‘Awesome Con’ Is Not So Awesome, Steals Established Con’s Weekend

Note: Does Trae sound like a dick in this article? He sure thinks he did. We’re leaving it intact, but please be aware — we at Nerd & Tie all think we were being a bit unfair on this.

A version of this first appeared on Trae’s personal blog.

So as many of you know, I primarily do conventions in two areas: Indiana (where I live) and Wisconsin (where I’m from). I’ve just recently gotten started at expanding into more Indiana events, but it would be an understatement to say I’m highly involved with cons in Wisconsin.

Mostly because I co-founded one of the older, still running ones.

Those of you who have read my blog over the years may have also noted I have a pretty specific philosophy when it comes to how people and organizations in the con scene should interact. I think cons should try to work together cooperatively rather than competitively, as a rising tide can lift all boats if we do it right. I hold everyone to a pretty high standard, and I view what we’re doing in building communities amongst those who haven’t so easily been accepted in society at large as kind of important. And while I am not wholly against for-profit conventions on any sort of principle, as I believe they can be run right, I also have yet to witness that many situations where for-profit outfits don’t come into regions like a bull in a china shop.

I can get a bit preachy, I know.

And Wisconsin has been a nice little refuge, with almost an entirely non-profit, fan run con scene. Even the largest con currently in the area, Anime Milwaukee, is managed with some pretty solid principles. Sure, not everyone is perfect – and conflict happens, but overall stuff has been pretty peaceful.

Cons work together, stay away from each others weekends, and have built a community unlike anywhere else I’ve been to.

Anyway, all of that should serve as background to how I’m reacting to a very particular email I received yesterday.

An email which has me a bit angry.

Because you know that bull I mentioned earlier? It’s just driven a truck through the china shop’s front window.

Yesterday I got an email in both my personal trh@trhonline.com inbox as well as the Facebook fanpage for The Chronicles of Crosarth which read as follows:

My name is Jess [redacted], and I am the Event coordinator for Awesome Con. We are bringing our brand of comic-con to Indianapolis and Milwaukee this fall, and I hope you will join us as an exhibitor, artist or sponsor.

If you haven’t heard of us, Awesome Con in Washington, DC is one of the largest cons on the east coast, with over 30,000 people attending our event this year. We are starting new shows in Indianapolis from October 3-5, and Milwaukee from November 21-23. We want to bring something new and exciting to these markets, and our expected attendance for each show is at least 20,000.

There are only a handful of cons in the country that advertise as aggressively as we do. We will be all over TV, radio, print, Facebook, and billboards in those respective cities. We also partner with local PR agencies to make sure the local media knows about us, and if you’ve seen some of our past coverage, we are very good at getting our shows in the news.

Please let me know if you have any questions that can’t be answered by visiting our website http://www.awesome-con.com/. Exhibitor applications can be found for Indianapolis here and Milwaukee here. Thanks, and hope to see you there!

Jess [Redacted]
Event Coordinator Awesome Conventions

Upon seeing how the email version was BCC’d to me, I can only assume that the “Awesome Con” staffer sent this out en masse to people who listed online that they exhibited at cons in either Wisconsin or Indiana (or both in my case). Many of us list our con appearances and dates on our websites, so that’s the only reason I can think of that I would have been contacted.

But clearly “Jess” did look closely at any of those listings.

You see, their Milwaukee dates of November 21-23 are literally the exact same dates as Daisho Con in Wisconsin Dells. Daisho Con is Wisconsin’s second largest Anime Convention, and just two and a half hours away from Milwaukee. One of my Nerd & Tie co-hosts is a cofounder of that event and it’s one of my favorite cons. This organization literally decided to come in and set up their competing event not near, but on the exact same weekend as one of the most beloved cons in the region. A con which for seven years has been on that weekend.

This is just f***ing clown shoes.

They literally are just walking into town and setting themselves up on a long established con’s weekend. With no respect for the local fans, my money is that they never even bothered looking to see if another event took place that weekend. Even if they did look, they fundamentally misunderstood the way cons work in Wisconsin. They didn’t even spend five minutes scoping the regional scene and finding out how events interacted before charging in.

