Devin Knows Best… Well most of the time, at Montreal Comic Con
This weeks edition I will be talking a bit about this years Montreal Comic Con where I practically lived all weekend so I can provide you some feedback not only from myself, but some vendors and some of the other people who attended as well.
As you all know, this years Con was held at Palais Des Congrès instead of last year which was at Place Bonaventure. After last years disaster at Bonaventure which resulted in lack of space, over crowding, over selling of tickets (that also meant denying people entry even after purchase with no refunds), poor organisation, and all in all just a horrible experience for the fans, this years location solved these problems. The Palais offered a much lager show room which gave the space for people to move around (well as best as they could like in any convention!), ticket sales were being monitored, and the flow of entry was kept at a good pace during entry. To validate this, I spoke with several people during the 3 day event and asked them what their experience was like to purchase tickets, and to enter the show. The answers that I received were generally all positive except for the occasional complaint that some of the volunteers/workers were clueless to certain policies and sometimes directing people in the wrong direction or line.
Now for the vendors. I personally had my own tables set up during the show, but i also spoke with other dealers as well that gave me the average answer; “It could of been better”. The general common complaints by the dealers were:
- The location of their tables were not properly organised, example, having comic dealers way to spread out throughout the show, and some did not gat any traffic.
- The prices of tables. They can’t charge Toronto prices in a city where they don’t spend and/or have Toronto money.
- Not enough people were buying, didn’t cover my costs.
- Not enough people attended for the size of the show.
This complaints were made mainly by comic dealers and the high end merchandise sellers (statues/busts of $400+). Well, all I can say is that I wasn’t surprised. Most of these guys have done shows several times in Montreal, and they should know by now that the people here are more careful with their money and do not spend on high priced items. You have to sell cheap in large quantity, and that’ s what we did at our tables. Our biggest sellers which also paid for our show was our bins at $2. But I do agree with them that the rental prices should of been at least $200 less per table (average price per table $650), and by doing so, it would of encourages dealers to expand a bit more and bring in more inventory, and/or allowed them to drop the prices of their merchandise because they were over charging on practically everything. But this could turn into a long debate of who’s fault it was, so as for opinions on this subject, I leave it up to you.
Now for the show itself. Yes the showroom was bigger, yes the event was more organised, yes we had some amazing guests and some amazing events such as The Watchtower Live podcast, but was it Comic Con? My answer is not really. This show felt like a standard comic show that we normally had in the past except on a much larger scale and not the mind blowing, visual stimulating feel and experience that Comic Con has put on in other cities. It was not the most visually appealing set up that I have seen. The Fan Expo in Toronto has more visual and interactive set ups than what we had. I felt like I was more industrial complex, very high ceilings, hard cement floors, powerful overhead lighting, and very sticky, humid, dusty air. I have been and worked at several other show at The Palais such as the International car show, the Wine & Spirits event, the Entrepreneur’s convention, and they all had a much nicer and cleaner set. I do know that those shows play with much larger budgets, but Comic Con isn’t exactly a small company… This show, especially for its size, should been more glamorous and interactive, but instead, it was plain and slaped together with very few cool things to look at. This was also the opinions of several people I spoke with during the show.
In conclusion, I rate this years Montreal Comic Con between a Meh and a Kick in the Ass. Reasoning, I paid the same amount that I would of as the Fan Expo show in Toronto which offers much more variety and wow factors than what we got here . On a positve, it is getting better!