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Diabolik

LFCC 2018: Highs and Lows

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Based on the Saturday

Highs

  • Peter Capaldi was great during the photoshoots, interacting with all the guests.
  • The same can be said for Paul McGann who took an interest in my Goku Tshirt
  • Ivana Milisevic was lovely, warm and friendly
  • The retro video game booth was a blast with the lightgun games this year, was a good way to spend an hour or so between shoots after I had run low on money
  • The staff dealing with the Peter Weller and Peter Capaldi photoshoots were top notch. I let them know of a clash and they were both very accomidating. This is a much better experience from something similar happened back in 2015 and I was basically told tough and wait my turn in line.

Lows

  • Peter Weller not turning up on time for his morning photoshoot causing said clash (can't be helped I know) but later on I find out they have given more time for his shoot during an empty space and I only find out whilst randomly checking schedule. So I quickly rush over there with plenty of time left only to find out that because not enough people turned up that they let him go. There is a PA system at the Olympia it may have been an idea to use that to announce his added slot.
  • I felt the stalls were quite expensive for what they were offering this year (personal preference and will accept that people are allowed to charge what they want for their goods)
  • By which I mean the stalls wern't very varied. A good chunk of them were Funko stands which while I do collect I had no interest in since they are so easy to acquire in everyday shops these days.
  • Food pricing was abysmal as was the choices. £2.50 for a can of coke?! Also just because you put a super hero's name on the meals doesn't mean I am going to pay £5 for a freaking sausage roll.

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I'll start with the lows so I can end on an high note

Mark Henry, didn't look at me or talk to me, worst guest I met at the convention for me.

Didn't happen to me personally but hearing a crew member dismiss the concerns of a photoshoot clash (person had to get to the far end to G), crew member might as well have said "I don't care"

People who had no intention of getting autographs taking photos with their phones or standing around in the way in a very busy area

Sam Neill VQ tickets on Saturday morning, also some guests suddenly becoming VQ, so you are stuck with a high number.

Not Showmasters fault but a girl actually tried to push me because she had a lower VQ ticket number then me in the David Tennant line and felt she should be in front of me (my number was still well within the batch number)

and now highs

I had a massive amount of people I wanted to meet including many that were there as Diamond guests and only missed out on Capaldi and Ecclestone, I had accepted early the chances were slim so this is not a low for me but a high as I got so many done.

The Beano artists in the comic area, I had an annual I wanted sign and 3 of them drew sketches (for free) and it's looks amazing

Rose McIver was lovely and remembered me when it came to the photo shoot ditto Ingrid Oliver (Osgood is one of my favourite Who characters) who also remembered me.

David Tennant being announced so late and the fact I was lucky enough to meet him.

Back to more guest experiences many of them where brilliant including (but not limited to) Steven Moffatt, Matt Smith, Jewel Staite, Nathalie Emmanuel and Tom Atkins among others

 

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2 hours ago, autographfan said:

But if they're willing to pay for a diamond pass, why shouldn't they get priority over a fan with a VQ ticket?

And to play devil's advocate, if the dealer hadn't turned up with 10 signed items to sell, then 10 real fans who couldn't make it to the event will have missed out on getting their favourite actor's autograph...

 

Some fans just can't afford one or are only interested in the autograph. And wouldn't you pay for a diamond pass if you're certain you're going to get twice the price out of it anyway, so to speak. And those 10 fans could've used the autograph service offered by Showmasters. Personally, I'd never buy anything from a dealer. In the end, this is just a matter of opinion and I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree ;) 

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It seems that more and more people have had enough of Dealers abusing the autograph queues. I don't care if it is an A-Lister or smaller guest the maximum should be 5 at any one time. If the Dealers want more than let them queue again. If a Diamond Pass guest has a massive queue than the limit should maybe be two autographs to allow more people a chance.

I think Showmasters need to get more of a grip on this as there are more and more Dealers turning up. I follow a few groups on facebook and regularly see posts by dealers stating they are getting X amount of autographs and offering them at inflated prices.

 

These events are for the fans - This is on the homepage of the Showmasters website.

Showmasters runs the renowned Film & Comic Con and Collectormania events across the UK, bringing the biggest line-up of guests and experiences that always delivers for the fans.

 

I enjoyed LFCC a lot this year as I didn't have a busy time like I normally do. My only real gripe was not getting a Michael Culver autograph on Saturday due to the number of Dealers (I could call them worse names but I am a polite person) getting multiple x multiple signatures.

