I will document the farce that was Star Trek Destination London further below, but for now it’s almost enough for me to know that not only have I photographed the incredible William Shatner (go to youtube and enter “William Shatner Common People”), but managed to frame him perfectly In A Box to get around a crowd control sign. Because yeah, I’m that guy.
So I gave in to my vestigial Star Trek Geekdom and went to the Star Trek Destination London event. Bought a three day ticket and expected to document the peeps and the freaks and wallow among fans who are so much more extreme than myself while I tried to pretend that I can’t remember exactly who an Andorian is or what the Ferengi Grand Nagus’ name is.
However, what quickly became apparent was that this was not so much a celebration of pure unadulterated fandom coinciding with the first ever event where all FIVE captains from the TV shows would unite, but a cynical exercise manufactured for the pure purpose of extracting money from fans. By which I mean, it was the case EVEN MORE THAN I EXPECTED. And I’m not exactly somebody who expects rainbows and unicorns when I pay for a Star Trek convention.
So here’s a letter I wrote to the organisers, which much like “Bravado International” I expect to receive no response to, but will at least put here.
Dear Organisers, I would like to express my extreme dissatisfaction with my experience at your handling of Star Trek Destination London yesterday on Friday.
1. Your handling of ticket collections
2. Your handling of Key Talent
1. Ticket Collections
I arrived at about 4pm and had to join a queue that was OVER FORTY MINUTES LONG in order to collect my tickets, while the ‘at the door’ stand was basically empty. It was an utter shambles, lorded over by high-viz rent-a-goon dorks with zero customer care skills, no knowledge of goings on, and only the odd ‘crew member’ hurriedly and desperately seeking to fast-track anybody with tickets for a timed autograph or photograph pass.
It was a disgrace. And what’s your excuse- unprecedented and unpredictable demand? IT WAS A PREORDERS COLLECTION STAND – how could you NOT know? The answer was – you did, and you simply didn’t give a crap. And/or you hired slow moving and slow-thinking morons.
I’ll tell you how you handle issues like this
1. You take a SINGLE crew member off their task wiping William Shatner’s chin, or (more likely) standing around blocking views of autograph bays, and get them to walk the line apologising, and thanking people for being patient. It’s customer care 101 and you shat all over that.
2. If you want to turn ‘handling an issue’ into ‘winning an issue’, you get Nana Visitor or Brent Spiner to take a few minutes out of their precious day to walk the line and welcome people and entertain them. Or if not them, ANYBODY. ANYBODY AT ALL. Make people feel like this is actually going to be worth it.
Bottom line, I bought a three-day ticket and I’m not even bothering to use it on day 2 and day 3. Why should I? Oh, no doubt you’re overjoyed : one less person occupying space and breathing room and craning a neck to see Kate Mulgrew for a few seconds. I am fully aware that your duty is to extract as much money from people’s fandom as possible though, so by your actions you are actually harming the Star Trek Brand.
2. Handling Talent
Like many people without the disposable income to pay for Opening Gala tickets, I waited outside where there was a large board and a slew of Paparazzi/Press photographers wanting to get a photo (presumably) of all five captains at once. And, after being kept waiting for “over half an hour longer than expected” (the Press Photographers grumbled), out they came – , Brooks, Shatner, Mulgrew, Bakula. And they posed. Where was Patrick Stewart? He didn’t come. HE DIDN’T COME AND DIDN’T POSE. Now, you might say “Patrick decided in his wisdom that he didn’t wish to pose for the press, so what can we do?”.But you know what that tells me? In a forum where Star Trek was the focus, and the brand was at stake, a KEY TALENT felt that it was okay Not To Pose For The Press and fans and provide a great picture for the press who travelled quite a bit out of their way. That’s YOUR FAULT. You’re the talent wranglers, and if you can’t muster a person with enough charisma to get an actor who is integral to the Star Trek event to pose for something that’s no doubt worth a lot to the brand, then YOU HAVE FAILED. Given your skills (lack thereof) at handling the queue situation above, I can only assume Patrick didn’t respect you enough. Well… in that regard he and I share a lot in common.
I’m sorry I’m not rich enough to afford to pay for the full amount of access to The Talent. But given no doubt a lot of my money would have gone to YOU GUYS, I have a lot less sadness about that than I might otherwise have had.
So, like I said, I couldn’t be a55ed going to the other two days. I hope others were able to forgive you for your half-assedness and had a good time. I can’t. Regards,
But when it’s all said and done, I can still look at this photo and laugh. It makes me happy.