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Hi everyone


Well that was a blast, and what a lot of work that was to put on.

As is normal, there were a few issues we feel we need to share with you all. I have seen from last year that a few of you still feel the need to start to say we do not care or we are deliberately not responding to you when the facts is that the show does not end for us when you all leave at 6pm on Sunday. We have to get everything we have built out of the venue by the next day and we also have to look after all of our guests and get them home whether it be in LA or Glasgow, we have to look after that. Then we also have to load the trucks to get everything we have built back to our warehouse's etc, and then when they are back there we have to unload them so it does take us two or three days to get that part of the show put to bed. Then there is the photos to upload and any refunds to do also, so there is a lot of different things that has to happen before we can come on here and comment.

We do care a lot, and more that most to get the events working right for you all and to give many of you the best days you could possibly have at a comic con. We are in a state of growing and with such growth there are growing pains, we do learn and we do managed to fix things and we rarely have the same problem twice.

So to the event itself.

Selling out meant we did not have any walk-ups and this meant there was space to queue you all outside of the building. In the past a lot of the queuing space was taken up with an amount of people that we could not guess would be there so this has caused issues in the past at this event, but this did not happen this year and we feel this will not happen again as the event will be a sell out going forward.

Getting everyone in to the show in a safe and timely manner is important to us and after 9am when the doors opened on Saturday it was on average about 55 minutes from the back of the line to get it, and the door line was totally in by 1pm with people turning up throughout the day. On Sunday it was around 40 minutes this was a fair entrance time for so many of you. Going forward we will have both large ground halls, so we plan to use the entrance of the Grand Hall as that door will work even better to get everyone in a little faster.

This year we arranged for food and water and toilets to be available to people in the queue before the doors opened, something that was needed and we felt the queuing and entrance this time was much better than last year's event.

YALC, Goldpass and disable entrance on Saturday, there were some teething problems. We could not get our scanners to scan all ticket types and this did create a delay with less people going through via a scanner that we would have liked, and then we had the disable lift stop working to get people over the 3 steps going into the lobby. So we had to direct disable people to the other entrance where they were let in right away, so they did not have to get into the big queue, but these two things did slow down the line on Saturday. Also with the scanners not all working on all tickets the ones we had did have had to work harder and that meant that we got a little behind getting the YALC passes process and everyone wrist banded, the scanners were fixed for Sunday and things went very well on Sunday morning without any issues we could see.

Going into the layout of the hall there were some things that did catch us out, and I will go into these now. This was our first time using these halls, and as such things do not always go how you think they will go and things also change, and these things create unexpected issues that we have to overcome on the day. Our first issue was the organisers booth, our main hub for information, this was to originally be on the lower ground floor. We started to get feedback that there was some big issues with one or two of our main guests in getting to some of the photo shoot areas and some of the activities they were involved with, and we saw that there was a need to move both a photo shoot and some access to it and also change around some of the prop photo shoots also. This was asked of us on the Friday morning and as such it was a very last minute thing for us to get in place and get approved in time for the opening, this change of location was very much needed and did work on the days of the show, but communicating this to the public could have been better and informing the crew could also have been better but time was not with us to be able to do this and it's something unlikely to happen again as such a big move of feature location is rare. Our organisers booth was moved upstairs instead of being a part of the sales desk which was what was planned originally. In future it will be located where it has always been just inside the mine doors , this will give everyone a clear place to go to and get the info you need fast and clear from one place.

Diamond passes really worked well, the people that bought these passes are the people that made it possible to get these guests. I did hear one or two people say that it's unfair that Diamond pass holders got priority, but I am sorry its exactly what they should get as Diamond pass holders all paid upfront and their money paid to underwrite these big guests. In the past it would have been impossible to book these guests in so it is totally right to have given these helpful fans these advantages, and I think we can all see why we need these passes so we can go forward and book more guests of this level for future events and that's exactly what we are going to do. It worked so well we have more confidence to really go for it on these mega guests so watch this space.


Signage, stairwells and access. Signage is normally provided by the venue but we produced more than we normally produce to help people get around, but being our first event in this venue we did not expect to be using the stairwells on floors 1, 2, 3 and the ones that were going to be used would be not expected to be that busy. But things changed for us on Friday when one of the lifts that was needed to unload the top floor for another event, and then at the same time another lift both broke down leaving us only 2 out of the 4 lifts working, so stairs came into play in a big way.

