20 Feb 2014

Gallifrey One 2014 Wrap-Up

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Gallifrey One: 25 Glorious Years is complete… and by all indications, it was a very successful weekend for everyone. Wrapping up this year’s event:

Facts and Figures: Gallifrey One 2014 welcomed 3,711 attendees, staff and guests, the largest Gallifrey One event ever.  (This includes approximately 3,320 tickets sold, above our cap for various reasons, plus our staff members, our guests and their plus-ones).  Nearly all our guests managed to make it, even with the storm on the east coast; sadly a few had to cancel at the last minute (Matthew Dow Smith, Jose Molina, Scott Edgington, and Juliet Landau who was added at such a late date that we weren’t officially notified she couldn’t make it until Sunday!)  Billie Piper did manage to make it to the convention despite originally canceling on Wednesday 2/12; it broke our hearts to have to announce her cancellation, and while we were frantically trying to get a replacement guest all evening Wednesday and Thursday morning, it was to our astonishment that Billie in fact felt well enough to get on the plane and see all her fans.  That made the weekend for many people!

Auction Update: The 2014 Bob May Memorial Charity Auction raised $7,455 for the Aimee Hoff Memorial Scholarship Fund.  Despite the silent auction in the 18th floor suites, our actual charity auction on Sunday went on so long that it conflicted with Closing Ceremonies.  Nevertheless, the interested parties braved a malfunctioning air conditioner (that raised the temperature to uncomfortable levels) to support our worthwhile endeavor.

The Stuff About the Lines for the Photo Studio on Friday: Perhaps the only major complaint we got during the convention was the situation with our Friday morning lines going to the Photo Studio.  We’d like to apologize for this, but in our defense, it was (a) an unexpected situation that developed from a hotel error and (b) rectified within a couple hours by our fantastic operations team.  (The hotel error was due to the inability to configure our dealers room in the way we wanted it with the air walls separating our Green Room; this wasn’t told to us until our Wednesday hotel walkthrough, by which time we scrambled to fix the layout situation, hence why the Photo Studio moved into the Dealers Room and the Video Room moved to where Photos had been before.)  Thank you all for your patience on Friday morning as we worked through this.  Next year we already have plans to fix this – and that includes pre-selling photo ops on the Thursday when Registration opens.

What Worked: We think we nailed it on the hall/foyer traffic; the five-minute crossover times between panels seemed to work well; and the Thursday night party was so successful and so well attended that we’ll likely do it again next year.  The evening events were all well attended.  The 18th floor gaming suite (The Hub) was really successful and we’ll be bringing on someone to manage it with more scheduled events next year.  The kaffeeklatsch system has been perfected, in our opinion, and everyone who participated seemed to love it.  And finally, the two drinks receptions for Billie and Arthur were brilliant, and we’ll be doing more of those in years to come!

What Didn’t: We still have some work to do on autograph lines (although they flowed more smoothly) and our photo studio, which we will be making some changes on for next year.  A few of our events were so well attended that they were standing-room-only; we’ll be looking at making some swaps next year to move them upstairs into the room on the main lobby level (Program B).  We know there are a few last-minute communications issues we’ll be sorting, including making it clearer where and when signups for various items are.  And we’ll be making a few revisions to the Dealers Room next year that will expand autographing space but keeping the same number of dealers, so you’ll be able to roam more freely.  (The photo studio won’t be in there next year and its line will be separate from everything else.)

The TARDIS Lounge: We wanted to make a quick note to explain why the second TARDIS didn’t make it to the convention until late Friday night; this was simply due to its owner, the amazing Tara Carstensen, having transportation issues while en route to Los Angeles.  We want to thank Tara for persevering and making it out anyway!

Post-Convention Feedback: By all indications, the convention was a great success. We managed to keep the main foyer even more manageable than in previous years, with many people telling us it felt like fewer people were out and about, even though our numbers were larger.  If you’d like to let us know what you think, we welcome your feedback via email.  Alternatively, keep an eye on our Facebook page, plus the #gally1 hashtag on Twitter for people’s comments and feedback.

