Call me surprised with today’s announcement that the Star Trek Mission: Seattle convention would be canceled putting into jeopardy the future of officially licensed Star Trek conventions in North America. This is the second licensed Trek convention to be canceled in 2022.
It was in May of this year that the Destination Star Trek convention, held in London by Showmasters, was canceled and merged into one large event taking place instead. This left many fans upset about what would happen to their favorite convention. with those fans not being offered a refund for the cancelled event but instead given the option to transfer their passes to another similar show. Showmasters offered this statement in regards to that cancelation:
We have decided to run just one big Destination Star Trek event this year. This means that Destination Star Trek Germany, taking place from 23rd to 25th September, will be the one official European Star Trek event in 2022. We know that this will be disappointing to some of you, but we look forward to new Star Trek events in the future in the UK.
However, there is also some good news for our loyal UK fans, as you will be able to enjoy a tribute to Star Trek at this year’s London Film & Comic Con 8-10 July, where many of the guests that were to attend Destination Star Trek London this year will be attending.
All ticket holders will receive an email regarding the event cancellation and what happens next.Twitter post from the Official Destination Star Trek account @StarTrek_DST
ReedPop, the current owner of the official Star Trek convention license and the operator of such conventions as the New York Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration, and emerald city comicon provided little information as to the reasoning behind the conventions cancellation. Instead they released a short statement on their social media.
This comes as a big surprise after the successful launch of the first Mission convention in Chicago this past May. In 2021 ReedPop became the owner of the convention license after the 15 year contract with Creation Entertainment expired. In the past few years CBS & Paramount Corporation has taken a much bigger stance in the operation of Creation’s famous Las Vegas Star Trek convention.
This cancellation does not put much faith in an already troubled market of attendees. Add this to the continued concerns from COVID-19 and you have a market that just might not support future endeavors. That’s not to say that conventions are not being successful right now this just brings back the idea that there may be too many conventions for a particular franchise.
Convention attendees are looking for two things to put their trust in for the convention market. Those things are stability and familiarity, and you have to give hats off to what Creation Entertainment has done over the past few year. Their experience with convention hosting goes back to the most early days of convention planning when Adam and Gary were just teenagers. They made it their mission to host licensed conventions in the United States.
However, this is not an article to just praise one convention operator but rather to show that there is an ability to do a convention if it’s done in the right manner. When you look at the stability factor you go back to a company who has 30 plus years in the business and provide conventions that are the same format no matter where they go. When you have familiarity again Creation offers that with providing over 100 different actors and support cast at their Las Vegas convention; in addition to selling tickets that guarantee everyone a chance to see the main celebrities on stage. That’s something that I feel that ReedPop misses out because they hold a more Comic Con style event. As the population of Star Trek fandom evolves, we have to look at the perspective of what type of event is best for the franchise. When you consider the amount of money that is put on the table during these types of conventions you have to cater to what the individual wants and not just hold an event because you are able to do that.
Let’s be honest with the current state of the economy people just do not have as much disposable income when it comes to funding entertainment. Yes, you can hold a convention, but you have to respect what the market is asking you to do. We’ve seen many convention organizers be very successful with hosting conventions of all different types. The failure and cancellation of the Seattle convention just shows that it may not be the correct direction to take the franchise at this moment.
In summary, what has happened with the cancellation is unfortunate, but it does happen in the world of convention planning period there could be any number of reasons why the conviction was cancelled from a budgetary standpoint or to the health and welfare of those who attend and host the convention. There are many operators around the world who do a great job of running a convention and it’s not an easy task; I know I ran one for several years. We need to continue to patronize those conventions that offer great customer service and provide the content that we want to see.