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.
GAREB SHAMUS, WIZARD ENTERTAINMENT CEO, ACQUIRES ATLANTA COMIC CONVENTION
Shamus buys “The Best One-Day Show in the South!”
New York, NY (January 19, 2010) – Gareb Shamus announced today that he acquired and will produce the Atlanta Comic Convention, now renamed Atlanta Comic Con Wizard World Convention.
“The spirit of the Atlanta convention was very much in line with our own shows. The fans in Georgia appreciate the festival feel of this show,” Shamus, CEO of New York-based Wizard Entertainment said. “The fans here are savvy, and they are ready for the evolution of their con.”
Founded in 1994 by 20-year comic veteran Wes Tillander, the Atlanta Comic Convention showcases comics, cards, prints, gaming artwork, videos, toys, manga, anime, statues, new artists, book signings and much more.
“Giving fans a little of everything is something I’ve been doing for years,” said former owner Tillander. “There are so many facets of this industry that comics fans appreciate and expect to see as part of a show. With Wizard producing the show, I know that mixed presentation idea will really thrive.”
Tillander will consult on Atlanta Comic Con to maintain the local traditions of the event. Wizard will expand the show from a one-day format to a three-day weekend format, while many aspects of pop culture will continue to be represented. Atlanta Comic Con fans can expect a high-energy show with a festival atmosphere recognized and enjoyed by fans everywhere.
Dates and venue will be announced shortly
For information on all Wizard events, visit www.wizardworld.com.
About Gareb Shamus:
Gareb Shamus founded Wizard Entertainment in 1991. Today, Shamus publishes consumer magazines Wizard, ToyFare, FunFare and numerous books about pop culture’s top talent, comic books and toys. Shamus also produces a North American Comic Con tour.
Wizard World Comic Con Tour:
March 26-28, 2010,Toronto Comic Con, Direct Energy Centre
April 16-18, 2010, Anaheim Comic Con, Anaheim Convention Center
June 11-13, 2010, Philadelphia Comic Con, Philadelphia Convention Center
August 19-22, 2010, Chicago Comic Con, Donald E. Stephens (Rosemont) Convention Center
October 7-10, 2010, Big Apple Comic Con, Pier 94
November 12-14, 2010, Austin Comic Con, Austin Convention Center
Atlanta Comic Con, TBD
New England Comic Con, TBD
Local comic book writer and scholar A. David Lewis examines the controversy surrounding Wizard Entertainment’s recent acquisition of the New England Comic Con and the ramifications it potentially holds for the Boston comic book community.
GAREB SHAMUS, WIZARD ENTERTAINMENT CEO, ANNOUNCES THE LAUNCH OF ANAHEIM COMIC-CON APRIL 16-18, 2010
Pop Culture, Video Game and Comic Expo To Come To Orange County, For The First Time Ever
Gareb Shamus, CEO of New York based Wizard Entertainment, announced today the launch of the first-ever Anaheim Comic-Con, to be held at the Anaheim Convention Center from April 16-18, 2010.
Richard McWilliam, Upper Deck Chairman/CEO said, “Gareb and I have been friends for many years now, and I’m happy to see him once again back in Southern California. On behalf of myself and Upper Deck, we congratulate Gareb for bringing the fans here another great Comic-Con.”
Upper Deck recently announced a licensing agreement with Marvel Entertainment to create products based on Marvel characters, including Trading Cards, TCGs and Miniatures Games.
Anaheim will be the fifth Comic-Con city for shows produced by Gareb, joining Chicago, Philadelphia, New York and the recently-purchased Toronto event. Attendees can anticipate the strong caliber lineup of stars and exhibitors that fans across the nation have come to expect.
“We had an outpouring of requests by fans and partners to return to Southern California, and felt that Anaheim was the best place to come back to,” said Shamus. “There is a real desire here for a comic based pop-culture experience, and I feel privileged to get back in touch with our west coast fans in this way. This will truly be an event for families and people of all ages.”
Ahmet Zappa, Publisher of Disney’s Kingdom Comics said, “All of us at Kingdom Comics are thrilled to be working with our friends from Wizard, as they get ready to add the Anaheim Comic-Con to their line-up of spectacular fan events. They have a reputation in the industry for putting on great shows in Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York, and the Anaheim Comic-Con will bring exciting entertainment to our own backyard.”
Kingdom Comics is developing entertaining new graphic novels, and re-imagining motion pictures from the Disney live-action vaults, and plans to use the Anaheim convention to showcase new projects to the fan community.
ANAHEIM COMIC-CON tickets are on sale now: https://wizardworld.ticketleap.com/anaheim
Gareb Shamus founded Wizard Entertainment in 1991. Gareb publishes Wizard, ToyFare, FunFare and numerous books and magazines about today’s top talent, comic books and toys. In addition, he produces Chicago Comic-Con at the Rosemont Convention center, August 6-9; Big Apple Comic-Con at Pier 94, October 16 -18, Wizard World Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Convention Center June 11-13, 2010 and Toronto Comic Con, dates TBD.