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, TerraHawk said:

If Chris was fed up with dealers, are we sure they weren't for Showmasters Sales - the preorders. He's bound to have been a popular sale, and the £5 on top regular price is hardly anything when a guest is that much to start with. And they will already have paid.

Pretty sure they weren’t Showmasters. The three dealers in front of me had Diamond Passes, and the red shirt staff member at the queue reminded them they could only get 5 autos max each. They followed the rules and didn’t even take that long, it’s just that it really puts off the actors. They weren’t rude or anything, but they obviously didn’t care about Chris as a guests at all and acted as he was a money making machine, shoving poster after poster under his nose saying “sir please sign this... and this... and this”. I think Chris has openly said in the past that he doesn’t like dealers at stage doors etc., and he did look a bit annoyed (first he was cheerful then turned very serious, rolling his eyes at their requests etc.), but I guess he couldn’t refuse to sign for them in that situation. Being immediately behind them was unfortunate for me, I tried to make it clear that I wasn’t another dealer, I called him by his name and said I was happy to meet him, but he was still quiet and looking annoyed. Then when he handed me back my autograph he seemed to notice that things had turned a bit awkward and gave me a very warm goodbye, offering to shake my hand and all, so in the end it didn’t go bad.

Apart from this, my only real low was the whole ticket situation with David Tennant, like the online store collapsing on itself, the tickets sold at the sales desk not being treated equally to online tickets, all the resulting confusion and initial chaos at the photo shoots - which was however resolved pretty efficiently. Anyway, SM is not even entirely responsible for this, it was mostly Eventbrite not coping and David being massively popular, and this “low” is basically non existent compared to David Tennant attending in the first place. It was a miracle to have David at this con and his announcement made me so happy (and stressed, but mostly happy :P). Now I finally have two proper photos with him after meeting him once before at a stage door, and if I had to queue for two hours at the sales desk and at the photo shoot in order to meet him so be it, it was totally worth it :D

Everything else was a high for me. I was extremely impressed by the organization, there might have been some delays but coordinating such a huge event in such a smooth way from entry to photo collection is astonishing. Don’t take this crew for granted, guys, because events internationally wished they had this level of organization, sadly I can totally assure you this is not how most companies or countries do events. The location is great, and seriously it wasn’t neither hot nor overcrowded. The temperature was warm and the air con was good, it was much worse in my hotel room or at home, don’t be so British guys :P Also I not once was stuck in the crowd unable to go where I needed to be, even when I was running from one overlapping photo shoot to the next on Saturday and Sunday, again believe me there are plenty of events so overcrowded you are literally unable to move. Finally the guest line up was the best, and it’ll probably remain the best for me for a very long time, 9 Doctors together at the same event was something I would have never dreamt of! :o

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Highs....

Finally meeting and getting my photo witb David Tennant.  Meeting Rose McIver, Rahul and Aly and fist pump with Jason Momoa then touching his abs at photoshoot lol  Jack O'Halloran was the sweetest guy.  Everyone we met was great.

LOWS...

Lack of budget to meet some of the others I wanted to

 

But all in all another fantastic event!!!  

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14 hours ago, phoebemonkey said:

Highs

Jewel Staite being lovely - when I wheeled into the photo shoot I commented that I didn't want to run over her feet (she was wearing sandals) and she cheerily said "oh don't worry" :) She was also lovely at her autograph table, so I managed to say how pleased I was she had liked Edinburgh (my hometown). Customising her signed message depending on what picture you picked was a nice touch - I chose her from SG Atlantis, so got "lots of love from the Pegasus Galaxy" :D 

Meeting David Duchovny. I've been re-watching the X-Files so it was awesome to see him in person! When I saw him at the photo shoot and the autograph bit he asked how I was and said to have a great day. His talk was funny, although boy does he mumble! Haha. 

Seeing Jason Mamoa - even if it was rather fast going through his photo shoot! 

 

Lows

Being a little frustrated on Saturday morning to be told at the extra help desk I still needed to go across the hall to get my diamond pass. I wouldn't have been annoyed if we hadn't been told before the event that diamond passes could be collected with the extra help passes... 

