- ECM 2023 – Site visit & “Summer weather prep” (0) April 12, 2023Vingtetun
Made our first return visit to the Hilton St Anne today since 2018 for a recce on the venue, what’s changed and to meet the events team who will be looking after us.
Those who went to the last one in 2018 at this location will remember the main room – but as this year we’re in the heart of summer, we’ve been making sure that there’s access to some special outdoor space, and plenty of room in the social areas of the hotel.
They’ve very kindly added in the “Secret Garden” attached to the venue – a private lawn area with seating.
If the weather’s nice – the food service may well move from our private bar to the outdoor area – leaving us more room in there for chatting and gaming!
Additional to that, the venue itself has a covered area with tables and comfy chairs outdoors, plus the conservatory, plus ample space for sitting/drinking/chatting/playing games throughout the hotel.
The swimming pool and SPA is back in action having been out of action in 2018 – for hotel residents only though! The aircon works really well in the main room, they’ve reassured us that there are EXTRA bar staff and PLENTY of cold drinks (in fact, they’ve put it in the contract that we’re a thirsty bunch).Continue reading →
- vECM 2020 Accounting Update (0) December 2, 2020Psykokow
After making the decision not to pursue a physical meet for ECM in 2021, we requested and received a full refund for the Cambridge Chesterton Indoor Bowls Club, we have divided this amount by 2 and have now made the final donations to our chosen charities to bring the accounts for ECM 2020 to a close.
We have updated the financial statement accordingly and you can download a copy for your records here.
Thank you all again for your patience and understanding, and we are SOOO looking forward to the next physical ECM…Continue reading →
- vECM 2020 Accounting (0) May 4, 2020Psykokow
We all want to give a huge massive gigantic thank you to everyone who supported both the attempted ECM and attended our vECM event this year.
Given the overwhelming generosity of you amazing people, we raised a spectacular amount for our charities and sent out a LOT of raffle prizes.. Also we had a pretty fun and amazing day. Highlights are available of the various main stream sections on the hutton truckers youtube channel.
But we are here to reveal the finalised financial detailings for this years event, hopefully its easy to understand and you can see that all pennies are accounted for.
Thank you once again for the amazing support through donations of raffle prizes, time, efforts, ticket purchases and donating the refund from the original event. You guys all rock.Continue reading →
- ECM 2020 Tickets nearly sold out! (0) February 18, 2020Vingtetun
With 53 days to go before the event itself, we’re down to our last handful of tickets available!
Our thanks to Frontier, HCS Voice Packs, Spidermind, Tinman Games & Jonas Event Technology for sponsoring us and supporting the event with content and epic items for the raffle.
Also – to the Elite community. 250 of you…. you’re epic and thanks for booking to come and join us.
We have no fewer than NINE commanders coming with VR rigs and demonstrations with them, including one attached to a full motion setup. An XBOX CQC corner, huge “retro” gaming area including Frontier’s own back catalogue. We have Drew Wagar (Elite tie-in author and self confessed lore nut), a collection of community streamers including Obsidian Ant. We have a demo of a new Elite app, a twin stick FAOFF setup, the Docking Darts challenge, a chess competition to Spank the Hankey (we’ll explain on the day), Hutton Orbital LIVE, an enormous charity raffle and representatives from all sorts of player groups. Plus lots more….
Jon and Oliver from Spidermind are bringing Battlecards, EDRPG and their stand-out stand-up success project – the Level Up.
There’s ACHunt and his awesome ship schematics, Beetlejude and her stunning Elite artwork, John Vanillah and pirate captain Defoe Smith who are the talented voices behind a number of the parody songs broadcast on Hutton orbital radio over the years. CMDR Evenstar will be there with his etching gear and making CMDR dog tags in return for charity donations.
14 of Frontier’s team are joining us and kicking back to have a laugh for the day, including Will, Stephen and Zac. We’ll all be saying a sad farewell to Paige who is moving to pastures new, but still coming along to say g’bye to everyone.
Baz and Ali from SpecialEffect will be in attendance, as will a rep from Hearing Dogs – showing us where all the funds raised go and how they bring joy and much needed help to those that need it.
Lunch is sponsored by Frontier. Dinner will be extra at your own cost should you want it – more on this later.
