This is a collection of thoughts and observations from DST3, the 3rd Destination Star Trek convention, held at ExCel center in London’s Docklands from 3rd – 5th October of 2014.
- Better organized than previous DSTs.
- Not as huge as DSTL (1st one, which had all 5 TV captains), still much larger than DSTG (2nd one, in Frankfurt 2014-02-21ff).
- Some details came out better at previous incarnactioins, though.
- I’ll be back
For the remainder of this blog I’ll go from bad to good to great, so either stop reading now or go all the way.
- Bad sound 1: “PA war” between stages, across the site. Separate rooms or even thicker curtains / partition walls would be nice.
- Bad sound 2: People on stage often had severe difficulties understanding questions. Probably the monitor level never was right?
- Bad sound 3: The main stage suffered echos, particularily in the less crowded talks. Next time please use a carpet again.
Schedule and TALK problems
- All talks were cut really short, including the really expensive talks! If a payed talk starts late due to bad guest management, don’t cut it from our payed time!
- Most multi-guest talks (incl. Meet & Greet) could have started much earlier with the guests that were there punctual. Especially Sunday’s Captain’s Meet&Greet.
- Meet & Greets (for Captain package holders) were only talks with reduced audience (plus a drink). I know, 2 actors handling 90 fans can’t do the same as ~6 actors handling ~20 fans (at DSTG), but on the other hand the platinum ticket was more expensive this time. How about dividing the fans into smaller groups, and getting more guests involved again?
- Schedule was too tight in several regards for guests and fans alike. This contributed to the problems just described.
Other experienced problems
- Priority queuing at autographs non-existent at times, no signs or clear rules
- Package holder areas in front center block of main stage were totally unclear, staff was giving mixed messages.
- Staff generally not informed enough regarding queueing and packages.
- Not enough queueing room in main hall, queues “crossing” each other. That’s about as convenient as crossing the streams of Ghostbusters’ energy streams.
- No clear photo rules. DST 1, 2 had clear rules: Flash for 2 minutes, non-flash afterwards.
Other improvement ideas
- Ticket option “on-site collection” should be built in the web interface, because e-mails can get lost and clerks could make mistakes. Fortunately Media 10’s and SEE Ticket seem to have better staff than the NFL.
- The food at the Fox@Excel was better than at previous DST parties. Food distribution on Saturday was much slower than on Friday though.
- The Fox@Excel was too small respectively too crowded, there was not enough room to dance or even sit. The wide space of previous DST parties (held in the exhibition halls) may have killed some of the atmosphere, but there was more than enough space to chill, rest, eat and so on.
- The early opening and generous staffing of the back-offices were a huge improvement, well done this time.
- The WIFI was free and usuable almost all the time, that’s nice escpecially for fans not planning to spend a fortune on data roaming.
- The full-bearded “queue-manager” (security guard with “G19”?) did an impressive and excellent job, again. Thought about tipping him.
- The Skype talk with Leonard Nimoy was nice. At some point we’ll have virtual Conventions, with more people attending via Internet than in person on site.
Hidden fun: 9472
- To use the WIFI of Fox@Excel, on had to enter a password, which was printed at the bottom of their bar invoices. At least on Saturday, this WIFI password included a Trek reference some Trekkies might fail to recognice: “9472“. Very nice!
PS: Mass @tweeting replacing talking
The best fan panels at DST 1 and 2 were held by the TrekkieGirls (@TrekkieGirls), and especially at DST2 I met them repeatedly. Therefore I consider them “convention aquaintances” and was looking forward to talk to them again, resp. to get to meet more TrekkieGirls in Tress and Sarah.
Unfortunately they had only one stage appearance this time, and otherwisevwe only saw each other in passing. “Con Fever”.
Fortunately the free WIFI was surprisingly reliable, and @TheOriginalTiT (Trekkie in Training) was very eager to tweet. So we did’nt really meet, but nevertheless we talked a lot, and I was even credited in one of their #DST3 articles (as @CLechleitner42).
Somewhat Geeky and Nerdy even for me, but very nice 😉