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Another Good/Bad Thread

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Okay, I just want to raise a few comments/opinions from my attendance on Fri and Sat; some good, some bad. Let's start with the good.

 

- The move to two halls was a definite improvement. It opened up a load of space, and perhaps the reduction in packed bodies helped in keeping the temperature sensible as opposed to last year.

- I actually managed to get a useful answer out of a Showmasters person, for the first time in numerous cons, so thanks to that guy who got me to Kim in time. There is however more to this in the Bad section.

- Moving the queue to the other side of the building was a good call, as it puts us in the shade. Weather was quite kind this year, but it was appreciated anyway, as was moving us into the shelter of a hall at 7AM.

- Good guests again. The only downer for me was the one who convinced me to come was a late addition so all the good flights/hotel rooms were gone, but c'est la vie. I still got to meet them, right?

 

Now for the Bad, or at least the Not-As-Good, in some cases. A few about the staff unfortunately, but please take these comments as intended from a fanboy who spends a lot of time and money to be here, not some pointless venomous rant.

- as mentioned, the clueless staff. Really, if you're wearing a shirt and advertising yourself as part of the organisation, you need to be able to offer a modicum of help to your customers. It tests people's patience when they ask for directions or advice and get a blank look and "uh, I dunno." What would your reaction be if you got that from a sales assistant in a shop, or a waiter in a restaurant? When you're trying to hurry to a guest to get a low VQ number and you don't know where they are, the last thing you want is to go wandering aimlessly around a huge hall, wasting valuable minutes that can literally add many dozens to your ticket number if it's a very high-demand guest. This isn't the first year this has happened, and you don't even seem able to provide a printed guide before hand - this "we don't know where people will be sitting till the last minute" excuse is, frankly, laughable. Some people only get there for one day, and this sort of thing can result in them missing their opportunity. Surely staff can be given a cheat-sheet or map or such? Even just a "the Game of Thrones guys are all over there" sort of thing would be enough in most cases.

- in addition, some of you guys need to chill out. The woman running the Rutger Hauer desk on Sat - for crying out loud woman, you need to settle yourself down. LITERALLY every 20 seconds it was "move up, get cosy with the person in front." Tell, me, move up WHERE exactly, since we were 6 feet from the desk with four people in front of us trying not to get photos/posters crumpled, and encroaching on Michelle Gomez's desk [who fortunately wasn't there or I assume she would've been narked]? Can you explain precisely how nagging us incessantly to squash up hastens Mr Hauer's signing? Seriously, this sort of thing is extremely irritating.

- My major complaint, is once again the Showmasters staff made a total mockery of the entrance on Saturday. Friday seemed no bother - queue in the zigzag, get scanned, go in. Saturday, not so much. For a kick off, many of us had made the effort to get there from 6AM or earlier. We don't do that for fun, we do it because we're dedicated, huge fans of someone, and want/need to guarantee a chance to meet them. So, we're queued in the zigzag, and near opening time, someone decided they needed another couple rows, so they added some gates and shuffled us up. All well and good…except for no reason at all, the people directing this decided to stop the flow and start another line. So as a result, we had latecomers getting at the front of a queue the same as people who had put up with standing about for hours - that's as good as spitting in our faces. Compounding that, come 9AM, they just stood aside and basically said "go for it", no scanning or anything, resulting in a horde all heading for the same places at once. You quote all this security stuff, no reselling tickets etc etc, then you do nothing to enforce it. I could have been standing there with no ticket and could have just walked right in! You let everyone in en masse, and then start whingeing at people not to run - what did you think was going to happen?!

- my other major issue is the advertising of the cars. The ads led people to believe there were actual screen-used vehicles, and they were anything but. The Delorean was good, but just a replica. The 89 Batmobile was similar, but just some road-going fn job that wasn't even fully screen-accurate. And the Tumbler - OMG, are you serious? What the Hell was that thing? It looked like an MFI flat-pack kit, I'm sure it was made of screwed together plywood. "Awful" doesn't even begin to cover how it looked close up. If I had turned up for a photo op for that specifically I would have been severely enraged. The dog car, I can't comment on as I don't know enough about it, but this specimen was frankly an embarrassment. It was like a cosplay version of it, it wasn't even a proper vehicle for crying out loud.

