So… how does this show differ from last year’s?
Not much, really. Panels are upstairs, just like last year. (Make use of the water stations. Seriously…it’s a long walk to the Main Stage.) Family and fans are once again in the ballroom on the First Floor. The sales floor… is still in Halls A1 and A2 (McCormick South).
The Block seems to be a new addition this year, or maybe the memory’s tumbled in with all of the other stuff from last year. The Tattoo Pavilion is in the same space as last year.
Only three booths remain unsold: two small booths right next to Marvel, and a quad near the Food Court. (Some of the Artist Alley tables are on hold, but all are sold.)
As for panels, there’s a FIFTH floor above the fourth, with five rooms, which can be divided into fourteen spaces (just like the rooms on the fourth). Not to mention the six meeting rooms on the first floor, south of the ballroom, which can subdivide into 15 spaces. Plus ReedPOP uses the North Hall (B1/B2) for registration, and the meeting rooms beneath for back of house purposes.
So, what’s the estimated attendance this year?
The average (slope) is 7,100 a year. If we take the recent increases into account, the math suggests 70 – 75,000 attendees. NYCC in its sixth year did 105,000. C2E2 is growing at half the rate of NYCC, which is not a bad thing. Of course, McCormick has a lot of space available, so with my estimated 1.235 MILLION capacity, with a growth of 10K/year, it would take C2E2 120 years to fill the entire convention center! Me, I’m thinking 2030. Once shows hit a certain threshold, they reach critical mass quickly. (I’ll share my mad dreams later. In the meantime, read this!)
But until then, other parts of McCormick Place will be used by other shows. What else is happening that weekend? Automechanika Chicago. 400 exhibitors, 8500 attendees, and it’s all about the auto aftermarket. (Oh man… a month later is the Sweets & Snacks Expo!) Last year, some company held their sales meeting in Lakeside, meaning most attendees trekked by the show floor on Thursday. I even spotted one professional lady stop to take a selfie with a Batman75 standee! There was also a national high school chorus competition… yeah…theatre geeks! Another year, there was standardized testing for educators. And the first C2E2 had a bath show where the current con is located…
I’ll have more later, but I do recommend the show. It’s a large regional show, with myriad guests of all sorts, great programming, not as crazy as CCI or NYCC, and I think most of the snow will have melted by now. Until then, peruse our posts from previous years. It’s a good sample of what the show offers.