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Post event thoughts of weekend from Showmasters

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Many thanks for the post-event analysis Jason. Always interesting to hear your thought on the event and the future.

 

I'd just like to echo other people here with a request that when you take more space next year you don't increase the number of tickets you sell too. We desperately need more space to move around in so we can see the stalls without fearing that our stopping to look is going to halt the queue of people trailing in the same direction as us, get to the guests and easily see what the VQ ticket number is up to see what is their queue versus what is just people trying to move past them, and move between photo areas. Like the last 2 years, this year was crowded and hot; and this made the experience much less pleasant than it could have been. Like others here, it affected my photos too; in most of them I'm redder than usual, and in 2 my hair is blown back due to the fan which had to be put in the area to keep the guests cool (- a fan that I don't begrudge them having at all, as it was definitely it needed in that area given the temperature inside).

 

I'd also like to request that when you're deciding how to use the space next year, please consider grouping all the photo areas together, away from lifts and stairs and as much general through traffic as possible. So there's space to queue and wait to queue. And so it takes less time to get between them in the case of clashes. As I mentioned in another post I had one photo on the ground floor, one on the first and 2 up in F (on the third floor) all in a half hour window. Unsurprisingly I missed the 2 in F. Luckily this was Saturday and I was also attending Sunday so I was able to get them swapped. But it would be far less stressful and pressured if all the photo areas were on the same floor in close proximity.

 

Regarding your addition to the post - I like the sound of the app in theory. But when this is introduced please may I just ask that you don't rely solely on this for updates. I was meeting with different friends on Friday and Sunday and it was quite problematic trying to communicate by text and What's App as we didn't have phone service thoughout most of the venue. So I'd still like to have physical information about updates (boards, signs etc) too please.

 

Thank you again for your comments and for a generally great event.

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I would like to start by saying that by the looks of all the reports we heard about the Saturday, I am actually quite glad now we were only there on the Sunday :smile:.

 

 

Cutting the number of people down by filtering out the real fans, from the I just fancy a day out kinda people. Having weekend passes only maybe?? No single day passes? Say £80 for a whole weekend pass, with no single ticket days, maybe the people who are not "real" fans might think, nah, I'm not gonna pay that to go for all 3 days or on the flip side, won't pay it if they're only thinking of doing 1 or 2 days. Just an idea. May make more space for us dedicated folks.

 

I'm sorry I take your comments as rather rude & insulting to be honest. :no: First you say you were only there for the one day and then call people who did the same not "real" fans. Can you explain how you can say you are dedicated folks considering you only went for one day? What about people who have jobs/children/commitments? How would they manage to go all weekend? I myself worked at the local student union from 7pm to midnight on the friday then was back working for the Next sale at 3:30am til midday. (I work for a crowd management/door security firm) So no way would I have been able to go for all 3 days, that's why I went Sunday.

 

Not everyone can afford to book into a hotel for 3 days, some people might decide at the last minute to go to the con when a particular guest is announced and only want to go the day they are there. For me and my g/f to visit the con cost us £35 train fare and £32.50 for tickets. We also spent about £100 for our cosplay outfits. For someone who only works part time that is a big chunk of my salary. It was our first con and I was into the cosplay, my g/f is into the artwork for the comics etc. We might not be 'dedicated folks' as you call us, but our money is as good as yours.

 

I don't think the number of days you attend makes you a better or more dedicated fan - surely it's the amount of enjoyment you get from meeting the guests, the stuff you see and do that really matters? That's what this event is for after all, having fun - right? :-)

 

- G

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I think more quests should have some kind of information board too. On Sunday the crew member was that in charge of Rose's line was having to repeat the same thing constantly. She was up to VQ number 80, no one else could join the queue, she was doing photos after lunch and would be back at 4:15 (I think). It would have been a lot easier if this information was wrote down in the area .

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I would like to mention as others have that I agree with Jasons point that the diamond passes for the event got the bigger names like MJF and sigourney weaver, but I dont understand why christopher lloyd and even bill paxton were in this bracket as you have had christopher lloyd before if I recall and £35 which is a reasonable price just seems odd for a guest that has a diamond package attached. Christopher lloyds price was affordable for me and other general pass holders and seems a shame anyone that cant afford the diamond pass could'nt get it.

Im wondering if you did the diamond pass last year would I have not been able to get Ralph macchios auto and michael bienn as they may have had diamond passes attatched.

I think the level of guests was amazing and show masters have done a great job.

I think however the website in future should not advertise such guests as christopher lloyd with £35 for an autograph as effectively it should just say the amount for a diamond package for getting his autograph, as it gets peoples hopes up and is misleading. I appreciate before the event It may not have been known it would only be diamond passes getting an auto but in future I think it would be good to make prices clearer on what you can realistically expect.

Other than this point I really appreciate the hard work of jason and the team and did enjoy the day.

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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.

 

 

the air con was working 100% all day every day the thing is in the UK the air con is not that good as there is only about two weeks a year they need it so its never that amazing , there are a lot of you at the event we were light clothing and that seems to work , i myself had to get around a lot and walked over 48 miles over the 4 days but heat was not the issue for me so thinking about what you are going to wear is important unless you are in costume then its a labor of love :-)

 

jason

 

 

Have to agree with you on this one. It is July so you now it will be quite hot. I attended all three days in shorts and t-shirt and had two bottles of water with me.

