Phoenix Comicon 2016: Overview

Now that I have caught up with time here are some words on the Phoenix Comicon!

Phoenix Comicon (PHXCC) was June 2nd-5th at the Phoenix Convention center in Phoenix Arizona, also during one of the hottest weekend the area has seen this summer. The numbers that the Phoenix Comicon brought in daily was a record for PHXCC! This comicon was insane, and I am using that in a good way, not only insane due to all that the convention offered, but for me it was the most stressful. Why? Due to family medical issues as mentioned before, but once getting to the convention it all went away! I tried to make this year about connections and making con connections that will last and I would like to say mission accomplished, well at least 70% accomplished. I will get to the fun parts but first an overview items of the convention.

Complimentary Pass Battle Plan for Phoenix Comicon  
The Phoenix Comicon had a battle plan this year that worked, that is lets get people to the show and get them hooked so they will come back. Whether it was giving away passes through giveaways, donating them to other people for giveaways, or offering their volunteers comp passes to give to family and friends it worked. I was able to obtain 10 comp passes, I had 10 people go, it was all their first time and they want to go again next year. Some would say they practically gave away the comicon but I disagree, I think it is a great idea to offer the comp passes and hope down the line they will return. The main goal may be to make the bottom dollar, unlike other shows Phoenix Comicon has a great way of making sure that is not their only priority.

I give props to the registration department for the weekend they had! This year the convention had record numbers, numbers that are up there with the big shows like San Diego Comic Con. The overall attendance was about 100,000 plus that’s the unique number that attended the whole weekend, but the daily number of people that were in attendance daily….drumroll over 200,000 plus! A show that is used to the 50-80,00 people and jumping up to those kind of digits was a big change for them and seemed to handle it pretty well. I heard the registration computers went down but they knew how to fix it and did not hold back the show too far. 

The Heat
One of the lovely aspects of Arizona was in full force the weekend during the convention, the heat. With the lines wrapping around the streets, this led to people having to stand in the heat before they made it inside to get their tickets. The heat did not stop people from cosplaying (dressing up as a character) either, the ones that were in the furry animal costumes I cannot imagine how hot it was. I didn’t hear any stories of anyone passing out but some I saw looked close to it. The new Con on Adams street; had a trailer that was a mister what a genius idea! People loved it as did I.

The Crowds
With the record attendance this year there were crowds everywhere, even lines to get through a door! At time is felt like San Diego Comic Con to me and even though that is a monstrosity of a convention it’s a compliment to the Phoenix one. The signage at the convention was a little better especially the main entry doors with signs above that said Entrance and Exit, rather than everyone running into the each other. It is hard to imagine that a couple of years ago the large cosplay groups and the media guest all used to be on the same floor as the exhibitor hall itself! This year I worked up on the third floor instead of the first floor like I usually do, and for the most part that floor was always busy itself.

Outdoor Activity
There was the usual Car show outside the convention center, with the rides from our favorite movies and TV shows, this year the big hit were the Ghostbusters & all the Jurassic Park Jeeps, my favorite was Baby from the TV show Supernatural. They also had something new outside on Adams st, it was called the Con on Adams street the CW6 Channel Phoenix put on. There was food trucks, alcohol, a chance to get some free swag, and a mister trailer that would have you forget about the 100 plus degree weather.

Cosplay [Dressing up]
Despite the heat there were many cosplays that graced the Phoenix Comicon with their presence, some folks have been working on their costume since the last Phoenix Comicon ended and some recently planned. Phoenix Comicon is a family friendly environment, seeing all the different costumes that everyone was wearing was great. Some were store bought, some hand crafted, some a mixture of both. Seeing these people dressed up in cosplay and getting their picture taken is always fun for me, especially when the children’s faces light up when they think they are meeting the actual character in real life.

I volunteered for the comicon this year as it was my third in doing so, this year was a bit different for me as I was working on the third floor where the media guests and Hall of Heroes is, rather than the first floor where all the exhibitors are. I always say that volunteering for a comicon is a great way to check out a comicon con, not only does it save a few dollars but it also give you experiences that you may not get anywhere else. These are also experiences that you can use in real life such as customer service, marketing, merchandising, technology and so much more the comicon has to offer. The best thing on top of those is the benefits you get for dedicating your time, such as comp passes, food vouchers, a full event pass, discounted merchandise and my favorite the name tag!  

Overall the Phoenix Comicon is a convention that you should at least check out once, I am sure after one visit you will be hooked. The Phoenix Comicon has remained loyal to the vendors and exhibitors that have been with them since the beginning. It is nice to see a show that is concerned about their reputation with the people that were there with them since the beginning rather than making it obvious all they are concerned about it the bottom dollar. This helps create the family like atmosphere that I love about PHXCC. It's always nice to see a convention grow from where it was when I started attending the convention, some people might leave it now that it has become one of the leading shows, some will stick with it and the new ones will fall in love with it. Overall the Phoenix Comicon is worth checking out!

Have you attended the Phoenix Comicon? What was your experience like?

Until next time
Watchtower over & out

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