Friday was fine and we felt they worked well, people took some time getting to know where they all were but it settled in quite well and people did start to get to know the venue which is what happens for everyone at a new venue. But on Saturday when nearly everyone was in the building security felt that the lower halls were close to being full but they could see on CCTV that the upper halls were still quite empty, they decided to send the last of the front door into the lifts in the Gold pass entrance and let the last ticket holders enter into the show on the 3rd floor. With hindsight this was not a good decision as it meant that these people saw they were on the top floor and wanted to get to the bottom floor and as such made their way down the lifts and stairs right away, and this created a flow of people wanting to go down the lifts and stairs and a build up of people using the stairs in the right hand side stairwell.

As soon as we knew of this issue we went over to put some controls in place to make it work and take the pressure of this stairwell. When I got there I could see the other stairwell was empty and I saw a few people that had been trying to get up or down had been in a line for around 10 minutes, and some were getting a little impatient, but as soon as I pointed to the other stairwell and informed them that the other stairwell was empty they all move over and it was soon cleared. The signs for the other stairwell were very clear above the stairwell but I just think people were not looking for another route down, this was the only real stairwell issue and once it was resolved it did not happen again. Sunday was free of any issues as people had started to find their way around the venue better.

One other thing, as soon as we saw there was issue we also get the service lifts manned and started to open these up for the public also, this will be something we will be using from the start going forward as this did help and worked well and helped to make it much easier for people to use the upper halls which were very good spaces for lower foot fall activities.

As to the main staircase up to level 1, it was decided by the security and ourselves to make it one way at the busiest point of the day so it helped with the flow. There were a lot of people sitting on the floor and this did create some time delays in getting some guests from A to B so this was a bit of a issue. A rest zone is being considered so visitors sit in the walk ways less, so this can be fixed for next year's show.

The venue, I think the venue is good for Comic Con and with next year getting another 40% extra space this will work very well. This year it was a little tight and that was down to it being new to us and working out how the space worked for the first time. Moving forward we will get into how to best use the space, and use it better, we plan to keep the traders the amount we had this year and do not expect to increase them so that the 40% increase in space will be used more for space for getting around, for features and making more queuing space for photo ops and guests, that way it will make it more pleasant for everyone attending the show.
Communication between crew and the fans
This year with the last minute moving of photo shoots and delays created with getting guests from point A to point B we did also see odd times where there was a breakdown of communication, we see this was an issue and we will get this fixed for next year, most of this was created by last minute changes that we do not feel will happen again, so this will be fix for next years event.

Going forward for 2016

With the move now complete we can get into the venue and really make it work better for you all, we plan to have more free things for you all to do and be a part of. We feel an extra day will also help to get the things you want out of Comic Con so do expect the preview to move to Thursday and the Friday will become a full on open day with full guest line up.

The Super Stage will become used more, and with more free talks. There are plans for more screenings next year, something that we were not that lucky with getting production companies to get involved with this year.

We do feel we need more crew than ever, and we plan to increase this so you have more people on site to help you with your day. These amazing people are just like you, fans that take time to help make the event happen. They all do their very best to get everything right but with so many of you and such a big event it has to be expected that some info will not be known at the event. I can reassure you that all our crew will get to know the venue better, and will be totally aware of where things are moving forward, as I have already said, things had to change on the Friday with the layout and this did not help them to be able to do their job, but we will be better next time.

Anyway I hope that helps to answer some of your points, I hope you can see we are improving and will keep on improving each year to make your experience better, at the end of the day we are all fans and we are here to give you one of the best weekend of the year and have fun at London Film and Comic Con.

Thanks you for your understanding and support.

Jason
ps
One thing i forgot to say we will have a App that will update you all and inform you over the days of any changes that happen , this was to be ready for this event but we could not get it to the standard we need ready in time but this will be ready for 2016 LFCC
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I personally had a fantastic time all 3 days, especially for my very first Con, and I think that overall the weekend was handled very well considering it was the very first time in that venue and having guests of that size. Yes there were issues with stairs, lifts, signs etc. and at the time it can feel like a nightmare for attendees. But these things will happen as you say and can be improved on next year.

 

I absolutely loved my Diamond Pass and the perks it gave me, and given the popularity of a couple of the weekends Diamond Guests (Sigourney and Christopher) it would be absolutely fantastic to see them back. I'd buy another Sigourney Pass in a heartbeat.

 

Thank you Showmasters for the work you put in and for the amazing guests you got us. I really look forward to seeing what you have for us next year.

