It’s our first visit to Fedcon in Bonn, Germany. We’ve been meaning to get here for years and our time has come!
The funny thing about attending an event new to us after so many years, is that you cant help but compare them. That’s ok for us because we are happy with different.
The first thing that stood out for as different is the scale of the event. It is by no means small, the hotel is full. It’s day one and a Friday so we suspect it will be busier tomorrow. It’s a good number though. There’s a good crowd here but I have been able to find a seat and table to write a blog post. Which for a Star Trek event, is usually a near improbable situation.
The same is true with the guests. It’s not near Destination Star Trek levels and certainly not Star Trek Las Vegas guest levels, but it has enough to have a varied number of panels and make some tough calls with your wallet.
The event is held at the Bonn Maritim Hotel and Fedcon takes over the entire hotel each year. They rename bars and restaurants to give them a trek feel. This year has a distinct feel of celebrating TNG 30 without saying it bluntly. Fedcon has a licence to sell official merchandise but not run an exclusive Star Trek event.
The hotel has an oddly Vegas feel to it, it feels closer to STLV because of its hotel set up, it’s love of gold chandeliers and it’s ease of access to alcohol (ROMULAN ale isn’t illegal in Germany!). However it much, much hotter than Vegas. The Rio is August is like a Breen; wearing a refrigeration suit on a hot planet. The Rio is f-ing sub zero! The Maritim is like The Forge hot!
Where it really wins is the drink prices! Unlike the Rio, you can buy a decent drink and we were delighted at the prices. Cocktails were €7.50 at the Klingon Bar (a rather nice hotel bar, simply renamed, no theming). It’s not exactly a 5* Risian resort cocktails but they’re certainly better than the plastic cup varieties at similar prices at larger events.
We breathed a sigh of relief when read the timetable. Its not manic. Because it includes guests from other shows, we don’t have an interest in seeing EVERYTHING. This is a big relief. Often we don’t eat for over 24 hours because we’re trying to fit so much in.
The autograph sessions are exactly that, sessions timetabled into the programme.
Today the first panels started at 14.00. In some ways this is great, it has given us time to arrive and settle. Normally we would fork out for an extra nights stay for a morning start. But on the other hand, if the organisers have paid to hire the hotel as a venue, why not utilise it?
The main hall is a theatre style and guests have assigned areas/rows dependant on your ticket type. The ticket packages can include meals and hotel boarding which is a great approach and similar to that of the SF Ball.
Fedcon has a good balance of dealers, they are in the goldilocks zone of ‘just right’. They have official merchandise such as Disruptor Beam’s Star Trek Timelines (which Sam had to self exclude herself from playing too much!). They also bought along this amazing Timelines backdrop where they compiled their characters in holographic roles (we love Worf and Kira from Our Man Bashir), but they all ooze glamour. Be sure to get a picture and share it on Star Trek Timelines Facebook Page.
There is a vendor for the Movie Park Star Trek Roller Coaster which had a soft opening a couple of weeks ago. They are there to showcase their attraction which a TNG themed ride. They have some pictures and videos of the attraction.
The Star Trek perfumes are there to sample and buy. The bottles are beautiful, we asked if they could be refilled but sadly that they couldn’t. They have three scents to represent Kirk, Spock and Uhura. The Kirk scent is the best because I imagine it genuinely smells like him; a bit overbearing, very masculine, standing too close to you in the mess hall! They’d make a good fathers day present though…just decide if your dad is egotistical womaniser or emotionally detached!
The coolest vendor has to be the European Space Agency! Here to tell us all about their missions like Rosetta (the comet catcher). We’re looking forward to learning more about how science fiction meets science fact.
Overall: this has all the ingredients to become one our favourite events. There is a family feel amongst attendees, the staff and crew have been helpful and kind and it represents great value for money!
Best bit: Getting a biscuit from the Dark Armada fan film guys. After a 5am start and no inflight meal (very tight Norwegian!) it was very welcomed!
Weird bit: being at a convention alone, Sarah sadly can’t make it and Carole’s flight was delayed. Wandering around by myself was strange and reminded me what a social experience Star Trek events are for us.