Congratulations to Todd Brugmans, winner of the 2016 Volker/McChesney Award for Service to Fandom. Todd is a talented artist and his talent is exceeded only by his generosity in sharing his talents and his friendliness to all. He has created original art for Firebringer Press, many Starfleet and Colonial Defense Force chapters, and Farpoint Convention as the creator of our beloved FARP. Todd not only donated all rights to the FARP character to the convention, he is our volunteer “FARP Artist In Residence”, creating whimsical covers depicting FARP’s continuing adventures in fandom.
Todd’s support of local conventions and fan groups through his art is an example of the sharing spirit of fandom. He will be presented with the Volker/McChesney award on Friday, February 12, 2016 at the Farpoint Convention Opening Ceremonies beginning at 8:00 pm. Everyone is invited to attend and shout “Huzzah” in his honor.
Your weekend or daily (Saturday and Sunday) convention membership ticket includes an autograph from Sean Maher. Every attendee will receive one signature at no additional charge on an item you bring to the convention each day (one on Saturday and one on Sunday). Sean will have items for purchase at his table that will can be signed and he will sign additional items at a fee. We will be posting his price list when it is available.
Our other guests, including David Gerrold, will sign items you bring to the convention from your personal collection at no charge. They will have copies of their works available for purchase at the convention as well.
The Author’s Showcase will return in 2016. We will be turning the hotel’s Dulaney Valley 1 room into our FARPBucks Café, where you can find David Gerrold, Crazy 8 Press, Firebringer Press and the Authors’ Signing Tables during the weekend. This room will also host Novel Places, our bookseller, and our author guests reading from their latest works. More details on the reading and signing schedules will be coming as we continue convention planning, but make sure you include a visit to FARPBucks during the weekend.
We are thrilled to be hosting test drives for Tesla Motors and their Model S car! Times for the test drives will be coming later as we build the convention schedule. All licensed drivers 25 years old and over are welcome to sign up to give this beauty a spin.
The Wizard Dueling League is returning, so polish your wand and be ready for action! The creators of this live action role playing game will be bringing their updated version to Farpoint for a beta test on Saturday February 13th. This activity is for all ages and we will be putting a link to the updated spell list information when it is ready so that you can practice in advance and be ready for action!
Farpoint 2016 will include a celebration of Star Trek’s 50th anniversary! Break out your gold command shirt, tricorder and phaser to join in. Details will be coming as plans are finalized.
The theme for our Science program track will be “Preparing for Space Colonization”. Planned discussions and presentations will look at the challenges and tools available for colonizing other planets and/or space installations. Potential topics include communications between Earth and the colony, use of robotics in colonization, and the care and feeding of a space colony. We are looking forward to welcoming several NASA and space scientists to Farpoint as we explore the fascinating possibilities.
Are you a Farpoint dealer member? If you are, hello and welcome! Are you planning to be one? If yes, please register ASAP. Spaces in our Dealers Room are almost sold out – act now to make sure you don’t miss out!
Farpoint 2016 will be hosting showings of several new independent film projects! Farragut Films will be showing a new episode of their continuing “Starship Farragut” series, set in the Star Trek universe. They have also partnered with Whitehurst Films to produce “The Legend of Zelda: Oblivion Rising”, depicting the future adventures of Link after he has married his beloved Zelda, which will be seen on the East Coast for the first time at Farpoint Convention!
Continue to follow us online for the latest news and to communicate with Farpoint Convention:
If you’ve been following us online, you know that Farpoint Convention ran a Kickstarter project over the last few weeks. Our goal was to raise $30,000 in order to invite and fully fund a guest from the wish list we’ve compiled from member suggestions. This would be names like Ming-Na Wen, Grant Gustin, Stephen Amell or Haley Atwell. Fully funding the appearance ourselves would have meant that you would have received an autograph and at the table photo as part of your convention membership.
Overall, running a Kickstarter project was an excellent learning experience. Feedback we’ve received showed us that our regular attendees like that Farpoint Convention is small and provides a casual atmosphere for members to interact with our guests and each other. Many of you were concerned that if we brought in a big name guest that the Farpoint experience would be affected. It would not be the same relaxed, informal atmosphere when the big name guest brought in an influx of additional members. Our intent, of course, would have been to preserve the traditional “Farpoint vibe” but whether we would have been successful doing so will remain unknown.
We enjoyed talking to people about our Kickstarter at the conventions we attended during our project timeframe. We gained new social media followers and appreciated everyone’s support through their pledging and sharing of our project. And we continued making plans for #FarpointCon2016. Tesla Motors will be providing one of their Model S sedans for test drives. We will be welcoming several new authors to their first Farpoint Convention. Whitehurst Films will be attending Farpoint for the first time with the East Coast premiere of their film “Legend of Zelda: Oblivion Rising”, an independent film exploring the future adventures of the characters from the “Zelda” gaming series. The 50th anniversary of Star Trek will most definitely be celebrated! We are going to have a great time this February, and having Sean Maher from “Firefly”, along with one or two other celebrity guests, is icing on the cake.