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What I appreciated were the small but effective changes that happened over the course of the weekend. The other set of stairs being open on Sunday, the 'You Are Here' arrows being added to the signs. Nice to see our feedback being listened to and actioned.

 

Pretty confident that you guys will nail it next year!

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Thank you for this Jason.

However, I really do recommend capping the amount of diamond passes sold and making it perfectly clear which guests these passes can be used for. As you are aware, many people with Batch 1 photoshoot tickets could barely make some of their sessions as there were so many diamonds and golds in front of them!

I'm not saying that they do not deserve priority, I'm saying that the numbers have to be reduced to give the 'standard' people a chance to meeting their heroes. As you said before, it should be a fair opportunity for everyone.

Thank you.

Edited by andyfilm_1
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this was my first lfcc and i have to say i enjoyed the event massively ... i will be honest i did not know that diamond passes also counted towards normal shoots as well so i got a nice suprise .. i will say i wasone og the people caught in the stairs on saturday. i was okay with this as at most festivals ive been to this happens more often than not . i will be coming back next year ( wife permision and cash allowing )

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Always interesting to hear the post event thoughts, an event of this size must be a real challenge so is a real achievement for the Showmasters Team to be able to put it on.

 

The event in the main was excellent and as a gold pass holder the only two areas that I would welcome a slight change in next year are:

 

1. A different location for the chill out room. Whilst I can understand there may have been a need to close access during paid talks, there was certainly an expectation that the room would be available all weekend, so I do feel another location should have been found.

2. The location of photoshoot areas. This was challenging to say the least, even with a gold pass to be able to get from a photoshoot on the ground level (b,c etc), all the way to photoshoot e on the first floor at the other end , which meant I missed a photoshoot on the Saturday despite doing my best to walk quickly in a busy and hot atmosphere. I was able to get my shoot the following day, but over the weekend I had a number of shoots that overlapped and were very spread out, with some of the shoots only running for 5 to 10 minute slots. I've never had a problem before at previous shows, so I do think serious consideration needs to be given to locating all the photoshoots in one area next year.

 

Otherwise, thank you to the crew and the team for putting on such a fantastic event and giving me the chance to meet many of my movie heroes like Michael J Fox , Sigourney Weaver and Robert Englund amongst many others.

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I had a great weekend and my diamond passes worked perfectly for me. It was the most amount of autos and photos for me this year and when I arrived on Saturday morning and saw the queue I was all but ready to leave, there was no way I'd be inside as it would take hours to get in (I was two streets away queuing!). We got in really quickly which surprised the hell out of me. My only moan and it is only a little one; the posters you had up that had the name and locations of photo shoots were very spaced out and I feel it would have been better to have more of them posted around the venue. Baring in mind this is really my only moan and I was there for three days I'd say you guys did an amazing job. A lot of people said it was too crowded and that you over sold. Personally I don't agree with that, yes it was busy but I've been in bigger crowds. Sunday evening was the path of freedom for me, so many people had gone by then I was able to get all the remaining autos with very little hassle. Richard Dean Anderson being the most notable. I have to admit ot being rather annoyed at the size of his queue on each day and almost gave up hope of getting his auto. Just before I left there was something like 8 people in his queue. I've been going to Showmasters shows for almost 10 years now and some have been better than others. This was without question one of the better ones. Also I missed two photo shoots and with any issue they replaced them with shoots for Sunday. Great job by all involved.

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i will be honest i did not know that diamond passes also counted towards normal shoots as well so i got a nice suprise ..

 

The diamond passes should have only had priority for the particular diamond guest, not all guests, so that will definitely need to be communicated for next year.

 

Thanks for the feedback Jason, it's great to know you have taken into account things that have been said already, and I know you guys will do your utmost to make things even better next year...

 

 

We feel an extra day will also help to get the things you want out of Comic Con so do expect the preview to move to Thursday and the Friday will become a full on open day with full guest line up.

 

Four days... Shut up and take my money!

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Interesting read, I did think at the weekend that possibly a fourth day would be a good idea so useful to know that a Thursday preview evening is being planned. I have to admit that I didn't have massive problems moving between floors but I could see for some that it would be a problem, especially if they had timed photos to get to. I did think it was less likely to be an issue next year though with the extra space already being talked about.

 

I think the key thing for me this year was the diamond passes, having seen how busy the diamond guests were I do sort of regret in hindsight not buying a couple but thought I would get away with a virtual ticket for them. I think the basic concept is good, paying more for the otherwise unobtainable guests so I think next year if there is a diamond guest I really want I'll not take the risk and get the diamond pass.

