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Old 12-12-2006, 08:18 PM   #1
McDuck
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Default Question about tickets and payment...

A while back it was mentioned about the possibility of an "installment" plan sort of thing given the cost of the tickets. I am really gunshy about fan-run conventions now due to something that happened to me this past year. Let me reiterate that I do not for one second believe anything like this would happen with this convention or committee, but only to explain why I am hesitant to part with my money two years in advance of the Con.

In February I purchased a $250 ticket to the Minnesota Sci-Fi Fantasy Festival to be held Labor Day weekend. In July, we learned through the Tolkien Gathering site that the SF3 had been cancelled. Much speculation and rumors ensued, particularly when some fans learned from Billy Boyd at ELF:NYC that they (he and his people) had heard no such thing. Nor had the hotel. Then, the convention planners/hosts posted online that yes, due to poor ticket sales, the convention had been cancelled. They promised everyone would receive their money back by Thanksgiving.

It's now nearing Christmas and not one person has seen a dime, and the convention planners have vanished off the face of the earth. Naturally, 60 days after the point of sale (or appearance on statement), all dispute rights are GONE. So I have had no recourse through PayPal, nor through any bank/EFT/credit card companies. Complaints have been filed with the BBB, FBI, and PayPal, but it's unlikely any of us will see our money again. I'm out $250 that I could have used for this Convention.

:deep breath:

Soooo, I share my story to explain why I am hesitant to purchase a ticket two years in advance, yet I would still like to attend. If I'm able to attend (of which at this point I am not sure--nor do I know at this point in time if I'd be buying one or two tickets!), I'd also be interested in volunteering.

Thank you.
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Old 12-12-2006, 09:37 PM   #2
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Oh Jennie, that's terrible! Rest assured we are going taking steps to ensure that everyone - including ourselves - is protected at all ends. We're looking into convention insurance, looking for a reputable lawyer to assist us in these types of matters, and trying hard to check out every angle involving other people's money.

This convention is definately going to happen now. I'm at this computer literally every day working on something for the con lol! And Carol, Emma, Judy and Maryse are also doing great things in the planning.

While we are generally not going to be offering refunds, we will have options to re-sell your ticket(s) to other parties should circumstances arise that you aren't able to attend after paying for the ticket.

Again, sorry to hear about what happened to you. I hope they get the people responsible for that!
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Old 12-12-2006, 10:01 PM   #3
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We will be buying tickets 2 years in advance? I mean, how far in advance of the con do we need to get them? What happens if I wait? I understand that if stuff happens and I can't attend, you could resell them, but I hadn't expected that I would need to commit this early.

Jennie, I'm really sorry about what happened to you.
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Old 12-12-2006, 11:33 PM   #4
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We have a limited number of seats for the venue we are trying to book. We're opening ticket sales sometime in 2007, but you don't have to commit that early.

However... getting your tickets early guarantees you a seat. We have lots of guest stars signed up already and will more than likely get more to sign as the letters arrive in their mailboxes. This is going to be a big deal and MAY sell out quickly. We don't honestly know what the response will be but we have a good idea from the survey we have on the website.

If you have the means, then yes it probably is a good idea to go ahead and get your tickets as soon as possible. As we get closer and closer to March 2009 we may get newspaper and TV press and once that happens - it's lights out.

And if we get Scott and Dean to join us as we get into early 2009, then it'll sell out in no time. You can always pay in installments, to spread it out a bit over time. Your first installment holds your ticket for a period of time.

Just some options I thought I'd put out there. Fellow committee members - correct me if I have mispoken!
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:01 AM   #5
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You expressed it all very well, Brian.

I know there's trouble in the con world now and then because of disreputable organizers who take the money and run. Heck, that's true of any segment of life these days, what with identity theft and all. And since by and large, you guys don't know us personally, I can understand why some of you might be skittish to commit large amounts of money to strangers.

All I can do is reiterate what Brian has said: we are a group of fans who want this con to happen as badly as you do - if not more so. We've invested a huge amount of time into it already, and we've been SO excited that everything is slowly coming together: commitment with the hotel, a growing list of guest stars, lots of ideas concerning banners and events and so on. We are THRILLED that, even 2+ years out, this is all becoming "real."

No, you don't need to buy a ticket 2 years out, not at all. To expand a little on what Brian has said: because the hotel ballroom is a limited space, we will have a limited number of tickets available. Many fans like to guarantee themselves a seat up front - for better picture taking, and/or just to be a bit closer to the celebs. We anticipate that seats in the front rows will sell out quickly. (In a week? A month? We don't know yet.) But if you don't mind sitting farther back, then there should be no problem with waiting a while to purchase your ticket.

You are free to contact the committee at ANY time, via e-mail or this forum, to ask, "Are there still tickets left?" And we'll let you know promptly if the situation is getting tight. As an example, my mom (who collects dolls) found out about a wonderful doll convention. She didn't want to commit her money 2 years out, so she waited until 1 year out. To her surprise (call it "Yikes!!!!") she got ticket #173 out of #175. If she had waited another couple of weeks, she would not have gotten into the con.

