We are back from another incredible weekend at the Sci-Fi Ball Southampton. The guests included Robert Duncan McNeill (Tom Paris, ST Voyager), Sean Pertwee, Andrew Lee Potts, Gigi Edgley, Dino Fetscher, Lucy Carless and Terry Malloy .
Now, being exclusively Star Trek bloggers, we wouldn’t normally attend an event with so few Trek actors but we made an exception for the Sci-Fi Ball for several reasons. Most importantly because we want to support this particular event. It’s primary mission is to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and over the weekend we heard from young people who had received invaluable support from this charity.
Secondly, we love all the people who work tirelessly to organise this event and everyone who attends. But also because we just have such good fun! We love conventions which are jam packed full of our favourite actors and panels and vendors but we also love sitting in the bar and talking about Star Trek for hours on end!
One of the highlights is the Saturday night dinner and cabaret which was hosted by Terry Malloy this year. This is a chance to dress up (be it fancy dress or just fancy) and enjoy a delicious three course meal. The raffle prizes are truly enviable and disco is a blast – don’t worry they have a workshop to learn or practice the ‘con dances’.
We were very fortunate to chat to Robert Duncan McNeill in our first live interview! Robbie was very gracious in his chat to us and in his panels.
One highlight we have to mention was the talk with the producers and director of the production ‘Dark Sublime’. This is Marina Sirtis’s West End debut. The panel was so informative and impactful that it deserves its own post, so stay tuned!….
The entire weekend activities take place in the Grand Harbour Hotel. A four star hotel with views over the solent, an excellent spa and a Marco Pierre White restaurant. This isn’t just a geeky weekend away, it’s a glamorous one!
The main hall is set up theatre style and hosts the main panels and evening parties. There are typically 6 – 8 guests at an event so each one has plenty of time on the stage.
The vendors are situated on the Mezzanine floor which this year included a small secondary stage sponsored by the Horror Channel. There is also a cozy relaxation room which showed Star Trek all weekend!
The main bar is our favourite hangout (you wouldn’t guess!?). It is also the venue for autograph signings which is perfect when you think about it!
Because the Sci-Fi Ball takes over the entire hotel, props and decor can be found throughout. It’s impossible to ride the lift without sharing it with a Dalek at least once. The highlight this year was the USS Riker’s Beards Bridge set and a full size (exterior -size) Tardis in reception.
Panels are scheduled throughout the day and tend to last 50 minutes.
Collecting autographs is done in sessions, the guests make their way to the bar and you queue for them.
Photographs are done in sessions on the mezzanine level.
We love that there is plenty of time in-between to socialise and eat lunch and get dressed up for the evening!
For gold ticket holders there’s extra special events such as an exclusive cocktail party which looks incredible (we hear there’s a chocolate fountain!).
If you’re wondering about attending the Ball, we would definitely recommend it. In this interview with the organisers we learn about the highlights of the events and what makes the ball unique…
We’ll let you know when tickets for next year are on sale. Make sure you book 2020’s Sci-Fi Ball quickly, you won’t want to miss out – Trust us!!