Although Summer is the high time for conventions, there are still events to find your favorite stars and purchase autographs and Trek goodies between now and next May. With the new Star Trek film out next year, it should be an exciting time for conventions. TrekMovie provides a quick guide below to help you get your con on.
Vulkon’s Starbase Indy [POSTPONED]
(November 28-30, 2008, Indianapolis, Indiana)
(new date: no date beyond ‘early 2009’)
Guests: TBA (original lineup Anthony Montgomery, Casey Biggs, Robert Picardo, Marina Sirtis, John DeLancie, Garrett Wang, Vaughn Armstrong, David Reddick)
Event: Vulkon has been producing Star Trek conventions for more than 20 years, and this year they purchased the long time fan favorite Starbase Indy convention. Vulkon is known for their reasonable prices and very fan friendly conventions. In addition to the usual panels and autographs, there are some very good fan events such as plays and the Enterprise Blues Band is playing (featuring Star Trek actors).
POSTPONEMENT NOTE: Initially Vulkon cited the bad economy as the reason for the postponement, but that was removed from their site. TrekMovie has contacted Vulkon to get more details, but they did not reply. An email has been sent to ticket holders promising them additional signed photos if they allowed Vulkon to hold their deposits and to attend the rescheduled show (whenever that is).
(November 29 — Indianapolis, IN)
Guests: David Reddick + more?
Event: For those fans with nonrefundable travel or internet hotel reservations for the Vulkon convention, there is some good news. There will be a free one day convention, organized by Kim Huff has arranged with the Marriot Hotel (site of the originally scheduled event which has donated the space), with panels, a dealer’s room, parties, and gaming..
Phoenix Comic Con
(January 23-25, 2009, Phoenix, AZ)
Trek guests: Brent Spiner, Marina Sirtis, Wil Wheaton
Other guests: Aaron Douglas (BSG), Lou Ferrigno (Incredible Hulk) + more
Event: This is a large show, with its emphasis on comic book characters and popular culture. Star Trek is represented with TNG guests this year, yet there are many other genre actors attending. There are panels on anime, comics, science fiction, and events for the family. All attendees receive a free Star Trek poster courtesy of Roddenberry Productions (or other Trek posters to choose from). Star Trek The Exhibit will still be in Phoenix at the time of the con, so you can do a twofer.
Price: $15 (day) / $30 (weekend pass)
The 15th Annual SF Ball
(February 6-8, 2009 — Bournemouth, UK)
Trek Guests: Robert Picardo
Other guests: Mary McDonnell (BSG), Peter Jurasik & Stephen Furst (B5)
Event: This is a huge event, famous for its amazing technological presentations, including very fun "game show" style events.
Price: starting at £15 (day) / £78 (weekend)
(February 13-15, 2009 — Timonium, MD)
Trek Guests: Harve Bennett, Phil Weyland + authors including Marc Okrand, Terry Rioux, Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, Keith RA DeCandido, Bob Greenberger, Howard Weinstein, and more
Other guest: Alan Tudyk (Firefly)
Event: Harve Bennett is none too often a guest at conventions, so this is a convention to possibly consider. The convention mostly discusses Star Trek fiction with some authors past and present. Will also feature some fan films.
Price: Saturday: $50 / Sunday: $40 / Weekend: $70
Hollywood Collectors Show
(February 14-15, 2009 — Burbank, CA)
Trek Guest: Suzie Plakson (others TBA)
Other Guests: TBA
Event: This is a generic autograph show that is incredibly popular and excellent. There are often auctions and occasionally panels, yet the attraction of the show is the chance to meet and talk with celebrities of many different eras and genres. These are not Star Trek events, yet Star Trek guests are usually represented, there are many actors at these events. There is also a show March 21-22 in Rosemont, Illinois. Trivia alert: It was at one of these HCS that Ira Steven Behr met James Darren, and had the idea to offer him the role of Vic Fontaine for DS9.