To put it in more business-like terms: you need to fundamentally understand a market, even if you’re looking to disrupt it. Literally picking any other date wouldn’t have caused bad will.

Even if the difference was only a week.

Also – seriously, Indianapolis? Does Indianapolis really need another group trying to make a huge scale con? I mean, Gen Con’s been there since they left Milwaukee, sure, but just this year we’ve had two attempts of varying success in the spring (Indianapolis Comic Con, Indy Pop Con). Not to mention Wizard World is coming next year. Only Indy Pop Con is fan run out of those, and can the town really support five large scale cons?

I don’t think it can.

And that “at least 20,000” attendees number has to be a joke. Sure, Indianapolis supports Gen Con’s almost 50,000 attendees, but Indianapolis Comic Con (which was hyped for quite some time) only did about 15,000 (I say “only did” like that isn’t a really impressive number for a first year con… hah). Indy Pop Con had good numbers, but was smaller. I think the estimate I heard for that was 10,000 – but that was just in conversation. What it boils down to though is that there’s no way a new Indianapolis con hits 20,000.

I’ll eat my hat if it does.

And Milwaukee? Milwaukee is incapable of supporting an event that size. Gen Con literally left Milwaukee because the city couldn’t support it – and it only had 23,000 attendees in 2002 (its final year in the Dairy state). There is literally not enough hotel space to support Awesome Con’s projected attendance numbers.

But that’s what they’re telling prospective vendors.

This means one of two things: Either Awesome Con’s staff is being dishonest with how many people they think will come, or they’re incompetent. Considering how much they’re about to offend a lot of fans in Wisconsin, I’m leaning towards the latter.

You see, the problem here is not malice but indifference. The Awesome Con staff didn’t bother looking at other events in the region. They didn’t bother looking at what a city could support. They just… didn’t bother. They run a massively successful East Coast con, and they’re under the assumption they can plop it down anywhere and be successful.

Any maybe to a lot of degrees they will be – Awesome Con has more general appeal that Daisho Con, and maybe they can get five digit attendance figures right off the bat. Anime Milwaukee hasn’t been able to do that, but they don’t have the resources these guys do.

But is it good for the con scene? It depends on your point of view. I will say it will disrupt the idillic little non-profit, cooperative world we’ve built quite a bit… but it’s not like it was ever a true utopia.

It does mean that we need to fight to support the cons that brung us though. I don’t know about you, but come that weekend in November, I’ll be at Daisho Con.

I hope you’re all with me.

We’ve been contacted by Awesome Con and told that their staffer Jess (whose last name I’ve now redacted by request) has been receiving harassing emails regarding this situation. Please stop. That sort of thing helps no one.

Additional Update 7/15/2014: Pher Sturz has written a follow up piece to this, including Awesome Con’s official reaction.

Trae Dorn

Trae Dorn has been staffing conventions for over twenty years, and is a co-founder of Wisconsin’s longest running Anime convention No Brand Con. Trae also wrote and drew the now completed webcomic UnCONventional, and produces the podcasts BS-Free Witchcraft, On This Day With Trae, Stormwood & Associates, and The Nerd & Tie Podcast. This leads many to ask when the hell they have time to actually do anything anymore. Trae says they have the time because they “do it all quite poorly.”

45 thoughts on “‘Awesome Con’ Is Not So Awesome, Steals Established Con’s Weekend

  • July 12, 2014 at 9:42 am

    This is low either way. I know I’m going to Daisho because a few reasons. While I like the idea of bigger cons (like AMKE and the like), I despise when other cons come in and try to muscle out others (unless there’s a good reason to avoid them …well y’all know where I’m going here).

    • July 12, 2014 at 10:05 am

      I think no one would be mad if Awesome Con had literally picked any other fall weekend.

      The “let’s make money” cons had largely left Wisconsin alone, but they’re all moving in this year. Which makes me sad.

  • July 12, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    I just wanted to throw my 2 cents in here as someone that has exhibited at Awesome CON DC and also as someone who can speak to the character of Ben Penrod, the dude behind the whole thing.

