We all know that the current convention calendar leaves little time to recover, unpack or just sit around playing Skyrim. But in 2019 the good news is, you’ll have more time to play Skyrim!

The bad news is that’s because of lot of conventions will be having the very same dates.

Next year WonderCon (Anaheim), C2E2 (Chicago) and Planet Comicon (Kansas City, MO) will all be held the same weekend, March 29-31.

I know there have been some major overlaps before, and with the proliferation of large conventions across the world, it’s impossible for conflicts to be avoided.

- Advertisement-

This last weekend alone saw C2e2, Dallas Fan Expo, Silicon Valley Comic Con, MoCCA Fest, and several other regional events. IN addition Walker Stalker held it’s Chicvago event the very same weekend as C2E2. Guests and pockeetbooks are being stretched thin by all this.

While some overlap is inevitable, C2E2 (thrown by ReedPOP) and WonderCon (thrown by Comic-Con International) are considered “majors” where most of the big publishers exhibit and have many announcements. I’m not sure if Reed and CCI folks are in direct communication, but it behooves everyone not to have the same dates.

Planet Comicon is in its 20th year and another major mid-western show which I’ve heard draws a large, youthful crowd.

Part of the problem is that comic cons, as hot as they are, don’t get preferential treatment from convention centers where dates are concerned.

A lot of this goes back to the “hotel night” issue. If an event doesn’t sell enough hotel nights, it isn’t considered a major event. Since fans tend to travel locally or have roommates, they don’t sell as many hotel rooms as, say, nephrologist conventions, where it’s one nephrologist, one room.

WonderCon and C2E2 definitely have god relationships with their facilities, but they’ve always been in the March-April period. This time…too close.

While I’m not privy to Planet Comicon’s planning, in 2018 the show was held February 16-18 – a very different part of the calendar. Whether they wanted different dates or had to work with what they got from Bartle Hall (aka the Kansas City Convention Center), I have no idea.

Washington DC’s Awesome Con is another show that moves around. Last year it was in June 16-18th. This year it got moved to the dreaded Easter slot, March. 30-April 1. And in 2019 it will be April 26-28.

wondercon_2019.pngplanet_comicon.png

8 COMMENTS

  1. Here’s what I can’t understand:
    The American Library Association moves their Mid-Winter and Annual (summer) conferences around the country.
    http://www.ala.org/conferencesevents/upcoming-annual-conferences-midwinter-meetings
    Aside from two dates (2025, 2026), they have everything scheduled through 2027.
    These conferences are in large convention centers, with ample meeting rooms nearby.
    They’ve been in Anaheim and Chicago. Chicago is scheduled as far out as 2026.

    Why can’t well-established shows like Wondercon and C2E2 do the same, years in advance?
    CCI has enough capital to pay the deposit (both CCI and ALA are non-profit organizations). ReedPop can easily tap into Reed Expo’s earnings if necessary.
    Certainly, a show might grow from year to year, and needs might change, but that can be adjusted two years out, especially in Chicago where C2E2 just now filled out the South Hall (with lots of aisle space) and the North Hall was only used for ticketing and security. Even then if that space is maxed out, the Hyatt and Marriott have a lot of meeting and exhibition space!

    BTW, Easter isn’t a “dreaded” slot… a convention center will not host a trade show during a holiday, so the rate is cheaper, and hotel rooms will be plentiful and probably discounted. (That’s probably why NYCC is anchored during Columbus Day weekend.)

    I wonder how far out exhibitors rent space at these cons?

    Oh, one other problem with a regional show like a comic-con… where’s it gonna go? There’s no leverage with a convention center… New York Comic Con has to be in New York. WonderCon, on the other hand, could be held anywhere. (It’s been in four different convention centers.)

  2. So, Heidi, since you’ve spoken with some behind the scenes folks, do you think there’s any chance that WonderCon or C2E2 will end up shifting dates to avoid the scheduling conflict? While I doubt there’s a lot of attendee crossover, there certainly is artist alley/professionals/exhibitor/company crossover between the two shows. (And, selfishly, I don’t want to have to choose!)

  3. Planet Comicon does their best to simply not have the same weekend as NakkaCon, a MASSIVE anime convention that takes place in KC every year. They usually occur within a few weeks of each other, though for a few years they were held the same weekend. Bartle Hall usually has dates booked way in advance, especially that time of year with MIAA basketball championships being held there every year. Since there really isn’t a venue of comparable size and convenience of location for PCC, they take what they can get.

  4. Planet Comicon was the last week of April in 2017 and in February for 2018. I’m pretty sure they are just working with what Bartle Hall makes available for them.

  5. It’s interesting how certain people KNOW everything and how things SHOULD be done, Torsten Adair…
    Maybe you should either work for one or start your own convention? It sounds like you can get everything done on your own. Good luck!

  6. Planet Comicon has shifted their dates all over the place the last few years.

    2012: March 24-25
    2013: April 6-7
    2014: March 14-16 (40,000 attendees)
    2015: March 13-15 (54,000 attendees)
    2016: May 20-22 (70,000 attendees)
    2017: April 28-30 (60,000 attendees)
    2018: Feb 16-18

    An issue with the dates is that the Big 12 men’s basketball tournament has been in downtown Kansas City the last several years, so that’s always a consideration. In 2015, those events overlapped, causing a big headache for hotels and traffic. Bartle Hall (the home of Planet Comicon) and the Sprint Center are about eight blocks apart and both venues use the same hotels.

    In 2014 and 2015, Planet Comicon was held the same weekend as Naka-Kon, KS’s annual anime convention which pulls in about 8000 visitors. That was a major problem and caused some bad blood for a while.

    So I wouldn’t read a whole lot into the weekend date issue.

Comments are closed.