This was previously published in Watch The Skies:
Regeneration Who – or – Where you should have been
This convention review is different than any of the others I’ve presented here before. It is different both because I got a different perspective and because from many reactions this convention was different than others before.
I don’t work on staff for many conventions. The creators of Regeneration Who are the same folks that put on Intervention Con where I normally lend a hand with the Children’s programming track. Regen didn’t have a dedicated children’s track this year so I became something of a free agent. I phrased it just that way when I was chatting with some of the other staff. I joked that I could now negotiate for double the going rate for staff pay. He came right back with, “I’ll offer you triple to get on my team…”
I should have negotiated better.
I ended up bouncing from place to place, from team to team through this entire convention. I essentially worked from the time I got up and dressed to the time I fell over at the end of the night. I must have walked ten miles each day. I was utterly exhausted by the end of the whole thing. Spent.
What all my travels afforded me was a chance to see much, much more of the convention than I might have otherwise. There were huge things going on here – Tom Baker Skyped in and answered questions from the attendees. The line for that was immense. There were funny things going on. The sort of things that stop conversations cold – like Sylvester McCoy and Sophie (Aldred) Henderson (the 7th Doctor and companion) riding a bell-hop cart down the hall. There were crazy moments like guiding the life size special weapons Dalek into the middle of the vendor room and opening it up so that actors could sign the inside of it. There were little moments that didn’t matter to anyone other than the very few people involved, like being able to pull a pink back pack full of “My Little Ponies” out of the lost and found bin to help fix up a weekend for a sobbing little girl.
The hope for the weekend was to be able to draw a few hundred folks and cover the expenses so the show would go on again next year. By all accounts the attendance was more than triple the expectation. There were flaws. There were issues. They were handled. I can’t say that’s been the case with every con I’ve gone to. Yes, being on the staff and spending more than a little of my time running for operations to try to help solve some of these issues I got to see and hear more than the attendees. Yes, I’m biased because I was helping. You know who wasn’t? The standing ovation from the attendees that came to the last panel of the convention called, “how’d we do?”.
Even seeing the issues behind the scenes, or perhaps because of seeing the issues behind the scenes, I’m going to recommend that if you’re a fan of Doctor Who you make it a point to get to this convention next year. I’m already on board.