Thursday, September 25, 2014

NYCC Panel: Why Is The Con Scene Exploding?

Editor’s Note:  Here’s yet another reason why I regret not being able to attend the New York Comic Con in October.  As a long time attendee at the Baltimore Comic Con I have watched that event grow from a hotel site to a convention center. 2014 was the biggest year for BCC, and they moved to a new, larger space at the Baltimore Convention Center.  Why is it important to know the answer to the headline question?  Simply because those of us with a vested interest (either as fans, creators, or retailers) in this great original American Art Form should always understand and utilize anything that helps to promote and perpetuate the medium.

from the official press release . . . . . . .

 Show Organizers, Experts Tackle Big Questions

(September 25, 2014 - Madison, WI)  The comic convention scene is exploding, both in number of shows and attendance.   Who are these hundreds of thousands of new attendees, and what does it mean for show organizers, for exhibitors, and for the audience for the products they sell?

          The growth has been exponential, but that's come with a rapid change in the composition of attendees at some shows.   There are a lot more "civilians," leading at least one con veteran to call going to a con "like going to the mall" for a lot of the people there.   Exhibitors are finding the dynamic new environment a difficult one to navigate at times, and that the new audiences require new strategies to be successful.

          There's now a full range of events, from smaller festivals to multi-city tours to new pop-up shows to longtime regionals to the mega-shows in New York and San Diego.

          What's driving the growth, what kinds of people do the different strategies attract, and what does it mean for exhibitors and others who want to sell to these hundreds of thousands of new potential customers?

          We'll try to find the answer at the ICv2 Conference at New York Comic Con in the panel on "The Con Explosion" with this great panel of show organizers and experts:

  • Christine Bohle, Sr. Category Marketing Manager, Eventbrite
  • Patrick Bradley, EVP Digital Media & Entertainment, Wizard World, Inc.
  • Shelton Drum, CEO, Heroes Convention
  • Lance Fensterman, Senior Vice President ReedPOP
  • Meg Lemke, Chair, Comics & Graphic Novel Committee at the Brooklyn Book Festival, and Contributing Editor at MUTHA Magazine
  • Rob Salkowitz, author, writer of Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture
  • Moderated by Heidi MacDonald, comic editor and commentator from The Beat

The ICv2 Conference: The New Comics Customer will take place at the Jacob Javits Convention Center from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, October 8th.

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