Gareb Shamus Wants Wizard World Comic Cons “Everywhere”
February 9, 2011 by Brian Pate
Filed under Anime, Collectibles, Comic Books, Convention News, Gaming, Horror, Illinois, Louisiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Texas, Top Stories
Wizard World owner Gareb Shamus has started making the interview rounds and is discussing expansion plans for the future of the Wizard World Comic Con conventions.
First up, he told MTV Geek:
Geek: What is the future of Wizard World conventions, and will you continue to expand in that arena?
GS: Absolutely, when you look at the direction that we’ve headed in, the convention business has been greatly expanding for us. It’s an incredibly exciting business for us, because there’s nothing like seeing your fans right in front of you. And when you talk about people liking us or not liking us or wanting to be involved with us, there’s no greater vehicle and opportunity than people coming out to see you. And therein lies the true essence of what we do. When you look at these shows, people are leaving their homes and paying money to see us and spend time to have fun with their friends – and what’s more compelling than that, than consumers voting with their dollars in regards to our products? And they’re voting in record numbers, and they love what we’re doing. We just had a show in New Orleans that was an incredible success. People showed up, and the community got behind it; we had over a hundred artists and writers in our artist alley, and the show worked out great for them. Our Austin show was very well-received, and Chicago was off the charts; people came out of the woodwork for that one. Philly: lines were stretched around the block.
Speaking with ICv2, he adds:
You’ve talked about targeting specific markets. Is that the primary criteria that you set for deciding what shows to acquire or are you also trying to acquire specific kinds of shows to build on?
We want to be everywhere. When we start with the premise that we want to be everywhere and then we have certain priority cities that we want to target, there’s a lot of different factors that go into it. Not only are they cities that we want to go into but, we want to be able to get the right date, the right place, at the right time of year that fits in with our calendar, that coordinates with the other events that are going out there, so there’s a lot of factors that go into being able to set up an event. It’s not a small undertaking regardless of the size of the show. It does require a lot of the same work in renting facilities, getting guests, getting talent, coordinating dealers and exhibitors, and being able to sell it, and being able to market to consumers. People have to come from one side of the country to the next, so there’s a lot of details involved in putting events together. Even though from somebody just showing up and having a great time, it looks and feels like a very seamless event, when they come to Wizard World events, but the reality is that there’s a lot of work that goes behind that and it’s important to make sure that you’re not just coordinating one event, you’re coordinating a lot of events all throughout the year all the time.
We have thirteen conventions scheduled for the 2011 tour and plan to add at least five more conventions to the 2011 tour. We project that we will produce twenty five conventions in 2012. Our Comic Cons provide sales, marketing, promotions, public relations, advertising and sponsorships for entertainment companies, toy companies, gaming companies, publishing companies, marketers, corporate sponsors and retailers. The demand for our Comic Cons results in our production of multiple conventions in certain cities such as New York City in one year.
Clearly, there is much more to come.