Creation Entertainment, the company that puts on the Official Twilight Tour, has given us a pair of Gold Passes to give away to our readers. The passes are for the upcoming Houston convention on April 9-11, 2010 at the Westin Galleria. Both Alphie and Pel (Lori and Laura) will be appearing at the convention. The current actors that are slated are: Peter Facinelli, Gil Birmingham, Kiowa Gordon, Chris Heyerdahl, Charlie Bewley, Tinsel Korey, and Michael Welch.The gold passes cover everything listed below and are valued at over $500.
If you would like the chance to win this amazing prize, then leave a post below with the words “PICK ME” in your message. We will pick one winner at random at 7:00 pm EST on Friday – tomorrow. Please note that this package only includes entrance into the event. It does not include transportation to and from the event, hotel accomodations, and food. The winner will be responsible for getting themselves to the event and for their hotel or housing arrangements. So please do not respond if you can not get to Houston on your own the weekend of April 9-11!
If you are not selected as the winner, you can still get into the convention. Tickets range from a day pass of $25 all the way up. For all the details on the event, visit Creation’s website.
From the creation site:
“HERE’S WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU GO GOLD at Creation Entertainment’s Official Twilight Convention in Houston in 2010…
1) You get the VERY BEST reserved seating for daytime convention MAIN AUDITORIUM events, all THREE DAYS. See all our celebrities up close, great for photographers too! The MAIN AUDITORIUM is where we have star appearances, Q&A, contests, videos, special events, & more.
2) FREE in-person non-rushed autographs from TWILIGHT celebrities in attendance including PETER FACINELLI, GIL BIRMINGHAM, CHRISTOPHER HEYERDAHL, KIOWA GORDON, MICHAEL WELCH, TINSEL KOREY and CHARLIE BEWLEY. You’ll get complimentary in-person autographs from all: AWESOME! You get ONE autograph per celebrity, and have the option to purchase more if offered for individual sale. Note: GOLD PACKAGES do not include PHOTO OPS, those must be purchased separately.
3) FREE ADMISSION to The VOLTURI VAMPIRE BALL Saturday Night… Fans from around the globe congregate in their finest vampire wear to raise the roof! Prizes for best costume and best dancers! Here’s the perfect way to meet and mingle with fellow fans and the party will feature special appearances by some of our fantastic guests including CHARLIE BEWLEY and CHRISTOPHER HEYERDAHL, proud Volturi members. Our Vampire Court is introduced and special surprises are planned! A DJ is set, as is a Cash Bar, and this party is fine for all ages. Come dressed to kill!
4) YOU ARE FIRST to get autographs for all our signings that are done row by row in the MAIN AUDITORIUM. We go row by row, you are in the first rows: you get the idea!
5) FREE ADMISSION to the FRIDAY NIGHT MUSICAL CONCERT
(performers to be announced).
6) GOLD PRE-REGISTRATION: you get to register FIRST during a special pre-registration block of time. While not a necessity, just a benefit, you can get your credentials early and you are set!
7) SPECIAL CODED WRISTBANDS: once you get your GOLD coded wristband this allows you immediate entrance for the entire three days so you don’t have to wait again.
Recently, two convention companies that were relatively new (each under two years in operation) have folded. One about three months ago and another this past week. We know via emails and tweets that we have received that this has raised peoples’ level of concern, as rightly it should. Below is our convention 101 advice. It gives you guidelines about what to look for, and how not to get stung. Now granted nothing in life is 100% foolproof, but following these steps (especially the part about checking into other consumers’ past experience with the company) can avoid a lot of disappointment.
Aside from our generic advice, we have listed three companies that provide fan experiences, have been in the fan entertainment industry for years, and overall have a positive track record. Anyone can have a bad experience any place on a given day(ie: Macy’s has been around for years and isn’t flawless), but the vast majority of the feedback on the below places is positive. As we said, their longevity is a testament to great management and business savvy, that results in happy customers and excellent customer service. In the interest of full disclosure, anyone who regularly follows this blog knows that we frequently appear at one of these company’s events. Obviously, we have a bias so please do take that into account, as you should.
Question: What type of convention should I choose?
Answer: Make a list of what you really want. In fact shoot for overkill. Now, see which convention best meets your needs and expectations, and how much it will cost to meet those needs. If all you really want is to see an actor Q&A you can probably do that for around $25 on a day pass, but if you want photos, autographs, dances…the price goes up and every group is different regarding what you get for your money. Maybe you aren’t looking for a actor heavy convention, maybe you just want an event where you can meet other fans. The point is think about your priorities and see what works for you.
Question: How can you tell if a con is going to be any good?
Answer: Well, with anything entertainment related that’s a really subjective question. Everyone has different tastes as to what they like and don’t like. Here are some quick things to look for that tend to mean a con is going to be good as far as most people are concerned:
- Experience: The people running it have done this before and/or have hired an events planning company that has done this before. If they have run it before what is their reputation? Google, twitter, webforums are your friend! Run a search on the company/event/promoter’s names. What are the results?
- Fan Input: The people running the con or acting as consultants are actually fans of the material, and really knowledgeable about it and what fans would like. They aren’t just guessing; they know because they are right in the heart of the fan experience. For example, if you saw a Twilight con featuring fangs, lots of blood, and coffins…RUN QUICKLY!
- Programming: Cons should be able to tell you what they have in mind for their event (most are three day affairs) beyond vague open socials. Granted a lot of panels and presentations will depend on who they can get to do the presentations, but they should have some idea as to the possibilities.
