Destination Star Trek Europe: 2018 Birmingham

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Four Lights, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. Four Lights

    Four Lights Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2016
    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    It's now official, the next major Star Trek convention in Europe will be going back to the NEC in Birmingham, UK. http://www.destinationstartrek.com/

    It's pretty much agreed by most people that the last one in 2016 had more than a few organisational problems. The main organiser (Jason Joiner) has put a lengthy explanation on the event's Facebook page this evening promising no repeat of past mistakes, and many improvements also. I've cut and pasted it below for anyone not a member.

    Thoughts?

    Hi Everyone,

    With the exciting news about Destination Star Trek and the new TV show on its way I just wanted to have a quick chat with you all on here and give you all some insights to help everyone understand where we want to that you all with these events and a little of what’s in store for 2018 and beyond.

    Our team here are very excited with what we are about to do with all the Destination Star Trek events in the coming years. As fans of Star Trek ourselves, some for over 40 years, it’s a wonderful thing to be a fan and be able to run official Star Trek events. We appreciate that this is something that is very rare, that true fans get this chance. It is something we are not going to pass up on and we are going to take this as far as we can in the coming years for all the Star Trek fans out there.

    Here is a brief history behind the Destination Star Trek conventions :

    We started back in 2012 with the first convention. It was a joint venture between Media 10 Ltd and Showmasters Ltd / Massive Events Ltd with all companies working closely together to bring the first event to life. It was an interesting marriage between Media 10, a more corporate commercial event company, and us, Showmasters / Massive Events, fan run convention organising companies.

    We both came together from very different backgrounds and it was all very new for both sets of people to work together but we went on to create what turned out to be the biggest Star Trek event ever to be held on the planet. The event was notable for being the first time in Europe that an official event displayed life size bridge sets for fans to go on and we also managed to bring all 5 captains on stage together at an official event for the very first time! There were lots of firsts and lots of fans all under one roof. There was little time to learn and we had to learn a lot very fast as well as making sure we worked as a team from two very different companies, but it did work and it was the start of something very different.

    It was clear that there was greater potential for future events and taking conventions to another level for all fans, but this was only the first event and we were still walking. We had not learned to run yet but we knew it was the start of something quite amazing.

    Next came Destination Star Trek Germany, the second event that took us to Mainland Europe. With this event Media 10 took the lead and ran this event taking on at least 75% of the events organisation. Showmasters / Massive Events took more of a back seat and it achieved many new things again such as becoming the biggest Official Star Trek event in mainland Europe, which was a big achievement for a first time event anywhere.

    Then came Destination Star Trek 3 that took the event back to London. Again this event was headed up by Media 10 and it followed the patterns of the first Destination Star Trek event, keeping to a structure that was similar to the first event, but with some different guests.

    We at Showmasters, being fans, felt there was so much more that could be done with an Official Star Trek event so when the time came we asked to head up the next Destination Star Trek event in the UK. This was agreed and we headed up the Birmingham event at the end of last year being given the chance to push the envelope a little and see if it would be well received.

    We felt that the guests should have more stage time as lets face it these are the people we have all come to see and get to hear talk, to learn new fun stories and anecdotes. So we looked closely at putting them together on stage in different ways that would bring out a unique talk. We also managed to bring William Shatner's one man show, 'Shatner's World’, to the UK for the very first time. As well as that we had a good go at putting on the parties that many of you came to, and a lot of you had a great time seeing our guests perform as the Rat Pack!

    It was again a lot to get right for the first time, and we were basically left to run all aspects of the event. Now I will say we did not get everything right. Being at a new venue there was some things that caught us out like registration - we did not get that to run that well on the first day and it was hard to get that fixed on the day but we just had to get into it and try to get everyone through as best we could. This is something that has now been discussed at length and we have worked out how to fix this so it will not happen again! We have learnt from it!