Price: $20 daily
23rd Annual WonderCon
(February 27-March 1, 2009 — San Francisco, CA)
Trek Guests: Star Trek guests possible, TBA
Other Guests: TBA (expect many)
Event: This is a very large event by the same people who run the San Diego Comic Con. Last year, 29,000 people attended. There are usually Star Trek guests available for autographs, and certainly plenty of Star Trek comic books and collectibles to purchase from the many toy dealers at the convention. Although not big as San Diego, studios often do events at WonderCon and coming just two months before the new Star Trek movie, it is possible Paramount will do some kind of Star Trek movie related promotion (last year they did release a special Star Trek movie poster for this con).
The Official North East Star Trek Convention [RESCHEDULED]
(March 6-8, 2009, Philadelphia/NJ)
(new date: July 6-8, 2009 — Parsippany, NJ)
Event: Creation Convention has the licensee for official Star Trek events, including the Las Vegas convention each year. Creation provides panels and autographs, with the traditional costume contests and trivia events.
RESCHEDULING NOTE: According to Creation, the event was delayed due to the change of the date for the Star Trek movie and Creation notes they will be able to book better guests from the film, after it comes out.
2nd Annual Naruto Trek
(March 27-29, 2009 — Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Trek Guests: Walter Koenig, Denise Crosby, Christina Moses, Marc and Elaine Zicree
Event: While small, this is a fan friendly convention with many panels and good interaction with the guests. Its combination of anime and Star Trek may seem strange, yet there is much in common among these genre fans.
17th Annual Grand Slam Convention: The Sci-Fi Summit
(May 1-3, 2009 — Burbank, CA)
Event: Creation Entertainment’s annual Sci Fi Summit is an always exciting and large convention. Last year, it was the place where Leonard Nimoy and Zachary Quinto appeared at their first Star Trek convention together and TrekMovie held a panel with Roberto Orci. Coming so close to the film, hopefully there will be more movie connections.
Price: Gold weekend package $369
18th Annual Fed Con Germany
(May 1-3, 2009 — Bonn, Germany)
Trek Guests: Nichelle Nichols, Nana Visitor, Connor Trinneer, John Billingsley, Jeffrey Combs, Dominic Keating, Mark Alaimo, Robert Picardo, Richard Arnold
Other Guests: Edward James Olmos (BSG)
Event: THE Fed Con (not to be confused with Fed Con USA), an incredible event that is somehow able to combine a huge convention of thousands of attendees with the feeling of a fan friendly convention. FEDCON is a model for how conventions ought to be and is certainly worth considering if you could attend.
Prices: 99 Euro (3 day pass)
20th Annual Motor City Comic Con
(May 15-17, 2009 — Novi, MI)
Event: Star Trek guests are always the main stars at this event, which has great panels and interactions with the guests. Unlike most conventions, you can often have real conversations with the Star Trek actors and enjoy the panel discussions which are effectively run.
Star Trek Concerts
While not conventions, 2009 is a year with many symphonies "playing" tribute to the music of Star Trek. There are Star Trek only concerts touring with John DeLancie and Robert Picardo (more on this in the next "convention" listing), yet also these more generic science fiction celebrations. Each of these events features music from various fan favorites, from Star Wars to Star Trek, and have George Takei narrating.
Edmonton Symphony Orchestra Sc-Fi Spectacular
(January 23-24, 2009, Edmonton, Canada)
Springfield Symphony Orchestra Science Fiction Concert
(April 4, 2009, Springfield, MA)
National Arts Centre Orchestra
(April 23-25, 2009, Ontario, Canada)
Thoughts on choosing your convention
With the publicized demise of conventions such as FEDCON USA last year and with other recent delays and postponements, it is always good to research a convention before purchasing tickets and making plans. Caveat emptor is always a good practice.
If you are unsure about an event it helps to do some research, before buying any tickets in advance:
- Check forums for the con and other websites (StarTrek.com, TrekBBS, etc.) and ask questions about the con of organizers and past convention goers
- Visit the websites of the actors promoted to make sure the event is listed
- Call the venue to make sure the event is actually booked for that accommodation.
- Save all email communications with conventioneers.
- Know the convention policies regarding refunds or cancelled conventions.
- Check out the companies with better business bureaus.
- Google the name of the actual owners of the convention to see if there are complaints or problems
TrekMovie does not recommend fans to buy tickets in advance from companies that do not specifically state in their policies that there is a full and immediate refund for both postponed and canceled events.
That being said, most of these conventions have good track records and the conventioneers have proven themselves with previous events.