Late Sunday afternoon, as San Diego Comic-Con wound to its successful conclusion, ICv2 caught up with David Glanzer, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the show, to ask about the limits on growth, a possible move to Los Angeles, and what fits at the show.
Are you thinking about moving the show?
When we decided to extend our contract two years ago, we extended it to 2012.
When we did that, we hadn’t sold out yet in terms of attendee badges, although we knew we were getting very close (we had a long waiting list for exhibitors). But it hadn’t reached critical mass yet.
The decision to stay in
We haven’t seen any movement on an expansion, and that has us very concerned. If nothing happens, as in a groundbreaking or some other solid movement, by 2010, we’re going to have to explore options. If our attendees and exhibitors don’t want us to leave San Diego and are happy with limited attendance, limited exhibitors, things of that nature, then I imagine we’ll stay here. But if they’re not, then I think we’ll entertain some of the offers we’re being given.
Is there land?
In theory there is. As I understand it, it would be moving west over Convention Center Way, and there’s a parking lot back there. That’s my general understanding.
This year, as there is every year, there’s a lot of talk about the mix between comics and other activities at the show. Is the mix on the floor fairly consistent with what it was last year?
It is. One of the things we always try to do is to maintain a dynamic flow. There are always going to be exhibitors from a variety of different areas, whether it be retailers, toys, games, movie, or television. If someone wanted to come in and buy a whole hall for just, say, toys, we wouldn’t allow that. It doesn’t serve a good purpose.
You know companies sometimes think of our event as a marketing opportunity. And while that’s certainly understandable, we don’t look at our event as a marketing opportunity, we look at our event as much more than that. So if it's just somebody who wants to spend money and take X amount of booths, that isn’t something that we would entertain. We want to make sure we have a diversity of content on the floor and also in programming. This year we have even more programming than we have in the past, and we try to make sure it’s diverse.
That’s a good observation. One of the things about The Office is it was showrunners and writers. A lot of the on-camera news crews that came by were under the assumption that it was just the stars, and they were very surprised that it was actually the behind-the-camera people that really appeal to our attendees. It’s not the on-camera people don’t, but it is different.
When Frank Capra came in 1974, no one would have considered him as a comic book or genre director, but he was a great director. I think in a few years, The Office will be considered a very smart show that will hold its own. And somebody asked, “Well, does that mean that any TV show could come in and have a panel?” And no, it’s not that way. We’ve had to say no sometimes, that it’s not a good fit. It’s really dependent; it’s on a case-by-case basis.
What is the overall concept in terms of what fits?
Art is subjective, and we don’t want to be in a place were we tell someone their work isn’t art, but if we don’t feel it appeals to our attendee base or we don’t feel it’s a good fit in terms of answering good questions like from the writers or the producers, something that holds the public interest, then they might best be served going someplace else. And it’s not trying to be rude or elitist at all. We have an incredibly intelligent group of people who come to this event and a lot of them want to be cartoonists or writers or directors, and we want to make sure to provide them with viable panels where they can ask the questions that they need to further their career. I don’t think that’s always going to be the case with every TV show that’s produced.