Getting incorrect info about Jewel Staite's autograph queue. We went to get a VQ ticket while Jewel was elsewhere, but the blue shirt (American lady) at her table insisted we didn't need one and to "just come back later". So we did that, only to discover the VQ tickets were at 400 and we were meant to have one! I was a little upset and pretty worried we wouldn't get an autograph, but thankfully another blue shirt managed to fit us in a bit later on. She seemed a little exasperated that the first blue shirt had been telling people they didn't need a VQ ticket! 

Exits. I would really appreciate if the exit could be marked on the floorplan. Also why were most of the doors blocked off? I understand restricting entrances, but when we were trying to get to the main road outside the Olympia I really would have appreciated that door being unlocked. There were lots of security staff hovering around, but even after asking if there was a way to get out that didn't involve having to wheel back across the entire venue (I was pretty exhausted!) they just shrugged and glared at us. Not very helpful. At least one additional exit away from Olympia West would have been useful. 

The behaviour of some attendees. The majority of people were great as usual, but there's always a few who harass crew and stand in really awkward places. (Hint: if I'm sitting in my wheelchair near the entrance/exit of a photo shoot, don't stand right in front of me and block the doorway). Also I came across some incredibly rude people when I was trying to ask a blue shirt for advice outside Jason Mamoa's photo shoot on Saturday afternoon. I was literally sitting right in front of the blue shirt waiting to speak when people cut in front of me, spoke over me and treated me as if I was totally invisible! After 5 people acting like this I eventually had to literally sit and wave my arm at the blue shirt's face so she'd talk to me - and someone still tried to barge in! Seriously, some manners would be nice. 

I'm sorry that happened to you, I saw a couple of times in various queues that people were pushing in front of people in wheelchairs or on crutches, especially up in the main autograph pit where Sam Neill and the doctors were. I've been doing Cons for years now and it seems like a small minority of attendees have absolutely no consideration for other people & it has gotten worse as the years go on. My mum is in a wheelchair and if that had happened to her I would have been absolutely livid. 

I hope those people are suitably ashamed of themselves! 

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12 hours ago, RomeroSavini said:

Yup once again I saw greedy resellers ruin peoples days by slowing down lines with their countless items. Pig sick of it. Fans turned away because by the time they are done with 100 items the actual fans dont even get one!

I have been told many times by many actors/musicians lare and small etc... they detest, hate, ruin or refuse dealers/sellers of any sort. If you are not a fan basically- go away, if you are out to make cash from them- go away.

The hate by many bigger stars towards reselling signatures is staggering for good reason. 

This happens in DVD shops as well, I worked in one of the big HMVs in London for a few years (now sadly closed) and we always knew when there was a small signing in the area because dealers would descend on the store, buy stacks and stacks of dvds, cds etc from one actor/artist, plus ask for what we have out the back and then demand to be served immediately as "I'm in a hurry" and of course because they were spending loads management would bend over backwards for them. One notable instance was one of the Ghostbusters was doing a small event in Soho (that nobody knew about, we usually get a heads up on these things) and as a consequence of greedy dealers, genuine people were coming in for one DVD to take along and left dissapointed because we didn't have anything. 

Obviously it's not all dealers, but I guess if a lot of money is involved then morals and consideration for others goes out of the window! 

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After the chaos I experienced on the Saturday of last year’s show, I was initially reluctant to attend this year. However, I thought I’d give it another try....

Highs:

Saturday’s show, for me, was a really enjoyable experience. It seemed well organised and I was able to attend all my photoshoots and get my autographs comfortably and still had plenty of time to look around the dealers stands.

Even during clear times of stress, most guests I met were polite and displayed a genuine interest in meeting you.

A huge “Thank You” to Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi who agreed to stay late to ensure all Diamond Pass holders got their autographs.

Lows:

Sunday! Having experience how well run everything was on Saturday, I was looking forward to Sunday. Oh dear! If anything, it was even more chaotic than the Saturday last year.

The blond crew girl, wearing a green top who caused utter mayhem in the David Tennant Tardis Photoshoot queue. Many of us had been in the queue for half an hour before the shoot was meant to happen, and the crew members had got us all organised so as a result, I was right near the front of the line (we were alI Diamond Pass holders). Just as the line started to move, this blond girl appeared out of nowhere and ordered that we all wait and she started letting people, who had only just turned up, join the front of the queue (they were other Diamond Pass people, not Extra Help guests). She refused to listen to all the complaints that we’d been waiting ages and that we ourselves were Diamond Pass guests, and as a result of her actions, there was nearly a fight break out.

