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Messages - Dr. Carson Beckett

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The Invasion 2018 / Re: Gatecon Ticket Types & Prices 2018
« on: August 20, 2017, 08:17:42 PM »
It looks like I will, unfortunately, not be able to attend the 2018 convention, especially after looking over the ticket options. The prices are actually comparable (only slightly cheaper) to that of a typical Creation convention yet they don't give you an assigned seat within the block and, unlike Creation, photo ops are now tied to which ticket tier you have? Yeah, I understand there is a big difference between what Creation can afford and what Gatecon can afford, but as a consumer there's only so much I can afford and spending essentially the same as a Creation ticket and getting what is comparably a glorified general admission ticket with added restrictions does not seem like the value received matches the money paid.

I would only be ready to commit to a ticket if Richard Dean Anderson was confirmed to make a return appearance but, if I'm understanding the new setup properly, if it turned out I was only able to get the Copper tickets (which is the actually more expensive than Creation's Copper ticket) I would essentially be lucky to get into a photo op because I would have to wait for everybody else with a higher tier? I can understand Platinum getting priority access, but I really think having to go in order of ticket tier is a recipe for disaster, especially since at the Homecoming it tried to order the photo ops by rows and gave up several hours in.

I'm also not too keen on the payment system, it just seems like jumping through too many hoops to get a ticket. But I wish everybody the best and hope everybody has an incredible time.

The Invasion 2018 / Re: Invasion Updates
« on: October 17, 2016, 09:59:46 PM »
That falls around the time of my birthday. If you want to give the perfect gift, a return appearance by Richard Dean Anderson would be very much appreciated. (kinda "bonk bonk, on the head!" I know, but it's RDA!)

The Invasion 2018 / Re: 20th Anniversary
« on: October 17, 2016, 02:40:46 AM »
Once more upon the gate, dear friends, once morel
Or close the iris up with our Tau'ri dead!

Suggestions / Re: Possibilities for the Next Gatecon ?
« on: September 14, 2016, 11:21:02 PM »
Thanks for the reply, I hope my criticism wasn't taken the wrong way as I truly do respect and appreciate the efforts of all involved to pull off a great convention. I totally understand the need for the mugshot sheets and, given that Gatecon will run less photo rooms for the next convention may I suggest (unless it has already been considered, of course) that the vacant rooms be used for photo pick ups instead of the dealer's room? That way it could be set up to minimize the length of lines while not having to dodge people trying to get to other tables.

I also fully understand that there will be "growing pains" after a lengthy layoff but hopefully some of my suggestions were helpful and can provide some options for the next con. Objectively, I think the large number of guests may have hurt the con from an organizational standpoint, as it is very difficult to manage so many bodies, though I do think having a set schedule of events detailing the times and participants of panels and photo ops would be a great help for everybody involved; organizers, guess and attendees alike. As I mentioned, it would make planning out how to make the most of the day so much easier. It could even be the factor which takes a great convention and makes it an amazing one.

Finally, thank-you for undertaking what must have been a thankless and stressful task of coordinating the photo ops and dealing with the printer issues. Even though my System Lords photo was lost to the camera failure, I am very happy with my other photos.

Oh, one final thing, I don't know if it had to do with plans by Gatecon or by the Sheraton, but one complaint I heard from in the ballroom was that the seats were placed too close together, that being with absolutely no room between them at all. I can attest to the "sardine in a can" feeling when sitting between two people as I had to site with my arms unnaturally and uncomfortably pressed against my sides. Perhaps removing five or so seats from each row and then using the added space to provide some breathing room between them. There was, at least, ample leg room as I've had to endure some very uncomfortable flights in the past because of my long legs.

Hopefully, if all goes well, I will be able to return to the next Gatecon. Thanks again for helping to make it a reality.

Suggestions / Re: Possibilities for the Next Gatecon ?
« on: September 14, 2016, 01:15:19 AM »
think ?

