Auto Assembly 2015 - James Horan

Special cabaret performance from James Horan at Auto Assembly 2015!

We said that we wanted to make Auto Assembly 2015 a special year and give the convention the send-off that it deserves, and our special Saturday night programme of events is going to be no exception to this so we’re pleased to announce what we think is going to be one of the real highlights of the night…

As well as his extensive acting career, James Horan is also an accomplished singer and he will be taking to the stage on the Saturday night for a cabaret performance of some of his favourite songs! This one hour show will take place late in the evening after our Cosplay Competition and the Script Reading and will be part of the Saturday Night Showcase Event that is exclusive for weekend ticket holders.

If you want to come along and see James’ show (along with the rest of the night’s entertainment and the full convention) you’ll need to have a full weekend ticket for Auto Assembly 2015. Full weekend tickets for the convention are still available and they can be purchased from the Auto Assembly 2015 Ticket Bookings Page. The convention is is taking place over the weekend of 21st – 23rd August 2015 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, Birmingham, England. For those of you only able to attend for part of the weekend, single day tickets are available as well.

See you all in August!

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Auto Assembly 2015 Update – 24th June 2015

We’re posting this today to give all of you a quick update regarding this year’s convention and Auto Assembly in general. While Auto Assembly 2015 is now just a couple of months away we’re still working to bring you a convention that you won’t forget. We have some great programme items that we will be announcing shortly that will be incredibly memorable for all of you who join us for the convention’s swansong and we’ve still got plenty of details coming soon about everything that will be taking place over the weekend in our Alternative Programme rooms so there’s lots more to look out for.

However, we do want to bring all of you an update and a reminder about the convention on a general level. As most of you will know, when we announced that Auto Assembly 2015 was set to be the last convention, we mentioned that this was for a number of reasons – the health of a number of our team members, work commitments and other personal reasons meaning that we weren’t able to commit as much time to Auto Assembly as we wanted to. Why are we mentioning this now? Well, while this has affected our decision about the convention in the future, it’s also affecting us behind the scenes with Auto Assembly 2015 and we do ask for your patience and understanding with this year’s event as well.

There will be times where we can’t respond to your emails as quickly as we would like to, bookings may take longer to process and some things that we are hoping to bring you for the convention may be taking slightly longer than usual for us to negotiate for the event. This doesn’t mean that we won’t be able to give you the best convention that we possibly can but we are having to work things around our ever-changing personal lives and for many of us it means having to put time into the convention during evenings, weekends and even late into the night to get things done.

It’s not a perfect situation for us as a team but we just wanted you all to be aware that we are working hard to bring you the best convention that you all deserve, but that we also ask for you to work with us in this difficult time for all of our team while we try to cope with our stressful and ever-changing personal circumstances that we are having to cope with while we work on Auto Assembly 2015.

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Auto Assembly 2015 Ticket Bookings Update – 17th June 2015

Following on from our update a couple of days ago regarding the issue that some of you are having in bookig tickets for Auto Assembly 2015, our tech guru Steve Mapes has been delving deep into our booking system to try to identify exactly what has been causing the problem for many of you as you have been trying to secure your place for our last ever event.

While we have traced the problem back to PayPal themselves and we still don’t have an immediate solution, we do have a short-term workaround for those of you experiencing problems with booking. When attempting to buy tickets, if you are unable to and are presented with an error screen by PayPal, exit the booking process and then visit the PayPal website directly and sign in to your PayPal account. Once you have done this, open a new tab in your browser and visit the Auto Assembly 2015 Ticket Bookings Page and proceed to order your tickets as normal.

At this stage, you should find that your order will be placed and processed normally. It appears that there is an issue from PayPal’s side of things in processing orders from anonymous customers at the moment. We are contacting PayPal to try to resolve this right now and we’ll bring you updates as we get them. It doesn’t appear to be a browser-specific issue either for the problem or for the solution as we have tested it with a range of configurations.

Hopefully we’ll have everything back to normal in a few days.

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Important Notice – Auto Assembly 2015 Ticket Bookings

It’s been brought to our attention that a few of you have been having difficulties booking tickets for Auto Assembly 2015 over the last few days through the website. Once deciding on the ticket type that you have wanted to buy and clicking on the “add to cart” button, a number of you have experienced an issue with errors being reported once our website has directed people to PayPal to begin the payment processing step rather than displaying the shopping cart.

While the booking system is functioning properly at the Auto Assembly side of things, it does appear that the PayPal side of things is running significantly slower than normal and is causing problems for some people. We have received bookings from people for the convention over the weekend so we are aware that it isn’t affecting everyone who is trying to register for Auto Assembly 2015 and our own test booking while taking longer than normal did function properly.

What would advise everyone to do at the moment is to keep trying to book as normal but please be patient with the system. First, please ensure that cookies are enabled on your PC or mobile device that you are using to make the booking incase this may be causing problems for some. Secondly, if you do experience problems just keep trying. We do have plenty of tickets available for the convention so none of you will miss out on being able to attend the event. We have relocated into the Hilton’s largest halls for this year’s convention which is 20% larger than the hall we used for Auto Assembly 2014 so we have plenty of space for everyone!

