Last weekend, instead of braving the Memorial Day weekend crowds at the parks, I was fortunate enough to attend a different gathering of fans thanks to a new convention that came to town – Sherlocked USA!
Previously only held in Europe, Sherlocked is the official convention of the hit British television series, Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. And while neither of these actors were in attendance at this particular event, there was no lack of popular guests to meet nor things to do and see!
Some of the headlining guests included co-creators Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss (also one of the stars of the show as Mycroft Holmes), producer Sue Vertue, the utterly adored Andrew Scott (Moriarty), the utterly adorable Una Stubbs (Mrs. Hudson), along with guest stars including Alastair Petrie and Louis Moffat, plus production guests and more.
Although I think it’s safe to say the largest amount of fan “squeeing” was for Andrew Scott, my happiness first and foremost is always in seeing the writers, so I particularly enjoyed panels that included Moffat & Gatiss!
While you generally never know (and shouldn’t!) what’s going on behind the scenes as a con is running, from an attendee perspective, it seemed to run smoothly and on time. I found the entire process easy – from arriving and getting convention hotel parking, to getting my badge, to finding my seat for panels in the main room (assigned by ticket/badge type), to getting the photo shoot I was signed up for.
There were occasional hiccups – for example, Steven Moffat opted to finish some autograph signings he hadn’t previously completed during the assigned time, which meant he didn’t join another scheduled discussion. Fortunately, his co-panelist, Una Stubbs, handled the Q&A all by herself just fine and charmed the crowd marvelously!
However, considering this con had never been run in the USA before, I thought they pulled it all off quite well. Smartly, they used crew from another long-running local convention and a venue that has hosted fan conventions for years (the LAX Marriott), so I think this helped. It was a bonus for me personally as I wound up running into longtime friends from the local con scene and it meant I could pretty easily guess where everything was held (mostly downstairs in the convention area of the hotel).
One thing that I was used to from previous local conventions that might have been of assistance would have been a program with a schedule and a map. This was not provided to attendees (although a glossy photo-filled one was available for sale in the dealers room), so instead I relied on my own knowledge of the hotel facilities, the map posted on the wall, and my phone for accessing the convention website with the schedule of events. The only location I had a bit of a struggle to find was the Screening Room upstairs. I guessed where it might be based on previous conventions attended there, but hotel construction in the area made it a little more challenging to locate. I wound up following my recollections to the general area, then following other con attendees with badges to find the room itself! A sign outside that immediate area would’ve helped, but that was really my only quibble!
Otherwise, I had a fantastic time attending panels that ranged from guest discussions of the show, characters and production, to fan panels, a costume contest and trivia game show.
There was also a WONDERFUL costume and props display from the show, which I quite enjoyed seeing.
While the professional photo shoot ran through so quickly I didn’t even have time to really say anything to the guest before or after getting my picture taken with him, the photo is still a nice souvenir from the con and I’m glad I had the opportunity to do it!
And speaking of souvenirs, I also had time to wander through the dealers’ room. Though my budget was small, I wanted to buy something that would be a nice token of the event and also support the convention-runners, so I opted to make my purchase at the official convention table!
For those of you who remember my love of pin collecting at Disney parks, it may come as no surprise to you that that’s what I chose to buy!
Though attending official conventions is not an inexpensive proposition – from various ticket prices to add-ons such as parties, autographs and photo shoots with guests to all the goodies to be found in the dealers room – it is still a terrific way to celebrate something you love with other like-minded folks (rather like a day at a Disney park!)!
And in all, I had a wonderful time and would very happily attend this event again in future years!
Have you been to a Sherlock or other fan convention? What is your favorite part of the experience?