    For the event, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek, we had managed to get a very strong line up of Star Trek guests. As the event approached we were on track with the amount of fans that committed to buying tickets and we felt that there was the right amount of guests for the fans to deliver a great weekend. But then in the run up to the event something odd happened; lots more fans had left it to the very last minute to buy their tickets and around a third of the tickets sold were in the last week or so before the event. This put a lot of pressure on the event and the crew that were there for everyone. There was the space for the fans but the crew really had to work hard and it meant it was very busy. Things mostly worked - with some things working very well but other things not working as well as we needed them to. So this is me, one fan to another fan, saying sorry if aspects of the last event did not work as well as we had planned but I also want to say that we did put on an ambitious event run by fans for the fans and for that I think we did an overall good job. We saw it was the start of something that fans have been wanting to go to for 50 years and this would be the start of what we are planed for the coming Destination Star Trek conventions.

    Things we have already looked into and fixed for the next coming Destination Star Trek conventions:

    1. Pre-Reg will start earlier on the Friday at 10am with many more crew and pick up points to make the process faster and easier for everyone in line. We will have more people going up and down the line to help with any questions you have, and to just be there to help you.

    2. Our organiser's booth will be staffed with many more crew, again to help you get the info you need and to help with enquiries.

    3. We are going to expect around the same number of fans to attend as did last year and as such the rush on the days running up to us will not catch us out this time! We will have the crew to look after you all and at every part of the event where you need to be able to talk to and get get help. We are very used to running big events such as the London Film & Comic Con that has around 100,000 fans in attendance over a weekend, so running a Star Trek event with between 10,000 to 15,000 fans should not be an issue. The thing that did catch us all out is nearly 5000 fans booking so close to the event! We had the capacity with the guests, and for the photo ops and talks but it was hard for you all, and our crew, in trying to deal with all that was needed in a new venue so this will not catch us out next time. We plan to greatly increase the crew and have more information everywhere with more signage to help everyone enjoy there time with us. We never forget that you are like us, fans, and as such we do care and we do want you to have a good time and be treated like we would want to be treated ourselves. This is foremost in our thoughts going into the next Destination Star Trek event in 2018

    4). The Parties - Wow! You guys like to party! Having run conventions over many years we know that not everyone who has a package which gets them access to a party actually uses it as not everyone likes to keep going all night! Well, Star Trek fans blew that fact right out of the water! We were simply amazed how many people turned up for the parties compared and as such space became extremely limited! No bar in the world would have coped with that many people without there being some wait, but again we realise the wait for drinks was too long! So, that being said, we have taken double the space we had last time for the parties and we will plan our numbers around all package holders attending and then only sell extra tickets to a capacity that the space can deal with. We will ensure that we have multiple bars and that they are well stocked and manned! In addition, we will ensure that the parties are not to be missed with fantastic entertainment and themes.

    So with all that in mind I want to share just some of our dreams and thoughts we have planned for our future events.

    1. Displays and Sets

    We are going to start to build up the sets that we have and create more interactive sets and life size props to display over the next few events. We plan to bring some of the most exciting life-size things from the Star Trek universe for you all to see,and be a part of and to have photos taken on. We just cannot go into this any more than I have here right now but we are so excited to be able to have several events over the coming years to be able to build what we have in store for you. This is going to be very exciting. ?

    2. The Guests

    We are going to hunt down and bring you the best guest line up Europe has ever seen. Going forward we plan to have even more guests we had last time, aiming at around 50+ guests at the next event in Birmingham! We are going to try to bring in as many rare or first time guests as we can and we will of course bring in lots of headliners. Over the coming years we will look to bring many major guests, mixing them up so that the stage talks are out of this world and something to watch and hear and to remember forever. We are also working on a guest ark for the next few events and we are working very hard to bring in the first time guests that everyone want to meet. So watch this space and we will deliver some outstanding line-ups in the future.

