October 11 and 25

First up 11 – I forgot to hit post…..

FanNexus was last week. It did not go well.
The basic idea of the con is really pretty good. Seven immersive environments where the convention goer can enjoy being in an Anime or Steampunk or SuperHero world and revel in the wonder of each….
Tuesday night at 8:30 they dropped off fliers for all you customers who hadn’t heard of the show with a hefty discount but told me that I couldn’t mention the discount on our Facebook or Website. That left two days to give away coupons which really isn’t enough time to get things moving.
I had offered to help promote it during the past year with fliers and posters and mentions on all of our digital accounts but they never took us up on it until two days before the show.
They offered me a table for giving out the fliers and I told them that I could put out free comics but really wasn’t set up to man it for three days on a couple of days notice. I am glad I wasn’t able to set anything up as attendance was quite sparse.
A video surfaced Friday afternoon of a nearly empty show spread over 165,000sf. Room after room of empty. A room with 150 chairs and a large screen tv sitting empty, a massive lounge with no loungers etc.
I took the kids down on Saturday and my daughter went though the entire show and then went through it again to make sure she didn’t miss anything and it took her about 45 minutes. My son did enjoy the nerf sword fighting and could have probably done that for several hours with small breaks to switch to larger nerf weapons and an hour on the cooperative video space ship simulator but he did not argue when I said it was time to leave….
The immersive environments did not live up to their original idea or sales pitch. The Anime section was basically a CandyLand game walk through with some anime cutouts which took less than two minutes as we drug it out. The steampunk section was a 32 foot long section of steampunk items sitting on tables and a couple of larger items that people had made. $65 for a three day pass or $40 per day was a pretty stiff cost for what was there.
I think if they had tried a single day or perhaps two days at a third the price and more content, it could have been a show that would have at least satisfied people but as it was, there just wasn’t enough there to justify anything. I was told several dealers packed up Saturday and didn’t stick around for the final day and the the dealers that did stay told me that Sunday was even worse than the previous days if that were possible.
Seeing Walter Koenig just sitting at an empty table waiting for someone, anyone to buy a pic or get an autograph was kind of disheartening. A bit of advertising might have made a difference but in the end, the content just was not there whether they had more attendees or not. -Craig!

Its Christmas stocking up time! We have pallets and boxes of new and recent items building up for the December madness which is almost upon us! Its only 9 Fridays until Christmas!

1 Comment

  1. FanNexus was born into a community with an established convention and Fan base, but I don’t feel the organizers fully understood the challenges or the demographics of Fandom in this area. The for profit model might not have been what people here were looking for; it was an interesting idea, but on the whole, poorly executed without a lot of business acumen and forethought.

    All conventions have those moments where they look at the product they have created and have to make a choice on whether it is worth it to go on. I know good people who work to put on SpoCon had some of those thoughts when they first started and the rough times in the last couple years has been a challenge, and not all of it their fault. The benefit of being focused on the Fan community instead of profit though by being a nonprofit, is being able to focus on creating the best convention for the Fans, this gives them a unique perspective.

    Spokane has a Great Fan base and SpoCon knows that and wants to cater to them for their benefit and the benefit of future generations of Fans.

    Being non-profit limits The SpoCon leadership on a lot of stuff they can do and would like to do, but they also turn all the moneys the convention makes back into the Convention for the enjoyment and betterment of the Fan Community.

    With SpoCon it is the Volunteers and the Fans that make the difference. People like to be involved in community and to share in building something great for everyone. They have done a lot of growing and updating and the team recently and are focusing on building on the past successes.

    As a veteran convention organizer who moved to SpoCon because of the great community and way of life here, I really look forward to coming on with SpoCon and working with a very dedicated and talented bunch of people to make next years convention and the many years to come the Best years of SpoCon,

    It is the volunteers that make SpoCon, and they have a great team. A lot of that team has not even joined yet. If you are reading this and thinking, “Wow I always wanted to be part of the Team,” then come to their meet and greet and be a part of the Fan community in Spokane coming together to build an already good convention into a fantastic and growing convention as we move forward.



    Allyn Llyr

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