ReedPOP predicts more brand-specific Cons


As ReedPOP continues to spawn Comic Cons all over the globe like some kind of many-tentacled octopus, observant nerds have noticed they've also been creating more focused events. The massive fan experience organization has created several brand- or fandom-specific events like Star Wars Celebration or Star Trek: Mission New York; and in an interview with Newsarama, global senior VP Lance Fensterman says he thinks "more and more brands themselves are going to start building out their own sort of events to connect with their communities."

Why? "Because brands crave that meaningful face-to-face, physical celebration of fandom." Wait, what? I'd say the fans crave that experience and the brands recognize in it an opportunity for deeper engagement, merchandising revenue, increased audience, etc. But whatever. Tomato, tomahto.

Fensterman also offered up some thoughts on competing with CCI: namely, that ReedPOP isn't interested. "We're not in the business of competing with big shows. That's not interesting to us. And also, if fans are being served and they're getting what they really want and crave, there's no reason to build an event there.... San Diego's an amazing event. It just doesn't seem logical to build a show where there's already an amazing show."

What he didn't say: "And after all, we have events in Paris, Chicago, Seattle, Indonesia, Vienna, Australia, China and pretty soon the moon, so why would we bother with Southern California?"

For those of you who just rolled your eyes at the idea of New York Comic Con NOT competing with San Diego Comic-Con, Fensterman did say that the Con is experiencing the same growth challenges as SDCC: "It has physically, within the confines of the Javits Center, it has maxed out. We can't get any bigger." He then talks about spilling it around the city "so it can be inter-meshed, if that's a word, in the city of New York itself." So if you were anticipating another smug "NYCC has 874,263 attendees!" press release next fall, we probably won't see one.

All of this keeps nudging us along in the same direction; stop putting all our eggs in the SDCC basket and start looking at other Cons, whether they're built around a specific fandom or simply in another region. I do think demand will equal out eventually (not perfectly, but somewhat balanced) and fans will stop seeing SDCC as the be all and end all of their nerd world. Which is probably not just a healthier approach to our Comic Con lives, but ultimately a more gratifying one as well.

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