Keep your eyes peeled for more exciting content!Continue reading →
- The ECM 2019 – Manchester Accounts are out! (0) May 2, 2019Psykokow
- How To Find the ECM conference room! (0) April 15, 2019Psykokow
WE have a lovely video of how to find the event room at the venue.Continue reading →
- Accounts – 2016 (0) February 19, 2019Psykokow
- Elite Meet – Glasgow 2016 (0) February 19, 2019Psykokow
- And then, it was done….. (0) April 18, 2018Vingtetun
Friday – the day arrived when it was time for the crew to set up. The Glasgow Funbus containing Psykokow and the tech monkey Simoof left at silly o’clock for the south. Down on the South coast, one car was being loaded with zombies and another with gaming rigs. Elsewhere, commanders were boarding planes, packing their games and readying their very best geeky t-shirts. We received a call from a courier – he had FIFTEEN Noblechairs to deliver for us (thanks Noblechairs!). We mustn’t forget Alvin. He boarded his chariot and asked the driver Snos to go get other people so he could have more minions to boss around.
We arrived at the venue sometime around lunch, met the manager (top chap), the lady from food & bar (crazy lady) and checked that we DID indeed have an Internet. A whole one. Not just a damp piece of string, but a honest to Alvin high speed wired Internet. What’s more, we had a 3 phase power supply we could step down to something usable and power the whole thing.
Afternoon, more and more of the volunteer setup crew arrived, from Jim B and his magic box of networking gear through to the Funbus and the audio and Fletch with the power gubbins. Bill arrived with the rest of the Artemis gear and much beavering away was done.
Quick break for dinner. Buffet all round? yes? What’s that? Commander Wotherspoon only had the soup? The lady in charge of service pretended she hadn’t seen him…. Nope, no Wotherspoons here.
Then – finish rigging and some heavy gaming in the bar until…. 2ish.
The Day Itself
The crew were down for breakfast 7.30 sharp (ok, apart from Fletch) to finish rigging everything, from 8 people started arriving with their own gear. The Retro area took shape – 10 computers ranging from the late 70’s through to the 90’s. Names such as BBC Micro, Spectrum, Amiga, TomyTronic, Grandstand plus classic arcades. The multiplayer Gang Beasts screen was prepped and ready and then onward round the room past the PC’s (four more VR rigs, one indie demo game, a full SpecialEffect setup, the stage, the console corner with Team HOTBOX and their PS4 buddies, the ENORMOUS raffle table, Russ Pitcher and his Epic Etcher, Blastard with a Full Motion VR Rig, a Water Cooled shiny glowing beast of a computer from Dobbo and a pair of full VR rigs that you could walk around in.
Phew. Oh, and then there were 10 tables of board games. Plus another Indie Developer.
We opened, people rocked up and we did the obligatory fire notice “if you see the crew running screaming that way” <points at door> “best bet is to follow us”.
Then – we got down to some heavy socialising.
Before we knew it – LUNCH! 121 hungry gamers queued up patiently. A few were sent to the back for attempting to blag seconds before everyone had had their firsts. ATR response was stern with them.
This year we changed the format of the Quiz. Thanks to the efficiency of the UK Customs operation, we’d received the buzzers for the quiz only SECONDS before we opened the event. Unfortunately, Commander Wotherspoon’s voice had left the building, so we recruited stunt voices to read the news, so he didn’t have to. First up was Jon from Spidermind Games (a.k.a. the dude from ED:RPG) who did a sterling turn as quizmaster for the contestants from Slough Remand Centre College and Frontier College Cambridge (no connection to Frontier Developments but it did have Paige as team captain).
Quick break for…. more Artemis then round 2, this time compered by the incomparable Baz from SpecialEffect (Ali loaned him to us). Team HOTBOX took the crown on this one from a motley crew of allcomers from the audience.
More games. Round 3 of Quiz, the final! Soundly won by Slough College of Blowing things Up, captained by Kate Russell. Hosted this time by celebrity guest star “The Galactic Intern” – also known as “Ed Lewis”.