With the amount of people inside Olympia the air conditioning will have little effect with everyone in close proximity to one another.

 

For the record I was wearing shorts and t-shirt and only carrying a bag with a folder in it so I did travel as lightly as possible.

 

Thanks for the response though, i do appreciate a personal reply.

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I don't understand this hate being generated for the gold pass.

 

The argument is that I have spent £225 on a gold pass and someone else has spent £x on a day/weekend pass. Both people have a chance of getting a VQ ticket for a Diamond guest. So what is the point in spending £225? If you are going to an event just for that one person then yes a gold pass is not for you.

 

I am under the distinct impression that the people who are complaining are those that genuinely collect autographs. A diamond guest is going to be someone that has an aura, someone whose work means a lot to many people. In this case legends relating to BTTF and Aliens. Surely you buy a pass to meet that person because you simply have too. Only the individual can describe what that means to them, regardless they will feel the price tag totally justifiable. My point is the idea is not to buy a diamond pass just because they are a big name guest. The gold pass enables you to meet these people after the priority is given to those who believe its something off their bucket list (so to speak).

 

I was a gold pass holder and did not buy any diamond passes. This was a complete mistake on my part. Honestly what put me off was the comic gold/comic silver/gold passes/silver pass fiasco last year. It was very confusing and I thought the Diamond could have been of the same ilk. How wrong was I and Showmaster's put together an excellent package.

 

When the guests were announced I just had to buy photo shoots with MJF (in delorean) and Sigourney with the power loader. I had to buy the BTTF reunion and Aliens talk tickets. I went straight away to get VQ tickets upon (10 min early) entry and because of my Gold Pass I had autograph's for Christopher Lloyd on the Friday and Sigourney on the Sunday. It was my decision to chance autograph's by using the gold pass as I felt this was less of a priority than the photo shoots. I knew MJF would be out of the question for obvious reasons. It is going to be a life long regret not going to his talk.

 

The gold pass made the above stress free and enjoyable and arguably that can only be achieved with a gold pass. Every other benefit of the gold pass existed throughout the event.

 

I am afraid the price point argument is irrelevant. Im sorry but that's life. When money was tight for me I simply couldn't entertain the idea of even looking at events like this. Bills came first and I simply watched taped BTTF and Aliens instead. Fans save their money for this.

 

And as for rocking up at noon, walking straight to Ms Weaver to get an autograph simply because I have a gold pass, the name and the event is too big for that.

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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.

 

 

the air con was working 100% all day every day the thing is in the UK the air con is not that good as there is only about two weeks a year they need it so its never that amazing , there are a lot of you at the event we were light clothing and that seems to work , i myself had to get around a lot and walked over 48 miles over the 4 days but heat was not the issue for me so thinking about what you are going to wear is important unless you are in costume then its a labor of love :-)

 

jason

 

 

I couldn't escape the feeling the airco wasn't on at the start on the friday, especially near the superstage area. That area was boiling for the first few hours, then all of a sudden the temperature dropped like a rock, so obviously someone turned on that airco....

 

But overall I have to agree with you, it wasn't too hot. I walked around in costume, 4 layers of clothing deep, wig and everything and yes, of course I was warm, but it was survivable over the weekend. I don't think there is anything more you could have done on this point.

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Since people are saying things about tickets im just gonna say what i assumed each ticket did.

 

Diamond Pass - This gets you everything in said pass and you to go in the first lot for that person. So for example its an MJF DP you get to go firs for everything the DP entitles you to.

 

Gold Pass - Allows to you go ahead in any auto queue without the need of a VQ ticket unless the guest is a DP then which case you would go after Dp's as they have already paid in full for those and rightly should be allowed to get it first.

 

Standard get VQ and have to wait.

 

What i don't understand is why someone with a MJF DP would get to go agead in all autos and photos. I was in the NEVE Campbell photo quee but why were DP getting called first, surley NEVE had nothing to do with DP's. A assumed a DP was quest specific which it surely is not!?

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I don't understand this hate being generated for the gold pass.

 

The argument is that I have spent £225 on a gold pass and someone else has spent £x on a day/weekend pass. Both people have a chance of getting a VQ ticket for a Diamond guest. So what is the point in spending £225? If you are going to an event just for that one person then yes a gold pass is not for you.

 

I am under the distinct impression that the people who are complaining are those that genuinely collect autographs. A diamond guest is going to be someone that has an aura, someone whose work means a lot to many people. In this case legends relating to BTTF and Aliens. Surely you buy a pass to meet that person because you simply have too. Only the individual can describe what that means to them, regardless they will feel the price tag totally justifiable. My point is the idea is not to buy a diamond pass just because they are a big name guest. The gold pass enables you to meet these people after the priority is given to those who believe its something off their bucket list (so to speak).

 

I was a gold pass holder and did not buy any diamond passes. This was a complete mistake on my part. Honestly what put me off was the comic gold/comic silver/gold passes/silver pass fiasco last year. It was very confusing and I thought the Diamond could have been of the same ilk. How wrong was I and Showmaster's put together an excellent package.

