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Important Auto Assembly 2015 Update

Hi everyone,

We’re deep into the preparations for Auto Assembly 2015 at the moment and we have some great announcements in the pipeline about some of the events that will be taking place at this year’s convention.  However while work is progressing well, we want to bring you an important update…

Over the next few weeks there will be a few delays in us responding to email enquiries as Simon and Trish are having extensive work done on their house. This is going to make things difficult for us to access emails and our PC systems on a regular basis. We will try to respond to all of you as quickly as we can but we do ask that you try to be as patient as possible during this time. We will endeavour to respond as quickly as we can via Twitter and Facebook and if you contact us through our Tumblr page Billy and Isa will be on hand to help.

The Auto Assembly Team

Hilton Birmingham Metropole

Auto Assembly 2015 Hotel Accommodation Update – 11th February 2015

Following the opening of bookings at our convention hotel, the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel at the weekend, the demand for accommodation at the Hilton this year has been absolutely phenomenal with some rooms selling out in a matter of minutes and the overall block of rooms for the convention being close to selling out already. Our room bookings team has been working extra hard behind the scenes to try to secure additional rooms for all of you who haven’t been able to get accommodation yet in the Hilton and we’re incredibly proud to announce that the Hilton has given us some more rooms for our block at the discount rate for the convention weekend!

These extra rooms ARE limited so we’d advise all of you to book as quickly as possible (using the link sent to all of you a few days ago) but we have managed to secure the following:

Thursday 20th and Sunday 23rd August

We now have NEW deluxe singles and deluxe twins on sale.  This is a new allocation which we have managed to secure on top of our initial block.

Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd August

We have also secured some additional deluxe singles and deluxe twins for the main convention days – again these are additional rooms we have managed to obtain over and above our initial block.

As these are additional rooms and not part of our original allowance, these have been supplied completely at the Hilton’s discretion, for which we cannot thank them enough. It does however mean that these new rooms are very limited in numbers so we encourage you to act quickly to avoid disappointment.

Don’t forget, if you have any queries about your booking or the convention itself, please do not hesitate to get in touch and please do not share the hotel booking link with anyone as this is for the exclusive use of Auto Assembly attendees.

Thank you and we’re looking forward to seeing you all in August!

The Auto Assembly Team

Hilton Birmingham Metropole

Auto Assembly 2015 Hotel Accommodation Update – 10th February 2015

With tickets for Auto Assembly 2015 continuing to sell at an incredible rate, rooms at our convention hotel, the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel are doing the same as always. We know that many of you are struggling to find accommodation to meet your needs in the convention hotel and we’re working as fast and hard as we can to secure additional bedrooms at the Hilton. In the meantime we want to bring you all an update on the current position with rooms availability as part of the block reserved by the Hilton at the reduced Auto Assembly convention rate…

Before we continue, we do want to stress that the information here is correct at the time of posting this update and is subject to change.

  • Wednesday 19th August 2015 – All executive rooms and deluxe Queen rooms are sold out, but Deluxe Single rooms and Deluxe Twin rooms are still available.
  • Thursday 20th August 2015 – Complete sell out, all room types. We are liaising with hotel to see if any further capacity can be allocated to our block.
  • Friday 21st August 2015 – All rooms types still available for sale.
  • Saturday 22nd August 2015 – Deluxe Queen rooms are sold out but otherwise all rooms types still available for reservation.
  • Sunday 23rd August 2015 – Only Executive Twin and Executive Queen rooms still available but we are attempting to enquire with the hotel to source additional rooms.
We’ll bring you further updates as we get them.
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Important Notice – Auto Assembly Zero Tolerance Policy

Since Auto Assembly started back in 2000, it’s always been our intention to make the convention as friendly and welcoming as possible. We know that Transformers appeal to a wide cross-section of the community and Auto Assembly is no different. Walking around the convention every year you can see fans of all ages, male and female and from every corner of the globe, come together to share a common love of Transformers. Even our own team come from a diverse background and including our incredibly hard working volunteers we either live or hail from different countries and are an incredible mixed bunch!

