SF Ball Limited reserves the right to amend these FAQs as required. These FAQs form our Terms and Conditions.
Sci-Fi Ball is a trading name of SF Ball Limited.
The On-The-Door Entrance Fee gives you access to the event between 9am and 6pm on Saturday or Sunday. This includes the exhibitions, daytime quizzes, dealer stalls, guest star talks, autograph sessions and 'Photos With The Stars'.
With a Weekend Non-Dining Badge you also get access to the evening entertainment (Friday disco, games, opening and closing ceremonies and the Sunday Karaoke party).
With a Weekend Dining Badge you also get the Saturday night banquet and after-dinner cabaret in addition to the above.
The Gold Pass is our premier option and gives you all the standard all-inclusive has to offer plus the added features of:
All weekend attendees will receive a convention booklet. There may be additional gifts in your registration pack, but this depends on what we can arrange and we won't know until closer to the event.
Please note that hotel charges are NOT included and are payable direct to the hotel.
The event is held at the Grand Harbour Hotel, West Quay Road, Southampton, Hampshire, SO15 1AG, England.
There is hotel car park charged at £5 per day.
Smoking is not permitted in any part of the hotel including the bedrooms. A smoking area is provided outside the hotel.
Room cancellation is possible up to 14 days before the event. After this date you will be charged for the nights booked. If you do need to cancel please let us know at the earliest opportunity so we can offer it to someone on the waiting list.
|Day Entry||All-Inclusive and Full Weekend|
The bar is open throughout the day and to hotel residents throughout the night as well (subject to hotel staffing).
To mark the start of the Ball there is an opening ceremony on Friday afternoon at around 6pm, and we finish with a closing ceremony on the Sunday afternoon. This is open to all full-weekend and all-inclusive badge holders.
Upon arrival you should report to the registration desk in the hotel foyer.
If you are a full-weekend or all-inclusive badge holder convention packs will be available to collect which will provide details of the event including the guest talks running order. If you have not paid in full you will be asked to do so before admission will be granted, if you are fully paid-up, your badge will have been sent to you.
All attendees must wear their badge or wristband in a visible position at all times so that the crew and stewards can admit you to the event rooms. Failure to do so may result you being asked to leave the premises.
If you forget to bring your badge, or lose it during the event, you will be charged £3 for a replacement.
When you book to attend the Sci-Fi Ball you can reserve a room in the event hotel. Rooms in the hotel are limited and issued on a first come first served basis. If we are unable to accommodate you we will let you know at the earliest opportunity to enable you to find alternative accommodation.
We fully book all rooms in the event hotel for the Friday and Saturday nights of the event. It will not be possible to successfully book a room by going direct to the hotel or by using an internet hotel booking agent.
Payment for the room is made direct to the hotel at the event.
Room cancellation is possible up to 14 days before the event. After this date you will be charged for the nights booked.
When booking by post you should clearly and legibly complete a registration form. Your registration fee should be paid in full at time of booking. If registering by mail we accept payments by cheque, postal order or card, additionally if registering in person we are more that happy to accept cash and if registering via the internet we can also accept payment by PayPal and bank transfer.
Shortly after your payment has cleared we will send you your booking confirmation. Your badge(s) will be sent around one month before the event. Confirmations and updates are sent via e-mail where possible. If you don't have an e-mail address we do ask that you send us two standard letter stamps.
All payments must be made in Pounds (£) Sterling (GBP).
Cheque's should be made payable to SF Ball Ltd.
A full schedule will be provided in the event pack issued at the registration desk when you arrive.
As a general guide the traditional timings are as follows:
SF Ball Ltd. reserves the right to change the programme as and when necessary.
All ticket holders will be given the opportunity to take part in the autograph sessions.
Standard Policy (applies unless otherwise stated):
A maximum limit of 5 items per guest may be imposed if time is limited. Bags and other non-essential personal items are discouraged. No cameras, including mobile phone cameras, are to be used in the autograph room.