 

When the guests were announced I just had to buy photo shoots with MJF (in delorean) and Sigourney with the power loader. I had to buy the BTTF reunion and Aliens talk tickets. I went straight away to get VQ tickets upon (10 min early) entry and because of my Gold Pass I had autograph's for Christopher Lloyd on the Friday and Sigourney on the Sunday. It was my decision to chance autograph's by using the gold pass as I felt this was less of a priority than the photo shoots. I knew MJF would be out of the question for obvious reasons. It is going to be a life long regret not going to his talk.

 

The gold pass made the above stress free and enjoyable and arguably that can only be achieved with a gold pass. Every other benefit of the gold pass existed throughout the event.

 

I am afraid the price point argument is irrelevant. Im sorry but that's life. When money was tight for me I simply couldn't entertain the idea of even looking at events like this. Bills came first and I simply watched taped BTTF and Aliens instead. Fans save their money for this.

 

And as for rocking up at noon, walking straight to Ms Weaver to get an autograph simply because I have a gold pass, the name and the event is too big for that.

 

You're missing the point autograph wise..You could easily get autographs from the non-diamond pass guests as most of them had open queues, so a gold pass didn't give you any help there and for diamond pass guests you needed a VQ ticket, again no gold pass help there. So the gold pass has become pretty useless for the autograph collectors.

 

For photoshoots the same thing. Yeah, you go in first, but if you buy your photoshoots quick enough, which is now extra easy with Etickets being sold, you'll get batch 1 tickets, who go straight after the golds, so you won't be waiting that much longer either.

 

Goodie bag had a few old trinkets, Chill out room consists of a few tables, chairs, sweets and water and was closed during talks, photoshoot vouchers were handy thanks to the last minute rule change, but autograph vouchers were useless.

 

So no, I didn't think I got value for money on the gold pass this year, unlike last year when that pass actually helped with the biggest guests. So I hope next year improvements will be made to make that pass worth it again.

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My understanding of the Diamond Pass was that it got me called in the first groups for Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd related stuff (as that was what I had DPs for). I didn't think it gave you queuing priority for anything else... I joined the standard queues for my non-related photo shoots. I didn't have any problems waiting a bit longer for those.

 

- G

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I did notice in a few shoots (not many) some Diamond passes being allowed into the gold pass queue when they weren't actually Diamond guests.

 

I'm sure the name 'Diamond' confuses people and gives false sense of privelige when none exists apart from the guest in question.

As such, I'd Personally drop the name completely and just call it "Sigourney Pass/Pack/Badge" or whatever.

 

If you can't put the photozones in one hall, then make sure to spread them between 2 halls directly connected.

It was crazy having F up on 3rd floor. Took over 6-7 minutes getting from B/C/D to F and that's trying to politely 'barge' through crowds.

 

Having the Grand next year with another 40% space is great, but why not say how much more tickets are being planned to be sold compared to this year?

10,20,30,40%?

30% more tickets would still mean the event was congested.

I'd rather you increase visitors by a limit like 10-15% and just increase ticket price 15%. I'd pay more for entry if the event was less crowded.

Always remember more space to move = infinitely more happier experience for attendees.

You want to leave with predominantly good memories of meeting guests, not a memory of how cramped, hot and crowded it was...and missing stuff like photos because of the distance to travel through crowds.

 

There's some mention about crew gently nudging people. Crew should do 'hover hands' with people and it gives them the hint, but yes, even I

had a gentle hand on the back a few times. Doesn't bother me, but for many I understand it will and you should really keep hands off attendees.

I was at the Sunday Lea Thompson photo shoot and i was turned away even though i was Batch 1 at the morning session as Diamond and Gold were going through first followed by old store tickets and brought on the day ones,i tried to bring this up that Lea was not a Diamond pass , but it fell on deaf ears and was asked to come back in the afternoon , which i did and went through quickly but they were chaos

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I don't understand this hate being generated for the gold pass.

 

The argument is that I have spent £225 on a gold pass and someone else has spent £x on a day/weekend pass. Both people have a chance of getting a VQ ticket for a Diamond guest. So what is the point in spending £225? If you are going to an event just for that one person then yes a gold pass is not for you.

 

I am under the distinct impression that the people who are complaining are those that genuinely collect autographs. A diamond guest is going to be someone that has an aura, someone whose work means a lot to many people. In this case legends relating to BTTF and Aliens. Surely you buy a pass to meet that person because you simply have too. Only the individual can describe what that means to them, regardless they will feel the price tag totally justifiable. My point is the idea is not to buy a diamond pass just because they are a big name guest. The gold pass enables you to meet these people after the priority is given to those who believe its something off their bucket list (so to speak).

 

I was a gold pass holder and did not buy any diamond passes. This was a complete mistake on my part. Honestly what put me off was the comic gold/comic silver/gold passes/silver pass fiasco last year. It was very confusing and I thought the Diamond could have been of the same ilk. How wrong was I and Showmaster's put together an excellent package.

