Amazing Comic Cons has scratched two conventions from the books, cancelling fan gatherings in both Phoenix and Houston. The Arizona convention was dropped just a little more than two months before fans were expected to flock to the Phoenix Convention Center.
The convention organizers released a statement saying various issues caused them to take another look at their entire convention slate, prompting them to scale back offerings to just Las Vegas in June and Hawaii in August.
“Changes in guest policies, the comic market and social climate were causes to re-evaluate moving forward in these cities. Phoenix and Houston are both strong fan communities with multiple genre celebrations throughout the calendar year.
“While we feel the perspective of Amazing Comic Conventions remains unique – where the Architects of Pop Culture are on the marquee, featuring primarily comic creators – we believe a greater attention can be built by focusing on each of two calendar dates, building these to be the best events possible.”
The news comes not long after somewhat grim financial statements from Wizard World, another convention group that has realized over-saturated markets in some of its locations as well. In financial documents filed with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, Wizard World said it averaged $1.6 million per event over the fall, compared to $1.1 million the year before.
However, that hasn’t helped its cash flow issues, even after reporting a $750,000 profit over the first nine months of 2016. The $2.1 million loss the year before has mostly dried up the company’s coffers, and without a loan or an investment, the company won’t have the money to continue past the end of this month.
It’s probably no surprise in Amazing’s case that it kept Las Vegas and Hawaii. Those have been both lucrative and growing, according to reports, while Houston was never a strong player and Phoenix had experienced a significant decline coming into its 2016 show.
Over-saturation in a number of metropolitan areas of the country continues to be a challenge for the convention market, as events of all sizes continue to find a solid niche and audience. While this does remove one event from both Phoenix and Houston, fans shouldn’t feel themselves too left out in the cold since both areas still have remaining solid annual conventions, including Space City and Comicpalooza in Houston, and the giant Phoenix Comicon for Arizona.
Managing editor Michael Hinman contributed to this report.
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- Amazing Comic Cons Cancel Phoenix, Houston Conventions - December 1, 2016