60 minutes until dinner
1 Steph Wyeth (the voice of the raffle for years)
15 seconds a prize
We managed – goodies were handed out to the audience (and a small trolley of them for one commander who threw silly amounts of money at charity) with 60 seconds to spare before service
Onward to pie, fish’n’chips (and for our vegetarians, some delicious Gnocci), Hutton Orbital LIVE! then our house band, the rather piratical Boarding Crew, joined by CMDR Splendour on bashy box bass – with a set including “Station’s on Fire”
We “officially” closed at midnight, stripped half the room ready for a small conference coming in the morning then got down to some seriously heavy gaming. Plus some Alien Isolation (Kate screamed quite loudly when she was eaten by a Xenomorph). Last man standing went to bed at around 5am much to the relief of the bar staff. There was pink gin by this point, probably because everything else had gone.
All in all – our thanks to everyone – and to sign off, I’m going to quote one e-mail we received:
Still recovering from THE amazingest weekend – The first (and still the best) convention of the year!
The most wonderful thing about ECM (Elite Community Meet) is the middle word – It is backed, organised(ish) and run by the Elite COMMUNITY.
Imagine some loonie (not me for once) posting a message that says to everyone on FB (and on THE forums): “Hey I’m chucking a HUGE party, wanna come?”
Except, it’s in a big empty room in a hotel. There’s not enough electric points, no network gear, no PC’s or consoles. If we’re lucky, there might be a few chairs and tables. Oh… and by the way, you’ll have to pay for the privilege, buy your own beer at the hotel, and pay for your own rooms.
Then some peeps say: We’ve got an AV and PA rig that we could bring… Someone else says: Me and a few mates have some consoles. A couple more say: We’ve got some OLD (like 8 bit) computers and consoles that we might be able to get working. Even more say: I’ll bring my gaming PC’s and let others play with my kit (including some awesome VR rigs). Then someone else just “happens” to have some LAN switches hanging around spare. Someone else has some 32amp 3 phase kit that can drop down to 13 amps, so we don’t blow all the gear up. Someone else says: You’ll need some music, me and a few mates (they’re in a proper band) will entertain you. And… And… And… LOADS of RPG and board and card games and ELITE:darts and a brilliant quiz and a live radio show and TONS more.
Those guys then spend months giving up their free time to organise a venue, ticketing, marketing, contacting companies to provide sponsorship and give us stuff to raffle off. Then you say: Let’s not make a single red cent from this gig… and give any money we make away to charities.
To EVERYONE that came along and made the ECM the wonderful little escape from reality that enables us to survive the real world…. Friends old and new. I hope we managed to shake hands, chat, hug, have a beer or even play together. If not, there’s always next year!
My eternal thanks to the original EliteMeet loonies who had this daft idea and have kept it running over the years. No names, no pack drill… You know who you are – You beautifully mad, totally bonkers bunch of dirty filthy mother tuckers!
Our thanks to our sponsors, Noblechairs, ED:RPG, Frontier Developments, HCS VoicePacks, Tinman Games, Jonas Events for helping us put on a wonderful day. To all the volunteers, people who brought games and prizes for the raffle. To all 160 of you, you’re a great crowd and…. if you want us to…. we might consider doing it again next year.
Links to “more stuff” you found at the event:
- Rules of the day (0) April 23, 2019Psykokow
Rules of the day:
1. Be excellent to each other.
2. If you want a go at something, just ask the person who owns it nicely. Don’t hog the gaming terminals, let other people have a go.
3. Respect other people’s gear and property. Some people are bringing some truly fantastic technology. Treat it with respect. Don’t put your pint down right next to someone’s water cooled pride and joy.
4. If something’s bothering you, find a member of the admin team and have a chat! We’re there to help.
5. Remember, the event is run BY the gaming community. Everyone’s a volunteer. Everyone’s paying to be there. People have given up time, skills, enthusiasm and their own pennies to put on a great day. If something needs doing, we would always appreciate a hand from you all – everyone chips in to make it a grand day out.
6. Assistance Dogs are trained to accept food/rewards from their owners. Please, as much as they look soppy, don’t offer treats to the Assistance Dogs present, it ruins their training. Always ask first before approaching an assistance dog – they’re there on a job helping their partner. Say ‘hi’ to the handler first!Continue reading →