 

When the guests were announced I just had to buy photo shoots with MJF (in delorean) and Sigourney with the power loader. I had to buy the BTTF reunion and Aliens talk tickets. I went straight away to get VQ tickets upon (10 min early) entry and because of my Gold Pass I had autograph's for Christopher Lloyd on the Friday and Sigourney on the Sunday. It was my decision to chance autograph's by using the gold pass as I felt this was less of a priority than the photo shoots. I knew MJF would be out of the question for obvious reasons. It is going to be a life long regret not going to his talk.

 

The gold pass made the above stress free and enjoyable and arguably that can only be achieved with a gold pass. Every other benefit of the gold pass existed throughout the event.

 

I am afraid the price point argument is irrelevant. Im sorry but that's life. When money was tight for me I simply couldn't entertain the idea of even looking at events like this. Bills came first and I simply watched taped BTTF and Aliens instead. Fans save their money for this.

 

And as for rocking up at noon, walking straight to Ms Weaver to get an autograph simply because I have a gold pass, the name and the event is too big for that.

 

You're missing the point autograph wise..You could easily get autographs from the non-diamond pass guests as most of them had open queues, so a gold pass didn't give you any help there and for diamond pass guests you needed a VQ ticket, again no gold pass help there. So the gold pass has become pretty useless for the autograph collectors.

 

For photoshoots the same thing. Yeah, you go in first, but if you buy your photoshoots quick enough, which is now extra easy with Etickets being sold, you'll get batch 1 tickets, who go straight after the golds, so you won't be waiting that much longer either.

 

Goodie bag had a few old trinkets, Chill out room consists of a few tables, chairs, sweets and water and was closed during talks, photoshoot vouchers were handy thanks to the last minute rule change, but autograph vouchers were useless.

 

So no, I didn't think I got value for money on the gold pass this year, unlike last year when that pass actually helped with the biggest guests. So I hope next year improvements will be made to make that pass worth it again.

 

 

But with a gold pass you can join any queue depending on your movement (unless the guest is doing something else). You can dictate your plan without worrying about what VQ number's are being called etc. You can plan on your terms.

 

I accept your point about the biggest guests from a collector's point of view. Would the collector be doing this for personal financial gain or just another name for his collection? The genuine fans of that guest should come first. I suppose your hinting at what is the definition of a "big guest"? With the greatest respect to Bill Paxton I would imagine there are only some DIE hard fans out there that thought a Diamond Pass was a must. Previous years with a Gold you could join his queue anytime (and perhaps only paid £45 for his autograph). I get it and accept it but that is just one guest out of how many?

 

Of course it has been mentioned before in the forum the cost of the diamond pass enables these names to come. I personally have no interest in Robert Englund (no disrespect) and would be very disappointed if I found the gold pass price has increased to cover all triple A names.

 

Least this way its fair and flexible to cater for all tastes which is key.

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I get the feeling that DP Holders getting called First for non DP Photo Shoots was probably an error due to miscommunication or misunderstanding by the Crew running the Area where it was happening...

 

 

I have mentioned before maybe Fans (not us) could be set by Shoot Areas to cool the queuing.

 

 

For Future Reference where were the Toilets outside. :)

 

Jason, any thought on the Smoking issue in the Queue? I know it is probably not in your remit. but interested in your thoughts ideas anyway.

Edited by scifisteve

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I don't understand this hate being generated for the gold pass.

 

The argument is that I have spent £225 on a gold pass and someone else has spent £x on a day/weekend pass. Both people have a chance of getting a VQ ticket for a Diamond guest. So what is the point in spending £225? If you are going to an event just for that one person then yes a gold pass is not for you.

 

I am under the distinct impression that the people who are complaining are those that genuinely collect autographs. A diamond guest is going to be someone that has an aura, someone whose work means a lot to many people. In this case legends relating to BTTF and Aliens. Surely you buy a pass to meet that person because you simply have too. Only the individual can describe what that means to them, regardless they will feel the price tag totally justifiable. My point is the idea is not to buy a diamond pass just because they are a big name guest. The gold pass enables you to meet these people after the priority is given to those who believe its something off their bucket list (so to speak).

 

I was a gold pass holder and did not buy any diamond passes. This was a complete mistake on my part. Honestly what put me off was the comic gold/comic silver/gold passes/silver pass fiasco last year. It was very confusing and I thought the Diamond could have been of the same ilk. How wrong was I and Showmaster's put together an excellent package.

 

When the guests were announced I just had to buy photo shoots with MJF (in delorean) and Sigourney with the power loader. I had to buy the BTTF reunion and Aliens talk tickets. I went straight away to get VQ tickets upon (10 min early) entry and because of my Gold Pass I had autograph's for Christopher Lloyd on the Friday and Sigourney on the Sunday. It was my decision to chance autograph's by using the gold pass as I felt this was less of a priority than the photo shoots. I knew MJF would be out of the question for obvious reasons. It is going to be a life long regret not going to his talk.

 

The gold pass made the above stress free and enjoyable and arguably that can only be achieved with a gold pass. Every other benefit of the gold pass existed throughout the event.

 

I am afraid the price point argument is irrelevant. Im sorry but that's life. When money was tight for me I simply couldn't entertain the idea of even looking at events like this. Bills came first and I simply watched taped BTTF and Aliens instead. Fans save their money for this.

