Every year we get questions about attending the convention from both new and regular attendees. We hope that our FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS section goes some way to answering any queries you may have. If not, please let us know so that we can add your question with a response below. (Authors receive a follow-up email with information specific to their participation.)
The main thing to know is that if you have a question whilst you are attending the convention, you can always ask the people at the CRIMEFEST registration desk!
– WHAT IS CRIMEFEST?
– HOW DO I KNOW WHAT’S ON?
– DO I NEED TO RESERVE SEATS AT PANELS?
– CAN I GET BOOKS SIGNED?
– I AM AN ASPIRING WRITER. IS THERE ANYTHING FOR ME?
– WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY TICKETS?
– WHAT ELSE DO I GET WHEN I REGISTER?
– CAN I SWAP MY CONVENTION BAG BOOKS?
– ARE MEALS AND RECEPTIONS INCLUDED? AND WHAT IS THE DRESS CODE?
– WHERE DO I STAY?
– HOW DO I GET THERE?
– IS THERE ANY PARKING?
– HOW DO I GET THE CHEAPEST TICKETS FOR NEXT YEAR’S CONVENTION?
WHAT IS CRIMEFEST?
CRIMEFEST is a convention for people who like to read an occasional crime novel as well as for die-hard fanatics. Whether you come with someone or on your own, by the end of the weekend you are likely to have made new friends. Drawing top crime novelists, readers, editors, publishers and reviewers from around the world, CRIMEFEST gives all delegates the opportunity to celebrate the genre in a friendly, informal and inclusive atmosphere. The programme consists of interviews with its featured and highlighted guest authors; over forty panels with more than a hundred participating authors; a gala awards dinner; and possibly a surprise or two. Visit CRIMEFEST’s ABOUT page for more information; view the CRIMEFEST video; or click on one of the hyperlinks to listen to one of the 2011 panels.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT’S ON?
The CRIMEFEST itinerary is on our PROGRAMME page, and will also be listed in the programme book. Every Day or Full Weekend delegate receives a complimentary programme.
DO I NEED TO RESERVE SEATS AT PANELS?
If you have a Day or Full Weekend Pass, then you do not need to reserve a seat for a panel. All panels are seated on a first-come-first-served basis. If seats or standing room are no longer available, then try an alternative panel: you might discover a new author! Visit CRIMEFEST’s ABOUT page for more information; view the CRIMEFEST video; or click on one of the hyperlinks to listen to one of the 2011 panels.
Book signings take place in the signing room next door to the event room immediately following the panel. Books should be purchased from the Book Room before the signings. It is perfectly acceptable to bring previously purchased copies for signing, but if you have more than five books by one author you wish to be signed then, please rejoin the signing queue after every five books. And, should you miss a signing session, then most authors are happy to sign during the rest of the weekend if you ask them nicely and don’t follow them into the toilet. (Yes, that has really happened to some authors at other conventions!)
I AM AN ASPIRING WRITER. IS THERE ANYTHING FOR ME?
CRIMEFEST offers a Crime Writing Day for aspiring writers. For more information visit the Crime Writing Day page on the website. For those of you with a completed and polished manuscript, please visit our Pitch an Agent page.
WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY TICKETS?
Once your online or postal registration has been processed, then you should receive a Helm/Origin Tickets registration confirmation email. Your physical passes will not be issued until you sign in at the CRIMEFEST registration desk at the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel. Please bring either some proof of identity or a print-out of your confirmation email. The location of the registration desk will be signposted in various areas in the hotel. The registration desk opens and closes half an hour before the panel of each day and closes half an hour after the final panel of the day.
WHAT ELSE DO I GET WHEN I REGISTER?
Every Day and Full Weekend delegate receives a complimentary programme that includes an itinerary, information on the participating authors, and the CRIMEFEST awards shortlists.
Full Weekend Pass holders also receive a canvas convention bag with a selection of books and one or two other surprises. These will be given to you when you register at the CRIMEFEST registration desk.
CAN I SWAP MY CONVENTION BAG BOOKS?
If you wish to swap a book from your delegate bag for a different one, then please visit the book swap table next to the CRIMEFEST registration desk. You’ll also find bookmarks, postcards and other crime fiction related information here.
ARE MEALS AND RECEPTIONS INCLUDED? AND WHAT IS THE DRESS CODE?
All full weekend and relevant day pass holders are welcome to attend receptions that form part of the CRIMEFEST programme. Meals are not included but Gala Dinner tickets can be purchased as an optional extra at BUY TICKETS. The dress code for the Gala Dinner is casual-smart.
The CRIMEFEST convention hotel is the Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel on Broad Street. Please note that there are multiple Mercure hotels in Bristol so make sure that you go to the Grand on Broad Street. The convention hotel aims to allow delegates to check into their room by 14:00. The Mercure is aware of the programme schedule and, if possible, they will try to accommodate any advance requests for early check-in by authors appearing on panels on the day of their arrival. There is a concierge service for delegates to leave their luggage if rooms aren’t available on arrival. The check-out time is midday. Delegates staying on for panels after this time may leave their luggage with the hotel concierge.
If the Mercure is fully booked, then the Bristol Radisson Blu is the alternative four-star hotel. For more information or this and budget hotels, visit the CRIMEFEST WHERE TO STAY page.
HOW DO I GET THERE?
Please see the HOW TO GET THERE page on the CRIMEFEST website.
HOW DO I GET THE CHEAPEST TICKETS FOR NEXT YEAR’S CONVENTION?
Delegates registering during this year’s convention for the CRIMEFEST 2020 Convention Special will make a significant saving, as Full Weekend Passes will incrementally go up to at least £200. (Please note that there will be a surcharge for credit card bookings.)