What we believe may be contributing to this problem is the current status of PayPal as a company. As many of you are aware, Until recently PayPal was wholly owned by eBay but the two companies are now being separated. As part of this, we believe that this may be having some temporary impact on the performance of their servers. While this is only speculation, we would just ask that you try to be as patient as you can with our booking system during this time. Rest assured that your financial and personal details are still safe and that our online booking system is still extremely secure and has been since it was first adopted over a decade ago.

We will keep everyone posted on the situation but if this problem does persist then we will look into providing alternative booking options should we need to for everyone.

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Auto Assembly 2015 – Important Information For Suppliers

With Auto Assembly 2015 just a couple of months away, I want to take this opportunity to talk about a subject that I rarely discuss either here on the website or through open channels but as the site is a starting point that is used for this, I felt that it was an issue that needed to be brought to the attention of our site visitors, especially in light of the conventions status and certainly the timescale in relation to this year’s event…

Every couple of days, here at Auto Assembly HQ we are almost guaranteed to receive emails or phone calls soliciting for our business. Whether it’s from a company that provides printing services, event management companies that are offering to manage our ticketing system or even from venues enquiring about us relocating, the calls invariably take up time out of our day responding with the same polite refusals.While we certainly believe that the majority of these may be genuine service providers, it does take up time that we simply can not afford to spend, especially in the current circumstances with our time being stretched to the limits as it is with our increasing personal pressures and limitations.

What we would ask is that companies please seriously consider not contacting us in future regarding any sales pitches for the convention. For the most part, Auto Assembly uses regular suppliers for its goods and services and has built up good working relationships with these over the years. With 2015 also being our last event, many of these purchasing plans have either been made or been budgeted for with our existing suppliers. What we would like to say at this stage is that there are goods and services that we will not consider under any circumstances and would ask that suppliers of these do not contact us as a refusal may offend:-

  • Event venues
  • Lanyard / name badge production
  • Ticket sales systems
  • T-shirt printing
  • Transport

It goes without saying that the above services are also not needed in future as well so please do not contact us offering any of these beyond August 2015. For other services, while we do have suppliers that we have used in the past, we are willing to consider proposals but this is on a time-limited basis. We would not only need an assurance of quality to ensure that this is not compromised, but also that your services are competitive price wise in comparison with our existing suppliers and that delivery could be achived in a timely manner. Specific services that we would consider would include:-

  • Postcard printing (A6, full colour, several designs, 1,000+ per card)
  • Poster printing (A2 size, 1,000+ copies)
  • Magazine printing (A5 booklets, 28+ pages, 2 types, 1,000+ copies each)
  • Table hire (6ft tressle tables, approximately 100 required)

If you are able to offer the above, please feel free to contact us by no later than 11th July 2015 and we can discuss quotes / request samples. Again, please understand that after 23rd August 2015, supply of these products will not be required.

Simon Plumbe
Auto Assembly

Auto Assembly 2015 - Alex Milne

Alex Milne Ups the Velocity for Auto Assembly 2015

We are immeasurably pleased to announce that Transformers comic Artist Alex Milne will be joining us for our final Auto Assembly celebration in August 2015!

Most loved for his work alongside writer (and fellow AA Guest) James Roberts on the fan-favourite comic series; Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye, Alex recently set the fandom ablaze by revealing five new female Transformer designs in the form of Firestar, Javelin, Proxima, Velocity and Roadmaster.

If you want to hear what went into their creation, order a sketch, or just say hi to Alex, be sure to grab your ticket for Auto Assembly 2015 – Europe’s Largest Transformers Convention – whilst they are still available! You can book for the convention, which is taking place over the weekend of 21st – 23rd August 2015 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, Birmingham, England over at our Auto Assembly 2015 Ticket Bookings page.

Auto Assembly 2015 - Jim Sorenson

Jim Sorenson Returns to Auto Assembly 2015

In our final year, team Auto Assembly is delighted to welcome back one of our favourite Matrix-bearers, the irreplaceable Jim Sorenson!

Jim has penned some of our fandom’s most beloved including the much lauded “Transformers Legacy: The Art of Transformers Packaging” and the fan favourite “Transformers Animated: The Complete Allspark Almanac”.  Most recently he has been working for the Official Transformers Collector’s Club on the “Beast Wars: Uprising” series.

Be sure to have your copies to hand if you want to get them signed by this almighty author at the final AA – it’ll be one for the history books!  (see what we did there… author… books… yeah we’ll keep working on the gags).

If you haven’t already registered for the convention, you can book now for Auto Assembly 2015 which is taking place over the weekend of 21st – 23rd August 2015 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, Birmingham, England at our Ticket Bookings Page.

