So - at the time of writing this - True Believers 2016 is just over 4 months away. It's crazy how fast it's coming around again, especially as this years event feels like it only happened a couple of months ago. It's been great to talk to people about True Believers and hear what they thought of our first event and what they are looking forward to at next years show.
Most of you reading this probably already know what's going on at True Believers 2016 (that's been announced anyway), but for those who don't know - or just want a handy refresher - here's everything you need to know (so far) on one handy page.
Here goes then...
So who's going to be on the Guest List in 2016?
So what kind of stuff will be for sale there?
As with last year, we will have around 150 tables filled with a great selection of independent and small press comic artists and creators as part of our convention floor, who will be selling their own created comics and art from their tables. There will also be traders selling comics (new and back issues), toys, models, Pop Vinyls, Manga & Anime merchandise and more.
So what panels can we expect to see at True Believers 2016?
We will have 5 panels during next years event, including the return of the Celebrate Cosplay panel, the Discover Something New panel and the Comics As Education panel. We have announced the details of this years Celebrate Cosplay panel, which will see a group of our cosplay guests talking about how they find and create their cosplays. We will announce the full details of the Discover Something New and Comics As Education panels over the coming months.
Two new panels for 2016 that we have announced are the Doctor Who Panel and the Amazing Story Of Spider-Man On BBC Radio panel. The Doctor Who Panel will see Paul Cornell, Emma Vieceli, Mike Collins and Rachael Smith discuss everyone's favourite Time Lord and the Spider-Man Panel will see Dirk Maggs and Tim Quinn discuss the story of bringing Spidey to BBC Radio.
Rounding out the panels will be the comedy game show panel Comics In Just A Minute. Picking up from her victory at Melksham Comic Con (two years in a row), reigning champion Sonia Leong will defend her title against three new challengers (to be announced) by talking for a minute about comic topics without repetition, hesitation or deviation.
So what's happening in the Celebrate Cosplay Hall in 2016?
The Celebrate Cosplay Hall will be largely the same as this year, with a selection of Cosplay guests in the hall who will be on hand to pose for photos and talk one on one about cosplay and cosplaying. It will also see the return of the Celebrate Cosplay Catwalk, in which everyone who has come to True Believers in costume is invited to get up on the catwalk and show off their cosplay to the crowd. The catwalk is just for fun and is open to all ages.
So what's new for True Believers 2016?
Instead of having traders and exhibitors up on the balcony next year, we will be using the area for some new stuff. On one side of the balcony, we will have a Table Top Gaming area, where Proud Lion will have a selection of tables set up for demo games (games TBA). This area is perfect for non-gamers to try their hand and see what TTG is all about and for TTG fans to discover some new games to try.
It's our plan to have part of the balcony set up for workshops. These workshops will be a mixture of comic and cosplay workshops and will be aimed at both adults and children and will see people sharing their skills, tips and techniques to inspire creativity.
We will also have an area of the balcony set up for people to just sit down and relax, check out their con haul, read some comics, play some table top games and catch up with friends new and old.
So what else?
Based on feedback from last year, we're looking at addressing some of the points that were raised about last year. These include the following areas;
SIGNAGE: One of the things that was fed back to us was the lack of signage, both in the venue and outside. We will be increasing the amount of signage we have, making it easier to find where things are and when things are happening.
AGENTS: Another thing that was fed back to us from this years event was that the True Believers Agents didn't stand out enough. So for #TBCF2016 our Agents will be wearing bright orange shirts (see picture).
FOOD: One of the problems with this years event was that the bar ran out of food very quickly. We will be asking the venue to increase the amount of food they have available from the bar on the day.
THE BIG SCREEN: Some of you might remember the big screen we had in the main hall that was displaying the True Believers logo throughout the day. A lot of people suggested that we use it for more at the next event. This year we didn't know we could use it until the night before the event, but now that we know it's available to us we have plans for it for 2016. More details on that at a later date.
We hope to have more stuff to announce as the event gets closer, but in the meantime you can help us make #TBCF2016 as good as (if not better than) True Believers 2015 buying your tickets and helping to spread the word about the event. The thing that made this years event what it was, was the love and support you guys gave us and in doing so you helped us to make it all possible and with your continued support, we can do the same in 2016 and keep True Believers as a regular fixture in the comic book calendar for a few more years to come.
We can't do any of it without you.
Thanks True Believers.