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This was my first LFCC and i had diamond passes for MJF & CL. Here are things i think would have improved the event.

I also was a gold pass holder and i know the goodie bag was free but to be honest the 3 items in it wasnt worth having and i would have rather had a free programme instead.

Dont have the gold chill out room in the superstage, everytime there was a paid talk on everyone got chucked out, not good if that was the only time you could go there to rest.

The snacks were just sweets, i dont really think sweets are snacks, as well as sweets why not have crisps, peanuts or something savoury as well as sweet?

 

I think for diamond pass holders you should have had a seperate diamond only signing time like you did for MJF. When i went to get my Christopher Lloyd signature it was bedlam as you had diamonds & VQ people all queueing up together and it was packed and people were not listening.

 

Instead of making crew shout cant they use speakers or something?, when i was waiting for MJF autograph i couldnt hear anything being said and i nearly missed my spot, luckily someone else told me it was my turn to go.

 

I found some staff top be rude, i know they are working long hours but i dont expect to be laughed at when i went to sales desk and said i had lost my mobile phone.

 

Maybe try and get the guests to be sitting at their table when opens first thing, on saturday i rushed to meet Lea Thompson and waited nearly an hour for her to turn up at her desk.

 

Have all the photo shoots on the same floor so we are not running up and down stairs when we have clashes

 

Make all crew at photoshoots call Gold Pass holders first, a few times i had to ask if Gold were being loaded first, i event had one crew member say to me when i asked this "If you really want to push to the front of a small queue i will put you there" i shouldnt be made to feel guilty or embarrest about using a perk that was the main reason i bought a gold pass

 

Also give out maps and schedules to people as they walk in the door, i got lost on Saturday and missed some photoshoots and didnt find out theor was a programme until the end of the day

 

Hope some of these ideas will give you some thoughts on how to improve the event

Edited by Boggle
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Well, that was a long, unsatisfying read... Anyway, this event is done and over with and I guess I'll have to wait and see what you come up with next year. Last year was so epic I couldn't wait buying a gold pass for this year. This year I did not leave with that epic feeling and your message here hasn't convinced me either, so I won't be buying a gold pass this quickly again, if it all. I'll have to see first what you'll put up on the table before I'll consider going again.

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Excellent summary

 

I am still pumped from the weekend and have to be cheeky, any rough idea when tickets go on sale for next year :P

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The only thing I would say is that I can't get Fridays off (I'm a teacher) so I'm likely to miss out on any guests who can only make that day.

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I had a fantastic time! As a gold pass holder I did of course have an advantage at the queues and stuff but of course that's also what I paid for so ... what else can I say right?! LOL

 

The only constructive things I have to add is that the layout was a challenge and I am sure that will be fixed next year like you said Jason so that's all and the other thing was that if my friend wouldn't have texted me at night I would have missed the change in schedule for Catherine Tate so I would have liked to see a twitter post on that day which is easier to keep an eye on than the forum (the tweet didn't come until the next morning). But that's all :)

 

Overall I had an amazing time and Showmasters made me beyond happy once again. Thank you :)

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Whoa, GO SM, Thursday will be a Preview Day and then Three days of Pure Madness. I like it.... This year was very stressful and lots of missed guests because of the Layout, Lets hope next year will be better layout.

 

Again as above, there was lots of Confusion at the Photo shoots Diamond was called at every photo shoot? The Diamond Pass is only for one guest.. This caused massive problems. Also Prop photos, I never had any chance to see these as the Diamond / Gold were the only ones allowed to go because of the crowds...

 

Cant wait for next years show, How do you beat this years Big Guests?

 

:smile:

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interesting read, I agree with other comments that I liked that I could see improvements being made over the weekend, onwards and upwards!

 

also a rest zone would be wonderful! please, please do that haha, some space with tables and chairs would be fantastic (I know I sound over eager but I don't think its an exaggeration, we all know how tiring cons can be!)

 

could I also suggest if possible more space around the cosplay stage? just a bit more room to take photos and hang out, it was a bit like a walkway at the back with people getting to the stairs so you just felt in the way if you stopped anywhere, also it might encourage people to do photos in the designated cosplay space rather than stopping and posing in the middle of a busy walk way between the stalls or photoshoot areas too

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I personally had an amazing day on Saturday and even last year, it wasn't until I got home and read the forum posts that I saw there were problems!

