Thursday, May 20, 2010

1 Town,1 Weekend, 2 Shows

Weird and bizarre. Those are the first words that come to mind when I try to describe the fact that there are going to be 2 comic book conventions in Montgomery County, MD in the same weekend. That would be the weekend of September 10-12, 2010. The cons I am referring to are...
Intervention is new. SPX has been around for 15 years. Both claim to be focused on small, independent creators.

What's the deal with the scheduling? There's nothing about this issue on the SPX web site but the Intervention folks have addressed it in a FAQ on their website. Basically it sounds like at the time they paid for the convention space they didn't know when SPX was going to held and assumed that it would be later in the month since it was for the last couple years.

One of the tag lines on the Intervention website is "Your Life Online, In Person". Their website also makes the case that their focus is on web comics, where SPX mostly is focused on print media. There are already a number of webcartoonists who are scheduled to be exhibiting at SPX. This doesn't invalidate Intervention's description of itself but the waters do seem to be a bit muddy. That's not a good or a bad thing. The two shows are close enough to each other that attendees and exhibitors could easily take part in both shows on the same day.

I'm sure that some people will do just that. Will a significant number of people attend both shows? I dunno. One draw back to having two independent shows on the same day is that you will have to pay seperaqte admission fees to both shows. At the moment Intervention is open for pre-registration although the only option is to purchase a weekend pass for $40, is planning to let people purchase a weekend pass on the day of the show for $45, and has plans to let people purchase single day passes but have yet to announce pricing for that option.

In contrast, SPX traditionally does not allow attendees to preregister. The rates on their web site are $10 for a 1-day pass or $15 for a weekend pass, both of which can only be purchased at the show.

Another difference between the two shows is that Intervention has a message board; SPX has a blog. For the most parts the posts on the message board seem upbeat and hopeful about the show. There is one post from a creator who has already paid to attend SPX asking the Intervention folks to move their show so that she can attend both shows. For the most part there isn't a lot of activity on the boards but the show is still months away.

Based on pricing and past experience alone my perspective as a potential attendee of these two shows is more favorable towards the more established show, SPX. I've attended SPX three times in the past 7 years, most recently last year. I want to attend again. I admit that I'm curious about Intervention but the price seems kind of steep.

Intervention does have some entertainment scheduled but a dance party doesn't sound like my sort of thing. I'm more interested in finding new things to read and attending some panels. I'll keep checking back so see what Intervention has to offer that I can't get at SPX and I might change my mind before the 2nd weekend of September rolls around but for now just planning to attend SPX.

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