Saying all of that, as Auto Assembly is Europe’s largest Transformers Convention we do appreciate that not everyone who attends the convention is going to get along and there will be times when people may not see eye to eye with each other… Over the years, Auto Assembly has changed from a small scale event where fans came along to share their love of Transformers, to spend money on toys at the dealers tables and meeting our guests to a large scale social event attended by just under 1,000 people. With the convention now running for three days and attracting fans from all over the world, for many of our attendees it’s the only time of the year where they may actually get to see some of their friends so it is a major part of their social calendar.

However, we do appreciate that not everyone in the fan community gets along. Whether there are people you don’t like, people you don’t want to talk to or those whose opinions you simply don’t share (and this can apply to dealers or even members of our own team!) there will be people who you may not see eye-to-eye with. Equally, we appreciate that with the social side of the event being such an important part of the convention this can also have a downside to it. Not everyone at the convention has enough time to be able to spend talking to all of their friends – even all of us here at Team Auto Assembly don’t have as much time as we would often like to spend with our friends during the weekend – so please try to bear this in mind. While some may come across as being rude for not talking to you, they may simply be overwhelmed by the weekend and the number of people they are trying to catch up with.

Anyway, we want everyone to be able to enjoy the convention regardless of any personal issues they may have with other attendees – and with just short of 1,000 fans joining us last year we know that some of you must have had some – so we have had to introduce a Zero Tolerance Policy. Certainly we don’t want to dictate how you can and can’t behave at the convention, but we do ask that you all try to remain as civilised as possible towards other attendees, dealers, guests and our convention team during the weekend. If you feel as if you can’t, then please give stay away from those individuals that you can’t so everyone can just relax and enjoy themselves.

We must also ask that you try to be civilised and polite when dealing with members of our team, before, during and after the convention, in any matters relating to Auto Assembly. We know that there may be times when you may have issues that will need resolving and we will do everything in our power to answer and deal with your queries as quickly as possible but no matter what issues you may have, please respect our team at all times and do not take your frustrations out on them. We have had incidents where members of our team have been subjected to written (publicly via social media or directly via email) and verbal abuse, telephone calls at unsociable hours and even threats of violence made against several of them and this is something that we will not tolerate. We do take these matters very seriously and we have already had to issue lifetime bans against several individuals for the convention and others have been discussed amongst members of the team recently. This is something we do not want to do, but we must take every step necessary to protect our team and other attendees at the convention who simply want to enjoy the event that our team has given up their spare time to organise.

As I have said, we want all of you to enjoy the convention as much as possible and the best way to do this is to make sure you are aware of all the convention’s rules and the Zero Tolerance Policy in particular in advance of attending. All of these can be found in the regularly updated Attendee Information Pack so please spare a few minutes to read this.

I’d like to thank all of you for your time reading this and I look forward to meeting all of you in person at Auto Assembly 2015.

Simon Plumbe
Auto Assembly Committee Head

Hilton Birmingham Metropole

Auto Assembly 2015 Hotel Bookings Update

Yesterday was a busy day here at Auto Assembly… an incredibly busy day – for us and for all of our attendees and one that was a day of frustration for many of you as well when hotel rooms went on sale at the convention discount rate at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel for Auto Assembly 2015. As expected, rooms have been selling at a phenomenal rate but unfortunately this has affected many of you and booking your accommodation for the convention this year so we wanted to bring you all this important update (taken and updated from the post written by Billy on our Tumblr account in FAQ form) which should bring you all up-to-date on the current situation with the hotel.

Q. Is the Hotel website broken?

A. No, we’ve been checking the site regularly on computers and mobile devices to make sure that it’s working perfectly for everyone.

Q. The website says rooms are unavailable for my stay. Is this a complete sell out?

A. No. The biggest problem people are having is that, if you book a few days – say three or four – and one of those days is full for the type of room you have selected, the the system is unable to complete the booking so it reports that your requested room isn’t available. In this scenario, initially the best option to try is to consider a different combination of days for your stay. The days which bookend the con – Wednesday, Thursday, Monday – are in very limited supply.  So try booking for the convention weekend only Friday onwards (for instance). However, some attendees have successfully booked their stay by splitting their bookings into single days (which doesn’t cost any more) or in two halves so this could be a successful option as well.