I wasn't able to experience everything the convention had to offer, particularly as I had to commute to and from the convention each day, which wasn't really much of a problem, I just missed the evening events. I would have to say I had an overall good time at Gatecon, the panels were fun and the selection of guests was quite extensive in comparison to previous cons I have been to and for the price of the ticket.

location ?

As a native of Vancovuer, it is naturally the best and most convenient location for me to be able to attend. Plus, with many of the Stargate guests also being based in Vancouver, it allows them a greater opportunity to attend the convention while also being able to see to their working commitments, thus providing a deeper potential guest list for the con.

names to attend ?

Richard Dean Anderson is a no-brainer. As he told me when I had the opportunity to talk with him, as long as he's moving he'll be doing events like Gatecon. I love the vast majority of the guests I have seen at the Stargate cons I've been able to attend and, with this being my first opportunity to see Martin Wood on stage, I must insist he be a fixture at any con from this point forward. He has an awesome stage presence and can make even the mundane aspects of film making an interesting experience. It's awesome to see the guests who have a lesser exposure than the headliners, such as Patrick Currie and Tom McBeath but more Goa'uld System Lords is never a bad thing, either.

hotel ?

With the exception of Harold's, I preferred the Hilton Vancouver at Metrotown (where Creation typically held their cons) but it might be too expensive for a Gatecon to run and it doesn't look like it would suit the photo op set up employed by Gatecon. Maybe with a few tweaks, the Sheraton could be a nice home for the con.

anything that could be improved on ?

I mentioned in another thread the general chaos which was felt on Friday and Saturday and I certainly have some ideas which may alleviate some of the issues which came up.

First and foremost, there was no real "schedule" for the show, just an abstract idea of panels and the time they were intended to take place. While the panels themselves are subject to the "subject to change" disclaimer, which is perfectly understandable the lack of a detailed schedule made it impossible to plan anything before the con in order to manage the time efficiently.

The biggest offender of this was the photo ops, which the only information we had was that with the exception of the System Lords and Richard Dean Anderson, the guests who were not scheduled for panels on a particular day would be doing photo ops. This sounds reasonable in theory, but the execution was chaotic at best as guests would just come and go or just not show up at all, which was the case with one of the System Lords on the Friday. Then there is the issue with the System Lord reshoot on Saturday, which was listed as 9:30am on the board at registration, then was TBA on the board at the room and ultimately scheduled for the afternoon.

To this end, I think pulling a page out of the Creation book would greatly improve efficiency and satisfaction for the process. Instead of having all of the guests in a tier grouped in a room, schedule blocks where specific guests will be doing dedicated photo ops and then repeat the schedule in the afternoon for people who chose the morning panels. For example:

Minoru D - 09:30am - 12:00pm - Richard Dean Anderson
Minoru C - 09:30am - 09-45am - Tony Amendola
Minoru B - 09-30am - 09-45am - Roger Cross

Minoru C - 09:45am - 10:00am - Gary Jones
Minoru B - 09:45am - 10:00am - Andee Frizzell

And so on.

So instead of having guests come and go at their leisure, they are scheduled blocks where you KNOW they are going to be in the room and if a guest has a larger number of people taking photos with them, the schedule can be flexible within reason.

I don't know what the set up for printing the photos was, but to say it was a cluster would be an understatement. By the end of Saturday, after having had four photo ops on Friday, I only had one of my photos and it would turn out that my System Lords photo would be lost due to the camera failure mentioned at the beginning of the day. I should point out that at the earliest opportunity, I went to the photo area and inquired about the failure and was told if my photo was affected they would find me but I was never approached or summoned to the reshoot and, since I had only received one of my photos, I had no indication that I should have the photo redone. I would also strongly suggested that instead of generic "tier" tickets, tickets printed for specific guests would greatly expedite the process of buying tickets at the convention, as the woman in line in front of me was buying a large number of tickets and the poor crew member had to manually write in all of the names on the proper tier ticket. Having to do that for each ticket other than the RDA and System Lords tickets slows the process down considerably and just means more waiting in line for the attendees. Where Gatecon absolutely beats the pants off Creation here is not extorting their paying customers with exorbitant and ludicrous "handling" fees for each individual ticket ordered before the con.

