Fan Expo Dallas -- March 31-April 2, 2017
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578 posts
oh I'm sure that they won't be fast enough....

 

I know you're being sarcastic because you see my post as impatience over the guest announcements. In reality I am much less concerned with the guest list per se than I am with how FE is going to attract the congoers they need to attract to make this a successful comic show with two fewer months to do it. The vendors that do your show need buyers to show up, including the comic vendors. If you don't accomplish this you'll see your comic vendors spend booth fees elsewhere. FE may be perfectly happy to sell those booths to skin care vendors or local insurance agents, but it isn't going to help your shows attract buyers who spend serious money with vendors.

 

I know none of this is your fault specifically, but for comic vendors I know and spoke to 2016 was a down year for sales. If that trend is not reversed in 2017, and this radical date change has me worried, then I suspect a lot of folks will find something else to do in 2018. That would be a shame, as I look forward to this show.

 

I heard 2016 was down and they need 7% growth every year to keep the financial backing.

With the way they do the announcements, no mess their numbers go down.

What happened to the Dallas I used to know...

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Not blaming anyone, just Fan Expo. Those guys seem to not care about Dallas and just focus on Orlando since that's their US gold mine.

 

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oh I'm sure that they won't be fast enough....

 

I know you're being sarcastic because you see my post as impatience over the guest announcements. In reality I am much less concerned with the guest list per se than I am with how FE is going to attract the congoers they need to attract to make this a successful comic show with two fewer months to do it. The vendors that do your show need buyers to show up, including the comic vendors. If you don't accomplish this you'll see your comic vendors spend booth fees elsewhere. FE may be perfectly happy to sell those booths to skin care vendors or local insurance agents, but it isn't going to help your shows attract buyers who spend serious money with vendors.

 

I know none of this is your fault specifically, but for comic vendors I know and spoke to 2016 was a down year for sales. If that trend is not reversed in 2017, and this radical date change has me worried, then I suspect a lot of folks will find something else to do in 2018. That would be a shame, as I look forward to this show.

 

I heard 2016 was down and they need 7% growth every year to keep the financial backing.

With the way they do the announcements, no mess their numbers go down.

What happened to the Dallas I used to know...

 

The shows (all of them, this is not exclusive to Fan Expo) have been inundated with junk dealers peddling swords, mystery boxes, dog clothes, cosplayers, and their kids toys from the attic that they think they can get rich on.

 

When is the last time a top 5 publisher set up in Dallas?

 

Again, this is NOT directed at Fan Expo, it's just a commentary on the state of convention scene in Dallas.

 

 

 

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I think all shows seem to have this issue. Even ECCC which is before FE Dallas this year has complaints about the enterainment/comic guests.

 

And, when I went to LA Comic Con in Oct, I had a VIP pass. They didn't tell us who our exclusive signings were with or times until the day before (besides Stan). That made it near impossible to prepare what you wanted signed.

 

I don't think its just marketing departments don't understand either. I think thats part of it, but I know there are contract reasons, schedules and some "strategy" going on. Whether its good strategy or not, who knows for sure. FE Dallas was great last year, so Ill give them the benefit of the doubt. I hope this years show is equally as good or better.

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Not blaming anyone, just Fan Expo. Those guys seem to not care about Dallas and just focus on Orlando since that's their US gold mine.

 

That's a loaded statement. Why do you feel we don't care about Dallas? Dallas, Orlando, Boston and Toronto (late summer) are all top priority events for our various teams.

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I heard 2016 was down and they need 7% growth every year to keep the financial backing.

With the way they do the announcements, no mess their numbers go down.

What happened to the Dallas I used to know...

 

I'm always amazed at statements like this. Is this a case of broken telephone? Financial backing from whom?

 

 

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The shows (all of them, this is not exclusive to Fan Expo) have been inundated with junk dealers peddling swords, mystery boxes, dog clothes, cosplayers, and their kids toys from the attic that they think they can get rich on.

 

When is the last time a top 5 publisher set up in Dallas?

 

Again, this is NOT directed at Fan Expo, it's just a commentary on the state of convention scene in Dallas.

 

Well, here's the thing, in some cases, when you are doing a non-comics exclusive show, a pop culture con as the call it these days, we do sell booths to people who are not comics dealers. In some cases we pursue cosplayers as guests. As a comics guy, I don't get the appeal, but they are popular. Same thing with mystery boxes, some of those vendors are extensions of existing vendors who are branching out and trying new things.

 

But top 5 publishers, yes that's a concern. We do meet with publishers all of the time to get them on board, but many really only focus their convention budgets on a couple of select locations (like NYCC and SDCC). While we work with Marvel and DC regularly (and Valiant, and Archie, IDW, etc), and they do get involved with our events vis-a-vis branding, advertising and variants, setting up booths is limited to a small handful of shows in general. We can often get editorial to participate in programming though, as DC did last year with the Miller Experience.

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I think all shows seem to have this issue. Even ECCC which is before FE Dallas this year has complaints about the enterainment/comic guests.

 

And, when I went to LA Comic Con in Oct, I had a VIP pass. They didn't tell us who our exclusive signings were with or times until the day before (besides Stan). That made it near impossible to prepare what you wanted signed.

 

I don't think its just marketing departments don't understand either. I think thats part of it, but I know there are contract reasons, schedules and some "strategy" going on. Whether its good strategy or not, who knows for sure. FE Dallas was great last year, so Ill give them the benefit of the doubt. I hope this years show is equally as good or better.

 

It's January, by March all of the guests will be announced, all of the schedules will be done, and everything will be posted 1-2 weeks before the event. We'll have the comics signing area, and the VIP express lane will be in full effect. I've got some heavy-hitters in the signing area this year. Last year was a massive year - S. Lee, F. Miller and Todd... this year will have other superstars in the signing area.

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Valiant has had people at Alamo City the last couple of years, though I'm not sure how extensive their setup has been. Any chance you could steal them away from Alamo and get them to set up in Dallas? I feel like that would be a good step in the right direction in terms of reestablishing some publisher support for this show.

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from a non-vendor perspective, I'm really looking forward to the guest list and the show. It's a busy first half of the year in Dallas for shows, but I know this one will be big and have some good names. I've had my problems with guest lists in the past, but I've also traded some messages with Kevin and believe he really cares about giving everyone the best list of guests possible. I also think that by cutting out the extra show in Dallas and hopefully rolling that budget money into this one, it'll be a better experience all around.

 

I'm as anxious as anyone else to see some names and get to planning, so I will ask Kevin this question, without naming names of course, is there the potential for any of the comic guests to have a package like Miller had last year that I might need to set aside extra money for?

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Yes. Our main headlining comic guest will have a signature package option like the Miller events had last year, and at least one of our headline comic guests is offering a limited sketch package as he'll be doing the sketches at home.

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Thanks, I'll be ready for that then

 

Ditto. :)

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Ive seen the list, its a good list. No one should feel worried about spending their cash on a ticket. If you like comics I promise youll be happy with who they have lined up.

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Isn't it owned by Informa? How are we both sure that they can't pull the trigger on a show like Wizard does with some of the ones they have bought?

 

As for Fan Expo owning Dallas, what have they done? The only show that benefitted from that is the "big" show, which is the smallest big show I have ever been to, not that is a bad show because I did like it last year, but it's not huge at all. Can confirm Alamo and CP are bigger.

 

Fan Expo promised in 2014 that Dallas was going to be a destination event. Not sure there since Dallas lost its #1 spot two years ago and Alamo is now the biggest show in the state.

 

October used to be incredible. 2012 and 2013 were both better than May 2012-2013, and now October is like the show no one goes to. Same artist lists with maybe 4-5 different guys. It's fair to say those numbers are also down as almost everyone I know that went to last year (as attendees and maybe 2-3 vendors) said the show was down from 2015.

 

Also, whoever runs their social media sucks (I guess it's still brandie?). I don't post on their FB wall because I feel it's a waste of time, but some guy really just asked if there were more names coming because he felt worried about the show or something like that and his post was deleted for no reason.

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There are no plans to "pull the trigger", attendance was there at the big show last year, we're building a great show for the fans this year. Our comic pros in 2016 did really well and had great things to say about their experiences and about the Dallas fans. The late spring is filled to the brim with shows all over the place, especially Texas, so earlier should be better.

 

I enjoyed working at that event a lot more than I did Orlando, it was relatively smooth and had a great atmosphere. Those two shows were back to back for us in 2016, thankfully for our team they are better spaced in 2017.

 

And a longer break between this event and the Fan Days event in October should help. I think you'll see a stronger October show in 2017 too, there's a lot of talk about how to make it a better experience, what are the goals, etc. We build to a strategy as a team, but last year I think we had a very busy fall with three of our own shows lumped very closely together on the calendar, not to mention a crowded local scene.

 

Brandie and the rest of the marketing and social media crew work hard and are extremely positive --- social media can be rewarding, but it can also be challenging. I'm sure there was a good reason.

 

 

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You took the FE show calendar out of your sig line. Does that signal some coming changes?

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I'm looking forward to the show (thumbs u

 

I am just wondering exactly how much these packages are going to cost lol I know Iknow I'll be patient :)

 

Some of us have money we can spend, and other's (like me) have a little money haha, but last year, if I had spent money on one of those packages then I wouldn't of had any money to walk around the con. A little excited about a sketch package.... hopefully the details when it is promoted are clear, as I have never paid for a sketch before but have always wanted too. Also, when it is posted I'll need to figure it out quick if it is truly a "limited" participation :preach:

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You took the FE show calendar out of your sig line. Does that signal some coming changes?

 

No. I just don't always include it.

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Hey, I thought the 2014 and 2015 shows were big enough. I had a panic attack in the "sea of humanity" on Saturday in 2015. I would have happily gone in 2016, but I moved too far. All of those shows had plenty of artists and celebs for me, and I bought books, too. Actually, same for the October 2015 show.

 

I hope I never get to the point that I'm bored of meeting creators, even if I've met them before.

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