I present to you my thoughts of day one of FanX 2018. I do so while sitting in my chair at home, in excruciating agony.
More on that later.*
The morning on Social Media started a bit rough, with someone posting to Facebook that a volunteer told them the registration area wouldn’t be open till 1 pm, instead of the 8 am being publicized. After a mini-crisis, it was determined the volunteer was wrong, and 8 am was it.
On the upside, a chunk of the designated “ZipQ” seat reservation iPads were acting up, and a volunteer “Captain” was making himself available using his handheld to let people sign up for those, so it was nice to see something being done pro-actively, instead of re-actively.
Because there was no pre-opening press conference for all credentialed media types (like me) as in years past, but instead a smaller presser for local TV, Radio, and Newspaper only (i.e. “big” media, unlike me)**, I was able to arrive at the Salt Palace not 3 hours early, but a sedate 60 minutes prior to the floor opening for VIP passholders at 1 pm.
My first order of business, since I’m both a fan and media for this thing, was to high-tail it over to the Epic Photo Ops Customer Service booth. It seems the wonderful Katee Sackhoff had to postpone her appearance (read: cancel), so the incredible “Battlestar Galactica” group photo I had purchased (with Katee, Lucy Lawless, and Tricia Helfer) was no more, and I needed to take care of refunding that and getting a replacement photo op for Lucy Lawless (whose solo photo I had upgraded to the combo photo when Katee had been announced). Thankfully, my Tricia Helfer solo photo op was unaffected by all this.
Twenty minutes of phone calls to various executives and PR people, the incredibly helpful Epic rep figured out/confirmed the cancelation had actually happened (since FanX didn’t really announce/publicize it, despite pulling Katee off the schedule), and I got all of that taken care of. Kudos to Epic Photo Ops. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: best in the business.
As to the actual announcement of the cancellation? Later today it was made official.
Communication. I feel like I’ve said that before…
As the only “scheduled” bit of business I had today was a photo op with David Tennant, I managed to squeeze in autographs from John Wesley Shipp (on my DVD of the original “Flash” television series) and Tricia Helfer (on her Funko Pop figure of “Six” from BSG). She almost laughed out loud (but did smile big) when I complemented her on her performance in “Con Man” with Alan Tudyk. In her words, “it was so much fun.”
After knocking out our photo with David Tennant (Epic nailed the line organization, as usual), I started walking the floor to see what I could see.
Now, I know I’ve talked previously about the controversy that overshadowed this event, and while it doesn’t seem like it should affect vendors that much, let me just say the floor feels very open… and not necessarily in a good way. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to have room to walk around and check out the various vendors’ wares, but this floor setup feels like the space is available because there’s fewer vendors to fill it. Not obviously, not blatantly, but after every other one of these events and knowing the limitations of the available floor space, it just seems like there shouldn’t be this much space.
Conversely, however, the Artists’ Alley area feels incredibly cramped. Moreso than usual. The rows are tighter, and the spaces between the artists on opposing rows (sitting back-to-back) is so tight my 110-pound daughter barely has room behind her at the table she’s working with her friend (shout-out to “Art by Danielle Powers”). Why the disparity of space allocation? Artists need just as much room as the vendors so people can actually stop and look at the art and maybe–I don’t know–buy some (okay, maybe not just as much space, but certainly more than they’re being given right now).
Overall, however, things seemed to go smoothly, and I anticipate no disastrous events over the next two days… but you never know.
That’s why they’re called disasters.
* Today may be the shortest day I’ve ever put in at a con (with one possible exception due more to travel disasters than anything): four hours. Four hours and I could barely stand. Literally. Between my back and knees, I’m not sure how I’m going to make it two more days. Drugs. Probably drugs. And a cane. Definitely a cane. And drugs. Did I say drugs, already? God, I hate being broken… and old… and broken.
We’ll see how it goes, I guess.
There are a lot of panels I want to see over the next two days, and more photos and autographs to get, so I hope–I hope–I can get through the remainder of the event without dying.
**I’ve heard rumblings that the press conference was downsized because of the controversy, in that they were mitigating the risk of guests being asked specifically about it during the availability session after the traditional “opening ceremonies.” That makes sense to me, but I don’t have to like that the presser (always a fun bit) didn’t happen, I especially don’t have to like the fact it actually makes sense to me.