Fan Expo is taking over Wizard World's conventions, according to a press release that is careful not to say that Fan Expo has purchased Wizard World outright. Six of Wizard World's top conventions will be rebranded as Fan Expo events in 2022, and a FAQ on Wizard World's website says more could be added in the future. Well sure, I mean, who wouldn't want to get their hands on a convention business that's been on the brink of collapse for years and recently became so desperate it started minting NFTS of video footage from its shows.
From the press release:
Today, FAN EXPO HQ shared big plans to change the fan convention industry in North America forever, when it announced six of Wizard World's (OTC:WIZD) largest U.S. shows will join its portfolio. Wizard World's events in Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Portland, St. Louis, and Cleveland will be rebranded as FAN EXPO events in 2022. The FAN EXPO portfolio will run 17 shows in North America, making it the largest producer of fan conventions in the world.
Wizard World's 6 U.S. shows will be rebranded in 2022 as:
- FAN EXPO Chicago
- FAN EXPO Philadelphia
- FAN EXPO New Orleans
- FAN EXPO Portland
- FAN EXPO St. Louis
- FAN EXPO Cleveland
"FAN EXPO HQ is devoted to creating unmissable, exceptional fan experiences," said Fan Expo President Aman Gupta in the press release. So you can see why they would be offended at Wizard World's existence. He continued, "We're beyond thrilled to be able to offer that to fans in six new locations, and pleased that Wizard World recognized our ability to elevate guest experience to the next level. We're looking forward to getting to know each of these individual communities, learn what they're looking for, and raise the bar! Personally, I'm eager to contribute to the incredible legacy of the Chicago event, the second oldest comic event in North America (1972), and restore it to its former glory and beyond."
Gupta went on to explain how eradicating the name Wizard World and replacing it with Fan Expo is a public service rendered for the good of all comic book fans.
"Every fan, at every single one of our 17 events across North America, will benefit from this game-changing announcement," he said. "As the largest producer of fan events in the world, we will be able to offer even more exclusive access to superstar talents, international brands, and innovative experiences. 2022 will be the most exciting year in our company's history, and I know the fans will feel that pride and excitement."
FURTHER READING: NEWS FROM ONE YEAR IN THE FUTURE – OMEGA VARIANT TEARS THROUGH CLIMATE-RAVAGED U.S.; "WHY, FAN EXPO, WHY?" ASKS BIDEN
Artists and exhibitors with questions about the deal can see a FAQ on Wizard World's website. Here's some more gloating from Fan Expo:
FAN EXPO HQ's existing roster includes FAN EXPO Canada (Toronto, ON), MEGACON Orlando, FAN EXPO Dallas, FAN EXPO Boston, Calgary Comics & Entertainment Expo, FAN EXPO Vancouver, Toronto Comicon, Dallas FAN FESTIVAL, Edmonton Comics & Entertainment Expo and various other special events. It also includes FAN EXPO San Francisco, a new event launching in fall 2022, and FAN EXPO Denver, previously Denver Pop Culture Con, which will return with an introductory SPECIAL EDITION show this fall before fully returning in 2022. FAN EXPO HQ events are expected to attract nearly 1 million fans in 2022 and will cover more than 10 million square feet of exhibition space.
FAN EXPO HQ will be collaborating with Wizard World on a smooth transition and will honor all prior commitments with fans, exhibitors, and artisans. Wizard World will continue to operate the Wizard World Vault and will be participating at all FAN EXPO events. Shows already organized for 2021 will run as originally planned (including Wizard World Chicago 2021). Fans can expect a new, reinvigorated brand and revitalized attendee experience to be delivered for 2022 under the FAN EXPO banner.