Monday, August 10, 2009

Vegas: First thoughts

Quick thoughts from a Vegas survivor: If you didn't laugh at Trek's many doomsday death notices back in 2005, you can safely chortle and guffaw now.

Fully half of the steady-to-higher turnout at Creation's annual Vegas shindig were either first-timers or those coming back to the fold after 15 or 20 years. And this with no ST: The Experience to visit at the Hilton... or anywhere ... yet. I heard it over and over again from the folks who stopped by my table—many of them true stereotype-busters. I even saw an honest-to-goodness Barbie-and-Ken who'd be totally out of place if not for their wide-eyed stares as they paced the dealer's room—and they were on Day 2 of their honeymoon!: he the armchair fan who stumbled into the con with no advance idea, she the patient one who "gave him one day" to indulge.

Credit J.J.'s Star Trek '09, of course, and the energizing new green blood it pumped into not just fans but mainstream media and public perceptions.

More proof: The "side room" at Vegas notoriously draws maybe 30 or so fans between all the bigger events elsewhere; this year, a thrown-together panel on the new movie I co-guested with Anthony Pascale of and host Doug Murray had 300+ ... who were, by shows of hands, a room HALF-full of first-time Vegas attendees, about HALF-full of first-time con attendees anywhere, and somewhat less half a room of completely new fans brought in by the movie.

And not just questions, but testimonials. From adult NEW fans who say they've gone to check out the TOS DVDs, or even moved on to TNG and later shows. From preteens who, somewhat stillin shock, said they are no longer the "outcast Trekkies" of their class but the "cool kid" with all the info on teh hot new summer movie.

My friend Dr. David Williams even reports the same for his real science visual talks on the NASA science missions he works on: 300 for Friday, 150+ Saturday, from the routine 30 or so. Even the --AKA " Memorial"--trivia quiz Sunday morning had 50-60 in line and 150+ in the seats for over an hour...

As I said at the panel—this is music to a lot of folks' ears. Pointed or otherwise.

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