuming someone can make a 9:30 photo shoot? I queued at around 8:30 and wasn't on time for anything that started at 9:30. If that's the only shoot the guest does over the weekend, you're gonna **** people off. Big time. The consequence is that people's fears of missing out will have you have SDCC-like queues such as the NDL (next day line) which are awful and unnecessary. People queuing as early as 6am for a 9am entrance ... really?

 

 

20) Meetup Area

can we get a forum / Twitter meet up area? So if I help someone get a lower VQ ticket for example, instead of finding some place to meet we could have said "oh, let's meet in the Twitter / Forum meet up area" and that would be so much easier :)

 

 

21) the event stewards.

Do I really have to be yelled at at 8:30 am in the morning? I really DO NOT think so. Yes, you want the queue to move but I can see that for myself, no need to yell at me and regard me as cattle. Ugh!

 

 

22) Chargers

one other nice thing to "import" vom SDCC (or rather Zachary Levi's legendary NerdHQ) would be a sitting area with charging possibilities for the phones. If you rely on modern communication and have updates delivered to you this way, if the battery is dead, it's dead. This would be an amazing first aid for people who hadn't brought their external battery pack.

 

 

23) EOL sign

nother thing to learn from SDCC - have people at the end of a queue for something hold up a sign that says "end of line" - simple but effective

 

 

 

 

I've had the direct comparison of SDCC and LFCC as I attended both and I know several of your attendees have. SDCC wins. Big time. Even though I didn't get any photos and autos there. The overall organization despite the larger crowds just wins. Sorry.

Edited by GoogleKnowsUs
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I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend, thank you for helping me meet these inspiration people. It was an honour to meet Sigourney and Michael J Fox.

The talks/stalls/cos play area - all fantastic. I had a gold pass and deeply regret not buying some diamond. The staircase was a nuisance, I tweeted a pic. But Kudos to you, this was actively managed from about Saturday 2 pm. I was on floor 3 in the lift queue and as if by magic the stairs queue just marched on down stairs. I would like to think that this was social media working to your advantage but understand why the post was deleted.

 

I wanted to leave some feedback on two areas which showmasters made a mistake rather than clearly being caught out by events on the day.

 

1.)Friday gold pass queue.

We were right at the front of the gold pass queue having got there about 9.30. There were four of us there, including my wife (I was the one in glasses). We scouted the arena Thursday night and knew exactly where we should queue. We were confused because we were expecting a sign stuck on the door saying "Gold queue". There was a notice for the "main Queue". We entered reception to ask and they informed us we were in the correct place. We indirectly created the YALC/Gold queue because people came to us to ask "is this the YALC line?" We genuinely didn't know so people hovered around and before you knew it "we don't know" snowballed into "i think so". Showmasters should not have put us in that position.

 

2.)The Back to the future cast reunion talk.

First of all those people who refused to leave the previous talk were an utter disgrace. If there is a way to ban these please explore it as this had the potential to ruin the centerpiece event for everyone. In hindsight perhaps it wasn't such a hot idea to plan a show before hand as you knew 1500+ people were going to swamp the hall. Regardless I did tweet Saturday night asking for instructions (i think it was deleted) as common sense dictates not everyone can queue in that little space outside the main hall. I queued for the voyager talk and asked the crew "where do Gold passes queue?" They informed me where to go exactly. When we got to the west entrance the security guard asked us to queue (entrance facing) left of the doors. All of this info you knew and didn't pass on in some form.

 

Thats it! I also wanted to leave some feedback that is based on my personal perception.

 

It may be a PR disaster in being firm with people but I really don't think Showmasters should shy away from helping create a culture of PLAN PLAN PLAN attendance of these events. The days of paying a premium rocking up early morning, simply walking in and get what you want are GONE. A lot of people moan about the length of queues etc. Too bad, tough, what do you expect? I don't think there is any malice in warning people before hand that this will be a busy show where queues can be very long. Fans have seen the photos of SDCC and the overnight camping! I was in the Albion Saturday evening and people were clearly expecting to rock up get a selfie with a triple A-name, post it on twitter and leave. Unbelievable.

 

I thought a lot of people overloaded their schedule. The argument that it was too difficult to get from A to B so I missed photo x doesn't wash with me. Its the biggest event of its ilk in Europe, what do you expect? I allowed myself 30 mins to get to to the Aliens talk and 30 mins before the MJF delorean shoot and experienced no difficulties. PLAN PLAN PLAN. Get to that area and then look around at the stalls etc WITHOUT getting in the way of the blue crew calling out Diamond/gold/batches etc.

 

Perhaps more space was required, showmasters can see their photo sales numbers. Perhaps say split a major photo shoot up so batch 1 will be 3.00, batch 2, 3.10 and so forth. The individual will be instructed to come as part of batch 2 at 3.10pm as per the printed ticket.

 

Photo shoots can be bought any time now (remember the queues at the sales desk last year). Pre-book "priorities" and get the "others" on the day depending on your schedule. This is the approach I took and it worked a treat. I wanted to meet Alien/BTTF/Star Trek and I could see that Game of thrones was going to be a struggle so I had to drop it.