You may bring your own pictures to the autograph sessions, but please keep in mind that copied or fake pictures are not licensed and the actors are not allowed to sign them for legal reasons. However, photos taken of you and the actor at another convention may be signed as the photographer (you or a friend) hold the copyright.
SF Ball Ltd. reserves the right to change these prices and terms as necessary.
On both days there will an opportunity to have your photo taken with the stars. Tickets are strictly limited and sold on a first come first served basis. Guest autograph is included in the price of the photograph.
Please note that it may take some time for our photographers to print the photos, so ensure you allow plenty of time.
During the weekend you will have the opportunity to pre-register Full Weekend or Gold for next years event. After the event prices will revert to full price. Payment at the the event can be made by cash, cheque or card.
Tickets are subject to availability with Gold being the most exclusive.
NOTE: By making your booking and paying your deposit you are entering into a legally–binding contract. You are expected to pay at least half within 6 months and the remainder of the balance by 24th December.
What you wear is entirely up to you, however we have a few ground rules:
Basically, this event is for you to enjoy, so don't feel pressured… just go with what you are comfortable with. To get a better picture, why not take a look at the galleries under Past Events on the website. This has plenty of pictures to give you a better idea.
After the cabaret on Saturday, there is a fancy dress competition. We encourage you to dress up and prizes are awarded for the best child and best adult costume as judged by our guest stars. Remember each years event is themed, we spend ages choosing a theme that gives you plenty of scope for imaginative costumes.
To attend the fancy-dress competition you must be a full-weekend badge holder.
Q. Who can enter the poetry/fiction competition?
A. Anyone who's registered to attend the event can enter.
Q. Can I write anything I want?
A. Yes, but the winners will be science fiction or fantasy in the form of short stories, one-act plays or poems.
Q. Does my entry have to be based on a TV show?
A. No. You're very welcome to create your own characters, or to write about characters from your favourite show. Or you can bring together characters and settings from several different shows. It's entirely up to you.
Q. So how do I win?
A. You write a good story, play or poem. In the play or story categories, the judge is looking for interesting ideas, good characterisations, preferably an interesting plot that holds together and a strong finish. In poetry, the judge is looking for good imagery, a well thought-out structure and creative use of language. Poems do not need to rhyme. There is no word-limit, but bear in mind that the judge want to attend the convention as well as reading entries, so anything over 4,000 words may not be read in full.
Q. Do I need to type my entry?
A. Yes, if you want the judge to like you. Please type it up and submit it on separate sheets of A4 paper (not perforated print-outs), preferably double-spaced for stories.
Q. Does my story have to be in English?
A. Regrettably yes. The judge speaks nothing but English and a smattering of Klingon, so if you want to be understood, stick to English.
Q. What if I don't win a prize?
A. Try again next year. Some of the best authors have been rejected many times before finally becoming best-sellers.
We have been talking to many actors and actresses and other guests. Those that we have stated as confirmed have signed contracts with us, saying they will be at this coming Sci-Fi Ball. However, our guests attendance is subject to working commitments. No refunds are given if a guest is unable to attend, however if possible we will replace the guest with a suitable alternative.
Come for the EVENT, not just the guests.
There is a charity auction where you can submit your own items. If you have items for the auction you must notify us in advance for them to be included. Submitted items must be handed to a member of crew by Friday night at the latest.Auction lists should be sent to or Paul Smith, SF Ball Ltd, 120 Symes Road, POOLE, BH15 4PZ.
SF Ball Ltd may restrict the number of items that will be auctioned. Submitting an item for the auction does not mean that item has been accepted as we usually have far more items than we are able to include.
Auction Lists should contain the following information:
Filming during the guest talks, cocktail party, Saturday banquet and Saturday cabaret is strictly forbidden. This includes the use of mobile phones with camera capability.
