Making official two rumors that had been floating freely for a while now, Reed Exhibitions announced that the NYCC will be moving to a permanent early October date starting in 2010, and will begin a new Chicago show, called the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, starting in April 2010.
The new New York dates conflict most closely with indie themes shows SPX, held in October in Bethesda, MD, and APE, held in SF in November, as well as the Baltimore Comic-Con and Reed’s own New York Anime Fest, which was held in September of last year.
The Chicago show is planned as a “downtown” show which will take advantage of Chicago’s many amenities and large pop culture audience.
Full PR below:
Reed Exhibitions has today announced the launch of Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) which will take place April 16 – 18, 2010 at McCormick Place in downtown Chicago. The new show will be structured in the spirit of New York Comic Con (NYCC) which was launched by Reed Exhibitions in 2006 and saw attendance grow from 33,000 in its first year to 67,000 in 2008, making it the fastest growing comic and pop culture event in the U.S. Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo comes in response to significant customer demand. Reed officials note that customers of New York Comic Con have frequently and repeatedly asked Reed Exhibitions to bring a major pop culture event to downtown Chicago.
“We are delivering this event for the industry and for the fans,” notes Lance Fensterman, who is Vice President and Show Manager for NYCC and who will also be overseeing C2E2. “We have heard their wishes and we are thrilled to bring what we hope will be another massive comic and pop culture event, in the spirit of New York Comic Con, to an eager audience in Chicago and the entire Midwest. With April dates in place for Chicago, this has also provided us with a perfect opportunity to balance the sequence of our events by moving New York Comic to permanent dates in the fall.”
This year’s New York Comic Con is scheduled to take place February 6 – 8 at the Jacob K. Javits Center. The next New York Comic Con will take place October 8 – 10, 2010. Officials confirm that the October time for New York Comic Con is sustainable and will be permanent to avoid shifting dates from year to year. Most importantly, the new dates will afford substantial growth opportunity within the Javits facility itself.
As for C2E2, show organizers are planning a major launch. “We are aiming big,” continues Fensterman. “We plan to apply everything we have learned in launching and building New York Comic Con to our Chicago event and we intend for it to be a major attraction right out the gate. Of course, this not only means providing a customer friendly atmosphere but also providing dynamic programming that boasts top talent from across the pop culture spectrum, including artists, creators and celebrities from Hollywood, TV, comics, books, video games, toys, Anime, Manga and all other applicable aspects of the popular arts. But, most importantly, we will also seek to make adjustments so that our show reflects the essence of Chicago. This will be critically important. The city itself will form an important part of our identity.”
Convention officials note that in addition to industry support for a C2E2, there has also been widespread agreement that a balanced con calendar is essential. This was an important consideration as Reed Exhibitions looked to implement its plan. “The major players in the various pop culture industries are behind us,” states Fensterman. “We are pleased with the new timeline and see Chicago as anchoring the spring con calendar and New York Comic Con as ending the con calendar with a major exclamation point.”
“The expansion of Reed’s Comic Convention schedule to include a Chicago show is very exciting news,” says Marvel’s Vice President of Merchandising & Communications Michael Pasciullo. “They have proven in just four short years through the success of the New York Comic Convention that Reed can bring together comics, TV, and film in new and exciting ways for both the industry and fans alike. Marvel is looking forward to being part of their new Midwest experience.”
“We’re pleased to be building on the success Reed has had with the New York Comic Con and looking forward to their adding a Chicago show to their schedule,” notes DC Comics President Paul Levitz. “Our Midwest fans have a great history of celebrating comics at conventions, and we hope this will be the beginning of a memorable run of events for them.”
Reed officials note that their ability to confidently launch C2E2 is an indication of how deeply embedded all aspects of pop culture have become in our society. In addition to New York Comic Con, Reed Exhibitions launched the New York Anime Festival in 2007 and it entered a strategic partnership with Penny Arcade (PAX) in 2008. Reed Exhibitions will be working closely with PAX on the launch of PAX East in Boston in 2010. “The emergence and growth of the pop culture segment of our business has been huge,” Fensterman concludes. “We are absolutely dedicated to this community and are thrilled to be delivering our customers what they have told us they need.’ The show will have a web site that can be found at www.chicagocomicandentertainmentexpo.com