We want to prevent that sort of shock from happening to any of you, so when things start getting down to the wire, we'll let you know, "We've got 50 tickets left, so don't wait too long," or something along those lines. But as Brian has said, if you want a seat near the front, or you want to guarantee that you'll get in, you may want to at least make the first installment payment.

Oh, and rest assured: we will not overbook. If you buy a ticket, you get a seat.

Even if finances demand that you wait a while to buy your ticket, we hope you'll get things hopping here on the forum, so that all the fans worldwide are excited about the event! My mom thought the 2 years before her doll convention sounded like forever, but it went by FAST.

See you all here - if you haven't signed up on the Meet and Greet thread yet, let us know who you are!
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Old 12-14-2006, 01:53 PM   #6
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Just to chime in with my fellow committee members; reast assured, we're taking great pains to ensure that, should the unthinkable happen, you guys will not lose your money. It's such a shame that unprincipled convention planners take money and run, making fans skittish in the future.

We're still working on payment plans and such; look out for info in the New Year.

And as Carol says - everybody that buys a ticket has a guaranteed seat - well, everyone except the committee. We're not anticipating much down time at the con, so we might as well free up five extra seats!
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Old 12-14-2006, 04:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDuck
In February I purchased a $250 ticket to the Minnesota Sci-Fi Fantasy Festival to be held Labor Day weekend. In July, we learned through the Tolkien Gathering site that the SF3 had been cancelled. Much speculation and rumors ensued, particularly when some fans learned from Billy Boyd at ELF:NYC that they (he and his people) had heard no such thing. Nor had the hotel. Then, the convention planners/hosts posted online that yes, due to poor ticket sales, the convention had been cancelled. They promised everyone would receive their money back by Thanksgiving.

It's now nearing Christmas and not one person has seen a dime, and the convention planners have vanished off the face of the earth. Naturally, 60 days after the point of sale (or appearance on statement), all dispute rights are GONE. So I have had no recourse through PayPal, nor through any bank/EFT/credit card companies. Complaints have been filed with the BBB, FBI, and PayPal, but it's unlikely any of us will see our money again. I'm out $250 that I could have used for this Convention.
Oh, that's terrible! I can see why you'd be wary. You have my sympathies.
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Old 12-14-2006, 06:00 PM   #8
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Thanks, Brian, Carol, and Emma, for clarifying the ticket situation. I'm sure I'll end up buying my ticket well in advance of the con.
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Old 12-14-2006, 07:26 PM   #9
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Even if you don't know some of the other ladies personally, several of you have net me in person, so rest assured nothing will happen to your funds.

Carol - in case some of you have missed this point - is the author of Obsessions AND Mirror's Edge, the official QL novels!

You'll find Emma's name all over such con projects as Spring Leap '99 and Accelerate '96.

I've been here on the site for over 6 years now - and not going anywhere lol!
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Old 12-15-2006, 05:35 AM   #10
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Default Did I miss something?

Are the tickets being sold currently? If not, when will the first ones be offered for sale? Has an acctual price been set?

I think the concept of convention insurance sounds good. At least that would protect people from the type of thing that Jennie faced (which is TERRIBLE...I don't know how people can do that to their fellow human beings.)

And...just to let people know...I've personnally met some of the people that are pulling this together (and the rest I've gotten to know a bit online.) It is my belief after doing so that there isn't a problem with trusting them. They are not the type to "take the money and run." I would be willing to put some money out early although it would depend on how much was being asked for. Right now I'm very underemployed and have at least 1 more semester at school...but I WILL be at the convention in 2009. Whatever it takes.
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Old 12-15-2006, 07:42 AM   #11
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Tickets are not on sale just yet. We're looking for an early to mid 2007 opening date. Working things out with the bank and legal stuff first.
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Old 12-17-2006, 02:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alsplacebartender
Tickets are not on sale just yet. We're looking for an early to mid 2007 opening date. Working things out with the bank and legal stuff first.
I hope I'm not sounding too demanding here, but what do you think would be the earliest time they'll go on sale? I'm going to try for a ticket as soon as they go on sale, and I want to make sure that I'll have computer access by then (I'll be going home for the holidays, and internet access there is haphazard, at best.) I also want to make sure I have the money in the bank. A few weeks into the New Year, I'll have the money for the tickets, but immediately after the holidays, I'll be broke.
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Old 12-17-2006, 04:05 PM   #13
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We're looking towards the end of March 2007. No rush just yet!
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Old 12-18-2006, 04:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alsplacebartender
We're looking towards the end of March 2007. No rush just yet!
That sounds great! There won't be any more holidays between now and then to leave me broke.
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Old 12-29-2006, 04:47 AM   #15
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Ok so after reading all this I am thinking to myself...I didn't even know that this convention cast...I don't know why I thought other wise, and because of things right now I don't think I can go... but is there bus's being put together?? that would help my chances of going.
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Old 12-29-2006, 04:46 PM   #16
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I hope the convention planners don't mind my saying this and I ask them to correct me if I'm wrong. I'm not on the official planning committee...so this post is based entirely on educated extrapolation.