Please continue to share the news about Farpoint Convention. Thanks for your support.
Why Kickstarter and crowdfunding? One of the biggest pieces of feedback we’ve received in recent years was multiple requests to bring more prominent celebrity guests to Farpoint and we decided that our 2016 convention will be the year to give this a try. We investigated the costs of bringing in some of these guests and found that on average guests at this level cost $25,000 at a minimum and many are in the range of $30,000 and up. Right now, we have funding in place to stage Farpoint Convention 2016 at our regular level of activity. And that’s okay, but to reach out for more prominent guests means a need for additional incoming funds. Our two main options for funding are (a) raise membership prices or (b) fundraising. Our weekend membership price has stayed the same for the last 4 years. We appreciate our members are spending their hard-earned money at Farpoint each year and the 2016 prices have already been announced. This brought us to raising money through a crowdfunding project, our #FARPStarter!
We have designed reward levels at multiple price points. The rewards will provide attending convention members the opportunity to “turbo charge” their Farpoint experience through special rewards and activities or allow long-distance members the chance to participate as never before via live-streaming some of our main events. We appreciate your help and interest; every contribution is important, whether you can donate or simply share our project page link with your social network. Thank you for supporting Farpoint Convention!
Thank you to all of our members and guests who helped make Farpoint 2015 a wonderful convention. We welcomed 659 people through the door, holding our own as far as attendance, which is good.
Colin Ferguson, Tim Russ and Timothy Zahn all had nothing but superlatives when leaving. They enjoyed meeting all of you as much as you enjoyed meeting them, and they hope to be invited back for a future event. Tim Russ, especially, was wonderful in his guest starring role with Prometheus Radio Theatre on Friday night. If you missed “The Maltese Vulcan” it will be podcast by Prometheus Radio Theatre sometime soon. You can subscribe to the PRT podcast on their website, http://prometheusradiotheatre.com/
We received many compliments this year from members on the excellent and varied panel topics staged this year. This needs to be turned back around to the guests and members who both suggested topics but also participated on the panels. The contributions of our guests and members is priceless; we couldn’t do it without you all.
Photos from our official photographer have been added to our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/FarpointCon). Please enjoy looking at them and feel free to share your own photos with us. There were some wonderful costumes on display this year, especially, that deserve a second or third look via photograph.
On to the not-so-good: our hotel sales manager and the general manager were both very embarrassed at receiving our reports on the poor quality of service we experienced this weekend. They both extend their apologies to us and to you all. Our discussions with them are ongoing, but we can tell you at this time that they have proposed ideas to apologize to all of you and show their appreciation should we decide to return in 2016. Farpoint will also be discussing our hotel experiences with the organizing committee of ChessieCon, which is held in the same hotel in November. Sharing information with them and monitoring their experience with the hotel this fall will show us if the promised improvements are in place.
Farpoint 2015 was a great show! Thank you again to our members and guests, and a special thank you to the Farpoint Committee, Staff and Helpers. Their dedication makes the convention happen every year.
We have gotten additional information from the hotel on restaurant and concession hours during Farpoint Convention.
-Northern Lights Restaurant: 6AM to 2PM; 4PM to 10PM with bar open until 2AM
-Cocktail Party Food & Drink cash bars: 7PM to 9PM in Greenspring Ballroom (wristbands must be purchased for $25 at Farpoint Registration for food bar; cash bar is ala carte)
-Concessions: 8:30AM to 8PM; 10PM to midnight
-*Northern Lights Restaurant: 6AM to 10PM with bar open until 2AM
-Atrium Cash Bar: 10PM to 12:30AM
-Concessions: 8:30AM to 11:00AM
-Northern Lights Restaurant: 6AM to 2PM; 4PM to 10PM
*Hopefully you are still reading this asterisked notice for Saturday night. The hotel is well aware of the challenge our group presents in getting several hundred people fed through a single kitchen and restaurant that seats only 80-100 people at a time. Beyond adding seating to the restaurant, they have a proposed plan for Saturday night that we’ve agreed to try this year to see how things go.
Normal restaurant, concessions and room service from 6AM to 5PM
Dinner buffet with “buffet to go” option, normal concessions, NO room service from 5PM to 9PM
Normal restaurant, concessions and room service from 9PM to closing times
The general manager and chef hope that concentrating service on the buffet during the most busy time will allow them to feed everyone as expeditiously as possible. They plan to “plus up” the offerings beyond their normal dinner buffet and offer the “buffet to go” option for people who wish to eat in their room. The hotel plans that the dinner buffet price will be all-inclusive (food, non-alcoholic drink and tip) so that people can pay eat, pay their bill and go.
We appreciate the hotel’s working with us on this important issue. Please give us feedback after the convention for your opinion on how this dinner service change works for you.