Reed Exhibitions, the company that puts on the New York Comic-Con, today announced the debut of its new show, Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2 for short), April 16-18, 2010.
They also are moving the New York show to the fall, with the next edition (after the one going on this weekend) set for Oct. 8-10, 2010. That's a long wait for the next New York show, but the fall dates are ones they will be able to consistently ensure going forward after having had to move around from February to April last year and back again to February this year.
This rather nicely settles down the convention calender, leaving WonderCon free and clear to do its thing in the early part of the year without having to compete with a New York show. (This year's show is set for Feb. 27-March 1 in San Francisco.)
But the biggest impact will obviously be on Wizard and its Wizard World shows. Wizard recently postponed its March show here in Los Angeles and canceled its Texas show. That left only the two summer shows on its tour, Philadelphia (June 19-21) and Chicago (Aug. 6-9).
What kind of impact the Reed show will have on WWChicago in particular will be interesting to watch. Wizard got into the convention business by buying in 1997 the Chicago Comic-Con, at the time the second-largest show after San Diego, and rebranding it as Wizard World.
Wizard's Chicago show is still the largest one they put on and a big show by any standard, but Reed's success in growing its New York show from 33,000 attendees in 2006 to 67,000 last year will make them tough to compete with. Reed also has more experience and greater resources to draw upon in marketing the show to the wider audiences that have made the New York show and San Diego more mainstream events.
Reed's also trying not to step on anyone's toes by finding clear spots on the schedule for its shows that don't force exhibitors to choose between shows or rush from one crazy con experience to the next with no break in between.