    Awesome Con may be a for profit show but I assure you, it is far from a souless convention. As a member of Artist Alley myself I can honestly say that only Emerald City treats us small guys as well as what I saw in DC earlier this year. Now I don’t know what it’ s like at the Daisho show you are talking about but there is one key difference that I feel is incredibly unfair to not point out. Daisho is a small, hotel lobby anime show that is over a 2 hour drive away. I don’t see that really grabbing too much of the same attendance share as you do. At the show in DC there was almost zero anime present. It’s all about capes and indy comic books with some celebrity guest experiences thrown in. I really don’t see those two things as competing.

    Lastly, to be fair how can you be sure the folks at Awesome Con even knew that Daisho existed let alone that it was to be held on the same weekend? The con’s site is garbage, their web presence in SEO metrics is almost non existent and their Facebook profiles has less like then Awesome CON does and it’s only been up for a couple of weeks tops!

    I agree with you that cons should work together and it’s been my experience that those that don’t deserve this type of shame posting as much as possible, but in this case I think you’re rushing to judgement a bit. If anything maybe having Awesome CON in the same area will force Daisho to kick themselves in the arse a bit, and make a bigger and better show out of it, that way it’s the guests and artists that really come out on top in this.

    Just my thoughts, not trying to stir the pot just trying to get another viewpoint out there. 🙂

    • July 12, 2014 at 11:17 pm

      Pher Sturz is writing our follow up piece to this, but I needed to address this.

      I’m sorry, but I find that hard to believe that ot wasn’t easily found. Besides being listed in Animecons.com, when you search google for “wisconsin con” what you get first is literally Daisho Con. I’ve attached a screen shot of Google with the user logged out to prevent personalized results. You’d have to go pretty far out of your way not to find it.

      Daisho Con is ostensibly an anime con, but really addresses a broader genre than that. It’s also a destination con. Almost no one there is a local (including staff, as the con originated in a different city and moved when their old hotel went bankrupt), and most attendees come from Milwaukee, Madison and the Twin Cities.

      Wisconsin has a regional con scene unlike any other place I’ve been to in the country, and you need to fundamentally understand that to be successful there.

      • July 12, 2014 at 11:49 pm

        Hey everyone!

        I’m currently doing some follow-up investigation. You’ll find out my findings within in the next week.

      • July 13, 2014 at 8:55 am

        Hi…as a show promoter, I must say we in the industry follow the calendar at ConventionScene.com to build our shows. Here is the link.


        I also think the writer of this article is unaware of the size / scope of AwesomeCon: Entire National-level convention centers in major markets.

        I myself was unaware of Daishocon…but tue fact that it is almost a 3 hour drive (with traffic) away confuses me. It is like me getting my feelings hurt because someone wants to run a hotel Toy Show in Baltimore, MD the same weekend I am running my 50,000+ sf Comic Show in Richmond, VA.

        I really don’t see any “con wars” happening unless people genuinely believe blogs like this one, who have fabricated the entire scenario. Just my 2c.

        BTW…Awesomecon is the SAME weekend as the biggest show I have EVER run (and the same weekend as DaishoCon). My only regret is I can’t be at AewesomeCon AS WELL. Maybe that’s what is really happening here…everybody really just wants to go to Awesomecon. 😉

        • July 13, 2014 at 10:42 am

          I think you must be unfamiliar with the midwest, and how things shift once the population density drops out here. Almost no one attending Daisho Con has a drive shorter than an hour to get to it — and most attendees are coming from 2.5 to 3 hours away.

        • July 13, 2014 at 5:58 pm

          Also… What 50000+ show do you run? Because VA Comicon only had 3000 attendees according to local news coverage in 2013

          • July 13, 2014 at 9:57 pm

            Whoops…”sf ” after 50,000 stands for “Square Feet”. Capacity for that building each day was 3,000 (When we ran out of wristbands at 2p)…we are moving to the larger building this year. Your research seems accurate.

          • July 13, 2014 at 10:15 pm

            I see “SF” I think Sci Fi, so you can understand my confusion.

            Wait… You’re going to fit 50,000 square feet of vendors with the possibility of only 3000 attendees? That’s a really bad ratio. How does any vendor make money on a show like that?