Q. Will any more rooms be added for the days which are now sold out?

A. We are certainly going to request more next week when the event staff are back in work, but we can make no guarantees. The Hilton has been able to add rooms to our allocations several times in the past but this is dependent on availability and their other commitments which is why we can’t make any promises at this stage. A show like AA is so large that it has to be booked very early – but that means other shows book throughout the year which we and the Hilton can’t anticipate, giving the hotel additional obligations. We will try our best.

Q. Did AA reserve less bedrooms than last year?

A. Quite the opposite! Because of the increasing demand for rooms every year we’ve been working with the Hilton to ensure that we actually had substantially more than last year. Every year without fail, we have secured more and more bedrooms. We fight as hard as we can and the Hilton is as accommodating as it can be.

Q. Why does AA not just reserve the entire hotel?

A. As lovely as that would be, this is a question of economics. Our bedroom rate is fantastic but from a business point of view we would need to provide the Hilton with a guarantee that we would sell every single room in our allocation. We are getting an extremely generous discount on accommodation rates – far greater than any other event or promotional offer made to other events – and the hotel also has regular business which they would lose if the entire hotel was reserved for the convention. Ultimately, for us to be in a position for this to happen in the future (and this is purely conjecture right now) we would potentially need the convention to grow in size considerably using virtually ALL of the Hilton’s function capacity and more than doubling in size in terms of attendees to ensure that food and drink sales generate a substantial increase in income for the hotel as well. There would also be a potential room rate increase as well to compensate for the lost income from their “regular” full-price paying guests.

On a personal level, with any hotel that has event space, in over 25 years I have never seen a hotel that has been able to offer a convention exclusive use of a venue for function space and accommodation regardless of the size of the event purely from a practical level. Sadly all we can do is continue to increase our room allocation year on year and endeavour to work with the Hilton to add rooms to our block wherever possible.

We appreciate that it can be frustrating when you are unable to get the room you want. All we ask is please, do not take your frustrations out on any of our team. We are all volunteers, giving up our spare time to try and give you the best convention we possibly can. We will keep working hard to try and do this and we will fight for every room we can get and we will always fight for you full stop.

We will bring you more updates here on the website, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr as soon as we can.  Thank you.

The Auto Assembly Team

Hilton Birmingham Metropole

Auto Assembly 2015 Hotel Bookings Are Open!

It’s time to check your email folks because bookings for hotel rooms at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel for Auto Assembly 2015 are OPEN! We have now emailed a link to the Hilton’s dedicated microsite to everyone who has pre-registered for the convention so if you all head over to your inboxes right now and you’ll find the link waiting for you along with details on how to book your rooms for this year’s convention.

As we said here on the site last night, please don’t delay in booking your rooms as they sell out at a phenomenal rate every year. You don’t need to pay for your room when you book – this is done when you arrive at the convention – so don’t delay! We have been allocated more rooms than ever before and although the Hilton hope to be able to add more rooms if we need them this isn’t something they can guarantee so hurry and book now!

Rooms are just £54.50 a night for a single room and £66 for a twin/double inclusive of breakfast. While rooms are available from 19th – 24th August 2015 at the convention rate, some of these nights are very limited in supply so if you have problems booking rooms for your chosen night, or if you have any other issues or queries regarding your hotel accommodation, please don’t hesitate to contact us immediately at roombookings@autoassembly.org.uk

See you all in August!

The Auto Assembly Team

Hilton Birmingham Metropole

Auto Assembly 2015 Hilton Booking Links Live In An Hour!

For those of you waiting eagerly to book your hotel rooms at the Hilton for this year’s convention, the wait is nearly over…! We have now sent out all of the confirmation emails to everyone who has booked their tickets for this year’s event and we will be sending out the email with the link to the Hilton’s microsite allowing you to book your hotel room at the discount rate in about an hour’s time so be ready to check your email!

We’re allowing an hour to give all of you time to get to your computers and be ready to check your inboxes for the email as it arrives. Also, it gives you all time to make sure that your confirmation email has arrived with you safely. Please note that you do NOT need this confirmation email to book your hotel room but you will need it to gain admission to the convention in August so no matter what, you do need to keep this email safe! If you haven’t received the confirmation email, please contact us immediately at autoassembly@aol.com with your name, the email address connected to your PayPal account when you made your booking and where possible at least one alternative email address so we can send a replacement as soon as possible. If you can tell us the date that you booked it will help us trace your booking quicker but this isn’t important as we’ll be able to find your booking quick enough with the information provided.