The ridiculous overselling of Diamond Passes for some guests. I thought the idea of Diamond Passes was so that a “select few” who were happy to pay more, had priority treatment. However, with the overselling, it basically means that we don’t receive any special treatment other than it’s now the only way to get to meet some guests!

 

Edited by melliott1963
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Highs

Most guests were lovely to meet, especially seeing Peter Capaldi who was on top form. Even with cancellations, this was a great line-up for fans.

Staff were generally quite helpful and pleasant.

A-D Photo layout was better this year, a bit more space for queuing.


Lows

Seagal - he was on an ethereal plane, somewhere in dreamland I think.

Photo E had some issues with overexposure on Saturday. Given the fact LFCC is probably the biggest event in the world for the amount of photoshoots taken over a weekend, I think I'm happy enough with most of mine!

Photo D queuing - I don't think trying to shove people into separate batches within a big queue works well, especially when more and more people come along and the crew tries to slot them into the already packed queue. Understandable for Gold/DP.

Seems an awful lot of DP sold for guests which I feel creates a much more rushed experience at times, but I suppose it's understandable given how much some of these guests cost to bring them here! The alternative is lowering the DP sold and raising prices...not a fan of that choice :)

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1 hour ago, melliott1963 said:

The blond crew girl, wearing a green top who caused utter mayhem in the David Tennant Tardis Photoshoot queue. Many of us had been in the queue for half an hour before the shoot was meant to happen, and the crew members had got us all organised so as a result, I was right near the front of the crew (we were alI Diamond Pass holders). Just as the line started to move, this blond girl appeared out of nowhere and ordered that we all wait and she started letting people, who had only just turned up, join the front of the queue (they were other Diamond Pass people, not Extra Help guests). She refused to listen to all the complaints that we’d been waiting ages and that we ourselves were Diamond Pass guests, and as a result of her actions, there was nearly a fight break out.

I think she was trying to get the end of the line to snake out and round the corner to allow more people to be pre-loaded into the small space but yeah people were kicking off more than was entirely necessary about that. I was a bit surprised - I appreciate people had been waiting but once the shoot started moving the time difference in you getting your photo would have been negligible. But i appreciate it was very hot and tempers fray.  Generally speaking having the Tardis shoots in the green screen area was a terrible terrible idea. Too small a loading area too cramped a walk way and verging on a health and safety nightmare. By the time the Matt Smith shoot came along the lady in question and a red shirted pit boss were handling it very well (given it wasnt their fault Smith's previous shoot had massively overrun) but if you're going to have busy shoots in cramped areas you need your best (and loudest) people dealing and good lord they need megaphones! 

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I Can honestly say I had a fab weekend 3 days of sore feet and chaos but wouldnt expect anything else I had so many highs as follows only a few critcisms for the lows

HIGHS

  • Tom Welling chatting to everyone in the auto queue and high fived everyone in the photo area. I already got his auto on the Friday generally lovely guy requeued on the Saturday with a friend around 6:00pm he caught me yawning and slammed his fist down on the table and told me off and said 'if he cant yawn nor can I' my reply 'yes Mr Welling Im so sorry' then having a laugh about it.
  • Being bear hugged by Aidan Turner you can get lost in those eyes and then wishing me a happy brthday. Jasom Mamaoa laughing at my pouting pose and copying making the camera man laugh and missing the shot :wub:
  • Tony Robinson given me an extra photo with him in the photoshoot area and then calling me his 'special birthday girl' later on in the signing area he was so lovely and chatted with everyone.
  • David Bradley such and amazing lovely guy he gave his time to talk to everyone and really appreciated it when I told him is portral of him in the documentry of him as the first Doctor Who made me cry because he was so good he made my weekend and a guest I would 100% meet again
  • Entry queuing seemed so much better yes me and my friends got there exceptionally early to get a low VQ for guests we didnt get DP passes for but the security team was quick and the inside queuing system was better organised. Being inside on the Sunday made a great difference when its pouring with rain outside.
  • SM crew/volunteers great at helping and getting me through as I had so many clashes especially when the times changed man in Photo hall A extremely happy and didnt lose his smile all day.
  • Stumbling on a exit to leave only to bump in to David Tenant , Arthur Davil and quiet a few others having a breather outside and wish me a happy birthday yah

 

