Salt Lake Comic Con and The Fan Experience – 2014 Convention Details

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At the press release for Salt Lake City’s Comic Con Fan Experience event in 2014, founder Dan Farr went into detail about what to expect, who to expect, and the short term future for Salt Lake City Comic Con as a whole. Essentially, there are two conventions planned for next year. The first one is the Comic Con Fan Experience, which will run April 17-19, 2014, and the Second Annual Salt Lake City Comic Con which will run September 4-6, 2014.

To be honest, I’m a little nervous.

But first, let’s talk about the good stuff. And there’s a lot of good stuff. Attendance was so massive earlier this year that they’re doubling the floor space they use in 2014. This is great news, as most of you that were there will remember, it was a chore just to walk from booth to booth. They’re also focusing on what Farr referred to as “crowd management,” which means that they want to make sure people are moving from outside to the convention floor in as little time as possible. Again, something that will make those of you who waited in line last time breathe a sigh of relief.

The press conference focused mainly on the April event, really only detailing the dates of the second annual Comic Con. The Fan Experience will give a couple franchises a larger presence. For example Farr confirmed that Norman Reedus and Chandler Riggs from “The Walking Dead” will be there, with the promise that there will be other stars from the show signing on to appear soon. “Star Trek: The Next Generation” is another one, with Brent Spiner and Marina Sirtis having signed on to the event already. Two other celebrities were also announced, Adam Baldwin (Firefly, Chuck) and Kelly Hu (X2, Arrow) which are both pretty exciting. There’s going to be a more “kid friendly” area of the convention, which will be good for those that brought the whole family back in September. The Fan Experience will at the same time feature a broader focus, pulling in fans from every franchise – even if it doesn’t have a comic book.

There are a few problems with the event though, mainly what I just described to you is basically Comic Con. Despite being asked a couple times, Farr couldn’t give a reasonable answer as to what the difference between the Fan Experience and the Annual Comic Con is. Just that he wants to attract more people who are fans of non-comic book franchise, which is something every Comic Convention does anyway.

The First Annual Salt Lake City Comic Con was so successful, I can definitely see why the people in charge would want to expand into more than one convention per year. At the end of the day, it’s all about making money. But I think what we’re going to see next year isn’t two massive conventions that 100,000+ people attend. It will be two smaller conventions, and Salt Lake City won’t be in the top 5 comic book conventions anymore. Or one will be a lot more popular, and the other will fall to being kind of a sister convention. Because who can afford to go to the same convention twice a year? It’s a massive undertaking to plan something like that, and as of the time of writing, there is no incentive to attend both conventions. No discounts, no automatic VIP upgrades, nothing. Die hard con-goers might rejoice at the thought of doubling their fun, but I’m definitely worried.

In any case, the list of celebrities and the larger floor space are more than enough to make me happy for 2014. Tickets for the Salt Lake City Comic Con Fan Experience are on sale now, you can get yours here. They’re also offering a 15% discount for anyone who attended the Salt Lake’s Comic Con back in September if you buy before the end of the year.


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