The taking of photographs is permitted throughout the hotel, except at the cocktail party and the autograph sessions. We ask that in the interests of our guests comfort, those using a flash camera do so at the beginning of each talk.
We reserve the right to ask anyone who does not abide by these rules to leave the convention.
Children under five are admitted free with their parent(s) or guardian(s). A meal is not provided unless prior arrangement is made.
Children under 14 are admitted at the child rate. If a dining ticket they are entitled to a child meal only, if they would like an adult meal a further charge may be payable.
We will be delighted to make announcements for special occasions such as birthdays, engagements etc. However, we must be notified in advance otherwise we may not be able to assist you.
Unless the event is cancelled outright we operate a strict 'no-refund' policy on booking cancellations. This is standard practice for entertainment events.
It is possible to carry over payments to next years event as long as the cancellation is made earlier than 24th December. The deposit is not included in the transferable amount.
Room cancellation is possible up to 14 days before the event. After this date you will be charged for the nights booked.
We would be grateful if you can let us know if you no longer need the room with as much notice as possible so that it can be offered to someone on the waiting list.
In the event of a cheque being returned by the bank unpaid we reserve the right to levy an administration fee to cover our costs. This levy and all outstanding money must be paid in full before admission to the event will be permitted. At present this levy is £8 to cover the bank charges.
It is the responsibility of all attendees and crew members to ensure the safety of themselves and others.
Any health and safety issue should be reported to the hotel staff in the first instance.
You should keep your possessions with you at all times. Don't leave them unattended as it may cause a security issue.
We cannot take responsibility for any posessions lost or stolen during the event.
As this event actively encourages fancy dress which often includes accessories of a potentially dangerous nature please note we have a policy regarding these items.
If you want to help, why not volunteer to become a steward ?
As a steward, we ask you to donate a maximum of one hour of each day to help out, usually that involves checking peoples badges at certain parts of the hotel, and generally helping people (we'll give you instructions). In return for your time, you get reserved seating close to the stage in talks.
Please contact us if you would like to provide additional help or would like to volunteer to join the crew
We are committed to safeguarding the privacy of our website visitors; this policy sets out how we will treat your personal information.
We may collect, store and use the following kinds of personal information:
A cookie consists of information sent by a web server to a web browser, and stored by the browser. The information is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server. This enables the web server to identify and track the web browser.
We do not use "session" cookies or "persistent" cookies on the website.
Our advertisers/payment services providers may also send you cookies.
Most browsers allow you to reject all cookies, whilst some browsers allow you to reject just third party cookies. For example, in Internet Explorer you can refuse all cookies by clicking "Tools", "Internet Options", "Privacy", and selecting "Block all cookies" using the sliding selector. Blocking all cookies will, however, have a negative impact upon the usability of many websites.
We may use your personal information to:
Where you submit personal information for publication on our website, we will publish and otherwise use that information in accordance with the license you grant to us.
We will not provide your personal information to any third parties for the purpose of direct marketing.
In addition, we may disclose your personal information:
We will take reasonable technical and organisational precautions to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of your personal information.
We will store all the personal information you provide on our secure (password and firewall protected) servers. All electronic transactions you make to or receive from us will be encrypted using SSL technology.
Of course, data transmission over the internet is inherently insecure, and we cannot guarantee the security of data sent over the internet.
You are responsible for keeping your password and user details confidential. We will not ask you for your password (except when you log in to the website).
You may instruct us to provide you with any personal information we hold about you. Provision of such information will be subject to:
We may withhold such personal information to the extent permitted by law.
You may instruct us not to process your personal information for marketing purposes by email at any time. In practice, you will usually either expressly agree in advance to our use of your personal information for marketing purposes, or we will provide you with an opportunity to opt-out of the use of your personal information for marketing purposes.
The website contains links to other websites. We are not responsible for the privacy policies or practices of third party websites.
Please let us know if the personal information which we hold about you needs to be corrected or updated.
The data controller responsible in respect of the information collected on this website is SF Ball Ltd.