LOWS

  • David Tenannt being announced in the afternoon and already spending my cash tried to get a DP pass for eventbrite to crash alas maybe another time it was a guest I have been talking about for weeks in the forum :crying: not SM fault just my own dam my spending habit.
  • DP Pass collection on Friday a little messy couldnt find half the passes brought most of them was sitting in a big box on the side and having the team dig through the boxes lost valuable time when trying to queue
  • Some very busy guests like Steven Moffat put on an end opposite the cafe causing such bad congestion and the VQ ticket guy to get so stressed out I was told to go away 5 times even though I had a low VQ number took untill 2 in the afternoon to finally get him
  • Personally I didnt have any issues with Daniel Gilles on the Saturday I meet him happy I got his signature and a little chat however on the Sunday I queued with my friend who needed help a sign was up stating a long list of NOs including NO HUGS, NO PHOTOS, NO CHATTING etc. I find this very of putting and if this had been there Saturday I would of not pursued with the auto I find this very unprofessional yes you may of had a bad day if you do not wished to breathed on, looked at or even smiled at do not come to the convention I can only imagine the upset this may of caused to younger fans. (In an under note this may not of been himself and actions of another however I still find this unprofessional)
  • Overselling on the DP passes they kind of lose there value especally with the highly popular guests e.g Matt Smith, Jason Mamoa and Peter Capidi
  • Following on from this on Friday I stood in the Zach Levi queue I am not one to get my phone out and take pictures never have I generally dont have a problem with people who do this either I go for the photo shoots. However I was stoped about a meter away before getting to his desk. His agent/manager turned round very loudly to him and said 'they are not allowed to take photos of you' Zach replied 'I cant control people taking photos while im signing' agent/manager  again rather loudly ' Well i think we should be checking there phones  before they leave the table and delete anything we dont deem appropriate'. Firstly I think unprofessional this converstaion should of either been done quietly or else where. Im sure all terms are stated with SM before the guests start signing and if the guests are not happy to take it up with them in private to be rectifyed another day.
  • Lastly the dealers its not just the endless items they want to get signed holding up queues for 30 mins its the abuse, shoving and pushing they also feell the need to do to get what they want 5 items max and 3 on the big guests is perfectly accepatable. If they wish to get more I agree with the rest get another VQ ticket and line up again. They ruin it for the normal attendess who just want to meet there favourite people by the time you get to the guests they have had another of signing items they know are being resold and cant say anything making them cautious of the rest of us maybe this should be a clause to stop this for next time

The lows are only a few from three days overall I had an awesome time meet some great people, guests where chatty and happy to be there (mostly) and love the event each year it never stops me coming back I generally love LFCC :wub:

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I am going to try to keep this concise!

The Great :)

  • GP entry times – So much better than last year – and whomever let us into the GP atrium area on Sunday to get us out of the rain needs a pay rise.
  • So many of the pit bosses were fantastic. Mary, in particular, needs a pay rise!  So many of them were all great at resolving individual issues.
  • Kelly. She rocks in so many ways and was utterly, utterly brilliant. Also a shout out to the woman staffing the Extra help desk in the mornings who was doing sterling work. In fact, so many of the red and blue shirt crew were superb.
  • Pretty much all of the guests we met were excellent, chatty, informative and enjoyed meeting fans (and in some instance other guests! )
  • David Tennant. What a last minute surprise that was. Nicely done on that one.
  • The Olympia security staff and crowd control (Yellowjackets as I called them). They really helped with the organisation and smooth running of the event this year.

 

The Not So Great :(

  • Confusion abounded on all three days with handing out VQ tickets to GP people. GP holders with the early entry should not have to stand arguing to get VQ tickets. This happened with Momoa on Friday, Momoa on Saturday and Ecclestone on Sunday.
  • Some of photo shoot queues were very badly organised and presented a real issue to many getting to lifts in the first floor in the atrium and around the first floor of venue in general. Sunday was extremely bad for this around booths F and G.
  • The lack of seating and places to relax meant many were using the first floor as a place to sit around the atrium balcony. This contributed to the pinch points for foot traffic around booths F &G considerably. It would be so helpful to have an Extra Help room (say one of the smaller rooms such as Pillar) which there were seats and a quiet space to decompress.
  • The Goody Bag voucher snafu. Given the cost of the GP, a goody bag could have been included – a good lanyard, copy of the convention brochure, bottle of water etc., an LFCC pen.
  • Some poor signage – particularly where to get the items included with the DPs had no signs at all!
  • Confusion and mixed messages about the extra help queuing, entry times etc.
  • Not selling Diamond Passes on the Sales Desk – or having clear signage that DPs were not available through the sales desk. This caused a lot of distress after announcing David Tennant, both for people queuing and for the brave staff on the Sales Desk.
  • Isolated / confused communications between the crew resulted in mixed / contradictory messages being given to attendees. This was most evident in some of the VQ/DP auto lines.
  • Peter Weller charging for quotes. I have discussed this elsewhere. It is not acceptable springing with additional costs at the signing table in front of the guest. I would welcome a statement from Showmasters on this practice going forward for future events.
  • The Lanyards provided this year were, to be blunt, very poor. They were also quite dangerous, as they had no stress-break buckle on them, which would release if the Lanyard caught on something.

