Now that the SDCC is over, it’s time to report on other cons going on around the world. Special Thanks to Shawn Marshall (aka: @The_Con_Fluence) for his review of the Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas last weekend. As a die-hard Trekkie since a child, I was really bummed that I had to miss this one but very appreciative that Shawn was able to report on it. It sounded awesome!
Over the last few years, Creation’s Star Trek Las Vegas Convention in August has been one of my greatest tools to help shake the funk of those post-SDCC blues. This year was no different, as thousands of Trek fans from across the globe descended on the Rio in Las Vegas to participate in four days of “out of this world” fun (WOW! That’s corny!)!
First off, the change in venue from the Las Vegas Hilton to the Rio was a welcomed one. Although I’ve always liked the Hilton, their decision to let the Star Trek Experience close did suck some of the life out of the party. Additionally, last year it became clear that this particular show had outgrown its former home. Busting at the seams, it was no surprise that this con was in need of a new home. Where better to go than the same casino/hotel that is able to accommodate the tens of thousands that come out each year for the World Series of Poker? The change to the Rio seemed to be met with the same attitude by most; what the Rio lacked in nostalgia, it made up for in most everything else. The greater space, improved accommodations, and better food options added to what has always been a fun convention experience.
For those that have not attended a Creation event recently, I do recommend the experience. Although I’ve heard some complaints about the stranglehold the company has on their shows (and the costs associated with it), the customer service they provide is something often missing at other cons. For starters, their guarantee of a seat for each attendee in their main showroom is a very unique feature. For those that have attended events like San Diego Comic-Con or Star Wars Celebration, you know the stress of waiting hours for little more than a chance at a seat at your favorite panels. The comfort that comes with knowing that a seat is guaranteed, no matter what, cannot be overstated. Less time in line means more time enjoying other aspects of the show. Another cornerstone of this show is the control, monetization, and systemization of all parts of the show by the show organizers.
Simply, Creation runs a tight ship and they make it so that they reap the rewards. For example, at most conventions I’ve attended, the autograph price that the talent charges will normally include a picture for them to autograph, but this is not the case at Creation shows. Creation sells their pictures separately, so they get a cut on the autograph price and the picture. So, that $90 Patrick Stewart autograph will cost you another $10 at the Creation picture booth (unless you brought your own item to have signed). Despite some inflated prices, the customer service that comes with the event makes it all worth the expense. The tight schedule that they run makes it so you are able to take in as much fun as possible, in as relaxing an environment as possible. Here is a sample of an afternoon block for this year’s Sunday schedule:
1:00 pm Music Video Mix
1:20 pm Sir Patrick Stewart Solo on stage
1:50 pm William Shatner and Kate Mulgrew join Sir Patrick Stewart on stage
2:20 pm Kate Mulgrew Solo on stage
2:50 pm William Shatner Solo on stage
3:20 pm George Takei and John Cho/The Sulu Summit
4:10 pm Music Video
—– 4:15 pm On One Side of the Theatre: Autographs with John Cho, we will call by number (please watch the big screens). Mr. Cho’s autograph ticket is available at the autograph booth in the front far right for $60 each (http://www.creationent.com/cal/stlv.htm#sch)
Beyond the usual fun of Star Trek Las Vegas, this year also had some unique highlights. One of the most monumental memories for this year will be Nimoy’s last appearance at the show. A few months ago Nimoy announced that Las Vegas would be his second-to-last convention (next month’s show in Chicago will be his last). Whether the original Spock can keep away from the con circuit remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that it made for a very special appearance on Saturday afternoon. Another highlight of the show was the “Sulu Summit” that paired George Takei and John Cho. This “passing of the torch” moment made for another memorable show highlight. Never to be outdone by his co-stars, William Shatner made sure to maintain a large profile throughout the event. It seemed even more so than in past years that the icon was everywhere you looked. Whether it was pumping his new film, “The Captains” or filming his now docu-series pilot, “Fan-Addicts” this 45th annual celebration of the original series was very much his show. Lastly, not to be outdone by the show’s mega-talent, the Trek cosplayers banned together to smash the Guinness World Record for people dressed in Star Trek attire of 691 at last year’s FedCon in Germany. The new record? 1,040! I can’t wait to see what they do to top it next year.