Auto Assembly 2012

Discussion in 'Transformers Conventions and Get Togethers' started by gtf316, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. gtf316

    gtf316 Bad hair day

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    I think we can all agree that Auto Assembly 2011 was awesome, so let's keep the momentum rolling and start building up the hype for next year.

    Bigger, better venue.

    Bigger, better turnout.

    Bigger, better convention.

    Simon says he has to cap it at 1000 attendees, so I say we try damn hard to hit that number.

    We've got a year to convert as many people as possible to our geeky/nerdy ways and convince them that the best place to spend the first weekend of august next year is:

    AUTO ASSEMBLY 2012!!!


    I'm going, are you?

    Confirmed so far;

    Simon and his team (of course)

    gtf316
    queenofpotatoes
    nellie131
    charmedserenity
    auto morph
    easterling capt
    big pete
    mrs big pete
    draven
    hyena
    rodimus jay
    aesir
    spiritwolf
    king of spades
    omnius
     
  2. nellie131

    nellie131 Well-Known Member

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    Add me to said virtual list - of course.
     
  3. CharmedSerenity

    CharmedSerenity Long Live the Legion

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    Same here, Hilton, here I come, ^_^
     
  4. gtf316

    gtf316 Bad hair day

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    I'm gonna try and talk some friends into coming next year, they definitely have transformer fan potential. And if everyone brings a friend we'll hit the magic 1000 no problem :) 
     
  5. Simes

    Simes Well-Known Member

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    I remember a few years ago, people thought that reaching 500 attendees was something of a pipe dream, yet we've managed it three years running and for the last two years we've been VERY close to hitting 600 (this year was particularly impressive considering the number of regulars who couldn't make it and the tough financial climate), so I genuinely believe that 1,000 isn't impossible within the next 2-3 years for a European event.

    We are setting a 1,000 attendee limit for 2012 because one of the things people have always loved about Auto Assembly is the social side of things and the friendly, relaxed atmosphere and we don't want to spoil that by allowing the convention to get too large. The Hilton can allow us to grow to 3,000+ if we wanted to, if not more, but we won't do that if it means changing what Auto Assembly is.

    Bookings are already coming in at quite a healthy rate though so we don't want anyone to miss out on next year! It's going to be big!
     
  6. Erector

    Erector I ruined the Hall of Fame

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    Likely I will be there.
     
  7. Easterling Capt

    Easterling Capt I am Vern Schillinger

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    Im going so Pete will probbaly also be going. I need my Jon time ;) 
     
  8. Auto Morph

    Auto Morph Gimmick Bot

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    As if I wouldn't be there.
     
  9. gtf316

    gtf316 Bad hair day

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    I've never been to a BotCon, probably never will, but I doubt it has the great friendly atmosphere you find at AA. That's why I love the fact that Simon wants to keep it 'small'.
     
  10. Auto Morph

    Auto Morph Gimmick Bot

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    He does need some fresh bruises.
     
  11. Simes

    Simes Well-Known Member

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    In a way, the attendance limit for 2012 is going to be an experiment for us. Because of the size of the hotel there's enough space for plenty of socialising in the three bars without things feeling cramped at any time as well as plenty of space in the hall itself.

    If we can keep the same atmosphere with 1,000 attendees then we may consider allowing a small increase for subsequent years but it's something we'll monitor closely. At the same time, we have to take our guests into consideration and make sure that they feel comfortable, have plenty of time to themselves to enjoy the convention while still making sure that attendees get the chance to meet them and get autographs.
     
  12. nellie131

    nellie131 Well-Known Member

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    Jon had better be there or im driving to manchester and dragging you there!
     
  13. peeman

    peeman Well-Known Member

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    Congrats Simon on another convention. I know you put alot of work into these events behind the scenes.

    Just a thought about ticket prices. I know alot of people within the tf community are very "Product Focused" (all about the toys less about the guests), at the end of the day that is the main driving force behind the hobby. Alot of people including myself are starting to get priced out of the convention due to the high ticket prices. This i think is a problem for people who don't want to meet the guests but really just want to go into the dealer room.

