ComiCON-versation #11: Join the CON-versation

bigstock Listening To The Report 6555390 ComiCON versation #11: Join the CON versation

by Mike Scigliano

The team at Long Beach Comic & Horror Con has spent much of the last week working on booking new dates for 2013. We discovered that Stan Lee’s Comikaze had booked our traditional dates for 2013 and we needed to decide what the best course of action was for LBCHC. When it came down to it the answer was a lot easier than you’d expect.

Do we stick with our dates and get ready for a battle or look into new dates for 2013? Our immediate thought was that staying put is not fair to ANYONE. Attendees are forced to choose. Our partners, our exhibitors, and creators, are then all put in the middle and forced to choose where they will be. It will cost LBCHC more money and will certainly result in less than desired results from not only our comicon but for Stan Lee’s Comikaze as well. Everyone loses. And that’s just not how we conduct business. We have our attendees and partners to consider as we do when making any major decision about LBCHC. And frankly, we just don’t do ‘Con Wars.’

The right thing to do for Long Beach Comic & Horror Con, its fans, exhibitors, and creators was to work with the Long Beach Convention Center to find new dates for 2013. After speaking with numerous local, regional, and national comicons we inquired with the Long Beach Convention Center as to the availability of dates in September 2013. Remember when I said convention centers don’t wait around twiddling their thumbs for you to call and book an event at their facilities? Our sales representative at the building came back to us with just two options: the third weekend in October 2013, which obviously conflicts with the standing dates of New York Comic Con, and November 30 & December 1, 2013. That’s it for the ENTIRE season. NOTHING else was available. As a result of the trade show industry picking up a bit, available dates have been disappearing fast, leaving very little options.

Like I said, the choice ended up being a lot easier than we thought, and as a result Long Beach Comic & Horror Con will be November 30 & December 1 in 2013.

That being said, there is certainly a likelihood that our new dates will conflict with an event somewhere. We can only hope that the conflict is across the country to minimize the impact to both comicons. And, of course, if the Comicon showrunners are interested, then we’d be happy to work connect with them and see if there is anything we can do to help each other out.

It’s a real pain to deal with this sort of stuff, as any showrunner will tell you. We’ve had our share of sleepless nights in past, and the last week for sure as we waited to see what options we’d have available to us. But the reality is this sort of situation can be avoided with positive communication. There is more than enough room in most regions to support multiple comicons.

I propose a plan. Based on a concept devised by Martha Donato (co-owner of Long Beach Comic & Horror Con), I propose an organization where comicon showrunners can connect, talk freely, and help each other out. There is much that an organization like this can hope to achieve. From the basic to the complex a few goals could be:

- Better scheduling of comicons
– Exhibitor & Guest contact list sharing
– Experienced showrunners can guide the green showrunners to help them develop the best comicon possible.
– Bulk purchases of supplies and other items to reduce costs
– Ad swaps, banner swaps, ad buys, etc.
– Private forum for organization members to come together and discuss topics in a friendly and supportive nature.

As far as membership goes, it’d be open to all who want to join and be part of the conversation. So I guess this is a call to action. The comicon calendar is getting tighter each year. Everyone, attendees, exhibitors, & creators, would benefit from a comicon showrunners’ organization. Be it informal or formal. The CBIA and ComicsPro are great examples of both the informal and formal organizations. Check them out and learn more about what they do. Following in their footsteps would be exactly what the comic book industry needs.

If you are a showrunner, exhibitor, or creator and are interested in talking, then contact me on twitter or drop me a note at mscigliano[at]longbeachcomiccon[dot]comand let’s start the conversation. I’m looking forward to it!

Comments and questions are encouraged either below in the comments section or via twitter.

-scig
@mikescigliano

ComiCON-versation Column Archive

Comments

  1. Just a note. My email is incorrect above…
    mscigliano[at]longbeachcomiccon[dot]com

  2. MikeyD says:

    Man that sucks that Comikaze went and purposely booked their 2013 dates the same time that LBCC holds their event. I attended both LBCC and Comikaze and LBCC is still superior in being comic-based event.

    I really “liked” *ahem* how Comikaze posted on their Facebook the other day saying how they love to support other Comic Conventions (and mentioned LBCC) but didn’t say that they’re screwing over other cons by booking the same date.

  3. Mike Scigliano says:

    Thanks for the comments!

    It as in inconvenience, sure, but its less about the negative of the date issue and much much more about how I think we can create something that can really benefit the comic book industry & comicons in general.

  4. Mike,

    You guys are awesome, and even more so that you are taking the high road. If you guys know about the debacle when AM2 went directly againt Anime Expo, when AX has had the same weeknd for 10 years, no one won…. not the fans, not the exhibitors, not evven either convention. It was just a horrible bloodshed. I really do hope that Comikaze was not being malicious about this attempt. I know that whole AX/AM2 debacle, the attacks were getting personal, and people up top just could not fix things.

  5. Mike Scigliano says:

    Thanks, John! I know a bit about the Anime Expo situation. Agreed. In the end there really wasn’t a winner.

    Our goal at LBCHC is to produce the best show possible and offer a great experience for attendees, exhibitors & creators. Sometimes that means making the hard choices.

  6. Torsten Adair says:

    Back on May 19, 2012, I posted about all the shows happening that weekend, both in the U.S. and overseas.

    http://comicsbeat.com/to-do-this-weekend-comic-con-national/

    In that post, I mention that C2E2, WW Toronto, and Wildcat Con happened the same weekend in April.

    The weekend of May 18-20:
    Detroit, MI
    St. Paul, MN
    Philadelphia, PA
    Portland, ME
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Nashville, TN
    Spokane, WA
    San Jose, CA
    London, UK
    Kansas City, MO
    Dallas, TX

    So, yes, it’s getting crowded out there. New York has a kid’s con, NYCC, MoCCA, BookExpo, Brooklyn Book Festival, Brooklyn Comics and Graphics, Bronx Heroes CC, Wizard World (?)…

    Then there was the MoCCA/Stumptown debacle.

    The scorecard is here:
    http://www.conventionscene.com/schedules/allupcomingevents/

    This weekend: two shows in Las Vegas!

  7. Thanksgiving weekend sounds good, though it’s been the traditional home of the more general scifi/fantasy convention Loscon forever. On the plus side, I think the audience overlap between LBCC and Loscon is small enough these days that it’s not likely to cause any problems.

  8. Kelson, the LBCHC is actually the weekend AFTER Thanksgiving. Not the weekend of. No worries!

    Hope to see you there!

  9. Renee Jones says:

    Mike, I have to commend LBHC on the way it has handled this situation. I would like to believe that there was no ill intent by Comikaze, and I actually do believe that it was more a lack of care for other conventions in choosing dates than any direct malevolent intent. That said, I’m wondering if there really is much incentive for the for profit conventions to play nice with the non profit and volunteer fueled (i.e., fan-run) conventions. Unfortunately, I think such are a sign of the times and they go along with the increasingly high signing prices and photo charges that have become more common with special guests. It has become a money-making business. In my opinion, there is a demand for the smaller creativity rich conventions that will help them to endure, but do you see cooperation from the for profit conventions that encourages the community you suggest?

  10. Renee,

    We work with and talk to numerous comicons across the country. We do it informally and very loosely now. Giving it a bit more structure would be a benefit to fans, exhibitors and show runners alike.

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