A few weeks back I attended a new comic convention in Ventura, California. On the same weekend there was also the Baltimore Comic Con, one in Salt Lake City and another in Colorado Springs. At the time I remember thinking that perhaps we've gotten to the too many convention level.
Then came an announcement yesterday.
Wizard World is adding seven new conventions to their 2014 schedule, along with eight returning conventions. From the schedule below you can see that they have nothing in July or December. Guess they don't want to mess with Christmas or Comicon International.
Portland, Ore. (Jan. 24-26, Oregon Convention Center)
New Orleans (Feb. 7-9, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center)
Sacramento, Calif. (March 7-9, Sacramento Convention Center) *new*
Louisville, Ky. (March 28-30, Kentucky International Convention Center) *new*
St. Louis (April 4-6, America's Center)
Minneapolis (May 2-4, Minneapolis Convention Center) *new*
Atlanta (May 30-June 1, Georgia World Congress Center) *new*
Philadelphia (June 19-22, Pennsylvania Convention Center)
San Antonio (Aug. 1-3, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center) *new*
Chicago (Aug. 21-24, Donald E. Stephens Convention Center)
Richmond, Va. (Sept. 12-14, Greater Richmond Convention Center) *new*
Nashville, Tenn. (Sept. 26-28, Music City Center)
Austin, Texas (Oct. 11-12, Austin Convention Center)
Columbus, Ohio (Oct. 31-Nov. 2, Greater Columbus Convention Center).
Tulsa, Okla. (Nov., 7-9, Cox Business Center) *new*
With those fifteen plus San Diego, New York, Emerald City, Phoenix, Baltimore, Dragon Con, Heroes Con, Mega Con, Wondercon, APE, Mid-Ohio, Long Beach and Toronto just to name a few… you are looking at a convention every other weekend during the year… assuming they are not booked on the same weekend.
I'm not sure how Wizard plans to fill the floors at some of the conventions. The big publishers haven't been setting up at the Wizard World shows though they do send some guests. The smaller publishers do some of the shows but I can't see them doing fifteen a year with all the other shows as well and creators do need to be home some time to work on the comics.
John Macaluso, the CEO and Chairman of Wizard World said, "Our mantra has been, 'Give the fans a great experience, give the celebrities and creators a great experience, take care of our exhibitors, and eveyone will want to come back.' We've had such an overwhelmingly positive reaction to all our 2013 events, both first-year and existing shows, that it was obvious what the fans were telling us — 'We want more!'"
I like the idea of them trying new places and I think everyone should get a chance to go to a convention in their lifetime, but they could rotate them in and out. They did Austin this year, do San Antonio next and then back to Austin in 2015. You slam seven new conventions onto the schedule and you're like to get a lesson in the law of diminishing returns. Just because you had eight successful shows in 2013 doesn't promise that doubling the shows will double the profit. If anything it could cut into your profit on the first eight as now Will Wheaton and John Barrowman have to choose which shows to do and why go back to one they've already been to?
It will be interesting to see how next years convention circuit goes with seven new weekends added. Will we see some fall to the wayside in 2015 or will have even more shows added with twenty-one hitting in Vegas? We will just have to wait and see.