Category Archives: Updates

All updates to the website and/or Farpoint’s operations.

A Year in #ConLife, Part 1

We often get asked what happens between conventions, as we close out the previous year and plan for the next. You can follow along with us courtesy of our blog as we get ready for #FarpointCon2018, our 25th anniversary.

The first 2 months after the convention see quite a bit of activity. First there is the “mandatory” one week of “do not mention the convention to me in any way shape or form”. After, we make certain all final bills are paid, borrowed equipment and supplies are returned to their owners and hold a post-con meeting to review things that went right and things that can be improved upon for the next year. The first major decision for the next convention is the date and venue. We contact multiple local venues requesting cost proposals for our established date of President’s Day weekend and the weekends surrounding.

Evaluating the proposals requires several steps. First is establishing the initial budget for the next convention. Being an established event gives us a leg up on budgeting; we have good historical data on our attendance numbers and regular expenses and as such can establish upfront the affordable range for our venue costs. The second step is taking the proposed costs submitted by each venue and calculating out the expected total cost for using that venue. This means we can’t just take their numbers at face value. We take the venue’s space rental fee, hotel room rates and catering menus to develop an estimate of what our final bill would be at the venue, making sure to properly apply applicable taxes and service charges. Each venue is also evaluated on multiple other factors including whether they can give us our traditional President’s Day weekend, whether the venue can provide sufficient tables, chairs and staging, ease of access and parking, and if the venue has sufficient space and sleeping rooms for us. All of these factors combined point us to the specific venue for our event.

As previously announced, our 25th anniversary convention will be at the Hunt Valley Inn in Hunt Valley, MD on February 9-11, 2018. You may notice this is not President’s Day weekend. After evaluating the 6 proposals we received for #FarpointCon2018, HVI made the best overall offer; the only big “hit” on their offer was the fact that we couldn’t have President’s Day weekend but the weekend before. After deliberation, our group consensus was that HVI was the best choice despite not being on President’s Day. In every other factor, HVI beat out every other venue by a substantial margin and will give us and our attendees the best value.

With our date and venue chosen our next steps will be to begin identifying celebrity guests and set up our #FarpointCon2018 “publicity tour” – the other events and conventions we will participate in to advertise our convention. Our next #ConLife report will look at choosing celebrity guests and report on life from the road.

 

Convention Pre-Registration is Complete!

WOW! Our convention pre-registration period closed on 1/31/17 and our advance sales are 30% higher compared to last year. We are thrilled and amazed with the love and support from all of our attendees.

Now that we’re down to a handful of days, here’s the at-the-door information for you:

Weekend ticket, adults (3 days)                           $85.00

Weekend ticket, child 6-12 (3 days)                  $25.00

Weekend ticket, child 0-5 (3 days)                     Free with paying adult

Friday single day ticket                                              $15.00

Saturday single day ticket                                        $60.00

Saturday evening after 6PM ticket                     $10.00

Sunday single day ticket                                             $40.00

Cocktail party food add-on (Friday evening) $25.00

Weekend, Saturday and Sunday tickets include one signature from the celebrity of your choice each day at no additional charge on an item from your personal collection you present to be signed. Weekend attendees get 1 signature each day (Saturday and Sunday).

Everyone, please travel safely and we look forward to seeing you all soon!

Farpoint 2017 Progress Update

Farpoint 2017 Autograph Information

Here is the information on obtaining guest autographs for your reference as you prepare to join us at Farpoint 2017! Email us at contact@FarpointCon.com if you have any additional questions.

Celebrity Autographs – Sam Witwer, Enver Gjokaj, Nicholas Meyer

Weekend, Saturday and Sunday attendees will receive ONE signature at no additional charge from the celebrity of their choice on an item they bring to be signed from their personal collection OR the convention program book. Weekend attendees can get one signature on Saturday and one on Sunday for a total of two no charge signatures for the weekend. Saturday and Sunday attendees will receive one signature on the day they attend the convention.

Costs for additional signatures/items from the guest’s table are as follows:

Sam Witwer

$40 – signed photo purchase from the table/additional items to be signed from personal collection

$30 – at the table picture with Sam

$60 – signed photo and at the table picture combination

Enver Gjokaj

$40 – signed photo purchase from the table/additional items to be signed from personal collection

$30 – at the table picture with Enver

$60 – signed photo and at the table picture combination

Nicholas Meyer

Items from attendee’s personal collection will be signed at no charge.