      • July 13, 2014 at 3:34 pm

        Daisho Con is mentioned on the first page not once, but three times. It seems pretty clear that Awesome Con is just not interested in the environment here.

    • July 13, 2014 at 11:26 am

      Your smiley face at the end does not make up for your insults dude- “Hotel lobby anime show” “website is garbage” “kick themselves in the arse”
      Daisho con is a fantastic con and I’ve been committed to going for months. Awesome Con may be awesome like you say, but I can’t give it a try this year- and that’s the crux of it.

    • July 13, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      Okay, I’m just going to throw MY two cents in. Daisho is a fantastic con. You obviously haven’t even been to Daisho. You don’t need a flashy website or more Facebook likes to be a great con. The raves at Daisho are fantastic and they book amazing guest DJs from around the world. To boot they get great VA guests. The vending hall and artist alleys are welcoming and wonderful. Though it may not be large, incharge and looking for your money, for a lot of Wisconsin con-goers Daisho is home. I know Daisho is one of the few cons I’ll probably still go to when I can no longer afford 3 or 4 cons a year. Awesome Con will probably not be attended by any of my con-friends anyways, so I’m unconcerned. They can have their con. I can guarantee, those close to the con community in this state will probably not even give Awesome Con a go since it wants to invade on our con calenders AND its for-profit.

  • July 12, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    What difference does it make that it is the same weekend? Shouldn’t we be thrilled that they have not one but two options to get our nerd on? What about the folks like myself with limited transportation options that can’t get out to the Dells?

    I personally will be at Awesome Con because the guest list and appeal is more my speed. I’m amazed at how much hate AC has gotten. As a relatively new member to the Wisconsin area, I’m pretty disappointed. There are tons of things going on at the same time every weekend where I’m from –and I’ve never seen a reaction like this before. This makes me miss the large scale lack of giving a crap that NY offers.

    • July 12, 2014 at 11:19 pm

      But if they had been any other weekend, both could be enjoyed without conflict.

      • July 12, 2014 at 11:32 pm

        I know what you are saying but I just don’t agree. There is no conflict in my head. Daisho is anime, Awesome is comics and pop culture. They’re serving two separate audiences. Sure it sucks for those that want to do both but at the same time… Cons are expensive … Photo ops, swag, the tickets themselves. Could I do two weekends in a row… Plus afford the travel? No.

        I stick to my original thought … That the community should feel lucky they have two options. Not everyone likes anime, and not everyone likes comics. Hell, some don’t like either. We should be supporting BOTH cons not being at odds with each other.

        • July 12, 2014 at 11:57 pm

          How am I supposed to support both cons, when Awesome Con rudely plopped themselves on Daisho Con’s weekend?
          Also, like other Wisconsin conventions, Daisho Con has large video and table gaming rooms, which draw their own attendees.

          • July 13, 2014 at 12:09 am

            I’m not saying you need to fiscally support both cons — because, like I said, I couldn’t (even if it was on a separate week). Maybe I should have phrased it as “we should be supportive of both cons’ existence”

            … and how is it rude? If two awesome bands are playing in Milwaukee on the same night you can only go to one too — that doesn’t make one performing artist any better or worse than the other.

          • July 13, 2014 at 12:39 am

            For the past decade, the larger Wisconsin convention staffs have gone out of their way to not interefere with each other and to work together to build a community for everyone. This is like when away from the table at a restaurant, a stranger walked in and stole the seat at the dinner table and started eating their food.

            Like said before, if Awesome Con chose a different weekend, it wouldn’t be like this.

          • July 13, 2014 at 12:57 am

            You’re really blowing it out of proportion. There are still concerts at the Pabst and Riverside during Summerfest. Nobody’s getting butthurt over that…. and they are within walking distance of each other.

            Is Wisconsin that xenophobic that they can’t entertain another con coming in during the weekend of a con two and a half hours away? I think having two during the same weekend creates a larger audience, creates an even larger community and creates more awareness for all that is nerdy.

            It’s going to be like this anyway — because the people behind Fantasticon, which is a month earlier, are already posting/contacting people telling them not to support AwesomeCon and instead to support Milwaukee’s own. So where’s the different weekend excuse there? I am only aware of this because one of the marketing people from that con messaged me after I “liked” something on the AwesomeCon page. If anything, articles like this and tactics like that dissuade me from the “community” you guys have worked on.

