Talking books and buying books are two favorite things to do at a convention for many people. Farpoint Convention makes this easier for you to do by setting aside a special place for authors and book lovers to gather, our FARPBooks Lounge, which will be located in the Dulaney Valley 1 room. You will find Novel Places, our bookseller, in this room along with display tables for many of our author guests including David Gerrold, Crazy 8 Press and Firebringer Press. The autograph tables for author signings and readings will be in the FARPBooks Lounge – see your convention schedule for individual author signings and readings.
Two favorite Farpoint hang-outs will be returning in 2016. Our KHAAAN Sweet will again host a casual spot to sit and relax for awhile, chat with friends and enjoy a quick snack and drink. Our very popular Hal’s Place Gaming Oasis also returns with any number of pick-up games, demonstrations and crafts for all ages. You are welcome to bring a game of your own into Hal’s Place to invite others to play or select a game from our large library. Our annual Gamers’ Flea Market will also return to Hal’s Place. You can bring games and supplies from your closet and place them at our market during the weekend for sale. There is a small fee to sell an item at the Flea Market, which is donated to our Charity Auction each year. The KHAAAN Sweet and Hal’s Place both offer a break from the hustle and bustle of the convention floor for you to enjoy some down time while still partaking of the Farpoint Convention experience.
Farpoint 2016 is coming and we are very excited about the many new special events happening at our convention this year! Make sure to check out the following interactive events at this year’s convention:
TESLA will be at the convention on Saturday and Sunday with their Model S sedan for you to check out. You can even take it for a test drive if you’re over 25 (ID required). Learn about what some call “The Car of The Future” today.
The Muggle Dueling League will be conducting a beta test of their rules and spell-casting techniques in our Atrium on Saturday morning. If your letter to Hogwarts went missing in the mail, here’s another way to hone your magical abilities.
Maryland Kunst des Fechens will be conducting a class on European style sword fighting in our Atrium on Saturday at 3:00 pm. If you are interested in learning authentic sword fighting techniques, this is a must-attend!
Your favorite Game Shows will be returning to Farpoint! Join host Dean Rogers for SciFi Jeopardy on Sunday at 10:00 am in the Greenspring Ballroom to test your knowledge on all things science fiction. 2015 Volker/McChesney award winner Diane Sahar returns on Sunday at noon in Greenspring with her Cosmic Game Show. Join in to win fabulous prizes and see what games and contests she’s come up with this year!
Sci-Fi Fights! will debut at Farpoint on Sunday at 1:00 PM. This event steals, honors, borrows from the Screen Junkies’ web series and will feature Bob Greenberger, Keith RA DeCandido, and Steven H. Wilson fighting for supremacy over a number of topics including “Best SciFi media of 2015”, “Which Star Wars character deserves their own spin-off movie?”, and “Pitch a new Star Trek TV show!”
We are happy to announce that fan favorite John Morton, “Dak” from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, will be joining us at Farpoint 2016! He also appeared in the film as Boba Fett on Bespin when Boba utters his famous line to Darth Vader, “He’s no good to me dead” substituting for an unavailable Jeremy Bulloch. John is a regular contributor to the Official Star Wars Blog and the U.K.’s Jedi News. John will be at Farpoint talking all things Star Wars; he should have a unique perspective having played both a hero and a villain in the saga!
Yelp Baltimore is now an official Farpoint Convention sponsor! Representatives from Yelp Baltimore will be at Farpoint Convention this February with great Yelp swag and to help you learn more about the services they offer. Yelp will be the official internet check-in site during Farpoint Convention so that you can let your friends find you and join you at the convention.
Yelp is a free internet based service which you can access on your computer or smartphone to find local businesses wherever you are. Yelpers share reviews and photos of businesses and events to help fellow members find the best events (like Farpoint Convention), restaurants, stores and services in their local area. You will find our Farpoint Convention Yelp page at http://bit.ly/1RNZ9Ov.
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.
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!
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.