Making sure everyone got what they paid for
One thing I will say is that Gina and her volunteers made sure people got what they paid for. If you couldn’t do something because of the schedule—such as you got a Graham meet and greet but found out the M&G was on Sunday and you only had a Saturday ticket—then the team would figure out something to do.
You did have to be proactive in asking, though. If you were too late, then sadly, there wasn’t much the organizers could do. But they would try everything they could.
And the cast was extremely supportive of Gina and her team doing that. They know how much you’re spending for these events. They want you to feel welcome and appreciated.
This is where Sasnak City 2019 beat Supernatural Toronto by Creation Ent. When I went to SPN Tor 2019, I felt rushed through. I was just another paycheck for Creation Ent. It’s a money pit, willing to encourage you to spend as much as you feel you need, whether it bankrupts you or not. the autograph lines are pushed through extremely quickly. In some cases, you don’t even have time to say “hi, how are you?” and get an answer!
Sasnak City 2019 isn’t like that. The Outlander cast members know you’re there to see them. They want to make you feel wanted, and they will chat. Okay, that makes some things run behind when it comes to the autograph sessions, but I don’t think people were really complaining too much about that part of the show. It was the problems earlier in the day that caused disappointment.
Some of the guests were more talkative than ever. Gary Lewis would make you feel like you’d known him for years. Tim Downie would seem genuinely interested in hearing a story. Nell Hudson is the sweetest person you’ll ever meet and knows how to get you laughing. Each member had something to say, something to contribute, and a way to make you feel at ease.
It’s all about the bigger ticket items
The Fraser’s Ridge ticket is more than worth the money. This is the ticket that gets you pretty much an all-access pass. It offers you the chance to meet the guests on the Friday night while getting extra events throughout the weekend with the cast.
But if you don’t have that money, the Lallybroch ticket is worth it. And you can always get the Blue Mountain ticket separately.
It’s these evening events that certainly make the convention more exciting and worth your time and money than anything else. During these events, the Outlander cast members will walk around and chat to fans. During Blue Mountain, it’s a little like a press room at NYCC. The guests work their way around tables, chatting for 10 minutes or so before moving onto the next table. It’s a chance to just chat, ask questions, and hear a few extra stories.
The meet and greets are also worth the money and time. They’re a 30-minute session with just 10 people in the room with the chosen celeb. You can ask questions, hear stories, and at the end, there are selfie opportunities. You’ll hear stories that you don’t hear anywhere else—and I’ve promised not to share anything that I heard during these sessions.
Shopping at the vendors
I’ll admit that I spent a lot of time at Thistle Do Nicely, mostly because there were a lot of items from home. However, each of the vendors were brilliant with their offerings. Everything was reasonably priced, there was something for all, and all items were easily accessible.
One thing I loved was that the scarves at one booth were being made on site. You could choose your wool color and you could pick up the item while there. Very few vendors would be able to offer something like that. Getting things in my little suitcase meant I had to be picky about some of the items I could buy, but there was certainly plenty that I loved.
The vendors were also friendly, and not just because they wanted you to buy items. They would stand a chat about their love for the show and other fandoms. They would want to learn more about you. In some cases, they could even tell you where individual volunteers were if you were looking for them!