By Joe Nuzzo
The Long Island Doctor Who convention was held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Hauppauge this past weekend. The convention moved to the Hyatt after it outgrew its former home at the Clarion Hotel in Ronkonkoma.
Fans from 45 different states and countries as far as Australia came to Long Island to celebrate their fandom and meet celebrities from the BBC television series. The convention sold out all of its convention rate rooms at the Hyatt and three overflow hotels nearby.
“Hotel cons are something we really enjoy,” Andre Tessier, the LI Who media manager told the Press. “A lot of coming to an event like this is socializing. As the panels wind down at night fans can get together at the bar, share a few drinks, and catch up.”
The success of LI Who outlines the need for a dedicated hotel and convention center here on Long Island, organizers said. Although the new home for this convention, like Doctor Who’s time travel machine the TARDIS, is “bigger on the inside,” the convention still needed the use of an outdoor heated tent for some events.
“Had I run this convention in 49-and-a-half other states in the union (including upstate NY) I’d have a perfect place to do it” show runner Ken Deep told the Press, “on Long Island which is a major tourist destination, the one thing we don’t have is a proper convention center.”
Over the past year, Long Island has hosted several other notable sci-fi conventions: The LI Geek convention, which was held at MacArthur Airport, and Eternal Con, which was held at The Cradle of Aviation Museum.
“Although these are wonderful places for the atmosphere,” Deep said, “they are not designed for conventions.”
When asked if Deep felt that Long Island misses out on conventions due to a lack of a proper space, he told the Press: “I have no doubt, because I’ve had a lot of challenges trying to make this happen.”
Despite these challenges, the LI Who convention was filled with happy fans dressed up in colorful costumes. Celebrities were busy posing for pictures and signing autographs. Vendors were busy selling merchandise and panels ran passed midnight on Saturday.
“When someone travels 24 hours and halfway around the world to be at your convention,” Deep said, “you want to give them a great experience. No pressure!”
From the looks of the happy faces on convention attendees it seems that Deep succeeded.
LI Who 4 is scheduled for Nov. 11 to Nov. 13, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency in Hauppauge. Tickets for LI Who 4 go on sale Monday Nov. 23.