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.