          • July 13, 2014 at 1:07 am

            I’m trying to keep myself from posting, really.

            I’m sorry, but your comparison is off. This is more like someone was running a mom and pop store and Walmart moved in across the street. No one gets confused when THOSE people get upset.

            Xenophobic? You’ve got to be kidding me. There’s a reason this has gotten backlash but the upcoming Wizard World Wisconsin hasn’t.

          • July 13, 2014 at 1:16 am

            Maybe if you saw the message I got from Fantasticon, you’d understand why I said xenophobic. It was asserted that since they’re coming from the East Coast (where I happen to be from) that they weren’t genuine. That in itself is a HUGE turnoff to me. This, of course, is separate from the Daisho Con issue — and perhaps I’m wrongly grouping all this sentiment together.

            Also, it’s laughable to compare AwesomeCon to Walmart. The one in DC was funded through kickstarter… not a major corporation. That in itself shows you that it is community-based.

            I’m not trying to argue with you, Trae. I just think it’s sad that there’s more effort spent trying to drive the two apart than there is allowing a newcomer into this alleged community. Variety, options and amicability are better selling points than negativity. Maybe it’s like having two best friends getting married on the same day — it’s a tough choice… but I really don’t see the need for the two Cons to not be friendly to each other. You know what I mean?

          • July 13, 2014 at 1:20 am

            The only negative backlash I’ve seen against Fantasticon was just that the ads they had out had language like “Milwaukee finally gets it’s own con” – that’s it. Beyond that, there really hasn’t been any from the other cons in the region themselves.

          • July 13, 2014 at 2:17 am

            There’s just one rule- just one. Don’t steal another con’s dates.

          • July 13, 2014 at 2:28 am

            It’s not stealing a date if both are happening at the same time, Crysta. It’s sharing a date. Yours is still happening.

          • July 13, 2014 at 2:31 am

            Also, just curious… If it was happening in Chicago instead of Milwaukee — would you still take issue with it / consider it stealing a date? Because I think 2 1/2 hours is far enough away for this not to be a real problem for either con.

          • July 13, 2014 at 11:11 am

            Growing up in MKE, Chicago is like another planet. You know it’s there, but you don’t feel the need to go. I only went there twice growing up for school field trips. It’s a whole mentality thing – going up to Green Bay for the Packer game? Madison to see the capital building or a Badger game? Up north or the Dells for vacation? No big deal. But Chicago wasn’t really talked about for visits.
            I didn’t think about it until after I moved south, Chicago being about 2 hours away, and if you ask people here what they’re plans are for the weekend, alot of times it’s “we’re going up to Chicago for the day” even though Indianapolis is closer. It’s kind of amazing to think about the varying attitudes about distance/location in different regions.

          • July 13, 2014 at 3:28 pm

            If there were less than ten bands in all of Wisconsin and they only played annually, I bet bands would get offended if they didn’t respect each other’s space.

  • July 13, 2014 at 3:11 am

    I wish they didn’t choose that weekend, because I’m going to Daisho. Being on the same weekend just forces people (attendees, artists, vendors) to choose, if they are remotely interested in both.
    I might have given Awesome Con a shot, especially since I could stay with family in Milwaukee. I find it odd they talked about media prescence in that email, yet they ignore the advertising possibilities of the other conventions (program guide ads, ambassador tables…). At least I haven’t heard of them at all and I’ve been to a lot of conventions in Wisconsin.

  • July 13, 2014 at 9:07 am

    To the owner of this site: As a show promoter myself, I must seriously encourage you to remove this blog posting until you get official statements from both sides. You are making some rather wild assumptions and accusations about Awesomecon, several of which are inaccurate. Bashing a company or individuals within that company will only make you look foolish as well in the long run. I know you are excited to stir people up, but ending this now would be a lot easier than having to write a “whoops I was wrong because I didn’t bother to ask ANYONE.” Post in the future. Seriously.

    • July 13, 2014 at 10:37 am

      You do realize news sites and blogs run stories without “official statements” all the time, right?

