Stopping by the Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino where the 2014 Star Trek Las Vegas Convention will take place, pre registration made for a busy atmosphere. The first thing one noticed was the amount of people who were all heading towards the same area. The second thing was that when asking where the actual event was being held, the helpful member of staff would smile knowingly before responding.
At around six p.m. the night before the big event, even at that late time of the day, there was a long queue that snaked around several corners and through two long hallways. On the inside of the halls, were the heavy hitters who were paying handsomely for the privilege to have more autographs and an early registration as well as more photo ops.
On the outside of the hall, aka the outside wall of the hallway, was a smaller group of people placidly waiting for their chance to register. Both queues were patient, pretty much good natured and seemed happy to just be there for what promises to be a huge event. With over 100 Star Trek guests appearing, that alone will guarantee that the convention will be a smashing success. The outside line, incidentally, was for the “Captain’s Chair” folks.
The big difference between the two is that these people have to wait for the platinum, diamond, triple seven, etc preferential Trekkers or Trekkies to get served first before they can get their cards/registration papers scanned and punched. Speaking to the chap at the front of the Captain’s Chair queue, neither he nor his little group were too bothered about having to wait. This particular fellow has been coming to the Star Trek Conventions for quite a number of years, and not just to the Las Vegas 2014 event either. As he pointed out, autographs and photo opportunities pretty much feature the same folks year in and year out. So waiting that bit longer for registration or your chance to have a picture taken with Captain Kirk doesn’t make a lot of difference.
According to this “laid-back” Trekker, or Trekkie, (asking him which faction of fan he fell under never made it into the short conversation) all of these fan oriented extravaganzas are good natured fun. Very few people are aggressively rude or unpleasant, at least that was this fellow’s experience with the conventions.
It did appear that both of the queues were full of groups versus single people lining up to get ready for the big event. Here and there were couples, either in a romantic way or just a couple of friends who opted to go all out in terms of ticket expenditure. Regardless of the monetary lay-out for tickets the entire crowd, overall, were talkative, excited and moving up and through the queue rather quickly.
In fact, the only people who appeared to be stressed were the two men who were responsible for checking the continually growing line of customers through to the next part of the process. To be fair though, these two very busy fellows never lost their cool and despite an issue of scanners not liking certain printers, not once were short with anyone in the queue, not even this reporter who asked when the industry passes would be available.
The Star Trek 2014 Convention in Las Vegas looks to be one of the biggest events this year. Even the pre-registration the day before everything is due to kick off was busy. Hopefully this theme of general bonhomie will continue throughout the entire convention. It would not be too surprising to find that there are still people lined up to pre-register when the show begins on July 31st. The Star Trek convention runs through August 3rd at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino.
By Michael Smith
Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino