We recently had the chance to ask a few questions to Greg Fennell who is the President and CEO of Monkey Paw Entertainment who organizes Saboten Con among other conventions.
Saboten Con takes place in Glendale August 29th – September 1st. Get your badges to the biggest anime convention in Arizona right here!
LoS: We are a stone throw away from Los Angeles and Las Vegas which are home to some really popular anime conventions, how do you keep Saboten Con growing to attract attendees outside of Arizona but still keep it unique?
Greg: It comes down to our dedication to the attendee experience and our focus to build the communities. Every year I challenge my teams to find ways to do more and make things bigger while still keeping that home town convention feel. I think that is the one thing that sets us apart from a lot of our competitors as most conventions when they grow they loose sight of their roots and why they started the convention in the first place. I never want us to have that attitude so I make sure our teams help us grow, but never forget who helped us get to where we are today. I say this a lot in our meeting “You dance with the girl you brought”, which means don’t forget the groups and vendors and attendees who were there for you when you started. I know we will grow yearly, but I also know we will never let our heads get to big and push our loyal attendees and supporters away.
LoS: How important was it to get the World Cosplay Summit Southwest Prelimiary Round held at Saboten Con next month?
Greg: It’s a great win for our amazing cosplay community. I feel Arizona has one of the strongest and highest skill level cosplay communities around and us getting the WCS just helped prove that. One of Saboten Con’s goals each year is to grow our local and regional community and I feel we do that every year with the amount of programming we do and the high quality guests we bring in. The WCS just adds to our amazing line up of events and gives our communities more avenues to promote themselves and teach others as well.
LoS: What’s the one thing you look forward to each year at Saboten Con?
Greg: The happy and excited faces of our attendees having a blast. I know I have done a good job at the end of the convention if I see people walking out with a smile and excited for next year. This is why I keep running conventions, it’s to grow our community and give all of us like minded people a place to have fun and re-energize our community. One of the points I say at closing ceremonies every year is this “My goal for every event is that you make one new friend and that you find something to do with that new friend before the next event.”. This will help our community grow and get stronger yearly.
Los: Do you see the convention staying in Glendale or is possible that a move will happen down the road as attendee levels rise each year?
Greg: Come to closing ceremonies *wink