Quote:
and because of things right now I don't think I can go...
The convention itself won't even be until March 2009 so things can change. How things are in 2009 for you could mean you CAN go. Think positive.

What has been talked about here is that the tickets to the convention will go on sale sometime next year (2007.) Things are being set up by the convention planners and IF the tickets sales reach the Sell-Out point BEFORE 2009...there MAY NOT be tickets available close to convention time (except that there will likely be those whose plans change to prevent them from going and they will be able to resell their tickets.) Then again, the tickets may not reach the sell-out point before the March 2009 convention, so under that condition, there would be tickets available then.

The advantage to buying one's tickets early will be the location in the room for the appearances (although, my understanding is that the planners are working VERY HARD to assure that no seat will be a bad seat...some will just be closer then others.) That is...the earlier a ticket is purchased, the closer to the stage one will be. That is just simple logistics and makes sense.

Quote:
but is there bus's being put together??
Are you asking about buses from all locations that people may be coming from? Usually how a person GETS to the convention is their responsibility. That is...the convention planners will book the convention site, put together the schedule (and appearances), and assure that a block of rooms are available at a particular price. Certainly, there are bus routes, plane routes, train routes, and roads to LA so that multiple transportation options are available. But having a bus chartered from a particular location by the convention planners? Ziggy says chances are astronomically small that would happen.

That doesn't mean that people from an area couldn't get together to "car pool" to the location. Or if a large enough group was coming from a particular area that they couldn't charter their own bus. But that is not part of the convention planner's job description.

BTW...if I haven't said it before...THANK YOU Convention Committee for all your hard work! I'm sure this convention will really ROCK!
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Old 12-29-2006, 10:06 PM   #17
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Helen, excellent job of responding on our behalf! You expressed everything very well, so thank you.

As far as the buses, jmellissa, I'm not sure what you mean. As Helen has mentioned, there are a variety of ways to get to Los Angeles: planes, trains, and automobiles and I'm sure Greyhound has buses that run there. I don't know that we have enough people coming from any one specific place that it would make sense (or be financially possible) to charter a bus.

Since we're still more than 2 years out from the con, it is possible you could connect with another fan via the forum who could pick you up in their car and drive with you to the con. The committee can't set that up for you (we've got enough work to do!) but feel free to use the Meet & Greet section to look for someone to share a ride with.

And as Helen says, think positive! We're setting up an installment payment plan to make purchasing a ticket easier on everyone's budget. And I suspect we'll have tickets available for quite a while. No need to panic (or give up hope) yet.

Hope to see you in L.A.!
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Old 12-30-2006, 07:36 PM   #18
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Thanks to the both of you for the words of hope. Your right...2yrs is a long time a way and a lot can happen in that time. So I will keep an open mind and as things get closer I will start to ask around for a rid. (that's if I still need one by then. Do you know what the coast will be yet?? or do you not know thath yet? and thanks again! Jmellissa
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:00 PM   #19
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Jmelissa, we haven't finalised costs yet as we're still waiting for the proposal from our hotel. As Carol said, we're going to have a payment plan which will help make things easier!
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Old 01-05-2007, 11:04 AM   #20
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Just curious, as i'm a newbie on here. I would like to attend the CON but it's my first time. I'm coming from Canada. Anyone have any idea about the cost? Again, i know that tickets haven't gone on sale yet, but how much $$ have folks set aside in the past for this? How long does the CON last for?
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Old 01-05-2007, 04:22 PM   #21
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Feel free to ask any questions you like, Ophellia! That's what we're here for.

This con is a brand new thing, so there weren't any people setting aside money in the past. As it looks now, a regular ticket will probably be $250, which will cover the entire weekend - a reserved seat in the ballroom, a huge registration packet full of goodies, autographs from all our guests, and lots more. Other cons charge less, but it just gets you in the door, nothing else.

The con will be 3 days, Friday morning through Sunday around 6:00-ish. We're planning a lot of evening events, and there'll be room parties into the wee hours, I'm sure. So it's a FULL 3 days.
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:37 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolD
As Helen has mentioned, there are a variety of ways to get to Los Angeles:
Los Angeles? Los Angeles?! I don't even want to know what the traffic is going to be like.
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Old 01-17-2007, 05:24 PM   #23
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Think "hideous," and then multiply that by ten.
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Old 01-17-2007, 10:13 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolD
Think "hideous," and then multiply that by ten.
Fortunately, we'll all be in a hotel filled with QL fans and QL-themed events. Who needs to leave and bother with traffic?
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Old 01-18-2007, 02:47 AM   #25
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Does the $250 include the accomodation?

And would someone plz be able to convert that to Australian dollars for me?

Also... (This has been touched upon but I just want some clarification)

Say you were certain that you were going to go, but didn't have the full amount when the tickets come out.

Is it possible to reserve a particular (good... say front row) ticket with a deposit and pay it off over the 2 years?


Oh and just a suggestion...
Why not put tickets on sale EXACTLY 2 years before the con... so March?
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