Don’t forget to check your email very soon and we’ll see you all in August!

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Auto Assembly 2015 Hotel Bookings Go Live Tomorrow!

We know that you’ve all been waiting eagerly to book your hotel rooms at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel for Auto Assembly 2015 to ensure that you don’t miss out on getting on-site accommodation for this year’s convention and the wait is almost over…! We’re pleased to confirm that all of you who have already registered for the convention will be receiving an email tomorrow (Saturday 7th February 2015) with a link to the micro website that the Hilton has set up giving you direct access to the room bookings for Auto Assembly 2015 allowing you to book rooms at this year’s discount rate.

The special room rate that we have negotiated with the Hilton this year is a fantastic budget-beating £54 a night for a single room and £66 for a twin/double inclusive of a full English breakfast! We would strongly advise booking your hotel room as soon as you get this email as although the Hilton has reserved a significantly larger block of rooms than ever before, they can not give us the entire hotel so we expect these rooms to book up very quickly! Infact, the majority of our initial block sold our within FOUR HOURS last year so don’t waste any time this year! The hotel will do their utmost to add additional rooms to our block once these sell out but this can’t be guaranteed but we will be looking into offering rooms at nearby hotels and we’ll bring you details of these shortly if they are required.

So what do you need to do tomorrow? First, keep checking your inbox throughout the day. The hotel email will be sent to the same email address where we sent your booking confirmation email and both of these will be sent to the email address that is linked to your PayPal account so please ensure that this is the email address that you check. For those of you with Hotmail, MSN or Yahoo email accounts please check your spam folders as we are aware that these email providers do tend to have some issues receiving mail and redirecting them incorrectly.

Secondly, click on the link to the Hilton’s site and book your room as quickly as possible. Please don’t worry about paying for your room as this does not need to be done straight away. You pay for your room on arrival at the Hilton in August so no payment is required right now. If you do experience any problems with the booking system or find that your preferred room type / dates are unavailable, please contact us immediately at roombookings@autoassembly.org.uk

Finally, for those of you who haven’t received your confirmation email at the moment, we are currently sending out the final batch of these including those who are have booked over the last few days but please rest assured that we will not send the hotel booking link out until every confirmation email has been sent out from us. We will post an update here on the website, Twitter and Facebook once the hotel link has been sent out and if you haven’t received the hotel link or your booking confirmation by that time then please get in touch with us and we will arrange to send a replacement copy out to you.

One last thing that we must stress to all of you NEED Auto Assembly tickets before the system will allow you to use this link.  This is to prevent abuse.  Please book your tickets as a priority to receive the link on time.

The Auto Assembly Team

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Important Warning Against Hoax Callers Claiming To Be From Auto Assembly

Hi everyone.

It’s been brought to our attention that a hoax call has been made to one of our attendees claiming to be from Auto Assembly telling the individual concerned that they had “won a prize from Auto Assembly”. While the call didn’t progress any further as the attendee wanted to verify whether the call was genuine or not, we are understandably concerned that people are being approached in this way.

Right now we don’t know how our attendee’s contact details have been obtained although we would strongly advise all of you to check your profiles on any social media sites that you may have a presence on and ensure that all of your personal details remain private.

Please remember that Auto Assembly will NEVER contact you asking for any financial details, nor do we request or hold telephone numbers on record, electronically or otherwise for our attendees.

If any more of you are contacted in this manner, please let us know noting the number that called you and the date/time of the caller.

Thank you,

The Auto Assembly Team

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Auto Assembly Website Issues

Over the last couple of days, some of you may have experienced problems in accessing the Auto Assembly website. It has been brought to our attention that our hosting company suffered a DoS (denial of service) attack that left users unable to access a vast number of websites that were hosted by them. While this isn’t an unusal occurance for web hosting providers (or major companies for that matter), we do appreciate that this would have been incredibly frustrating for many of you over the last few days.

It would appear that this has now been resolved but we will aim to keep you abreast of any further problems should they arise over on our Twitter channel.

The Auto Assembly Team