 

I like this idea a lot!

'A rest zone is being considered so visitors sit in the walk ways less, so this can be fixed for next year's show.'

My boyfriend and I tried to find somewhere to sit and eat and we found a quiet spot and then WAM 100 people started walking past! So we ended up in the way!

 

I think having all autos and all photoshoots in one area would be great!

 

I only had one shoot so I wasn't running about too much, but I've read that people were struggling getting to shoots....

And the corridors between stalls became VERY congested where people were queuing for photos! So i think it would be better to have their own areas!

 

I am so excited to see where LFCC is going! I've been enjoying it every year since 2012 now and I really look forward to it and it is exciting to see it expand!

​The amount, variety and quality of stalls there this year really were amazing too!

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Just a quick question, Jason...is it possible to have all the photo areas on the same floor next year? Like, a dedicated photo shoot floor? That would be a great, great help when it comes to getting to shoots quickly :smile:

 

Other than that (and some photo shoots starting late), I thought this show was much better organised that last year's event. I had an awesome time. Good work, team! :thumbup:

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Diamond passes are a good idea but they should only have priority for that particular guest and not for others....... I thought that was what a Gold Pass was for.

 

My only gripe was that I missed two photo shoots on Saturday because their sessions finished early. If the time allocated is (for arguments sake) 12:10 to 12:25 that

is the time they should be there. Many people had photo shoots that clashed and had to move between floors. What made it worse was the fact that the two I missed

didn't have photo shoots on Sunday...............

 

I think that barriers should be used for the photo shoots (the company I previously worked for hired out tensa barriers and ropes and posts for exhibitions) because

more people are starting to sit in these areas.

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Just a quick question, Jason...is it possible to have all the photo areas on the same floor next year? Like, a dedicated photo shoot floor? That would be a great, great help when it comes to getting to shoots quickly :smile:

 

 

Very much agreed!

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Thanks for the feedback Jason! I had a great weekend and can't wait for next year! :D

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Diamond Pass : DON'T change anything !

For those who travel from far far away, it's a guarantee to meet our "dream guest"

I think it's normal to have priority of all activities with this guest (even the activities who are NOT in the package). If you buy another photoshoot with this guest, you still have priority.

That's the privilege of the diamond pass.

 

For GOLDPASS :

I think to need VQ all the guest, so GOLDPASS can join the back of any queue.

Some of no VQ Tickets guest have a very very long line to make, even with a goldpass.

The 15min entry before the regurlar is perfect to take VQ tickets from Diamond guest.

 

 

 

For the photoshoot :

Please, make them at the same floor/area ! :-)

 

 

It's was a great event ! Thanks Showmasters !!! :-)

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We do care a lot, and more that most to get the events working right for you all and to give many of you the best days you could possibly have at a comic con. We are in a state of growing and with such growth there are growing pains, we do learn and we do managed to fix things and we rarely have the same problem twice.

 

 

I'm quite sure you do care. Thing is, one inevitable consequence of the event becoming so much bigger is that those attend will feel further divorced from the organisers, and the event as a whole will start to feel more "corporate", if you get my meaning. I already felt a bit like that this year.

 

From my own personal point of view, I'm feeling slightly like - however unintentionally it may happen - it's going to become an event that caters primarily for those that can afford it; not that there won't be anything for anyone else, of course there will, but with diamond guests and many more gold passes than previously, the gulf between people that can afford those tickets, and everyone else who can't, will only get bigger. I would guess that with an extra day and (if SM posts elsewhere were accurate) the entire Olympia complex being hired next year, we're going to be looking at probably £50 standard entry for the whole con, and gold passes being well over £250. I could probably just about afford that...but then you're possibly having three London cons a year now if the event programme is to be believed? If I gold pass the summer one, I might not be able to go to the others...

 

Expensive guests is one thing, obviously you have to make the money you spend getting them here in the first place, I would hope everyone would understand that. But when standard entry types can't even meet the non-diamond guests because the gold passes have first call and there are too may of them...well, then it starts to feel a bit elitist.

 

I had a great weekend by the way, I'm not meaning to be entirely doom and gloom. And definitely a ton of thanks for the immense amount of work you and everybody else puts in to to LFCC.

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I know its not Showmasters fault but I hope the venue has functioning air conditioning next year! After the sweatpit of Earls Court last year I was hoping for a slightly cooler event.

 

Perhaps an arrangement can be made that venue staff must run a thorough check to show this is working and they present it to Showmasters leading up to the event.

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