      • July 13, 2014 at 12:31 pm

        What I am suggesting is that you remove the post to keep from embarrassing yourself. If you truly are a co-host with one of the founders of DaishoCon, then you know their show has zero interest in posts that refer to their peers as “just f***ing clown shoes”. If anyone I knew of tied to MY show publicly said something like that about ANY of my peers, I would immediately want them to shut it down. Again…to save me the embarrassment. Contact your co-host. Unless they know nothing about PR, I am sure he/she will agree. Have a great day!

        • July 13, 2014 at 12:46 pm

          Nick was aware of the post and had read it prior to going up. Nick is also purposely not involved in our ongoing coverage of this due to his possible conflict of interest.

          Also, anyone surprised by my use of the term “f***ing clown shoes” is really not familiar with Nerd & Tie… Or really anything I’ve said over the last couple of decades in the Wisconsin con scene.

          Wow, have I said a lot worse. 🙂

          • July 13, 2014 at 1:02 pm

            While not calling you a liar, did you send your friend Nick the FINAL draft of what you posted? I can obviously tell why he has zero interest in being involved with this in any way, shape or form…yet you state quite clearly your ties to DiashoCon and the founder of that show. All I am saying is it does not seem as if you are doing your pal Nick ANY favors at all by keeping this post online.

          • July 13, 2014 at 1:22 pm

            First off, none of us at Nerd & Tie are currently in charge of any cons. Nick is not involved in the coverage so it’s clear that we’re not directly speaking for any con, but instead as fans of these events.

            Secondly, yes Nick read the final version of the piece. It’s nice that you both say you’re not calling me a liar while insinuating that I’m being untruthful. Cute.

            Thirdly, you really don’t know Wisconsin or the convention market here. That alone is super, super clear.

          • July 13, 2014 at 1:52 pm

            Sir, You are correct, I do not know the convention market in Wisconsin. Nobody is doubting that. Not one bit. What I am talking about is ethics and civility.

            1) While not “directly” speaking for any con, your post rather clearly states ” One of my Nerd & Tie co-hosts is a cofounder of that event [DaishoCon]”.

            2) So your direct co-host, and the FOUNDER of DaishoCon, (who apparently READ the article before it was posted), had absolutely NOTHING to do with the post? None at all? Really? Because it sure sounds like you two are co-hosts at Nerd & Tie and you clearly say he READ THE ARTICLE. You said it. Really. You did. No joking.

            3) Apparently living in a different time zone, and running the largest pop-culture event in VA makes me obtuse as to how show promoters and their friends behave towards their peers in other states. I apologize for my ignorance.

            4) At this point I am rather convinced the promoter of DaishoCon pratically co-wrote the original article with you (something I imagine everyone else thinks as well). Seriously…get an official statement from Nick and the people at DaishoCon and end this before it gets any bigger.


            Brett Carreras
            Owner of the VA Comicon
            Locally owned and operated in Richmond, VA for 28 years

          • July 13, 2014 at 2:21 pm

            1. Nick is not in active management of Daisho Con. I mentioned his personal connection as a part of full disclosure. That is literally ethically required in situations like this. Also, no one in the history of anything has ever mistaken my words as coming from anyone but me, trust me on that.

            Anyone ever thinking I’d be the voice Daisho Con would use is severely out of their depth.

            2. It’s great you run a show in Virginia. I would love to run a show in a region with that high a population density

            3. We are literally waiting for an official response from Daisho. There is a follow up piece coming

            4. Apparently in your world no one is ever allowed to criticize a con’s actions. That’s cute.

            -Trae Dorn

          • July 13, 2014 at 3:00 pm

            There’s a saying – Wisconsin’s one big small town. Being on another con’s weekend is a big deal here.

            What this news site is criticizing is Awesome Con evidentally not researching the state and choosing a weekend another con has been on for seven years.

            On a side note, so if another con by you does something very dumb, you wouldn’t tell them so they could fix it?

          • July 13, 2014 at 3:25 pm

            Please, do us all a favor and let Daisho Con fight its own battles. If they have a problem with Trae’s post, they can say so themselves. They are aware of this.