Suggestions

  • Is there no way Extra Help could be nearer the lifts for those needing them to access the first floor? I appreciate this is a logistic and practical venue problem and that SM do their level best with the layout given the constraints of the venue layout, entrances and crowd management.
  • Getting the word out the floor crew especially the blue shirts operating the front lines – could you use a private Kik or Whatsapp group. Almost all the crew had mobile phones. In addition, if a crewmember asks a question, the response form the management / office is seen by all, probably saving time on being asked the same thing 20 times over!  
  • Likewise, a Whatsapp broadcast group for all attendees to sign up to. Allows the admin to broadcast messages, such as calling VQ ticket numbers for major guests, guest updates and important messages. It is one way, so you are not hammered with a thousand messages back after every message!
  • At a cost of around 40p for a fully printed lanyard (with a decent stress-break clip), it does not add much to the overhead on a Diamond Pass. 
  • At each of the busy photo booths, consider a designated Queue Manager who co-ordinates the other crew on that booth – and is equipped with a voice amplifier (or in some cases a bullhorn what goes up to 11!). In addition, the Whatsapp broadcast group would be excellent for calling photo shoots in batch groups to stop everyone milling in the photo area awaiting their batch to be called.  
  • The convention brochure being free to GP holders would be a nice touch.
  • Next year, have a few convention sponsors – I’m thinking Evian, Lynx, Kleenex and ‘Scholl Gel Inserts’ could be great contenders! ;)

 

Again, cannot stress enough the fantastic work of the Extra Help Team, the blue and Red shirts crews over the weekend.

Plus, also, the acts of kindness and consideration that the attendees were showing each other. I saw some truly gracious and selfless acts between us conventioneers this year. Helping each other is a great way for everyone to achieve the best experience they can.

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Highs

Great line up; top meets were -

Pearl Mackie - very friendly - liked my shirt, reminded her of one Nardole wore in one of the episodes

Noel Clarke - just a top bloke who was having us much fun as we were

David Tenant - thanked me for travelling down from Scotland for the whole weekend to attend!

Nathalie Emmanuel  - so pleasant to speak to and seemed really interested in what I had to say.

Lows

Only poor meet was Arthur Darvill who seemed rather bored with it all

Diamond Pass exclusivity for CE, MS & PC - as someone who isn't bothered about a photoshoot the DP is a waste of money so I go for a gold pass and look for a low number VQ - didn't work with these guests obviously. Why can we not buy an autograph DP only - you can buy a photoshoot without the DP. I suspect there will be either no gold passes next year or virtually no point in buying one if the level of DP sales for main guests are replicated next year. Only other comment here is DP says guarantees 1x autograph yet many people (particularly Meat Loaf) were turning up with enough items to supply half a small town with one - limiting this might help next time.

Overall, my best LFCC experience yet (8 now) and hoping next year's big show/genre will be GOT as it is its final season year - I might even go for some DPs if they get the tier 1 stars to attend.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tom Beaker said:

 

  • Is there no way Extra Help could be nearer the lifts for those needing them to access the first floor? I appreciate this is a logistic and practical venue problem and that SM do their level best with the layout given the constraints of the venue layout, entrances and crowd management.

I very much agree with this. I cannot stress my thanks to everyone who helped me out on the weekend as I found the extra help to be fantastic this year. However, the entrance is quite awkward for the extra help people. You enter on the right hand side of the building, the nearest lift is on the left and about halfway down the hall. You have to walk the whole way over to the lift just to walk all the way back around to the same place you entered to reach the guests. I don't know about anyone else but this entire journey took me the whole time advantage I got by entering the few minutes early.