- what was up with the exits, I walked around the hall to the normal one and was told I had to go all the way back again and then walk all the way back down to the front street. The place wasn't even busy or crowded so I don't get why that policy was in place?

- a personal one for me is the vendors these days. There's so much tat and unofficial stuff it's not funny. I get some people like any t-shirts etc, but I have a hang-up about supporting official things of whatever I support, be it films, bands or celebrities, but each to their own I guess. And did I really see a stand trying to encourage people to sign up to Communism? How's that film/comic related?

- it's been raised before but I need to say it - prices. I don't know who sets them, but £75 or £95 a pop…not funny. Everyone has an idea of what they think is reasonable to pay, that's mine. Say no more.

 

So, yeah - thanks for another couple days of great guests, despite my missing a talk lol, but really, you need to get your act together with the handling of this event on the day as the sort of things I've mentioned about can ruin someone's day and there are people who spend hundreds to attend - I spent a fair bit on hotels and petrol and there are people from other countries who spend far more than me.

 

Thanks for listening.

 

 

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Just as an FYI the Dog Car is from Dumb and Dumber

 

I have to agree with you about the tumbler though.

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This was only the third London convention I have been to and I have enjoyed them all for different reasons, but this year I felt much more chilled out and there was much less rushing around. Maybe I am more experienced now and have become more organised by printing out the schedules and maps so that I at least have a vague idea of where I am going, or perhaps I had a few less guests to see than last year, but I don't feel quite as knackered as the last couple of years, despite having the start of a cold during the weekend.

 

I actually had more time this year just to wander around the stalls and mostly browse, apart from buying a few gifts for my family. I tend not to buy merchandise for myself any more as I have enough stuff already and I prefer to save money for photos and autographs. Plus it always seems a bit pricey, but it is fun to have a look anyway.

 

The vehicles seemed fine to me - I agree the tumbler looked as if it would fall apart if someone brushed past it but actually looked good in the photo I got of it. I think if they had the actual props to look at you wouldn't get as close and the entrance cost would likely go up. Having said that I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the Dredd bike was the actual one from the film and you could get up close to it as well!

 

As for negative points - I am generally a chilled out guy with these kinds of things and tend to go with the flow but the thing that annoyed me the most was that I went to two early photoshoots on Saturday to try and get in having Batch two for both but got turned away as they only had time for Batch one. Instead of wasting an hour waiting I could have gone to the free Beverley Hills Cop talk but I guess it was a free talk so at least I didn't lose money, and it was a gamble that I lost.

 

Also there was a bottleneck of people lined up in some of the more popular guest areas which was a bit claustrophobic.

 

I can understand the stress of not being able to find guests but generally they were in the same places each day. Obviously some guests changed each day so there was some moving around - perhaps this could have been decided and shared with staff earlier?

 

All in all I came away very happy as I got everything done that I wanted to and even had time to visit the Star Wars display in a famous department store to sit in a Falcon cockpit replica - I can highly recommend that for anyone who is a Star Wars fan!

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Just as an FYI the Dog Car is from Dumb and Dumber

 

I have to agree with you about the tumbler though.

i know what it was and where it was from, i meant i didn't know enough about it to say it was accurate/the real thing/whatever.

 

the Dredd bike was cool, shame they couldn't have done a bit more of a back drop for it to give a bit atmosphere. i really liked that flick, would love to have Karl as a guest here :-)

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Fair enough I misread your meaning :smile:

 

I will just add regarding your comment on the pricing, yes the guests are expensive, particularly the top tier ones, and likely only getting more expensive but unfortunately SM have always said it costs a lot to get those type of guests so if we want them they aren't going to be cheap. You have to factor in exchange rate, hotels, flights (and probably not economy seats either), security for some of them, fulfilling any proviso's they may have and that's on top of the appearance fee they ask for.

 

Pricewise Showmasters are not bad in comparison to a lot of other events.

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I have always thought that SM's prices were very reasonable and after seeing some other conventions prices I have no complaint whatsoever.

Also love the fact they don't charge for selfies.

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