While the "mugshot" photo and the information sheet certainly helps to ensure people actually claim their photos, it adds yet another line to wait in, often while the crew is trying to organize the photos they do have in their possession. Again, with Creation, when they are printing their own photos they are available for people to pick up within a few hours of the session. If they are utilizing a local printer, then photos taken on Friday would be available early Saturday and photos on Saturday would be available through-out the day as well as early Sunday.

There was far too much disorganization as well as simply not knowing where guests were or when they would be in the room for a guest list the size of this convention that the execution of the photo ops as well as the lack of communication regarding the photos affected by the camera failure. This was, by far, the largest blight on my experience and in this area I have to give the edge to Creation, hands down. It is definitely possible for these issues to be ironed out and a more efficient and streamlined process, especially if Gatecon intends to continue with such a large complement of guests in attendance.

A minor issue, also stemming from the vague nature of the itinerary, is that it implied that there would only be autographing done on Sunday after the closing ceremonies and there wasn't so much as a list of guests who would be having a table outside the dealer's room. There were guests, Alex Zahara for example, who were unable to stay for the autographing session due to other commitments. This is where a comprehensive, if fluid, schedule included in the welcome package would be of great help to attendees.

So while I respect and appreciate the hard work put into pulling off the convention by the Gatecon organizers and crew, it is this lack of organization and the myriad of technical failures (camera, printer issues, etc.) which put my Gatecon experience below that of the Creation cons I have attended. I hope I have not been too harsh, but if my critique can result in an even better Gatecon in the future then it will be worth it. I truly do wish to see Gatecon have a wonderful future and provide the awesome Stargate family with an opportunity to get together now that Creation is doing away with the last of their Stargate conventions.

The Homecoming 8th-12th September 2016 / Re: Thanks
« on: September 12, 2016, 09:13:28 PM »
I agree, thanks to all of the Gatecon crew and volunteers as well as the wonderful Stargate family who were able to join us. It was a fun weekend, though I do have a number of suggestions to alleviate the... chaos for future cons. Now is not the time for constructive criticism, though, but despite the chaos of Friday and Saturday, all of the panels were excellent. I had never seen Martin Wood on stage before, but it wouldn't surprise me if he taught any film making classes, as his charisma and style would definitely make for an excellent instructor.

Richard Dean Anderson is most definitely a class act and, as I have said before, I would not have held it against him if he chose to pull out due to his injuries and focus on his recovery, but I respect his decision to honour his commitment to appear and he really is a shining example of someone with his name recognition appreciating the fans who have come to see him. When I saw Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner in 2010, the only interaction during signings was a smile whereas Richard Dean Anderson not only took the time to talk with and engage with people but appeared happy to do so. So, just for giving me the opportunity to meet Richard Dean Anderson and thank him for the work he has done, I am thankful to the Gatecon and Legends crews.

I cannot promise right here and now that I will be able to attend the next convention, primarily for current financial reasons, but I will always support the endeavours in any way I can, as I think it is great that the awesome Stargate guests have more opportunities to interact with the equally awesome and appreciative Stargate fandom.

As a local who commuted to the con each day I, unfortunately, missed out on the evening events due to the prohibitive travel times and the precious little sleep it would have afforded me to be able to enjoy the next day's events.. I missed a portion of Sunday due to forgetting my pass and not realizing it until I was already on the bus and having to wait for a bus to return home and retrieve it. As James Wilson once said on House, MD: "Buses suck" especially on a Sunday. But Gatecon was worth putting up with that necessary evil.

The Homecoming 8th-12th September 2016 / Re: Autograph Sessions
« on: September 02, 2016, 02:32:53 PM »
It certainly does suck that he was injured and will be in pain. I respect his determination to honour his commitment to appear at the con, even though I doubt any of us would fault him for pulling out under the circumstances. I had not been keeping up so I was unaware of his recent injuries or the extent of the damage. I can certainly put my selfish desire for an autograph aside and hope he makes a full recovery.