Pictures: We’d love to see your pictures of the convention! Send us email if you’d like to share them (either a link to your Flickr/Picasa/online album, or let us know you have some you’d like to send over and we’ll give you an email address to mail them to!)

On-Site Photos: If you took your photo with the TARDIS console, please rest assured the guys are working through the list and should contact everyone in the next couple of days. Also, if you took a picture with Froggy’s Photos with one or more of our guests, please be patient as we know they are working through the entire list and should get electronic copies to everyone soon..

Our Thanks: As always, our convention never happens without tremendous hard work from our staff – thank you all for your assistance. We’d also like to thank our amazing guests this year: Colin Baker, Billie Piper, Arthur Darvill, Paul McGann, Katy Manning, Nicola Bryant, Jean Marsh, Matthew Waterhouse, Frazer Hines, Deborah Watling, John Levene, Richard Franklin, Tom Price, Gareth Thomas, Annette Badland, Mark Sheppard, Daphne Ashbrook, David Banks, Terrance Dicks, Tracey Childs, Lachele Carl, Stuart Milligan, Velile Tshabalala, Amy Pemberton, Chase Masterson, Ricco Ross, Emma Campbell-Jones, Sonita Henry, Jane Goddard, Ellie & Joseph Darcey-Alden, Steve Hughes, Toby Hadoke, Gary Russell, Derek Ritchie, Dominic Glynn, Paul Cornell, Jane Espenson, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Rachel Skarsten, Rob Shearman, Stephen Cole, Keith Topping, Phil Ford, Peter Anghelides, Tony Lee, Barbara Hambly, David Gerrold, Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Jason Haigh-Ellery, Greg Weisman, Eileen Dietz, Ben Raab, Deric Hughes, Jordan Rosenberg, Sarah Watson, Christine Boylan, Gillian Horvath, David Wise, Jesse Alexander, Alex Engel, Sean Crouch, Scott Handcock, Larry Nemecek, David J. Howe, Charlie Kirchoff, Matthew Dow Smith, Richard Starkings, James Kerwin, Steve Robers, Brad Bell, Arne Starr, Kevin Grazier, Trina Ray, Kim Steadman, Bridget Landry, Sarah Milkovich, Scott Tipton, David Tipton, Craig Miller, Sam Stone, Richard Dinnick, Christopher Jones, Graeme Burk, Robert Smith?, Travis Richey, Cameron Bowen, Stephanie Lemelin, Eric Lopez, Vanessa Marshall, Jason Spisak, Masasa Moyo, Kris Carter, Michael McQuistion, Lolita Ritmanis, Andrew Robinson, and Brent Spiner.  We’d also like to send a special shout out to Jason Joiner, Paul Jones and Laurence Wreford, our promoters, who spent most of the Wednesday trying to help us replace Billie Piper (which thankfully wasn’t needed after all), and a big round of thanks to Greg Weisman for putting together the “Young Justice” panel.  And of course, so many others who helped us put together a smashing weekend.

Onward to Next Year: The countdown resets again!  Gallifrey One Conventions proudly announces The 26 Seasons of Gallifrey One, February 13-15, 2015, at the Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel. Unlike in prior years, we are not announcing any of our guests until this summer.  Tickets will go on sale on Friday, March 21 at 10:00am Pacific (11am Mountain, 12pm Central, 1pm Eastern).  Note that the US will be in Daylight Savings Time but other countries (such as the UK) will not, so your local time may vary and you need to check online sources to make sure you’re in sync.  Our last event sold out in 12 days and we expect next year’s convention to go even faster.  The prices are $90 for all adults 17+, $45 for teens age 12-16, and – a change from previous years – $10 for children ages 3-11; this is a bookkeeping decision to ensure that every child has a ticket and no one brings ‘free’ children to the door.  All children under the age of 3 are always free and need no badge.

What can you expect next year?  Amazing new guests — we know who you want to see, trust us! — with more programming and panels, tons of great evening events, and so much more. We are just getting started, so be sure to be with us for the next Gallifrey One event celebrating the continuing adventures of Doctor Who.