 

And as for rocking up at noon, walking straight to Ms Weaver to get an autograph simply because I have a gold pass, the name and the event is too big for that.

 

You're missing the point autograph wise..You could easily get autographs from the non-diamond pass guests as most of them had open queues, so a gold pass didn't give you any help there and for diamond pass guests you needed a VQ ticket, again no gold pass help there. So the gold pass has become pretty useless for the autograph collectors.

 

For photoshoots the same thing. Yeah, you go in first, but if you buy your photoshoots quick enough, which is now extra easy with Etickets being sold, you'll get batch 1 tickets, who go straight after the golds, so you won't be waiting that much longer either.

 

Goodie bag had a few old trinkets, Chill out room consists of a few tables, chairs, sweets and water and was closed during talks, photoshoot vouchers were handy thanks to the last minute rule change, but autograph vouchers were useless.

 

So no, I didn't think I got value for money on the gold pass this year, unlike last year when that pass actually helped with the biggest guests. So I hope next year improvements will be made to make that pass worth it again.

 

 

But with a gold pass you can join any queue depending on your movement (unless the guest is doing something else). You can dictate your plan without worrying about what VQ number's are being called etc. You can plan on your terms.

 

I accept your point about the biggest guests from a collector's point of view. Would the collector be doing this for personal financial gain or just another name for his collection? The genuine fans of that guest should come first. I suppose your hinting at what is the definition of a "big guest"? With the greatest respect to Bill Paxton I would imagine there are only some DIE hard fans out there that thought a Diamond Pass was a must. Previous years with a Gold you could join his queue anytime (and perhaps only paid £45 for his autograph). I get it and accept it but that is just one guest out of how many?

 

Of course it has been mentioned before in the forum the cost of the diamond pass enables these names to come. I personally have no interest in Robert Englund (no disrespect) and would be very disappointed if I found the gold pass price has increased to cover all triple A names.

 

Least this way its fair and flexible to cater for all tastes which is key.

 

 

You can plan on your terms too, easily, without a gold pass, because most queues of the not-so-big-guests are open queues. Only the most popular guests get VQ lines and most of those are now diamond pass guests. Of all of my 15 autographs only 3 had VQ tickets as far as I remember, the rest was all open queues. For the rest my point exactly: Last year you could join the lines of the biggest guests without the need of a VQ ticket, names like Stan Lee, John Hurt, Carrie Fisher and Jenna Coleman were all accessible directly, now these guests would be Diamond level (sorry, but they are at least as big as Paxton) and you'd need to run for a VQ ticket. That's not what you're paying 200 pounds extra for, is it?

 

btw I am a fan, I have never sold any of my autographs, still have them all and wouldn't even buy one from a trader. I want my autos signed in front of me, because that is where the value is: Meeting the guest. I've seen posts in which fans were told they are buying an auto, not the time with the guest, but actually every real fan is not paying for the autograph, they are paying to be standing in front of the guest and say hello for the few seconds the guest is signing the autograph. THAT is where the value is, THAT is why I, as a fan, get auto's and that is why I cherish them, being reminders of the time I met that particular guest.

 

That is what SM should realise and play into. That is why I gladly pay extra for a gold pass to be able to have some sort of guarantee of meeting the guest and go enjoy a relaxed con without running around and that is what is now gone from a gold pass, since for the small guests it was never an issue, queues are open, they are never too busy to miss out, while for the bigger guests the diamond pass is here to stay now and you'll need to buy that to get some sort of guarantee or even a chance at all (MJF) to get an auto. So why I ask should I buy a gold pass, while I could just buy a regular entry to get me the less popular guests with open queues and spend that 200 extra you pay on a gold pass on a diamond pass instead for the big guest I'll want to meet??

Edited by Vhiper
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I get the feeling that DP Holders getting called First for non DP Photo Shoots was probably an error due to miscommunication or misunderstanding by the Crew running the Area where it was happening...

 

 

I have mentioned before maybe Fans (not us) could be set by Shoot Areas to cool the queuing.

 

 

For Future Reference where were the Toilets outside. :)

 

Jason, any thought on the Smoking issue in the Queue? I know it is probably not in your remit. but interested in your thoughts ideas anyway.

Not sure about the location of Toilets on all days, but on Sunday i was queuing in the Grand Hall and we could use the toilets there not sure if these were available all days , but the train station has toilets but not sure when these open , they were not open before 8am when i arrived

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As many have said it was a fun weekend to some extent and was great to meet some awesome guests so thanks for that showmasters, but when the same or similiar issues are arrising again something needs to be done. i appreciate your post so thanks for that but things need to be sorted out before you start getting bigger guests over and creating more madness.

 

People have made some good suggestions on here that you NEED to take on board. The venue imo wasnt great, maybe due to your layout, but having ALL the photoshoots on one floor would have been so much easier for everyone. A chill out zone as mentioned too would be good, barriers for photoqueues, some sort of speaker or microphone for staff to call out info, little things like this make a huge difference. And the numbers, even with you saying no on the door tickets where sold like last yr, it didnt feel any less mad then last yr! it was still rammed and just not enjoyable.