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Auto Assembly 2015 Guests – Important Information

With Auto Assembly 2015 being just a few short months away, we know that you’re all excited about the event and are eagerly anticipating news of some of the additional events and plans that we will be announcing over the final months and weeks in the run up to the convention. While we still have more guests to announce before the convention is here, we’d like to take a few minutes of your time to talk about the remaining guests that we will be telling you about and answering a few questions that have been asked and replying to some comments that have been made online about our guest line-up this year…

In terms of the guests that we haven’t announced, there are many comic guests that have been regulars or semi-regulars at Auto Assembly over the years and while we would love to have invited all of these back for one final appearance, unfortunately as a convention we also have to be practical. In recent years our guest line-up has grown dramatically and in turn this has meant a significant rise in our guest budget and this places a great strain on us as a convention. We made the decision to re-evaluate our approach to comic guests and adopt a new system with guests to allow us to work within a more manageable budget so we could still bring you comic guests but still give many others the opportunity to attend in the same format that they would appear at other events such as MCM Expo, London Film and Comic Con, Cardiff Comic Con and so on. To put this succinctly, what this meant for all our comic guests, dating right back to the first guest appearances at Auto Assembly in 2003, was that while we couldn’t promise a guest slot at any future event, we were offering them all a guaranteed slot in our new Artists Alley should they wish to accept the complimentary space. Artists appearing here are supported by Auto Assembly as much as possible but we do encourage attendees to support them more through the purchase of sketches, prints etc but in the case of all former Auto Assembly guests we have not turned down any guest who has accepted the opportunity of a space here so for those who are not attending the convention it is either a case of a) us deciding that a formal guest appearance wasn’t “right” for 2015, b) our budget wasn’t capable of supporting an appearance or c) the artist in question made the decision not to attend themselves.

We do know that people are enthusiastic about the convention and have been asking former guests whether they are returning to the convention this year and while we would love to have been able to have brought as many former comic guests and voice actors back for one final event for the best possible send off, that simply isn’t possible. As a convention, we are at our limit with regards to our guest budget and while we are approaching potential sponsors to bring additional guests to the convention and trying to look into ways to bring former guests back to the event, this is not an inexpensive challenge. For contractual and legal reasons, I can’t discuss the type of costs we would have to cover for voice actors but the figure runs into thousands of pounds per guest and this is money that we simply do not have at our disposal.

We must stress that when our current voice actors were approached and booked for the event, there were NO plans to bring the convention to an end and in fact we already had provisional plans in place for guests for Auto Assembly 2016 but real life changed everything for us. All we can truly say right now is that we would ask that everyone tries to refrain from asking former guests if they are attending the convention as it may give the wrong impression that we are going to be inviting or approaching more people with regards to invitiations.

If anyone does want to help us in bringing more guests back, then we would love to be put in touch with potential sponsors who could help us to make this happen. While certainly we can’t openly talk about details here, we are in a position potentially with the right sponsor to bring many former guests back and make announcements quickly if sponsors are willing to help us and make Auto Assembly 2015 the best Transformers convention Europe has ever seen.

Simon Plumbe
Auto Assembly

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Presenting The Second Auto Assembly 2015 Exclusive Postcard… and Sponsors Welcome!

We already unveiled the first exclusive convention exclusive postcard for Auto Assembly 2015 a couple of weeks ago featuring some stunning artwork from convention regular Ed Pirrie in a wonderful tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy but we’re not satisfied with giving you just one postcard in our final year so we’re pleased to bring you details of the second in our final set of cards that you’ll be walking home with after the event…

Our second card features Auto Assembly’s unofficial mascot, Swerve, once again in his usual home behind the bar with artwork once again by Ed Pirrie. The postcard will be available freely to everyone who attends Auto Assembly 2015 and will be given to all of you on arrival at the convention when you collect your passes from our Registration Desk. For any companies out there, this and all the other postcards we’ll be announcing shortly is available for sponsorship as well so if you are interested in having your company logo and website address featured on the reverse of this card for all our attendees to see then please get in touch with us at sponsorship@autoassembly.org.uk to find out more.

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Bumblebee

Bumblebee… Seeing Double At Auto Assembly 2015!

Just when you thought that we had finished with our announcements with our displays for Auto Assembly 2015, we’ve had reports of something strange going on that can only be described by a rift in the time continuum or some other plot device that has lead to a SECOND Bumblebee arriving at Europe’s Largest Transformers Convention this August as the original worse-for-wear “Beaterbee” will be rolling up outside the Hilton this year thanks to the great team at www.transformerscarhire.co.uk

From his first appearance at the start of the original 2007 live action movie, this version of Bumblebee based on the 1977 Chevrolet Camaro has certainly seen better days but we’re sure that you’ll still make him feel welcome while he recuperates and spends some time visiting with us at Auto Assembly 2015!

This stunning replica of the car from the movie will be with us for the full weekend at Auto Assembly 2015 joining the other two cars being furnished by www.transformerscarhire.co.uk and don’t forget to pay them a visit if you’re looking for something special for your own event! You’ll be able to have your photo taken with him absolutely free of charge all weekend (but please note that there will be a £5 charge if you wish to sit inside for your photo… please give him a hand as he needs all the help he can get to try to get back into the best shape he can for his duty as an Autobot warrior!).

Auto Assembly 2015 is taking place over the weekend of 21st – 23rd August 2015 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel.

Bumblebee