Consulting, Publishing, Engineering

Star Trek and a technical writer (me!)

I admit it – I was at the Creation Star Trek Convention last weekend, and I had a great time! I don’t know what the official numbers were, but I’d guess there were between 13,000 and 15,000 attendees at this thing – like many conventions, there were speeches, presentation, book signings, a vendor area, and a number of social events.

My favorite presentation was by Wil Wheaton, who has moved beyond his original “child star” label to become a well-known blogger and terrific author. Wil is open, funny, gracious, and incredibly generous with his time and talents. You can read his blog or a variety of columns all over the place – among his funniest is a series of reviews of Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes over at, but there’s lots more. Another cool thing about Wil Wheaton is that he’s been blogging since 2001, and has gotten really really good at it. Well worth a visit!

Another high point for me was the photo opp I got with George Takei. We had about 45 seconds to pose for the picture, but it was a warm and friendly 45 seconds! His was a very good presentation, too, and it’s clear that he’s really enthusiastic about his current projects. On this one, though, I left before the question and answer period was over.

It’s interesting to me to see how the people at Creation pulled together such a huge event – it was almost 10 times larger than even the largest event I’ve ever worked on (STC-Dallas, maybe?) Some things are the same – the need for lots of up-front prep, tons of volunteers on the floor, inevitable problems with tickets, etc. Also the difficulty in estimating how many attendees for each session, sometimes leaving huge rooms empty and smaller rooms overflowing. Some things I think we do better – the Star Trek printed program was somewhat confusing, and most of their signage was vague at best. Some things they did really really well – for example, I liked how they renamed the two main presentation rooms the “Gene Roddenberry Theatre” and the “James Doohan Theatre” – much more inclusive and thematic than the generic room names we’ve had at some of our venues! There was also a color-coding system in the badge and wrist-bands. I’m not sure how that would translate for much-smaller events, but it was interesting anyway.

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