Here at Gallifrey One, we pride ourselves on being unique: a fan-run convention created entirely from the ground floor up, grown over decades through highs and lows, and boosted entirely through word of mouth. For over two decades, that word of mouth has kept us going, even during lean times. But recently, history was made as Doctor Who returned to the airwaves, and a show we celebrated since shortly after its original cancellation became a hot commodity. That word of mouth brought to us countless new Doctor Who fans, bringing a convention that had sustained itself for nearly fifteen years at roughly 700 attendees to a new height in 2012 approaching almost 3,200 souls. While we’ve always struggled to make every attendee feel welcome, we knew last February we were approaching our limits… and that was the year before the show’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
Gallifrey One is first and foremost a convention - not a trade show, not a media frenzy. We’ve never aspired to be the size of the major events like Dragon*Con or the San Diego ComicCon events. We’re very happy with the size we reached this past February, and in effort to keep it that way, we are today announcing a cap on our attendance figures for 2013.
For Gallifrey One 2013, we will be capping our attendance at 3,200 registrants — a few more than 2012 (as our final numbers always include our guests), but not much more than that.
We aren’t making this decision lightly; it’s a combination of the size of the function space in our hotel, the Marriott LAX, as well as the comfort level of our attendees. We’ve streamlined our convention space for 2013 (including such things as expanding our dealers room, including access to the room from the main foyer, and limiting table space in the hallways), and we will be improving traffic flow in the foyer. But that’s not enough — we don’t want autograph lines that take all day to move through, photo sessions bogged down so our guests become overtired, or a main ballroom so full that there isn’t any seating for the headliner guests. That’s not the Gallifrey One way — we are a convention, and conventions are for, and about, our attendees.
As of today, September 10, 2012, we are just shy of 2,100 registrants, so we’re not going to sell out immediately. However, with this announcement, the rate increase at the end of September, and the early notice our past attendees received on our postcards mailed a week ago, we fully expect there to be a run on new registrations. We will sell online weekend registration until we hit the 3,200 mark (with a few reminders on our Facebook page and Twitter feed) and go no further. We do expect to sell out prior to the start of the convention, but if that target is not reached, we will continue to sell registrations at the door. Please note, however, that at this point (unless our projections, and history from the past few years, are incorrect) we do not expect to sell one-day passes for 2013. Again, if that changes, we’ll ensure that this is announced on our website.
Gallifrey One is something we put a great deal of love into… so you can continue to expect guest confirmations throughout the oncoming months (we still have plenty of people yet to confirm, both classic and new Doctor Who related), as well as programming announcements, a terrific charity we’re beginning to work with for our 2013 auction, and some amazing events we have in store. We want everyone to be able to enjoy all of this, so we’ve decided to make certain everyone knows well ahead of time about our membership cap… a cap we are nowhere near, but expect to be in the not-too-distant future. You can keep tabs on our numbers by visiting the Member Search page, which has the current registration count updated every Saturday, along with news on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.
We hope you will join us for what we expect will be the Doctor Who fan convention of the year - large in size but not overwhelming, full of tons of great Doctor Who fun to be had. We’re just hoping you’ll plan ahead! See you in February.
CLICK HERE TO PRE-REGISTER for Gallifrey 2013.
Wow. I was fully expecting them to cap attendance next year, but I didn’t expect the announcement to come so early. So if you’ve been on the fence about going to Gally next year, maybe this will help with your decision.