At the table photos with Nicholas will be at no charge.

Signed books, videos and items for sale at the table will be at the prices set by the guest.

 

Authors, Performers, Scientists and Other Guests

Our author, performer, scientist and other guests will sign items from attendee’s personal collection or the convention program book at no charge. Guests may also have books, videos and items for sale at prices they set. They will take photos with the attendee at no charge.

Our celebrity guests for 2017 will be Sam Witwer from the Star Wars universe, Once Upon A Time and Being Human; Academy Award-nominated director Nicholas Meyer (Star Trek Discovery, Star Trek II, Star Trek IV and Star Trek VI, Seven-Per-Cent Solution and Time After Time); and Enver Gjokaj from Marvel’s Agent Carter and Dollhouse. All 3 will be arriving in time to attend our Friday evening Opening Ceremony and we hope to see you there too! The Opening Ceremony starts with a Cocktail Hour at 7:00 pm, with cash bar and food buffet available if you wish to eat and drink with us. Food buffet tickets can be added on to your ticket for $25; the buffet is all you can eat.

Other new additions to our guest list include authors Pip Ballantine, Tee Morris, Michael Ventrella, artist Heidi Hooper and geek comedian/musician Mikey Mason. Unfortunately authors Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Mike McPhail and Mary Fan and musician Insane Ian have had to cancel their appearances at Farpoint Convention 2017 due to schedule conflicts.

You can purchase your tickets for Farpoint in advance at www.FarpointCon.com/register from now until January 31, 2017. Ticket prices will be higher at the door. You can also print out the registration form online at www.FarpointCon.com/flier and mail it in with your payment.

Our hotel room block at the Radisson Hotel North Baltimore is selling quickly as well. Book your room online at https://www.radisson.com/timonium-hotel-md-21093/usatmmd using code FARPOI, or call the hotel directly at 410-252-7373. Thank you in advance for booking your room under our block. The more rooms we sell, the more our hotel likes us and gives us excellent pricing for our use of the meeting rooms. We’ve been able to keep our ticket price the same for the last SIX YEARS because of your loyalty to us and our hotel.

Our 2017 charities are the Julien Fleming Memorial Fund (www.jfmf.org) and Art Way Alliance (www.artwayalliance.org). We will be having two live auctions (Friday and Saturday evening) and a silent auction from Friday through Sunday morning to benefit our charities. Art Way Alliance, which provides instruction in drawing and animation techniques to young fans, will be participating in programs throughout the weekend as well.

We’re excited to announce a new showcase for this year: Fandom Central! Located in Dulaney Valley 1, Fandom Central is where you will find the displays and information tables for our fandom partners – other local conventions, fan clubs, charities and independent film production companies. Please make sure to visit Fandom Central and thank our friends for their support.

Congratulations to John Norton, winner of the 2017 Volker/McChesney Award for Service to Fandom. John was nominated in recognition of his hands on support of our continuing charity activities. You may recognize John as “that guy” who aced you out of that prime collectible during one of our live auctions. He has participated in the Washington/Baltimore convention scene for many years and can always be counted on to lend a helping hand or a smile whenever needed.

Schedule development is well underway! If you are interested in participating on any panels, please send us an email at Programs@FarpointCon.com to request a copy of the list of proposed panels for the convention. We are also bringing back several of our most popular live events, including the Wizard Dueling League and Cosmic Game Show. A new live event is the Button Down Pinback Party, which is an all age event looking at the history of using buttons in advertising and political campaigns and providing all participants the chance to create their own button during the party. More information on all our panels, shows and activities will be forthcoming as plans continue to develop. Make sure you follow us on Facebook (Farpoint Convention) and Twitter (@FarpointCon) and check our website www.FarpointCon.com to keep up with the latest news. The convention schedule is scheduled to be finalized February 2, 2017 and will be published online at that time.

We look forward to seeing you in February at Farpoint Convention 24!

Confirmed Guests for 2016!