    I realise a solution to this problem is unlikely as it doesn't really fit into AA's structure. And by that i mean that AA do not charge attendees to get autographs etc from guests. Which i think would be the only way of incorporating a cheaper initial price. However i think in future it would be worth considering if its possible to do a cheaper ticket price for individuals who just wish to enter the dealer room rather than get stuff signed by the guests and take part in other convention activities.
     
  14. Simes

    Simes Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, it's been my ambition for as long as I can remember to take Auto Assembly to the stage it is at now - to become what I class as a "real" convention and not a collector's fair which is really little more than a hall full of dealers tables.

    Over the years, as we added more programme items, displays and guests we stepped closer to achieving this and I firmly believe that we reached that goal in 2009 when we made the permanent move to the weekend format. It's now more of a social event for people now and for many, the toy buying has become secondary.

    It's getting easier to buy toys online and from all of the dealers who attend Auto Assembly all year around but to spend a few days in the company of hundreds of fellow fans... that just doesn't happen and that's really the whole point of Auto Assembly!

    To do the sort of ticket you're talking about, it would mean a complete restructure to the whole convention - new ticket pricing, a new hall layout (and using a secondary hall isolating dealers), a significant increase in our security presence meaning more volunteers, and having to develop systems to identify the different types of attendees.

    One thing dealers have said to us repeatedly is that they love the all-in-one format for the hall as it means that none of them miss out on guest talks or what else is taking place during the weekend, and a split hall would remove that from them. We couldn't offer any form of video / audio feed for them with a dealers room pass as it would still mean that people who just attend for the dealers would still get to see / hear talks.

    From a personal point of view, I know that if I could attend an event cheaper, but still get to hear panels I'd jump at the chance.

    Cost wise though... we do give people a year's notice when we announce the convention and even if you only have a one-day pass (which is what most people would be interested in for toy purchases) it's not a lot if you have 12 months to save for it!
     
  15. gtf316

    gtf316 Bad hair day

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    The panels and guests are a major part of the AA experience for me. I luckily managed to catch them all this year and spend some time chatting to most of the guests.

    Considering some of them were flying into a riot hit city and still turned up, listening to them talk for an hour was the least I could do out of respect.

    David Kaye was particularly entertaining, even if he did put the moves on my wife earlier on ;) 
     
  16. gtf316

    gtf316 Bad hair day

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    Confirmation email and ticket numbers, yay!

    I'm Mr 68 and my wife is Mrs 6....

    Eh, and my wife is also attending the convention.
     
  17. Simes

    Simes Well-Known Member

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    We're now a couple of bookings short of 100 so we're pretty close to 10% of our limit for this year... not bad considering we're only a month after AA2011 and roughly 10% of the way into the year before AA2012!

    Also, we haven't even got anywhere near any of our "rush" periods for the convention yet, still have a third voice actor to announce and a lot more surprises too. At this rate, we are potentially looking at 2012 being our first ever sell out event!

    We're actually about 50% up on this stage last year as well so if you are planning on coming along, don't leave it too late this year!
     
  18. Vector Sigma

    Vector Sigma <b><i><font color=FFFF00>Crazy Colon Burner!!!!</b Veteran

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    A slight warning to people booking the hotel through the microsite, I did so yesterday having finally registered and carefully put in the details to book for two night from the 3rd to the 5th August. I checked at every stage, put in my payment and went to the confirmation screen, where it thanked me for booking for 12 days (the full period AA have their price available for) for the sum of £600 which, by the way, cannot be changed or cancelled and is non-refundable.

    I nearly fell out of my chair.

    I rang them imeadiatly and pointed out that their system had changed my dates and that I was absolutely not going to pay them £600 for anything. Thankfully they were very polite and after severl minutes on hold they did change the booking for me (the fine print says that they reserve the right to essentially do whatever the hell they like) to what it should have been.

    So, as the date is the first thing you set and I checked the whole way through that I was only booking for 2 nights, it was an error with their system, so I highly suggest when bookign that you make absolutely certain on the confirmation screen that it hasn;t actually arbitarily changed your booking!

    That aside, I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone again this year after having to miss last year!...
     
  19. Erector

    Erector I ruined the Hall of Fame

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    I've still not been charged for my hotel booking yet. Bizarro! But yes, mine was fine, thank gawd.
     
  20. gtf316

    gtf316 Bad hair day

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    Same thing happened with me, charged for the full 12 nights and had to phone and get it fixed.
     

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