    3. Free Activities

    We feel that it's important to have things to do for all ticket holders and as such we plan to have lots more activities to do or be a part of over the weekend. Last year we tried some new things with the stages and they worked well so going forward you are going to be able to be a part of a lot more fun things such as interactive quizzes that will see cast members taking part in as well as the fans. This is something we want to do much more of and it gives the guests a chance to do what they are good at, putting on a show and being a part of the audience. So we will be bringing in a lot more fun things that will be free of charge as well as more stage activities. Some things will have to be changed for but there will be a lot more options over the whole weekend with no extra cost. We plan to add an extra stage and increase the seating in all the stages at the venue so more people can get involved. On that note we will also have more seating all around so you if you want to just chill out for a bit you can. We have taken on board what is needed and we want to give you all the chance to see and be a part of so many more things over the day, both free and paid for events, so there will me much more to do and see in 2018!

    4. Merchandise

    This has been a interesting one in the past - at all the previous Destination Star Trek events we had never sold out of the merchandise but last time I guess as it was designed by us and being fans ourselves, it did. We thought the T-shirts should be like the ones from the TOS and there were a lot of the other products that had time put into them and had been really thought about from a fan's perspective. On the day it just all sold out way too quickly and it was quite amazing just how fast this all went. We produced around 30% more than the year before and it was obliterated, so we have leaned yet AGAIN. ? We will be working out from last years numbers how much more merchandise is likely to be needed so we do not run out so fast. It’s a tough thing to get right but we have good numbers now of what did sell and we will produce more so you all get a chance to grab something at the next Destination Star Trek. ?

    5. Star Trek official products and retailers

    This was a tricky one for us last year as the US had their Official Star Trek event very close to the UK event and as such some of the bigger companies that make official products could not come to both events. Next year it will be a lot easier for us to get them to be at Destination Star Trek in the UK as the retailers that did go had a great time and they all saw that you all wanted to buy cool things from them. Word did get back to a lot of the license holders and we have already had interest from some of these companies so we expect this issue to be resolved. Rest assured that there will be plenty to look at and to buy at the event and we have even managed to negotiate having some exclusives available, but more on all that as we have it ready to go live. ?

    6.The New Series

    There are three things you must know about the new series :

    1. 'We cannot talk about the new series'
    2. "We cannot talk about the new series’ and
    3. You guessed it 'We cannot talk about the new series' ?

    But really, we have been asked not to talk about it in any way until we have been given permission and that’s what we are sticking to. As a fan I'm personally very excited for what we all have in store with this new show and as soon as we have permission to tell you more of what we have planned we will, but for now we have to keep this to ourselves. ?

    7. Cosplay and the Masquerade

    We feel that the US has had a bit of a head start on this side of the convention activities but as we are aiming to up our game we know that one of the best elements of any convention has to be the amazing costume creations and the fans that dedicate so much time to their outfits.

    So as a way of saying thank you to you all for your diligence and dedication we are going to look to create a major parade that will take place on one of the days and this will be judged by people from the production of Star Trek and some of the guests! There will be some seriously major prizes on offer and we will also create some interactive backdrops for you to have photos taken in costume and with your friends. This area will also have a costume repair zone that will be there to help you out in any kind of costume emergency and will also be a place to socialise and talk to fellow cosplayers and non cosplayers that are admiring your creations. This part of the event is going to be heavily supported by us at Destination Star Trek and we hope to help you to achieve a welcoming place to push the boundaries of your creations and start to show the rest of the world's Star Trek fans that European cosplay is on par with the best the world has to offer. Anyone that will need any assistance in dealing with big outfits or complicated ones will have a direct point of call to go to and achieve their performance over the weekend of the event and we hope to see some amazing projects come to life in the next 18 months!

    I hope that this helps everyone to understand a little more about us here and it helps to show that we are all in fact fans just like each and every one of you! We are people that used to attend conventions back in the 80's and 90's and have now taken the leap to help to run and organise the best events we can as fans and as organisers.

