The Beat is headed to Chicago for C2E2 but also the annual Diamond Retailer summit which is kicking off tonight with a tiki party.

Diamond just sent out a fact sheet about the event. More than 500 attendees, including 400+ retailers representing 230 stores will attend, as will publishing reps and other industry guests (such as The Beat.)

Diamond founder Steve Geppi delivers the keynote speech Friday morning over breakfast. it’s a challenging time for the industry but Geppi has been there before so we’ll be watching what he says with interest.

DC and Marvel are both presenting at special forums. Will the press be barred from Marvel’s? We’ll be sure to let you know!

“We’re excited to once again have the opportunity to meet with comic shop retailers at the Summit,” said Diamond Director of Marketing, Dan Manser in a statement. “It’s a great time to imagine the possibilities that our passion brings to the future of the comics industry. When the entire industry works together, we can tackle any problems and successfully drive our businesses forward.”

Additional Retailer Summit Events Include:

  • Celebrate Your Passion! Tiki Party Opening Reception
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner presentations from over twenty publishers
  • DC and Marvel Comics Forum Sessions
  • Panel discussions and workshops
  • Keynote address from Diamond President and CEO, Steve Geppi
  • ComicSuite User Appreciation Conference

And a list of sponsors:

Gold Sponsors: AfterShock Comics, BOOM! Studios, Dark Horse Comics, DC Entertainment, Dynamite Entertainment, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, Lion Forge Comics, and Marvel Comics

Silver Sponsors: Diamond Select Toys, Penguin Random House, Quirk Books, SD Toys Merchandising, Titan Comics, and Valiant Entertainment

Bronze Sponsors: Action Lab Entertainment, Albatross FunnyBooks, Alliance Game Distributors, Dead Reckoning, Devil’s Due/ 1First Comics, Funko, Kodansha Comics, Jazwares, Oni Press, Paizo Publishing, TokyoPOP, and VIZ Media.

Exhibit Sponsors: Archie Comics, CBLDF, Mad Cave Studios, Rebellion Developments, T Pub Comics, and YouNeek Studios

Additional Sponsors: ReedPOP, Transcontinental Printing, Crafted Packaging, and Avenue 4 Communications.