 

Having alot of the traders stalls too in the middle on the 1st level made it so difficult to get around if you were trying to get to shoots, which is why people have suggested all shoots in 1 place so your not constantly crossing paths.

 

This was my 1st yr with a gold pass, and i got throug most of my photoshoots with it apart from 1 and managed to get in line f or sigourney weaver and bill paxton but the chill out room was a pain to find on the friday, the refreshments offerered wasnt that impressive to be fair, i mean we dont expect a 3 course dinner but something more than water and a few tubs of marshmallows at least? Also the goodie bad was pathetic 2bh, i got some keychain for a tv show ive never heard of and how to train your dragon ice cube tray...which i ended up throwing both away in the bin when i got back to my hotel.....as others have said id just rather have another voucher or a program of the event. About the vouchers too, it was nice that you had changed the photoshoot one this yr so we could use it towards more pricey guests, so thanks for that...but the autograph tickets were pointless to people like me who didnt want any £10 guests, if there are no guests to use the ticket for your not getting everything out of your gold pass...why not do the same with the autographs tkts and let us use them towards the cost of another guest whos £15 or more and just pay the difference. and it would be better to use them all weekend, why just fri and sun??? i just think as do many others the autograph tickets are pointless if you cant use them, theres no point in having them, not everyone wants an autograph from an unseen stormtrooper in the background on the far left.

 

So the gold pass really wasn't worth the money as people where put through pretty quich for the photoshoots anway so those behind us golds didnt seem to wait much longer 2bh.

 

Again going back to the layout which was the biggest issue really, alot of ppl on the top floor were saying some ppl didnt know there were up there, which is a shame. why cant you just have all the photoshoots in 1 area, all the guests dotted around in 1 or 2 areas and the stalls and stages in another area.

 

Its an exciting idea to think thst we COULD have a big show in the uk like sdcc or nycc BUT all these issues need to be sorted out before you start bringing in more pass variations just to get more money in to book bigger guests.

Edited by teabelly83

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Jason

 

Firstly can I say thanks for posting on here and also arranging this. Meeting m j fox was a dream that I though just was not possible, thanks to you and Halifax (other banks are available) I managed to meet him and what an experience.

 

Here are just a couple of things that I think may need addressing.

 

Gold pass - I feel that the queue entry in the morning made it worth it. The goody in the bag were awful and the gold room should have been available all day as it was closed off for some talks. The autograph vouchers should just be 4 x£10 vouchers that you can use in the weekend and not just £10 guests. I understand that the gold pass you join the back of any auto queue which is fine but I felt that being able to get to the front of photo shoots did help with the timing. So something similar experience with the auto queue would be good.

 

Traders - the location of this was a bit of a pain if you are trying to get to a photo shoot the other side as you have people browsing which did not help if your in a rush to get to a shoot.

 

Diamond pass - I had both bttf ones and they did look very cool. I was a lucky one but I believe on the Chris Lloyd pass I got a photo with Lloyd and also Lloyd with the clock face. I asked a pit boss and that is what he told me despite there only being 1 camera icon on the pass. He said the red dot was for the clock face and Lloyd. I asked what the yellow one was for and he did not know. Also I think the crew were having issues with the hole punch on the diamond passes so not sure if there is another way of doing this.

 

Yalc & comic floors - I went up there to see Andrew probers who was one of the story board guys on bttf. I found him upstairs and felt a bit sorry for the guys upstairs as I know on Saturday they did not feel it was that busy as people did not know how to get up there.

 

Sunday - for some reason this felt like the worst day for me getting round the venue. I am not sure why particularly that day but it just felt like it took longer to get anywhere.

 

Back to the future talk - like I said at the top this was amazing for me to meet the cast and when I went to the free talk I got to sit 3 rows back as I had a diamond pass. After the talk we were told by 2 crew to stay where we are if you had a diamond pass for the next talk. Then all of a sudden we were told by the lady in red top to all get up and would be seated in number order. Just as I got up there were a lot of normal passes just running into the hall. I eventually end up very far back and also behind some normal pass people. The talk was amazing but I did feel gutted being so far back after being told that I could stay in the 3rd row. The day before they had the Chris Lloyd talk and lined you up in pass order which worked well. I just felt very let down by that lady in a red top and dark hair.

 

This was my first comic con and what an experience it was.

 

Thank you and I hope some of the points above are valid or helpful.

Colin

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I get the feeling that DP Holders getting called First for non DP Photo Shoots was probably an error due to miscommunication or misunderstanding by the Crew running the Area where it was happening...

 

 

 

It's already been confirmed that it was, but people seem to like to overread that confirmation... ;)

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Vhiper, i agree on a couple of points you made there. This was my first yr with a gold and 2BH im not really sure if i got my moneys worth at all, i mean on a good side i got in at a good time to get a VQT for paxton and weaver, who i managed to meet both...BUT the photoshoots were thst quick the non golds didnt seem to be waiting much longer anyway, alot of the guests as you said were open queues anyway and the goodie bag is very poor with tickets you can use like the autograph tickets if there are not guests you wanna meet or are only there the saturday.