Sean Maher – “Simon Tam” – Firefly, “Shrapnel” – Arrow

Actor, Firefly "Simon Tam", Arrow "Shrapnel"
Actor, Firefly “Simon Tam”, Arrow “Shrapnel”

David Gerrold, Hugo and Nebula Award Winning Author and Star Trek Legend, will join us to celebrate Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary!

David_Gerrold
David Gerrold, Award Winning Author and Star Trek Legend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John_Morton_Celebration_Europe_II-2
John Morton, ‘Dak’ Empire Strikes Back

John Morton, “Dak,” Empire Strikes Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

To see a Complete List of our Confirmed Guests, click here.

 

Captain Kyle’s Cosplay Spotlight to shoot episode at Farpoint 2016

Captain Kyle’s Cosplay Spotlight is honored to shoot a special episode at Farpoint! This show interviews cosplayers twice… first as the character the cosplayer is portraying, then again as the cosplayer behind the costume. Who will be interviewed? It could be you! Captain Kyle will be auditioning cosplayers who really know and portray their characters well and will choose one cosplayer to interview on camera. The taping will be held on stage in front of a live audience of convention attendees. Plus the episode will be released as part of Season Two of this unique talk show!

Captain Kyle and his co-host, Constance, have been cosplayers and performers for many years. The goal of the show is to show the fun of cosplay in a positive manner and to introduce those who might not be familiar with cosplay to the culture. The only requirements to be part of this fun experience are a strong knowledge of the character, a costume, and the ability to take on the role for less than 10 minutes. Plus during the weekend there will be other opportunities to be part of the show, with cosplayers featured in trivia games, impromptu performances and even young cosplayer interviews (parental/guardian consent required). Get ready to be part of the fun!

For more information about the show, visit www.cosplayspotlight.com

Farpoint 2016 Volker/McChesney Award Winner

ToddCongratulations 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.

Farpoint 2016 Progress Update

We are officially “in the chute” in our preparations for Farpoint 2016! Here is the latest news on plans for our next fun weekend convention event, February 12-14, 2016.

  1. Registration is open! You can register online at http://www.farpointcon.com/register/, or print out our convention flier (http://www.farpointcon.com/flier/) and mail in the registration form to us. Hotel reservations can be made by calling 410-252-7373 or by clicking the link from our website to the hotel’s online reservation page (http://www.farpointcon.com/hotel-information/). Use reservation code FAR to get our hotel room rate of $121 per night (excluding taxes).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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!
  10. 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:

Website – www.FarpointCon.com

Facebook –Farpoint Convention (https://www.facebook.com/FarpointCon)

Twitter – @FarpointCon (https://twitter.com/FarpointCon)

Update Rules And Policies – 1/18/15

If you are following our Farpoint website, you may have noticed that we have  updated our convention Rules and Policies. We review them each year prior to the convention and wanted to draw particular attention to this year’s changes.
 
  1. We re-organized the list into sections covering Convention Memberships, Hotel & Conduct to make it easier for members to locate information on a specific rule/policy.
  2. The advent of e-cigarettes and vapor pens caused us to confer with our hotel about the use of these new devices for smoking. The hotel has expanded their no smoking policy to include e-cigarettes and vapor pens, along with traditional tobacco products. Smoking of any kind must be done in the designated smoking areas outside of the hotel with the exception of the few smoking sleeping rooms available, which are assigned on a first come basis when you check in.
  3. Farpoint is a convention about science fiction in its multiple forms and science fiction fans in their diversity of age, sex, orientation, religion, etc. We do not tolerate harassment or bullying of any kind and have updated our rules to specifically state this. It is sad that we need to specify in writing our requirements for members to treat each other with tolerance and respect, but unfortunately important in today’s society.
 
Please contact us with any questions you have about our convention rules and policies.