- Talent Appearances: Ok this is tricky. Many cons make offers of having someone famous be available for a Q&A, autograph signing, and maybe even a photo op. Other cons aren’t looking for star power. It depends on their focus. Keep in mind that a star’s appearance is always possible to be cancelled at the last minute. I mean let’s face it, if Speilberg suddenly calls and says “I need you in my movie.” you don’t say, “Sorry, I have this con I have to be at.” So the moral of the story is, don’t attend a con if the only reason you are going is to see a certain star because they may or may not be there.
- Customer Service: If you have a question, is there an obvious “contact us” or “for more information” email and/or phone number? Are you responded to promptly, clearly, and in a professional manner? Are you given the impression that as a consumer you are important to them?
Question: Why does it cost so much? How much should it cost?
Answer: That’s another loaded question! Con costs will vary on size, location, events planned. The better question to ask is “what am I getting for my money”. For example, is it one fee that covers everything (socials, panels, dances, screenings, etc.) or is there fine print that nickels and dimes you for other things? When comparing costs check out conventions in other fandoms and see what they are are getting for their fees for conventions that are similar in nature to the type you want to attend. Some good fandoms to investigate are Harry Potter, Dr. Who/Torchwood, Firefly/Serenity, Star Wars, Star Trek.
The best thing we can tell you is read the fine print so that you know exactly what you are getting for your money. What you want out of a convention may be different than what a friend or colleague wants.Make sure you are paying for what you truly want!
Question: Why is Comic Con cheaper than the various Twilight conventions?
Answer: There are several reasons, one of which is bulk and volume. The more people attend something the more costs go down. You have more participants registration fees, more vendor fees, and sponsor fees to offset costs. Another key reason is that the actors who appear at Comic Con are not being paid for by Comic Con, the studios they work for are paying Comic Con to be there and the actors are appearing as part of their contracts to do PR in regards to their film/TV show etc. Whereas in a Twilight/Harry Potter/LOST convention situation you have to pay an actor to show up and that frequently costs at least five figures on top of their travel arrangements.
Question: Is there any place where we can check out reviews?
Answer: Anyone in marketing will tell you that the single largest thing that sells or sinks any product is word-of-mouth. You can have all the flashy advertising, double speak, and bells and whistles money can buy, but if your consumers aren’t happy and everyone knows it…YIKES! Frequently the best advice that you can get is from people who have attended a particular group’s events before. Sure any given person can have a bad experience at any event, but try to get a variety of opinion. Is it one bad experience or 50 bad experiences? Twilight Adviser review site has reviews on many events.It’s kind of like a Rate Your Professors site. In any event it certainly, gives you an overview.
Question: Is Twicon a company, or an event, or a couple of companies? I’m so confused!
Answer: A lot of people shorten the words “Twilight Convention” to “twicon”. Nothing wrong with that, it’s the age of Twitter and texting and every letter counts. The only thing that you should be aware of is that sometimes when saying “twicon” people are referencing a generic convention run by anyone and at other times they are referencing a very specific company called TwiCon that ran its first convention last year in Dallas and had two more slated this year (Las Vegas and now Ottowa–change in location due to international G20 conference forcing a venue change), and as of last week has taken steps to cease operation. So cross reference by dates/locations so you know what people are speaking about!
Here are a few upcoming items:
Official Twilight Convention by Creation Entertainment
This group kicks off in January with stops in Miami, Seattle, and Nashville and has at least 20 stops announced in various locations including Hawaii for 2010. According to their site,
“Once in many moons a new genre craze begins and so it is for TWILIGHT, the epic series of books and smash hit feature film (with sequels to follow)…
With fantastic guest stars from the film, wonderful programming, panels and events, themed parties, autographs and photo ops, live musical performances and more: make your plans now to join the celebration! Creation Entertainment has presented over 2,000 conventions for our fellow fans since 1971: come and experience a fantastic weekend you’ll never forget! … Check out our “customer feedback” section for comments from past Twi/Tour attendees: everyone is having a GREAT time! Creation Rocks for Twilight Fans and with New Moon… there is going to be even more to celebrate: including meeting the new stars of the film, especially the “Wolf Pack” guys!”
Twilight Fan Trips run by Beyond Boundaries Travel
This group has a number of upcoming projects, most notably Vampire Baseball games in Salt Lake City and New Orleans. Part of the proceeds go to local charities. They also have a vampire film cruise. According to their site:
“Join cast from Twilight and New Moon, along with other great Louisiana celebrities as they take to the field to play Vampire Baseball™ in a benefit for the 9th Ward Field of Dreams! and the Special Olympics of Utah”
New Orleans: “Fan Trips™ Travel will be partnering with the 9th Ward Field of Dreams for Vampire Baseball™ in New Orleans. Up to 50% of net proceeds from each Vampire Baseball™ ticket sale will go towards the 9th Ward Field of Dream’s goal to rebuild the 1,000-seat football stadium at G.W. Carver Senior High School, which was crushed under 10 feet of floodwater during Hurricane Katrina four years ago.”
HUB PRODUCTIONS Australia
“Saturday the 24th April in Sydney and Sunday the 25th April in Melbourne
Ashley Greene, Daniel Cudmore, Gil Birmingham and others will be appearing on Saturday 24th April in Sydney from 9:00am to 6:00pm and Sunday the 25th April in Melbourne from 9.00am to 6.00pm.
The event features the guests live on stage for a few stories, anecdotes as well as Question and Answers. There will also be a variety of events throughout the day, such as auctions, raffles and trivia. There will also be merchandise as well as rare collectibles available to purchase from the dealers. You will also have the chance to meet the guests and acquire autographs and professional photographs.”
So there you have it. Our rundown hopefully gives out information and takes some of the mystery and confusion away. If you want to know where the Lexicon staff members will be appearing, we are in the process of updating our Facebook page to contain that information. Our next couple of events will be Creation Entertainment’s Official Twilight Tour in Houston, Arlington, Charlotte and Vancouver, Borders in the Time Warner Building in New York City.