 

I totally agree about the actual autograph too, as im a collector and fan of so many movies, i myself feel like im paying to meet the guest briefly, watch them sign something for me and shake their hand...that to me is where the money goes...the experience and the memory of that brief moment shaking hands with bill paxton. Before the event, i considered preordering the sigourney weaver ghostbusters autograph as i just didnt feel like id get to meet her, but i figured...NO ill risk it and take my chances, as i dont like buying from dealers or the PO system. im so glad i didnt has i got to meet her and for a moment i got a brief chat, compliments on my ghostbusters tattoos and a signed photo infront of me which is what i paid for...amazing moment.

 

Your 2nd point about next yr not buying a gold too and getting regular entry with a diamond pass is something im considering IF i do next yr. I mean for the amounbnt of guests i got 2 where VQT, so maybe i should put the 200 towards a diamond instead next time? If someone like kiefer sutherland was there then its something id without a doubt consider!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't understand this hate being generated for the gold pass.

 

The argument is that I have spent £225 on a gold pass and someone else has spent £x on a day/weekend pass. Both people have a chance of getting a VQ ticket for a Diamond guest. So what is the point in spending £225? If you are going to an event just for that one person then yes a gold pass is not for you.

 

I am under the distinct impression that the people who are complaining are those that genuinely collect autographs. A diamond guest is going to be someone that has an aura, someone whose work means a lot to many people. In this case legends relating to BTTF and Aliens. Surely you buy a pass to meet that person because you simply have too. Only the individual can describe what that means to them, regardless they will feel the price tag totally justifiable. My point is the idea is not to buy a diamond pass just because they are a big name guest. The gold pass enables you to meet these people after the priority is given to those who believe its something off their bucket list (so to speak).

 

I was a gold pass holder and did not buy any diamond passes. This was a complete mistake on my part. Honestly what put me off was the comic gold/comic silver/gold passes/silver pass fiasco last year. It was very confusing and I thought the Diamond could have been of the same ilk. How wrong was I and Showmaster's put together an excellent package.

 

When the guests were announced I just had to buy photo shoots with MJF (in delorean) and Sigourney with the power loader. I had to buy the BTTF reunion and Aliens talk tickets. I went straight away to get VQ tickets upon (10 min early) entry and because of my Gold Pass I had autograph's for Christopher Lloyd on the Friday and Sigourney on the Sunday. It was my decision to chance autograph's by using the gold pass as I felt this was less of a priority than the photo shoots. I knew MJF would be out of the question for obvious reasons. It is going to be a life long regret not going to his talk.

 

The gold pass made the above stress free and enjoyable and arguably that can only be achieved with a gold pass. Every other benefit of the gold pass existed throughout the event.

 

I am afraid the price point argument is irrelevant. Im sorry but that's life. When money was tight for me I simply couldn't entertain the idea of even looking at events like this. Bills came first and I simply watched taped BTTF and Aliens instead. Fans save their money for this.

 

And as for rocking up at noon, walking straight to Ms Weaver to get an autograph simply because I have a gold pass, the name and the event is too big for that.

 

You're missing the point autograph wise..You could easily get autographs from the non-diamond pass guests as most of them had open queues, so a gold pass didn't give you any help there and for diamond pass guests you needed a VQ ticket, again no gold pass help there. So the gold pass has become pretty useless for the autograph collectors.

 

For photoshoots the same thing. Yeah, you go in first, but if you buy your photoshoots quick enough, which is now extra easy with Etickets being sold, you'll get batch 1 tickets, who go straight after the golds, so you won't be waiting that much longer either.

 

Goodie bag had a few old trinkets, Chill out room consists of a few tables, chairs, sweets and water and was closed during talks, photoshoot vouchers were handy thanks to the last minute rule change, but autograph vouchers were useless.

 

So no, I didn't think I got value for money on the gold pass this year, unlike last year when that pass actually helped with the biggest guests. So I hope next year improvements will be made to make that pass worth it again.

 

 

But with a gold pass you can join any queue depending on your movement (unless the guest is doing something else). You can dictate your plan without worrying about what VQ number's are being called etc. You can plan on your terms.

 

I accept your point about the biggest guests from a collector's point of view. Would the collector be doing this for personal financial gain or just another name for his collection? The genuine fans of that guest should come first. I suppose your hinting at what is the definition of a "big guest"? With the greatest respect to Bill Paxton I would imagine there are only some DIE hard fans out there that thought a Diamond Pass was a must. Previous years with a Gold you could join his queue anytime (and perhaps only paid £45 for his autograph). I get it and accept it but that is just one guest out of how many?

 

Of course it has been mentioned before in the forum the cost of the diamond pass enables these names to come. I personally have no interest in Robert Englund (no disrespect) and would be very disappointed if I found the gold pass price has increased to cover all triple A names.

 

Least this way its fair and flexible to cater for all tastes which is key.

 

 

You can plan on your terms too, easily, without a gold pass, because most queues of the not-so-big-guests are open queues. Only the most popular guests get VQ lines and most of those are now diamond pass guests. Of all of my 15 autographs only 3 had VQ tickets as far as I remember, the rest was all open queues. For the rest my point exactly: Last year you could join the lines of the biggest guests without the need of a VQ ticket, names like Stan Lee, John Hurt, Carrie Fisher and Jenna Coleman were all accessible directly, now these guests would be Diamond level (sorry, but they are at least as big as Paxton) and you'd need to run for a VQ ticket. That's not what you're paying 200 pounds extra for, is it?

