wonderful food and laughs were all great. I would not change that portion of the event. Seeing good friends including Stephen, Susan,
Selah, Ali, Josh and Bill was awesome. We also made a few new friends including Zoe Samuel-an author, and her husband Mark - the Magician. Regrettably, several friends from last year were unable to be there including Tally, Lexxx, Crymsyn and many more, we missed. But over all, fun was had.
Stephen Zimmer did his usual fantastic job for those of us in the Literary Track. The panels were well thought out, and the panelists had really interesting things to add to my knowledge base of beta reading, book reviews and promotions.
There was Sir Geoffrey, the smithy with a booth behind us in the vendor room. He gave me a miniature Thor’s Hammer pendant. I gave his girlfriend a necklace in return.
We shared a booth with Susan Roddey. She crocheted these awesome Cthullus and “tadpoles in hats”(which some people mistook for ____). I had to have one of the Cthullus, so we traded. I gave her moonstone earrings; and I got my very own pink Suethullu, named for her creator. (Watch for Suethullu’s Face Book Page-coming soon to an electron stream near you.)
The venue was huge, but was filled (to capacity?) with attendees, guests and celebs. During a Saturday autograph session, one of the celebs, Jason Momoa, was being escorted to the rest room. He passed three feet away from me. Ladies, in case you were wondering, he really is that big! His handlers weren’t small, but he towered over them. He is really handsome. I was excited to get that close to one of my favorite celebrities (without having to pay a fee!).
I also got to meet my favorite actor, John Barrowman. Having a “Guest” badge was very helpful. We moved up to the VIP section at the front of his photo op line. So instead of being 200th in line, I was twentieth.
When it was my turn for taking a photo with Mr. Barrowman, he put his arms around me, and the picture was snapped. As I was exiting the brightly lit photo area, unbeknownst to me, the leg of one of the lights was sticking out into the dark exit area. My foot caught the leg, and down I went. Splat! Face-plant! I went down hard and banged my knee pretty badly. Still, it could have been worse.
I was mortified. Mr. Barrowman rushed over, then asked whether I was okay. I saw real concern in his eyes. He reached out his hand. I took it, and he helped me up. I totally “fangirled” and told him he was pretty. I also asked him for another hug, AND I GOT IT! Afterward, he told the crew to fix the standard so it wasn’t sticking out.
Security got me a chair and a bottle of water. While I was sitting there calming down, another celebrity who saw the
whole thing came over and asked whether I was okay. I geeked out (not to be confused with “fangirled”). It was Jason David “Tommy” Frank, former Power Ranger turned MMA fighter. I sighed Toooooommy.” He smiled, put his arm around me, then handed his cell phone to his friend who took our picture. He immediately emailed it to me. Check out my status pic on Facebook. The photo is also all over twitter and this blog page. But it’s not like I’m showing it off or anything. Neener-Neener!
Both of my up close and personal experiences with Mr. Barrowman and Mr. Frank were wonderful. They were both very nice, so human and real. I felt they genuinely cared about their fans.
This ends the happy-happy, joy-joy portion of the Con.
NOW FOR WHAT WENT WRONG:
You could start with what went wrong with when we arrived at the Galt House on Friday morning to register and pick up our badges. What badges? The badges weren’t in yet. We received purple paper wrist bands. Stephen Zimmer, ever the advocate for his people, finally got us badges on Saturday.
No programs. No maps. No signage anywhere. The Literary Track wasn’t even listed in the program. The Literary Track was once again the ugly, red-headed step child, relegated to the bowels of the Convention Center. No one, unless you were directly associated with the Literary Track, knew where our panels were, which severely limited attendance. Even we had a hard time finding the panel rooms. The one map that was put out was wrong.
Volunteers and security were virtually useless. I could get several different answers to the same questions, and all of them would be wrong. Don't misunderstand, I don't blame the volunteers, or security. They had no training. They were also overworked and often starving.
Observations--bad treatment of celebs, canceling things and changing things at the last minute. Example--Colin Baker (the Sixth “Doctor”) tweeting from his room to his fans that he was waiting in his room for someone to come to escort him to his room for his “Q&A”. But Con officials canceled the “Q&A” and blamed Mr. Baker. He tweeted to fans that he was ready and willing to go to the “Q&A”.
The lines and lack of organization and planning for the volume of people in the photo ops area was beyond insane. No one knew what was going on, where the lines started, or where they ended.
Getting your picture package was a total cluster F**K. These photo people had to know that they needed more staff with the caliber of attending celebs. The time allotted for photo sessions made no sense with the volume of fans and the number of tickets sold. You can’t run a cattle call with 200 photos taken in hour.
I ordered the combo pack for John Barrowman, which was two 8x10 photos, plus a digital download. I came home with one photo. I would have posted my digital picture with Mr. Barrowman, but I don't have it. Multiple emails asking about the status of the digital package (which we were told would be available “immediately”) are still unanswered. However, I have received several snarky responses from Fandom Fest officials on Twitter.
These are just a few of the problems. Ninety-nine percent of these problems were readily foreseeable, and could have been prevented. I believe many of these problems were greed driven. Watch the beginning of John Barrowman’s Q&A (embedded on this blog page). He tells it like it is. (Then watch the rest-it’s hysterical.)
Tired of writing, so check out my photos (worth a thousand words each) on Face Book