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BOSTON COMIC CON NOW FAN EXPO BOSTON?

on August 14, 2017 - 3:12am

I heard Boston Comic Con had been sold to Fan Expo HQ while at the Seaport World Trade Center during their 2016 show.  For the last year we've wondered what changes would come with the new owners and now we have our answers.  For the most part.

The show was moved to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, their fifth venue in it's ten year history. Their website promised "more creators and celebrities than ever before!" with over 200,000 square feet of space, 200 exhibitors and expected attendance to be over 50,000 people throughout the weekend. 

I can say without an ounce of hesitation that Boston Comic Con surpassed my expectations and, in my opinion, was their best yet (look for my review of the show later this week.) I don't make that comment lightly, it takes into account the year I moderated their Star Wars panel, which I consider to be a great honor.

There was just one thing. It was clear to me that although we were celebrating ten years of Boston Comic Con we were actually attending it's last. 

I take note of the hashtags each convention I attend uses leading up to the show so I know what to use in my coverage.  Prior to this weekend their social media accounts were using #bostoncomiccon #bostoncomiccon17 #BCC and #BCC17. 

That changed Friday night with a photo of Jay Mewes promoting his photo op and "Jay and Silent Bob Get Old" podcast event with Kevin Smith.  While many of the Boston Comic Con-related hashtags were still used #fanexpoboston and #fxb17 were added.

I had been so busy collecting autographs in artist alley Friday night that I hardly noticed there really wasn't much of anything that said "Boston Comic Con."  Although there's been no official announcement that I've seen they were letting us know that Boston Comic Con would now be known as Fan Expo Boston. Their Instagram account now reads "Official account of New England's biggest comic book convention! FAN EXPO Boston is presented by Boston Comic Con. #FXB17 www.FANEXPOBoston.com." 

I wasn't surprised the new owners changed the name to fall in line with some of their other properties, but I still thought there was a chance they wouldn't.  Of the nine shows under the Fan Expo HQ umbrella, five are "Fan Expos" (Canada, Vancouver, Regina, Dallas and now Boston), three kept their original names (Dallas Fan Days, MegaCon and Toronto Comicon) and one is a new show (MegaCon Tampa Bay.)  MegaCon's name was slightly changed and is now "MegaCon Orlando."

Screen from Anthony Daniels Q&A

Change is difficult and that is particularly true in New England.  Typically a change like this would be tough to accept. When the arena where the Boston Bruins and Celtics play changed their name back to Boston Garden there wasn't much hype because most of us never adopted calling it the Fleet Center. It was always "The Garden" to us.  That being said, this transition from Boston Comic Con to Fan Expo Boston is fine with me and there is one simple answer as to why.

I cover between 15-20 pop culture conventions each year for this website and close to 70 since creating the site in 2011.  I've driven to Toronto, Pittsburgh and Washington D.C.and flown to Spain, the UK and Germany to cover shows. Boston now has a show I would travel those same distances to attend and that is a direct result of it's sale to Fan Expo HQ.

The people behind Fan Expo HQ have been holding pop culture conventions since 1995. Their first show, the Canadian National Comic Book Expo, had just 1,500 attendees.  With over two decades of experience they have grown trremendously and their flagship show, Fan Expo Canada in Toronto, has beccome the third largest convention in North America, with 750,000 square feet of space and over 129,000 attendees.  I've attended Fan Expo Canada three times (soon to be four) and it's always been an excellent show. I find it to be a professional, a great atmosphere, and considering it's size, extremely well run. I can't say I always felt the same when attending Boston Comic Con in the past. 

I would never go as far as saying "I don't care what they name the show as long as they make it good." If they had eliminated "Boston" from the name entirely this article who have a much different tone. All things considered this name change is a small price to pay for the comic con Boston now has.

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