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Wizard World conventions... wtf?
GundabadPAX East & Unplugged Tabletop ManagerNJRegistered Userregular
So I was poking around the internet looking for upcoming conventions to go to, and for the first time came across the news that Wizard has purchased the company which runs the annual Big Apple Comic Con, and chose to schedule their 2010 convention on the exact same weekend as the previously scheduled New York Comic Con. NYCC is a very popular albeit young event that is second only to San Diego Comic Con in attendance (70,000+ last year). To top things off, Wizard is running a new event, the New Jersey Comic Con less than an hour away in Edison, NJ the very next weekend!
Why is Wizard doing this? From some of the articles I read it looks like Wizard has developed something of a fierce rivalry with Reed (the company that runs New York Comic Con, and incidentally, also contracted to help run PAX East). Wizard also chose to kick off a new convention in Anaheim the same weekend Reed had scheduled a launch of a new annual Chicago convention.
While I love to see some healthy competition, does it not seem like Wizard is taking it a little too far here? Having so many conventions overlap and/or butt up against each other dilutes the fan base, the availability of special guests, and the presence that companies and local businesses can have at these conventions. Unless there is a special convention crew, a company cannot represent itself at conventions week after week.
I can understand how a company like Wizard might see this as a move with potential to make them a lot of money, and that's the ultimate goal for a company right? However, I want to support the best of the two conventions with my dollars, but I'm not spending double admission and stressing myself by racing across town as to not miss things. If they were adequately spaced, I would probably attend both, and then continue going to the better of the two in future years. Instead, Wizard is being kind of a dick in my opinion, and I can't support that. The NJ con is just the biggest slap in the face of them all. I am from NJ and have huge pride in my state, but honestly we don't need our own con. There's no reason people can't get into the city, and it's just a move to appeal to people's laziness by saying "wait one more weekend and you can just go to the closer version", therefore keeping people away from the competing NYCC. You know it's just gonna be a watered down version though.
I love conventions even though I don't get to as many as I should. These should be special occasions, but a flooded market just leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth. What are other people's thoughts on this?