Nine Worlds: A Guest’s Eye View

Nineworlds - Nine VoicesOver the weekend I attended the Nine Worlds Geek Festival that was being held at two hotels by Heathrow airport. However rather than being there to cover the first year of this incredibly ambitious event for Geek Syndicate I was there as a guest on the Book Track. So I thought it might be nice to give you a little peek behind the curtain and a little ‘guest’s eye’ view into my experience as a guest at the show.

First some background.  I was at the show to take part in the first New Voices Slam Session on Friday night and the New House, Old Ghosts panel on Saturday (yes I was the one who dashed out a little before the end).

To tell this story properly I need to take you all the way back to February 2012 where I was at the London Super Comic Con pimping the latest comic anthology spin off from my novel Fallen Heroes.  Jenni Hill, who I’ve had quite a few dealings with while I’ve been wearing my Geek Syndicate hat, came up to me and told me about this new convention that she was helping to run a Kickstarter for called Nine Worlds. She went on to explain how the convention was going to be this massive geek fest covering just about every aspect of geekdom and that there aim was to make it an inclusive event as possible. After hearing the pitch I thought that it could be one hell of an event if they could pull off but in the worlds of Jack Burton It would take ‘cracker Jack timing’. I told Jenni that I would do my best to promote the show through Geek Syndicate to which she replied that she wanted me as a guest. So after a little more chatting and Jenni explaining why she had thought of me I humbly agreed.

Over the following months there was a steady steam of emails from Jenni and the other Nine World organisers that kept me up to date with the project and I started to get a sense of just how well thought out the organisation was for this event. Any queries I raised were replied to quickly and any fears laid to rest just as fast. Jenni herself was an absolute star at going that extra mile and putting up with my ‘panic moment’ when I learnt that I was going to have read a passage from my novel live in front of an audience. This has always something that has always been a huge fear of mine and hope would never have to do. Jenni gave me ideas at the best way to approach the reading. As the event got closer the emails became more regular, both from Jenni and the overall organisers making sure we knew everything that we needed to know before the convention started including constant details for the relevant team members over the weekend. At no stage did I feel in the dark about anything that was expected of me and no concern was too small for the organisers to reply to.

I think my reading went as well as these things can. The sound set up was fantastic (you would be surprised how many conventions don’t get that right) so people had no problem hearing myself or any of the other readers. We were also given a nice introduction before we went on and the audience were told where they could pick up our books.  I had a few people come up to me on Saturday and say they enjoyed my reading and couple more tweeted me as much which was nice to hear. It made me even more grateful that Jenni kept nudging me to do it as there were numerous times over the months I wanted to drop out and I am so glad I stayed the course. I don’t think I’m ever going to get over my  nerves  at doing a reading but at least now that I’ve done it once I know the world won’t end if I slip up over a few words.

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One thing I will highlight in particular was when I woke up on Saturday morning with a serious fear in regards to my travel arrangement for my trip home and the last panel I was on. I texted Jenni at a little before 8am (sorry Jenni) who came back to me straight away with a shed load of suggestions and got it all sorted for me. By the time I arrived for my panel the moderator, the lovely Jo Fletcher already knew of situation and made sure the audience knew I would need to leave a little early before we kicked off the panel.

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Although I was not there for the entire weekend the time I was there for was fantastic. There was a real air of fun that hung over the whole event that was mirrored by the professionalism of the organisers. In my time I have intended a lot of convention but very few have started out as well in terms of organisation as Nine Worlds has. Add to this that they were managing so many different and diverse areas of geekdom rather than just the usual suspects (films, comics and books) and my respect for this convention grows even more.

I don’t know what the experience was of the other guests who attended the convention so this is purely my own opinion but I my experiences of the Nine Worlds team both before and during the event were  professional, helpful, friendly and will to go that extra mile.

You can’t ask for more than that really.

Big thanks to Jenni, Erich and the entire Nine worlds team!

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Reporter: Nuge aka Barry Nugent

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