General News Update – 12/11/14

 Dear Farpoint Friends,
We hope this finds you well. Below are the top ten items to check off your list in preparation for joining us at the con this February.
1. Pre-register for the convention – you can register online at http://www.farpointcon.com/register-2/ or print out the flier (http://www.farpointcon.com/flier/) to mail your registration in. Your advantage to pre-registering is that you save money. Our advantage is that your pre-registration helps keep our pre-convention working capital healthy as we use the income from pre-registrations to pay our upfront costs such as equipment rental fees, hotel deposits and printing. The pre-registration deadline is January 31, 2015.
2. Book your hotel room – information about our hotel is found at http://www.farpointcon.com/hotel-information/. We recommend that you call the hotel directly at 410-252-7373 to reserve your room as the hotel website has been displaying glitches in accepting registrations at this time. The hotel reservation deadline is January 15, 2015.
3. Follow Farpoint Convention on social media – along with our website blog here at www.FarpointCon.com, we can be found on Facebook as Farpoint Convention (https://www.facebook.com/FarpointCon?ref=aymt_homepage_panel) and on Twitter as @FarpointCon. These outlets are the only places you will get official news and discussion about Farpoint.
4. Tell your friends you’re going to Farpoint and invite them to come, too – you’ll always find new friends at Farpoint, but bringing along someone from home doubles the fun!
5. Decide what items you will bring for Colin Ferguson and Tim Russ to autograph – this year all registered convention members receive one signature at no extra charge each day on an item they present at the actor’s signing table. Get Tim’s signature on your item on Saturday and Colin’s on Sunday as part of your convention membership fee. Both guests will have additional items for sale/signature at the convention and will also sign your additional items for a fee. The actor’s fees will be announced closer to the convention.
6. Check out the 2015 panel list on our website and volunteer to participate – the 2015 list is organized by program track and we invite you to consider being a panelist. The list should be hitting our website ASAP, but if you can’t wait write to us at programs@farpointcon.com to request a copy.
7. Make plans to arrive on Friday – our programs start in the early afternoon and go on through Friday evening, with the Cocktail Party and Opening Ceremonies planned to start at 8:00 pm. The hotel’s famous all-you-can-eat fresh pasta bar will be available again (members must purchase a food wristband to partake of the buffet) along with a cash bar. Even if you eat elsewhere, attending the Opening Ceremonies is a must to see the presentation of the 2015 Volker/McChesney Award for Service to Fandom and a performance by Prometheus Radio Theatre with special guests Colin Ferguson and Tim Russ.
8. Start collecting books to bring for signing at the Friday Night Book Fair and during the weekend – the Friday Night Book Fair starts after the Opening Ceremonies. Our author guests, including Timothy Zahn, will be available at the Fair to sign your books and also at other times throughout the weekend. All our authors will be signing your books at no extra charge and will also have copies of their latest releases for sale at the convention.
9. Work on your costume for the hall and/or Masquerade – we are always looking for the new and next in costuming and cosplay. If you have a costume but would like to fine tune your presentation, make sure to check out the Saturday morning presentation workshop at the convention. Our panel of experts will answer your questions and help you tweak your presentation in plenty of time for you to register for the Masquerade on Saturday night!
10. Look in your closets for items to donate to the Charity Auction – instead of gathering dust or taking up space, please consider donating your extra collectibles to a worthy cause, The Julien Fleming Memorial Fund (www.jfmf.org). Please contact our Charity Auction coordinators at auctions@farpointcon.com to let them know the item(s) you have to donate or to ask any questions.
We are looking forward to seeing you all in February!

Autograph Policy Updates

Hey Farp Fanatics!

The Farpoint Committee has recently updated it’s Autograph policy that will take effect in 2015 and remain active for the foreseeable future. The following updates are listed below:

1. Each convention member is eligible for one celebrity signature at no extra charge each day. You, the member, may choose the celebrity guest (Tim Russ or Colin Ferguson) for this signature. The member’s convention badge will be punched at the time the no extra charge signature is redeemed.

2. Weekend members will have two no extra charge signatures (one for Saturday and one for Sunday). Saturday and Sunday only members will have one no extra charge signature on the day they attend the convention.

3. Items available for sale at the celebrity’s table are not eligible for the no extra charge signature. The item presented for the no extra charge signature must be one already owned by the member.

4. Convention members may present an item for the no extra charge signature and purchase additional item(s) from the celebrity guest at the same time.

5. All author guests, including Timothy Zahn, will be signing books already owned by the member at no extra charge. Our author guests will have copies of their books for sale at the convention for purchase and signature as well.

We hope you like these new policies! If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please leave a comment below or e-mail us at farpointsocialmedia@gmail.com.