 

btw I am a fan, I have never sold any of my autographs, still have them all and wouldn't even buy one from a trader. I want my autos signed in front of me, because that is where the value is: Meeting the guest. I've seen posts in which fans were told they are buying an auto, not the time with the guest, but actually every real fan is not paying for the autograph, they are paying to be standing in front of the guest and say hello for the few seconds the guest is signing the autograph. THAT is where the value is, THAT is why I, as a fan, get auto's and that is why I cherish them, being reminders of the time I met that particular guest.

 

That is what SM should realise and play into. That is why I gladly pay extra for a gold pass to be able to have some sort of guarantee of meeting the guest and go enjoy a relaxed con without running around and that is what is now gone from a gold pass, since for the small guests it was never an issue, queues are open, they are never too busy to miss out, while for the bigger guests the diamond pass is here to stay now and you'll need to buy that to get some sort of guarantee or even a chance at all (MJF) to get an auto. So why I ask should I buy a gold pass, while I could just buy a regular entry to get me the less popular guests with open queues and spend that 200 extra you pay on a gold pass on a diamond pass instead for the big guest I'll want to meet??

 

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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.

 

I will be attending with my sis and her boyfriend (he's a teacher so won't be able to get Friday off!) I think big guests will always do the Saturday anyway and I doubt many guests will just do Friday only. It's probably just as well I will only be attending 2 days as I don't think I have the physical stamina to cope with more than that!

 

 

If you look at the signing days there were a few this year that only did Friday

 

 

The event is open until 8pm, so time for a visit after work :)

 

 

 

I finish work at 5pm in Nottingham! I guess people who live local could do that

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Diamond pass - I had both bttf ones and they did look very cool. I was a lucky one but I believe on the Chris Lloyd pass I got a photo with Lloyd and also Lloyd with the clock face. I asked a pit boss and that is what he told me despite there only being 1 camera icon on the pass. He said the red dot was for the clock face and Lloyd. I asked what the yellow one was for and he did not know. Also I think the crew were having issues with the hole punch on the diamond passes so not sure if there is another way of doing this.

 

 

Colin

 

I think you were very lucky as i dont think you were supposed to get 2 photos with Christopher Lloyd on the Diamond Pass

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thanks jason showmasters for getting great guests


question the back future clock prop photo,

a different white can be seen around ten o clock area, wondering is that the flash diffuser reflection on the clock picture,anyone know

noticed many other peoples who shared looks the same as mine,



sunday was fine for me did take longer to get around find guests this year didnt even have time look level 2 or traders stalls,


think crew done good job as always


MJF autograph is one i still would like if showmasters can get mjf return in future

a photo with MJF in delorean is so great to have many thanks jason

was taken fast before ready,i see crew and retaken no problem,


so far never had a Diamond or gold pass ,

vq numbers can be high,so i may do this


often best find a guest not busy i like say hi tell them what i liked them in i do like over table photos , i ask if photo ok some say they cant, some are fine, still makes a good fun day


maybe a pass with guest autograph and choice which photo on offer,a choice to buy early or afternoon photo, keeps the rotating would be good for some guests as i get most my photos signed,


if you could only make it for aday how many Diamond pass guest can be done, unsure if can book to many

i dont see need for tshirt may not have time for all talks,

i feel people try to do too much for aday

i seem to find i'm booking less as event gets bigger 2-3 guests play safe i now wait for times before book more extra shoots i also like photo areas together on one floor cause times so close,

may help knowing a timetable more ahead, could do with rough times floor plan least 2 weeks ahead,

look forward to next event

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I get the feeling that DP Holders getting called First for non DP Photo Shoots was probably an error due to miscommunication or misunderstanding by the Crew running the Area where it was happening...

 

 

 

It's already been confirmed that it was, but people seem to like to overread that confirmation... ;)

 

 

More like being annoyed such things are written off as a simple "miscommunication/misunderstanding" as it was by far not the only "miscommunication/misunderstanding" which happened over the weekend...But I'm sure there's no need to post a list again :P

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Diamond passes pay for some privileges and so, they must have those privileges but there was problems with those passes delaying the photoshoots for other people.

I explain : by example,on Saturday, for the MJ Fox Clock Photoshoot, people with standard tickets were waiting for the photoshoot to start...

The beginning hour was already reached when some crew members asked if there were any Diamond passes with tickets in the assistance...

They were calling those diamond and gold passes for nearly 10 minutes (with other people waiting) before any Diamond or gold pass guy showed up.

That's 10mn we "normal people" should'nt have to wait : if a Diamond pass show up, it's ok that he/she skips the line, but please, in the future, don't make useless waiting time for other people...

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Thanks, Jason.

 

Like I said in a post last Saturday, the event was miles above last year's at Earl's Court, and I definitely noticed a lot of things that were completely improved upon. That made this year so much better for me. Super excited to see what 2016 brings.

 

As for the Diamond Passes. I think it would make sense to have a separate shoot just for Diamond Pass holders.

Edited by TrinityKiller24

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