Sunday, 3 April 2016

Nerdversity Discussion: Are comic-cons becoming too expensive?

This won't be counting the smaller ones, but mainstream conventions that are either yearly or twice yearly. The comic con is a major part of any pop culture calendar, whether it's San Diego or MCM or London Film and Comic Con. These are a place for geeks of all kinds to meet, show off their costumes, meet their favourite celebrities or just stock up on the latest in pop culture merchandise.

I've heard many fans complain that various conventions across the globe are expensive and it's putting people off from going, especially weekend conventions where you have to buy in for the full experience for £100 or so for the full weekend, usually starting on a friday. It's only really hotel conventions that do this sort of thing, as like any convention, they have costs to recoup as much as SDCC/ So lets break down some of the costs that an organiser would have to pay:
  • Appeance fees
  • Flights
  • Accommodation
  • Building rental
  • Equipment hire
  • other Licensing fees for certain characters, movies, sounds etc.
  • Promotion
  • Marketing
  • Printing
  • Staff wages
  • Security
Most celebrities charge around 10k just for appearing. Then depending on where they're from and host country, they may have to fly them in, which again, adds up if they have special requirements, then usually an organiser will pay for their hotel room at the event or nearby. If a celebrity has any out of pocket expenses, which is usually for food, then this is how the celebrity will recoup their costs. Other times, a celebrity might appear for free and then charge for autographs. It all depends on how the convention is being booked or the celebrity's contract,

These organisers are justified in charging the prices they are for conventions both in centers and in hotels, because they have to recoup the money they spend on everything. How they make their money back is selling the tickets at a higher price, often doing full weekend tickets, no day tickets.  Making it a full weekend forces many attendees to seek hotels for the weekend. Some conventions that take place in hotels will do deals for a slightly reduced price if you book through them, Photo tickets, If the guest is extremely famous, then they'll charge a more expensive ticket and in limited numbers, an example would be the £200 Michael J Fox ticket at LFCC for example. Again, this varies convention to convention.

It is entirely your choice on what kind of conventions you want to attend. If you so wish and have the disposable income to do it, you can spend hundreds on a large scale center convention. There's smaller hotel conventions with a more intimate atmosphere and then there's the local comic book show in your local gym. They are less and less common these days, but they are still around and need our support.