Wednesday, 27 May 2015

FCD Reviews and Announcements!

A couple of months might have slipped past since First Contact Day 2015 but there's no moss gathering for the organisers as they're already making a big impact with plans for the 2016 event.

From my perspective it was a brilliant event which we now know will be back in 2016. Just to wrap everything up, I grabbed some time for a chat with Wil Ross and David Limburg one more time to get their thoughts on the 2015 event.

"It was absolutely fantastic," recalled David, "One thing springs to mind [as a highlight] was the anti-bullying talk and it was amazing that Laura came forward to talk about it. We had such an amazing response from people to that. [They were saying] no-one's ever done anything like that before at an event and we really think it's an amazing thing you've done to come forward and talk about it and involve us in your experiences and what you intend to do about it.

"The guests were wonderful, Garrett was incredible and the auction was great. We raised a fortune for charity and that says something for such a small event. Thank you to everyone for their contributions."

Wil echoed David's thoughts; "It was great to see everyone and how much fun they were having. It was a completely crazy weekend. So much going on and we had to make some last minute changes but no-one seemed bothered. The only thing they were interested in was having a good time. 

"There are always going to be issues, things that throw you but aside from a few minor hiccups everyone have such good fun and the fact they're still going on about it today just speaks volumes and is more than we could have asked for."

The gents are still waiting for confirmation of their world record for the biggest single gathering of Redshirts which topped out at just over 100. "They [Guinness] have everyone's names, copies of the certificates we printed and we're just waiting for the photo file," explained Wil, "Then we can get confirmation."

For myself Una McCormack and James Swallow's talk, compared by Michael Clark from Visionary Trek was fantastic as was Garrett Wang's session later in the day.

For 2016 there will be a different, as yet to be confirmed, venue. But what else can we expect? Is there anything they'll be taking into that event from 2015? In fact the team are already getting emails asking what they're planning and has really stunned Wil and David.

"Everything worked for 2015," said David, "There wasn't anything that we won't be doing next year. Everything we did is being repeated and being talked about and being compared to other events. In fact we're being compared to some of the much larger events and if we could do stuff why can't they do it?"

"In taking it forward we just want to do more and the first thing that will be notable will be more guests and therefore a bigger venue. That's an immediate thing going forward."

Wil woke up on the Sunday morning to be faced with some issues around the previous night's catering which was out of the organisers' control; "Now we have something in place with a different venue we are going to do food which will be more cocktails and canapes."

The issues with the catering were one of the issues that mean that First Contact Day will not be returning to its venue of the last two years - and it also means that the event will be across two venues with the evening festivities taking place at a hotel because the team want to ensure they are set up properly for the day and for the Admirals' Party (keeping with the 50 years of Star Trek theme) which couldn't happen effectively otherwise.

While I was putting this piece together further progress meant that the venue for the event is now confirmed as Leicester City Football Club. This keeps First Contact Day in the city and offers the organisers a lot more opportunity.

"There will be more guests," reaffirmed Wil, "It has been mentioned to us about quality rather than quantity, well we have quality and it will blow peoples' minds. There are a few "i"'s to dot and "t"'s to cross but we're there or thereabouts. James (Swallow) and Una (McCormack) want to come back and everyone loved them. Alan (Flyng) is also checking his diary."

Having good feedback and all the guests from the 2015 event wanting to return is a sign that the team hit the mark with the two day meet at the Leicester Space Centre. Just from an observational point of view it seemed that everyone - both guests and attendees loved every second and I would think a lot of those who travelled to be part of it will be coming back next year.

In relation to guests, those who attended will remember that Babylon 5 actress Claudia Christian had to cut short her appearance due to unforeseen circumstances. However, David has said that anyone who attended the event and did not get her autograph can contact FCD Events to see about receiving one for a minor donation to the C3 charity supported by Claudia.

Across the two days there were around 900 people who attended the First Contact Day event in Leicester and the team is gearing up for 2016 to be bigger and better. With the names yet to be announced as guests it's more than likely going to top those numbers.

Thoughts for what could happen additionally in 2016 to the already superb event of 2015 has thrown up possibilities of an Attack Wing competition (which was up for this year but had to be abandoned due to a lack of space) and also a retro gaming area. "We have some good contacts who can supply gaming equipment and as many consoles as we want," explained Wil, "I think that would be cool but the big thing to keep with the theme of FCD celebrating Star Trek is to get a replica bridge set."

This is more likely to be an Enterprise bridge from The Original Series rather than The Next Generation with a photo opportunity to be a lot less than was being charged at other events in 2015.

What we can confirm that has already been announced is that Larry Nemecek will be in attendance next year which is a big leap from his Skype appearance this year and Garrett Wang, Voyager's Harry Kim will be acting as MC for the whole weekend. 

Oh and if that wasn't enough did you all spot the out-of-this-world news that the UK will be getting a visit from the Klingon High Chancellor himself?

In the last few weeks the First Contact Day team have been raising money for the victims of the Nepal earthquake through a raffle and this week they hit their £1,000 target meaning that a third guest was announced. We discovered just last night that this is going to be Martok aka J G Hertzler. I utterly flipped in a good way. A lot and annoyed the wife for a good hour. And my dad. And anyone who would listen. Martok is one of my favourite characters of all time and this will is one chance I will not be missing. (JG if you are reading this, I am super-excited!!!)

If you're interested in the raffle it's £2 per ticket and you can take a look at the great prizes on offer by following this Facebook story link right now as it's been extended due to demand. It's for an excellent cause and with nearly £1,100 raised, the team are looking to smash £1,200 very soon. Help them do it!!!

It also seems that next year we'll be manning our own table so you can come and talk Star Trek and help us put together some video materials for the weekend. There might be some other bits we're thinking about but there's a year to go yet! Add into that the generosity of the team from First Contact Day that we will also be given the chance to make one announcement about next year's event before you'll see it anywhere else!!!

Ticket prices will be announced shortly and we'll continue to provide updates on the event as and when we find out more details. Thanks also to Wil Ross and David Limburg for their time.

Looking forward to FCD 2016? Who do you think should be on the guest list or what activities would you like to see included? Why not suggest it here!

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