FanX 2015: a nerdtastic event

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Photo credit: Amanda Hollman

Salt Lake Comic Con Fan Xperience is back for their fourth con and continues to be a popular event filled with fans in cosplay, panels, vendors, celebrities and fun.

Day two of the event brought a lot of “Whovians “and “Potterheads” anxiously awaiting the opportunity to see their favorite celebrities.  FanX was able to bring three “Doctor Who” guests: Matt Smith, 11th Doctor; Karen Gillan, Amy Pond; and Billie Piper, Rose Tyler. Tom Felton, Harry Potter’s Draco Malfoy, was also a guest.

“I’m kicking myself for not coming earlier…I will be back for sure,” Felton said .

Fans in Felton’s panel enjoyed his connection with the audience, including telling 9-year-old Ella that she would be getting her Hogwarts letter soon. He tended to ramble when responding to questions. He laughed as he recalled when Dumbledore would hide cigarettes in his beard.

“Doctor Who” fans were on what some called a “Whovian high” from all the opportunities they had to interact with the special guests from the show. Between an autograph or photo with an individual, a photo with all three and a combo panel, fans had a good day.

In about the 20 minutes of the panel, a girl broke down in hysterical tears when she said that Doctor Who saved her life when she almost committed suicide. When the volunteer pulled her aside to help her gain composure, Piper sincerely invited her up on stage without skipping a beat, with Gillan and Smith close behind. She stayed on stage for the duration of the panel.

The registration process for this con went significantly smoother than the last event in September, thanks to the use of Radio Frequency Identification wristbands. Those that purchased tickets prior to Jan. 11 received their RFID bands in the mail so that they could activate their band online prior to arriving at the event. After the deadline, the bands were given on site and would be activated there.

Each entrance and exit had volunteers with a scanner to check fans in and out of the building. This process helped keep track of how many people were in at a time. The bands also ensured the prevention of counterfeit wristbands.

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