David Glanzer, the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Comic-Con International, was just interviewed by Maureen Cavanaugh of San Diego’s KPBS. The 15 minute conversation covered a variety of subjects including what’s the status of Comic-Con staying in San Diego, how does the planned expansion of the Convention Center change things, and what cities are currently in the running to land the convention.
What’s most interesting about the interview is how people outside geek circles are starting to focus in on the future of Comic-Con, as civic leaders in San Diego might finally be waking up to how much money the convention brings in.
But the big news of the interview is Las Vegas is officially out of the running for Comic-Con. I feel like I’m writing about who is getting the Olympics. Hit the jump for a lot more:
– CCI is currently negotiating a three-year extension to their contract with San Diego that will keep the convention there until 2015.
– The recent land deal didn’t impact their decision on the extension, since the new space wouldn’t be available until at least 2015, but it may impact the group’s decision to stay there longer. However, if the deal didn’t go through, it might have made a difference.
– One of the options to deal with the growing attendance is to expand more events outside of the convention center to other nearby hotels and the like.
– Last year, Comic Con San Diego had 126,000 attendees, and this year most passes are already sold out. There is a waitlist of 400 exhibitors.
– Growing attendance and more locations costs money, so they are looking to increase sponsorship to help offset costs.
– CCI has a 13 member Board of Directors who decide things like the potential move.
– A decision on the fate of Comic-Con’s home after 2015 is expected in the next 30 days.
– Las Vegas is not in the running, as they haven’t made any efforts. It’s pretty much just between Anaheim, Los Angeles, and of course San Diego.
– The availability of volunteers factors into the decision. Comic-Con 2009 had 3,000 volunteers, and it may be hard to replicate elsewhere, since the fanbase in San Diego is so dedicated.
– The actual influence of Hollywood on Comic-Con is overblown. The presence of films and TV is the same as it’s been before, it just gets more attention from mainstream media, and they have more money to promote their presence.
Needless to say, when we hear where Comic-Con is going to end up, we’ll post updates. I love San Diego and hope they find a way to keep it there. But something has to be done about the hotel room situation, as it’s a real issue that shows no sign of getting better.