Day 0 at the second edition of C2E2 found retailers confabbing, and early arrivals checking out the new location for the show.
Following last year’s inaugural show in the Lakeside hall set on the banks of Lake Michigan, the convention has moved to a more modern hall that’s laid out on a more human scale. No longer do you wander over the Rainbow Bridge from Niflheim to Asgard just to attend a panel. The show floor (more compact this year) is on one floor, panels are on another, and you can see where everything is from the railing.
The McCormick place remains a dauntingly huge venue, however. Jim Shooter, Mike Richardson, and ChrisCross could stand in a pack and still look like ants against this heroic scale.
We have lots of notes from the retailer meeting but this pesky virus or whatever it is has claimed our energy to type. No big bombshells — however, this crop of retailers does seem much younger and more focused on improving their stores than some previous generations. In the years we’ve been attending these things, it’s nice to see some matters go from vague ideas to industry standards, like more stores with POS systems and now day-early delivery.
We caught show runner Lance Fensterman (above) in a quiet moment just as the floor was settling down. He acknowledges that last year’s show left something to be desired in the local turnout but feels that this year they have done everything they can to market the show — Green Lantern shelf talkers at Pepsi displays and so on. He said that before the show opened they would already have sold more tickets than they did for all of last year’s show, so things are looking positive.
There’s still a lot of good will for the show, even if some publishers, like Image, are sitting this one out. And professionals are happy that con season is in full swing, flooding the CBR bar to sample the exclusive brew designed just for the show.
Above, Oni peeps play games in the bar.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.