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1 hour ago, DCGIRL1987 said:

 

  • Following on from this on Friday I stood in the Zach Levi queue I am not one to get my phone out and take pictures never have I generally dont have a problem with people who do this either I go for the photo shoots. However I was stoped about a meter away before getting to his desk. His agent/manager turned round very loudly to him and said 'they are not allowed to take photos of you' Zach replied 'I cant control people taking photos while im signing' agent/manager  again rather loudly ' Well i think we should be checking there phones  before they leave the table and delete anything we dont deem appropriate'. Firstly I think unprofessional this converstaion should of either been done quietly or else where. Im sure all terms are stated with SM before the guests start signing and if the guests are not happy to take it up with them in private to be rectifyed another day.

I honestly wish they had a blanket "Keep your phone in your pocket when meeting the diamond guests" approach at these events and that this was announced well in advance. Because in practice that's pretty much already the case. But on Friday there was a "No posed photos" sign up next to Zach so I thought I'd grab a quick shot of him (from again way before his desk) for a friend. Promptly had the security guy trying to stick his hand in his face and everyone leaping etc. It just becomes really aggressive and unpleasant and makes you feel dreadful. The sign changed to No Photos later in the day but seriously just have that as the blanket policy. That way you don't have unpleasant interactions which make the fans feel awful 

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2 minutes ago, Persephone1 said:

I honestly wish they had a blanket "Keep your phone in your pocket when meeting the diamond guests" approach at these events and that this was announced well in advance. Because in practice that's pretty much already the case. But on Friday there was a "No posed photos" sign up next to Zach so I thought I'd grab a quick shot of him (from again way before his desk) for a friend. Promptly had the security guy trying to stick his hand in his face and everyone leaping etc. It just becomes really aggressive and unpleasant and makes you feel dreadful. The sign changed to No Photos later in the day but seriously just have that as the blanket policy. That way you don't have unpleasant interactions which make the fans feel awful 

If this was the case from the start then it would of been fine its so of putting when you see the guests entourage grabbing people and telling them off, and shouting at you. To me no posed photos means no selfies but its ok to take photos while signing and in the queue. Dont get me wrong this is no way SM or Zachs fault its just embrassing for that guest and attendes this should be stipulated way before attendes come in overall Zach was a great guy during the sugning and photo area.

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13 minutes ago, Persephone1 said:

I honestly wish they had a blanket "Keep your phone in your pocket when meeting the diamond guests" approach at these events and that this was announced well in advance. Because in practice that's pretty much already the case. But on Friday there was a "No posed photos" sign up next to Zach so I thought I'd grab a quick shot of him (from again way before his desk) for a friend. Promptly had the security guy trying to stick his hand in his face and everyone leaping etc. It just becomes really aggressive and unpleasant and makes you feel dreadful. The sign changed to No Photos later in the day but seriously just have that as the blanket policy. That way you don't have unpleasant interactions which make the fans feel awful 

That's the issue I had whilst near the head of the queue for David Bradley - Ray Fisher had a no posed sig up so I decided to get a couple when I got near him and his security was like that.  I really feel he was starting to tell me to delete them when he stopped.  I did point out that the sign needed changing.  I have no problem with no photo's signs, but it's just one of those things where they hadn't updated it to the right one (not that it stops people anyway, the amount of people sneaking quite far down the Paul McCann line to get a pic of the Vamp guy was staggering) but in everything going on a lot of people genuinely don't see the signs.

Edited by Raylenth
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High : Ingrid Oliver : Loved her already in Doctor who, but was very friendly and lovely during the talk or the photoshoot.

Steven Moffat : So much pleasure to meet him and i could talk with him a little bit more than other guests, ask him some questions and talk about his career, very pleasant.

And of course as a whovian, meet so much doctor and doctor who actors.

 

Low : Some guests (most of mine) who just do the minimum for autograph, name and sign.

A little more could be appreciated, any sentence or friendly word.

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1 hour ago, gk1964 said:

Only poor meet was Arthur Darvill who seemed rather bored with it all

Diamond Pass exclusivity for CE, MS & PC - as someone who isn't bothered about a photoshoot the DP is a waste of money so I go for a gold pass and look for a low number VQ - didn't work with these guests obviously. Why can we not buy an autograph DP only - you can buy a photoshoot without the DP. I suspect there will be either no gold passes next year or virtually no point in buying one if the level of DP sales for main guests are replicated next year. Only other comment here is DP says guarantees 1x autograph yet many people (particularly Meat Loaf) were turning up with enough items to supply half a small town with one - limiting this might help next time.