With only a week to go, I am getting pretty excited. Unfortunately, I just got laid off from my job so I won't be able to get as many photo ops as I would have liked, but I'm hoping the job situation is only a momentary blip and things will pick up soon. I hope this con is a resounding success as I would love to see more Gatecons in the future.

The Homecoming 8th-12th September 2016 / Re: Probie/Newbie questions
« on: August 31, 2016, 03:36:28 PM »
Can someone please help me understand how this event works? I've never been to any kind of conventions.

1. Ticket. That's just an entrance fee, right?. All the other things like photo ops, cruise are extra.

Yes, the ticket will grant you entrance into the convention and provide you with an assigned seat for all of the panels. Anything like the banquet (sold out, unfortunately), cruise, photo ops or autographs are all extra.

3. Food. What is the situation about food? Are there going to be provided food, food for purchase? Should I bring my own?

Judging from the itinerary, there will be a number of breaks during the day and with the hotel being in downtown Richmond I imagine there will be places to eat as I believe the only planned serving of food is the banquet.

4. Anything else good to know?

Most of the extras activities, such as photo ops, are in American funds, check out the Autograph thread to find out which of the guests you are interested in will be accepting Canadian funds and make sure to have enough American cash on hand to cover the rest. I do not know if credit cards will be accepted (I hope so, as I don't want to have to carry too much cash on me) at the con.

Most important of all... have fun!

The Homecoming 8th-12th September 2016 / Re: Our Guests
« on: August 27, 2016, 02:30:13 PM »
Hello. Is the current guest list final or some actors might show up by surprise? Is there any chance we can see Kavan Smith at this Gatecon?

My educated guess would be, barring any cancellations, the guest list has been finalized. I'm basing this on the schedule posted in the Itinerary forum which lists all of the panels and their participants.

The Homecoming 8th-12th September 2016 / Re: Photograph Sessions
« on: August 05, 2016, 09:43:39 PM »
Do I need to worry about photo op tickets selling out? I'll likely have to save up to the week of the convention in order to get enough money in order to buy the photo ops I want and, as with anyone, I certainly don't want to miss out on Richard Dean Anderson.

The Homecoming 8th-12th September 2016 / Re: Autograph Sessions
« on: January 03, 2016, 05:29:40 AM »
Why would you do that? The proper way to do it is to take Canadian money and convert IT to another currency. You get more out of it that way.

The Homecoming 8th-12th September 2016 / Re: Autograph Sessions
« on: October 09, 2015, 01:27:23 PM »
Pro-Tip: bring as many smaller bills as you can - $5s are best, but $10s work out well too.  The less 'making change' the guests have to do, the faster the lines move. =)

What is the typical cost for an autograph at Gatecon? At the other conventions I've been to, where the guests were paid directly, autographs usually started at $20 and fluctuated around that point.

The Homecoming 8th-12th September 2016 / Re: Autograph Sessions
« on: October 07, 2015, 11:26:34 PM »
Please note that autographs are not include in your convention ticket as is is how the guests earn their appearance fee. You may obtain ONE extra free autograph on a personal item in addition to the purchased autograph.

Just to clarify; does this mean that purchasing an autograph is essentially purchasing two signatures, provided one of the items is something you bring with you, say a DVD cover, for example? Otherwise, the limit remains at one per guest?

The Homecoming 8th-12th September 2016 / Re: Tickets
« on: October 07, 2015, 11:22:40 PM »
Meanwhile we are just ironing out one last issue before we start assigning the seats officially...the delay is caused seats the hotel are buying that are an inch wider than the ones they put on the original seating plan lol. So we just want to be absolutely sure of the number of seats per row before we start sending anything out.

I'll be completely satisfied if I snag a seat which is (roughly) centered to the stage, even if it means dropping back a row from where I would have been otherwise.

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