 

The dates of this were published what 11/12 months ago? I knew I would have to book at least three days off work to attend and did so. I knew I had to book a hotel, be up at 5.30 each morning, seek problems I had in the schedule and deal with them (just like the reunion talk above). PLAN PLAN PLAN. I understand in some circumstances people can't genuinely attend a day, something comes up,But that is not Showmaster's responsibility. Most people had 3 or 4 photo shoots (i'm unsure of MJF)? Plan around that surely, especially if you had a gold pass. My experience is that the crew are very accommodating. PLAN PLAN PLAN. All the info is in the public domain.

 

 

Gold passes - excellent - Do not change a thing. Gold room was great, fantastic. (getting out of the room for what an hour for BTTF reunion talk was common sense - perhaps a note up before hand though). We saved for our tickets and bought ours Oct 14. Everybody else could have too. It is a lot of money. But everybody in the queue saved up for those, some openly admitting sacrificing other purchases in order to do so. You buy without knowing who the guests are but this is the case with every major event. It shows who wants it more and quite rightly gives the fans basically first pick.

 

My perception may seem harsh. But my point is I studied the forums and the schedule's before hand and I got a hell of a lot out of this weekend. My timetable was in my back pocket all the time. Yes, I was confused by the layout and at times quite stressed but that is my experience of every major event I have attended. It's the flock of sheep mentality of people.

 

Once again, thankyou :)

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I rarely post but I felt I had to put this.. where a lot of the comments I can't/won't address I thought I would say this. In comment :

 

 

Quote

 

3. Address venue entrance security. Particularly later in the day(s), I'm 100% sure that all people weren't being screened as they entered the venue. Consequently, I'm certain that many who hadn't even bought a ticket were able to just walk in, and wouldn't have been factored into SM's calculations for venue capacity etc. This only compounded the issues.

 

Also in the previous post

 

1) Queue to get in. There needs to be 100s of people walking down the queue scanning tickets and then stamping hands. This can be started before the doors open, and then everyone just files in! No big queues at beg of day and everyone is happy about starting their day as quickly as possible.

 

 

Well I was on the door on Sunday and everyone who came through the front door was scanned before they could come in. Even people who turned up at 5pm or 6 or even 30 mins to the end was scanned. Also anyone leaving to come back in was stamped and we let no one in who hadn't been, regardless. There were a few people who came to try and sneak in and were always turned away.

 

We also had main security on the doors with us too. Also please remember that when we first open the doors it's like being at a football match for example when people are pushing and shoving us (I've lost count of all the bruises from impatient attendees trying to push through)

 

Right or wrong, whichever/whatever your thoughts are, a little more thought should be taken towards crew, we are after all only human.

 

Oh nearly forgot...

 

Also the bit about it going towards her salary. We're volunteers, so your money doesn't go towards paying our salary, and to put these on we're there usually, at least an hour and a half before it starts. We don't make you stand there in the rain for example so if you don't like it then just don't come because you know what it's going to be like. :smile:

Sorry to jump on the bandwagon but I agree about the security/admission issue and I wouldn't be surprised if people without tickets managed to get in. I attended on Saturday, the lady who scanned my ticket scanned the one & said to go through, even though there were 6 of us stood together and she seemed almost surprised at me showing her the other tickets to be scanned. And after leaving from the reception area, having my hand stamped, then going back in through the main hall entrance I wasn't stopped, my hand wasn't checked at all.

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Twinzz - I agree. Every one I know stays for the entire day too. I don't know anyone who get their stuff and leave, especially as things are spread out throughout the day. I would be very interested to see how much people leaving is relied on to relieve overcrowding. Also, people generally would all aim to get there for opening, even if they did plan tobleave early so there is always going yo be immense liines at opening!

 

Not singling any one comment out but have seen remarks about people getting to photoshoots early or refusing to leave when their batch is later...I know it defies logic and understand and agree with what you are all saying but I understand why they won't leave...its because of experience in most cases, I imagine. Say you are told to come back later and the guest goes home sick or the photoshoot finishes earlier than expected as there is less people...then the 2nd photoshoot is cancelled. Its an innate fear that people have about missing things at these events. That fear was not unfounded this year -2 guests cancelled Sunday and Robert E didn't sign Sun so some DP missed out. Though these things can't be helped and I am not blaming anyone, the result will be everyone will be even more eager to get everything done on Day 1 next year because who knows what will happen next day or day after? Its not necessarily logical but I do understand it :)

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Narrowed my suggestions down to a few...

 

Why not have a photoshoot area on level 3? Then the guests that are located up there will be able to get there much quicker. The location of the photo areas just seemed to make no sense at all.

 

If the venue is going to be so unbearably hot, PLEASE have water on sale for a reasonable price.

 

Schedule batches for a certain time. e.g. Batch 1 - 14:00, Batch 2 - 14:15. Then for a later shoot Batch 3 - 17:15. That way it avoids all the people with higher batches turning up and clogging up the area for the first shoot.

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They will still show up tho...

Perhaps its just the time for security to be a tad firmer. At SDCC its known that if you misbehave/queue before you're meant to you run the risk of your badge being removed and they're not shy about doing it.

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They will still show up tho...

Perhaps its just the time for security to be a tad firmer. At SDCC its known that if you misbehave/queue before you're meant to you run the risk of your badge being removed and they're not shy about doing it.

 

 

That's what I tentatively suggested.

 

I'd appreciate it as well. If you're not sticking to the rules then you ought to have a fair warning and then you'll have to deal with the consequences. And not blame it on others.

 

People will still blame SM ... ;) People mostly blame the wrong people ;-)

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