Some of my best experiences, in random order but starting with a fave;
Nana Visitor - I really have to fight the urge to gush here, but it's not easy. She was the very first Trek guest I ever met at my first con back in 2007, I was very nervous about meeting so many of my heroes and wasn't sure if this was something I could ever do again...until I met her. I'd been getting a bit annoyed with myself after meeting a few other people and being a bit...well, I'm not sure what the right word would be. It was just starting to get to me that I wasn't really saying anything to these people beyond 'can you sign this/can I have a photo with you/kthxbai'.
But then I met Nana, and one of the most remarkable things about her is that when she says hello to you it's like she knows you, like you're an old friend and she's genuinely pleased to see you. And without going any further down memory lane with regard to that first meeting, I really do believe that the only reason that the only reason I'm still going to conventions six years later is because somehow she gave me the confidence to keep going, to not be quite so shy around all these people who I've admired and respected for so long.
I got to meet her again in 2011, and tell her some of that and...well, her response just confirmed everything that I'd taken away from that first meeting. Except more so. With hugs and kisses and everything. Forget nice convention guests - she is one of the nicest people I've ever met period
. Saw her twice more last year, including at the Star Trek London event, where I got a lovely photo of the two of us hugging.
Andrew Robinson - really nice guy on all three occasions I've met him, friendly and talkative and the second time I saw him he actually remembered from the first time which was just fantastic. Stood on his head during his talk.
J.G. Hertzler - oh wow. He's just this big bear of a man, really great guy, but what really sold me on him was having a photoshoot - with him made up as Martok and Robert O'Reilly as Gowron. Now while O'Reilly was just O'Reilly under all the makeup, Hertzler really was Martok, he was 100% in character. When one of the girls looking after everyone's bags had a little bout of the giggles he actually swaggered over to her in full Martok mode and asked "What is the joke, small Earth woman? Share it with me!" The guy is beyond cool.
Robin Curtis - what a wonderful surprise she was! Hadn't really heard anything about what she was like, so it was wonderful to find she was a very approachable, very friendly and all round lovely lady. Met her at Star Trek London last year; one of the other guests invited me to sit with them at their signing table for a while, so I got to chat to Robin a little more than I might have been able to otherwise. Later on, I was just a few moments too late for my photoshoot with her, and they had to call her back especially. Rather than be annoyed she actually seemed to pleased to see me again; "oh, you dear sweet man! If I'd known it was you I would have flown over here!"
Eddie Paskey - just a really nice old gent who seems genuinely touched that people remember him for something he did such a long time ago.
George Takei - an all-round smiley happy genuinely nice human being.
Brent Spiner - yeah, you heard me. Brent Spiner. I was really nervous about meeting him; Data's always been my fave TNG character, but knowing Brent's reputation for being a bit of a joke I didn't want to make an idiot of myself and provide an opening for the guy who played my fave TNG character to rip me a new one.
But it didn't go like that at all. If fact, out of all the TNG cast he was the easiest of all of them to chat to, switching back and forth between normal and marvellously gloriously crazy all over the place ("You're just the man to answer a question that's been plaguing me for literally two whole seconds!"). I don't remember how we got there from him asking me where I was from but he ended up doing his Patrick Stewart impression and reciting a chunk of The Merchant of Venice
at me. I know some people find his silliness a bit hard to cope with, but honestly I find silliness comes much more easily to me than "Hi how are you?" style small talk so it was one of the best experiences I've ever had. Saw him again at DSTL last year, and got a fistbump and a "Great to see you again, man!", which made me feel pretty good.
Despite this list being in random order, I'm going to end it with my all-time Trek-related person;
Chase Masterson - don't even know where to begin here. I could write an entire book about my experiences of meeting Chase, and still not manage to do justice to what she's done for me. But I'll just say it - she's become my friend. Very few people in my life have looked me in the eye and said "You're my friend." and really meant it, and even fewer people have actually followed through on those words. But in the last twelve months Chase has been a real friend to me, and that's just so wonderful to be able to say. Can't quite believe it's happened, but I'm extremely grateful that it has.