A few weeks ago I was in Anaheim meeting with members of the Reed Expo team, reps from the Anaheim Convention Center, and a few audio/visual companies. We are more than a year out from what will likely be the biggest Celebration we’ve ever done, but planning is well underway.
Now is when we get to ask questions that I’m frankly quite passionate about answering: “Where are the best places for parties?” “How large a screen can we fit in this room?” “Where will the fans naturally gather and meet up?” “Where do we queue up the overnight line folks?”
It’s all about making sure we do the absolute best for the show, and it starts now — before we sign all the guests, before we create and schedule entertainment, and before we sell a single pavilion to a licensee, or create the first exclusive merchandise.
I LOVE this stage of planning. I might be alone in this affectionate obsession, but hopefully some of my site photographs and questions get you wondering too, and looking forward to April 16-19, 2015, in Anaheim. We’ll start the announcements soon at www.starwarscelebration.com.
Question: Which placement is best for the Celebration Stage? The auditorium at the Anaheim Convention Center has a bigger capacity than any Celebration Stage we’ve had outside of Essen, Germany. We need to make great use of that space so the audience has best possible experience. We want the guests to feel comfortable, and the Celebration host and his or her crew to have a practical and technically solid performance area.
Question: Where are Celebration attendees likely to hang out? Community is key to every Star Wars Celebration, and attendees will make arrangements to meet up with friends, take photographs in costume, and maybe catch a breath of outdoor air between stage shows.
Question: Where do we hang a Death Star? Can we hang a Death Star at all?
Question: What are the best routes for moving talent behind the scenes and out of sight?
Question: Which way are our guests going to walk? Celebrations are not like traditional trade shows in that we have many live stages and activity areas, some of them very large capacity. We plan the best ways to move the lines and empty the halls, while still allowing space for fans to move and gather in the common areas.
Question: Is there a good place for a small party?
Question: If we were to have a party at night at the Convention Center, where is the best spot?
Question: Where will we put the green rooms? We’re planning both the green rooms for the stage hosts and crews, and those super-secret, hidden green rooms that don’t show up on any of our floorplans.
Question: What’s the largest possible screen we can hang in the Digital Stage? Good AV equipment and tech expertise are vital to Celebrations. We are, after all, a company whose major assets live in video and sound. When we tune up the sound system on the digital stage, I want to feel my sternum vibrate.
Question: Food trucks?
When we hit the one-year mark this April, news and stories about Star Wars Celebration Anaheim will begin popping up, and I’ll have more behind-the-scenes info to share, too. Tickets are on sale now at www.starwarscelebration.com.