I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what I think of Wizard putting the Big Apple Con dates on the same weekend as New York Comic Con for 2010 and honestly, what I think doesn’t matter one bit. We run an event that serves the industry (and I mean industry broadly; comics, manga, Anime, film, TV, gaming). Our purpose is to grow the industry and serve the fans, exhibitors and guests. So what I think about it is far less important than what the fans, exhibitors and guests think.
Looking through blogs tonight and the emails I’ve gotten from our partners in the industry, I think it’s pretty clear what all of these groups think of the decision. Read a few comments on the articles from Newsarama, CBR, Robot 6 or The Beat. It seems pretty clear to me.
There is a fundamental difference in philosophies between our organizations. We approach our shows by thinking about the fans, the industry and the exhibitors first and ourselves second. We believe that if we serve the fans, the industry, the guests and the exhibitors first we will be rewarded with a good show thus a good business proposition. How does putting an event on the exact same dates as NYCC (or even C2E2 for that matter) do anything to help the fans, exhibitors or guests?
I am not claiming that we are altruistic and do everything s right all the time. Far from it. If you read this blog, I think you know, that I know, we screw a lot up, but we don’t run from our mistakes or criticism, we listen and we learn. And yes, we operate these events as businesses. But we believe our success comes directly from treating people well and helping them grow there business (Midtown Comics busiest 3 days of the year are during NYCC – that is success to us). Good business is not doing what you want for you and taking a short term gain.
There in lies the fundamental difference in why and how we run our events. I welcome having these differences on display directly against each other.
I am making an effort to speak about how we conduct ourselves as I think Wizard’s choices are clear based on the events they run. So what do we believe in?
- Pleasing the fansGrowing the business as a whole by attracting new customers
- Serving our exhibitors by doing what we say we will do and delivering an audience to them
- Giving our guests a great experience
- Honestly reporting our numbers
- Being accountable to our customers (fans, guests and exhibitors)
- The ticket you buy, gets you access to all of our guests, you don’t have to pay to meet everyone
- Investing in our shows to make them cool
- Not misleading our fans on guests, costs or the experience they should expect
- Using the talent our exhibitors share with us to grow THERE business, not just ours
- A firm commitment to the business of the business (education, networking, licensing, rights, retailers, etc)
So what do I think of the Big Apple dates? Ask Marvel. Ask DC. Ask Sony. Ask an artist alley participant. Ask a creator. Ask a fan. You’ll get a clear answer of just who these choices of dates are intended to serve.