Reed Exhibitions has announced the launch of Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), which will take place April 16-18, 2010 at McCormick Place in downtown Chicago. The new show will be structured in the spirit of New York Comic Con (NYCC), which was launched by Reed Exhibitions in 2006 and saw attendance grow from 33,000 in its first year to 67,000 in 2008, making it the fastest growing comic and pop culture event in the U.S.
Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo comes in response to significant customer demand. Reed officials note that customers of New York Comic Con have frequently and repeatedly asked Reed Exhibitions to bring a major pop culture event to downtown Chicago.
This year's New York Comic Con is scheduled to take place February 6-8 at the Jacob K. Javits Center. The next New York Comic Con will take place October 8-10, 2010. Officials confirm that the October time for New York Comic Con is sustainable and will be permanent to avoid shifting dates from year to year. Most importantly, the new dates will afford substantial growth opportunity within the Javits facility itself.
As for C2E2, show organizers are planning a major launch. "We are aiming big," said Lance Fensterman, who is VP and Show Manager for NYCC and who will also be overseeing C2E2. "We plan to apply everything we have learned in launching and building New York Comic Con to our Chicago event and we intend for it to be a major attraction right out the gate. Of course, this not only means providing a customer friendly atmosphere but also providing dynamic programming that boasts top talent from across the pop culture spectrum, including artists, creators and celebrities from Hollywood, TV, comics, books, video games, toys, anime, manga and all other applicable aspects of the popular arts. But, most importantly, we will also seek to make adjustments so that our show reflects the essence of Chicago. This will be critically important. The city itself will form an important part of our identity."
Convention officials note that in addition to industry support for a C2E2, there has also been widespread agreement that a balanced con calendar is essential. This was an important consideration as Reed Exhibitions looked to implement its plan. "The major players in the various pop culture industries are behind us," states Fensterman. "We are pleased with the new timeline and see Chicago as anchoring the spring con calendar and New York Comic Con as ending the con calendar with a major exclamation point."
In addition to New York Comic Con, Reed Exhibitions launched the New York Anime Festival in 2007 and it entered a strategic partnership with Penny Arcade (PAX) in 2008. Reed Exhibitions will be working closely with PAX on the launch of PAX East in Boston in 2010.