  • July 15, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    To the folks asking what the big deal is, as another of the co-founders from No Brand Con, I’d say there’s history in place as well. Most Wisconsin cons took big risks in their starting years. No Brand Con 1 was funded literally out of the pockets of three college students. A shoestring budget at least assumes one can afford shoe strings. Further, as the con scene wasn’t terribly established in the early to mid ’00’s, it was very difficult to get guests, vendors, music talent, etc. Space was and is a concern as well in that some of the mid-size communities that host the WI cons, unlike the Milwaukee situation, are stuck with maybe 3 venues that could hold a con over 1,000 attendees. This means there are booking challenges in those areas. In that environment a date conflict could literally be a death sentence. If a con in Minneapolis or Madison had taken 10% of No Brand’s attendees or one of its vendors in the first few years that would have been it for NBC. Period. Full stop.

    Granted this is not so much the reality now, though there are new cons popping up from time to time. Many of the cons running today are fairly well established and secure. And I’m not saying Awesome Con or any of the others haven’t gone through their own struggles. But the lengths to which the Wisconsin con scene has gone to work together and help each other out wherever possible have been tremendous. There have been people on organizing staff for multiple cons, and lending a hand with everything from loaner AV equipment to just showing up to move stuff into place. As Trae notes, it’s not a utopia and there have been some conflicts over the years. But overall Wisconsin cons have bent over backwards to make sure we can all share the space appropriately. And for the most part everyone from organizers to attendees takes a good deal of pride in that fact (clearly).

    I’m not one to support action on the basis of tradition alone, but you absolutely need to understand that is the way things have been here and showing little to no effort to work in that framework is very much a good way to rock to boat in all the wrong ways.

    I wish Awesome Con well and I hope this is a one time conflict that doesn’t come up in future years. It’s not like it hasn’t happened in the past. I’m sure Awesome Con could be a good addition to the broader community. But in terms of con culture in this state, they’ve stumbled out of the gates a bit.

  • September 30, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Daisho is an anime convention and Awesomecon are for comic nerds and the such. The fact people are being babies over it being the same weekend proves how immature con people can be. Conventions aren’t just conventions, they’re a business too. And competition does not make them assholes in any way. I would rather go to AwesomeCon because I’m sick of the people at anime cons and how they act. Theres not a single anime guest at AwesomeCon, while Daisho is stock full of them. You can call them assholes all you want, but I’ll defend their right to be competition.

    • September 30, 2014 at 12:47 pm

      If you really think there isn’t a massive overlap between the two audiences, you’re severely out of touch. And I’m sorry that you don’t think that conventions shouldn’t try to at least minimally cooperate with each other.

  • October 7, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    I was a vendor at this year’s AwesomeCon in Indianapolis. Did it hit 20k? I seriously doubt it; however, to those of us in indy I don’t think that’s really an issue. Whether the cons are there to make money or not I think the fact that more cons are coming to Indy are a good thing. First time cons may have low numbers and piss off vendors for not bringing people out but it’s hard to know what these cons are about without looking them up. Awesome con? Is that comics? Is it guest stars? What are the panels? Most people I talked to attending had no idea but they did come out because of the TV and radio ads. Indiana Pop Con? Same thing. Indiana COMIC Con. Ahh..there’s something people latch onto.

    Is the whole con scene in Indianapolis saturated? I don’t think so. The more cons I can drive 20 minutes downtown from my home to the better. Wizardworld Indianapolis, February 2015? Bring it on! Even pre-superbowl there was a big reason for cons to be here. Many forget May 3–5, 2002, Indianapolis hosted Star Wars Celebration II. 12 years ago! Final total was 75,000 for the 3 day event. Let that sink in a little people. 75K. That’s more 12 years ago than DragonCon in Atlanta ever had. And that was before all the Superbowl build up and hotels went up.

    Many geeks in the indy scene have been waiting very patiently for this to happen and now it is. It take a lot of ducks in a row to really make a con shine. Indianapolis is pretty accessible to a good chunk of people so it’ll remain a hot spot for cons. If wizardworld ends up doing well in 2015 (and it should), then that will seal the deal.


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