    The word organiser is not a word we use lightly. It's a word that means we are responsible! We are responsible for getting you what you have paid for; responsible for you having fun and a good time; responsible for everyone being safe; responsible for working out ways to fix things when they do not work out as they should! It’s not just a name, it’s a responsibility! It's not a power title, it’s a job and the job is not over until everyone has been to the event had the best time we can provide to them and we have looked after all the guests and they are back on there planes on their way home. Even then it is not really over as we then have to go though all the things that had passed over the weekend with over 12,000 fans and see what went right what did not work and what can be learned and what fixes were implemented that helped. Only then, when we have de-briefed with our fellow crew and learned all that we can does the responsibility end, just in time for it to begin all over again for the next event!

    I want to say thank you to you all for allowing us to run these events and thank you for your trust in us. I know some of you are not happy with all we do but we do really care; we do really listen! There are a lot of you and making it all work for you all is very hard but we do try and we will keep on trying! From time to time we may fail but we will also learn! The one thing we take from Star Trek is that it’s not a crime to try and fail so long as you take on board why you have failed and next time get it right! Over the years we have learned a lot and we will keep on learning but we have brought so many things to us all that if we had just given up that first time then we would not have had the chance to see Christopher Lloyd on a Klingon throne! We would not have had the chance to have a photo of Wil Wheaton on the Bridge next to you and we would not have had the Ferengi taking over the Bridge of the Enterprise with you as Captain! And before that the chance to meet Leonard Nimoy and Majal Barrett when we first started out on this voyage many years ago. So we are sorry if we do not get it right for each and everyone of you every time but we will keep on trying to put on the best events we can for you all and keep on pushing the envelope and trying to reach the stars and take these events to the next level.

    Thank you to anyone who actually managed to get to the bottom of this post ?

    Jason Joiner
    DST Organiser

    We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.

    John F. Kennedy
     
    Markonian likes this.
  2. inflatabledalek

    inflatabledalek Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    More stuff going on during the day would be the main area of improvement, it was very hard to drag last year's out to an amount of time where you felt you'd got your monies worth.

    I did have a reasonable time at the last one, but it'll be entirely down to the guests whether I go again.
     
  3. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    I suspect they would aim to have several guest/items related to Discovery.
     
  4. cultcross

    cultcross We get locked down, but we get up again Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2001
    Location:
    Tier Fun
    The big change that is needed from last year's event (other than the organisational stuff which meant it involved a lot of waiting) is the amount of stuff to do that isn't autographs/photos/other expensive stuff involving guests. There was probably an hour of free activities for your ticket price, if you dawdled. That's not good enough, when MCM cons can fill a weekend easily. I'd like to see a lot more of that, especially if they expect people to go for multiple days. I'll probably go for a day as the guest list was great last time and likely to be good again, but unless there's a lot more to do other than guests, I won't be buying a second day or getting a hotel room, which will make the whole thing a bit cheaper.
     
  5. Aerotrek

    Aerotrek Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2017
    I had a good time at the last one and enjoyed it more than the one at the excel centre in London. They seems to be celebrating the 25th anniversary of ds9. I would love to meet Avery and Nana and hear what they have to say. The photo op with Armin, Max and Aron in makeup is also too good to miss. I really loved having my photo with Robert o Reilly in make up last time. I would like to see more merchandise stalls (although a valid reason for the lack of them was given Jason's statement), and more free activities/talks would be great. Still It's just always fun to go to conventions- safe like minded people full of smiles. Can't beat it!
     
  6. Markonian

    Markonian Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Location:
    Derbyshire, UK
    Never been to a con before. This is going to be my first and I hope it's great fun.
     
  7. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    I'll likely be there. Was at last years event.
     
  8. Seb_O_91

    Seb_O_91 Lieutenant Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2017
    Location:
    Rochester, United Kingdom
    I definitely plan on attending this, I've been unable to attend the events since 2012 for one reason or another so I'll do my utmost to be there next October! I'll probably end up saving up over the next few months and going for the 'Commander' package. Has anyone that's been before have any recommendations/advice on that front? I'm not really bothered about autographs - more interested in looking at the exhibits, the talks and getting a photo or two. Whilst it's pricey I'd love to get a photo with Shatner on the bridge. How long does it take for things to sell out normally?