Reed Exhibitions Moves NYCC To 4Q 2010, Adds Chicago Show

Reed Moves NYCC in 2010, Adds Chicago

This week Reed Exhibitions will kick off the major 2009 comic book convention when the 4th annual New York Comic Con launches on Friday, but Newsarama has learned the events organizing giant already has 2010 in sights with a couple of moves that at least have the potential to reshape the comics convention calendar for years to come.

According to multiple sources Reed is planning a 4th quarter 2010 date at New York's Jacob K Javits Center for next year's 5th annual New York Comic Con and will also launch a brand new Chicago event in either April or May of 2010, with the most likely venue McCormick Place, a major convention facility located close to the downtown Chicago area.

Reached for comment over the weekend, Lance Fensterman, a Reed Exhibitions Vice President and Show Director of NYCC as well as the New York Anime Fest, was unable to respond to Newsarama's inquiries at this time.

"As much as I would like to provide you specific comments, we are just not prepared to comment on any of these matters at this juncture," Fensterman replied. "Know that the entire NYCC team has been working hard to build a great event for the weekend of the 6th and at securing consistent dates for future years as well. When it is appropriate, we will release an official statement."

Evaluated separately, NYCC's move to the 4th quarter (the event was held in February its first two years and April in its third) might simply provide some welcome relief to exhibitors like comic book publishers, as it adds a major event to the last quarter of the year and makes the first half of the calendar a little less crowded. This year for instance, NYCC and San Francisco's upcoming WonderCon (2/27–3/1) are just three weeks apart.

Combined with the launch of a new major Chicago show, however, Reed's moves could potentially result in reevaluation by exhibitors and attendees of their convention plans in 2010 and moving forward, particularly in light of a weakening economy.

Purchased in 1997 by Wizard Entertainment, for years the Chicago Comic-Con has been the major mid-west show and arguably the second highest-profile event of the year behind Comic-Con International San Diego for regular exhibitors and attendees, though not without some reservations.

The more suburban-located Rosemont venue, while convenient to 'O'Hare airport, has never drawn high marks for its 20-30 minute distance from the downtown Chicago area, and in recent years the proximity of the Chicago and San Diego Comic-Cons to one another (they are just two weeks apart again this year) has drawn some criticism from exhibitors, due to the expense and resources involved in planning and attending two major convention appearances only weeks apart.

If Reed is able to draw major exhibitors and attendees to their Chicago event in the spring (and it would be unlikely they'd launch a new show without the former's pledged support) and retain their support of the New York show in the fall or winter, the new calendar has the potential to soften support for Wizard's Chicago event.

Assuming they remain committed to San Diego and New York, exhibitors will be faced with the decision to either add an additional event to their calendar and budget and support two Chicago area programs, or choose between a Chicago show, with the new Reed event having arguably the more desirable dates and location.

Either way, the news probably won't be welcomed by Wizard, who last month made news themselves by "postponing" their Los Angeles show in March and cancelling their November 2009 Texas event, citing the weak economy.

Also noteworthy is Reed's continued expansion into the "genre" arena, in an economic climate many businesses like Wizard are contracting. The company is also partnering with Penny Arcade to launch an East Coast version of the popular gaming festival PAX in Boston in 2010.

Look for much more on these developments as it becomes available.

Related:

New York Comic Con 2009 Video Page

Wizard Postpones 2009 Los Angeles, Cancels Texas Conventions 

Reed Teams with Penny Arcade for 2010 East Coast PAX

Twitter activity