 

 

 

I agree about Arthur but it was late Sunday we met him and he did look tired. Remember they are people too and we don’t know what’s going on in their real lives. Could be he had a sleepless night who knows.

The diamond passes are limited. You get 1 guaranteed and up to 4 more. 5 in total is the maximum. It’s stated on the conditions of the Diamond pass sales. If you saw somebody with more it was probably a trader (booooo).

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8 minutes ago, Ravogd said:

I agree about Arthur but it was late Sunday we met him and he did look tired. Remember they are people too and we don’t know what’s going on in their real lives. Could be he had a sleepless night who knows.

The diamond passes are limited. You get 1 guaranteed and up to 4 more. 5 in total is the maximum. It’s stated on the conditions of the Diamond pass sales. If you saw somebody with more it was probably a trader (booooo).

For sure - it is not a criticism of Arthur - as you say they may be mitigating circumstances, just a reflection of the experience.

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20 hours ago, MAGIC MONKEY said:

You've not understood what I've said and this conversation is now pointless. The issue with the dealers is the amount of items they are getting signed, especially when the guest is busy. It was even mentioned in another post that Christopher Eccleston got fed up signing for them at the show. If they want masses of stuff signed, fine. But just don't do it when the guest is busy with loads of people queuing up to meet a particular person.

Yepp this was a low for me. Got a very hearty hello from Eccleston. Then a person squeezed in got 10 signatures for the presales and that was it... He got annoyed and I saw it clearly that his autograph got more sloppy cause he got fed up with signing that many in a row not getting abit of rest by having a few words with the fansl... So thank you SM for partly ruining that moment for me... 

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Highs :

Strange turn of events in trying to get Sam Neill's autograph on Saturday, was handed a VQ ticket numbered 751 (at that number a pointless piece of paper really), as towards late afternoon the queue was still Diamond Pass only, so absolutely no chance of getting that.

Sunday morning went to get another VQ ticket for Sam, noting the queue was marked as 'closed' (though Sam was still there). The blue shirt on duty, however, stated I could go on in (perhaps because I was in a wheelchair), so within minutes I had his autograph, no VQ needed.

Lows: Unlike the Pearl Mackie queue, in which the blue shirts let in a couple of people right in front of me into the short queue, but wouldn't let me in, despite my VQ ticket being within the range ( which if I understand the new policy regarding 'extra help bands' and VQ'ing, meant I should have been allowed up to the front ?) Excuse was, "Pearl's manager say's no more".

So, from this, I deduce the new VQ rules relating to 'extra help bands' wasn't really being put into practice. In fact, there was a palpable feeling that the extra help bands have now become pretty much useless, unless you are also a Diamond Pass holder.

As has been mentioned in a previous post, what smart person during the planning stage decided to put one of the photoshoot queue areas smack in front of one of the only two lifts ? Seriously, getting out of that lift in a wheelchair straight into and through a massed queue was a navigational challenge.

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4 hours ago, Persephone1 said:

I think she was trying to get the end of the line to snake out and round the corner to allow more people to be pre-loaded into the small space but yeah people were kicking off more than was entirely necessary about that. I was a bit surprised - I appreciate people had been waiting but once the shoot started moving the time difference in you getting your photo would have been negligible. But i appreciate it was very hot and tempers fray.  Generally speaking having the Tardis shoots in the green screen area was a terrible terrible idea. Too small a loading area too cramped a walk way and verging on a health and safety nightmare. By the time the Matt Smith shoot came along the lady in question and a red shirted pit boss were handling it very well (given it wasnt their fault Smith's previous shoot had massively overrun) but if you're going to have busy shoots in cramped areas you need your best (and loudest) people dealing and good lord they need megaphones! 

 But she wasn’t doing that. Rather than get the people who had just turned up with Diamond Passes to the end of the Diamond Pass queue, she halted all those at the front of the queue who had been waiting ages, and slipped the new line in. Because at the time the queue was moving really slowly, other people were then just coming along and joining this new “feed” that the girl had made. She was totally clueless about the chaos she had just created. As for the time difference, I would estimate this actually added at least 10 more minutes wait time, which is hardly negligible, and anyway, is totally missing the point!

Someone did tell me later that after I had left, the “main organiser man” came along and kicked off to the crew about the total disorganisation.

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