Arizona Conventions: Too Many Or Just Enough?

I love comic conventions and if you’re reading this, chances are you do as well. If you live in Arizona, you are probably at least aware of one or two conventions held across the state. Hopefully if you are a frequent reader of the site then you know the amount of pop culture conventions, which includes comic books, anime, media, cosplay, and video games, in Arizona is plentiful. It’s almost an embarrassing amount of riches we have as fans of these events. Most fans don’t attend every single event, just picking and choosing which they would like to attend throughout the year. The state tows the line of just enough events and one too many, eventually, something is going to give and sway that balance. For the uninformed, lets make a quick list of cons in Arizona in order of when they usually are held.

Taiyou Con (January, Mesa)
Amazing Arizona Comic Con (January, Phoenix)
Con-nichiwa (March, Tucson)
Tucson Collectable Car and Toy Show (March, Tucson)
Devcon (March, Glendale)
Tucson Art and Press Expo (April, Tucson)
Zapcon (April, Mesa)
Phoenix Comicon (May, Phoenix)
Arizona iCon (June, Glendale)
Leprecon (June, Phoenix)
Cosfest (July, Mesa)
Game On Expo (August, Mesa)
Saboten Con (September, Phoenix)
Comic and Media Expo (October, Mesa)
Tucson Comic Con (November, Tucson)
Kikori Con (November, Flagstaff)
Ariona iCon Holiday (December, Glendale)
Phoenix Comicon Fan Fest (December, Glendale)
*Salute to Supernatural (I include this because we will be getting it for a second year in a row in 2016)

I’m probably missing one or two even smaller conventions, but 19 is a large number of events. While the name of some of these events might be a little misleading, they are all centered around pop culture. That is a lot of events competing for your dollar, each show fighting to make themselves unique. A problem that will arise, if it hasn’t already, is that talent is going to get stretched thin, vendors won’t be able to attend every show, and eventually some of these shows overall quality will suffer. Will it matter though? I don’t have every conventions attendance numbers but attendance trends are still increasing from year to year, with individual events posting all time high attendance records. It could be that Arizona has found its sweet spot for the number of cons that can successfully be held however, the more success, the more people will want in on the convention scene and start up their own. It will be interesting to see how things shake out in the next 3 – 5 years in Arizona with these conventions, which will cons show sustainability and which will have a hard time adapting to an ever increasing and evolving fan base.

Thanks for putting up with my rambling if you’ve gotten this far but this is all just my opinion and thoughts on the subject, how do you feel about the Arizona convention scene? Do you think it will get even better or do you see some of these conventions will fall to the way side? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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2 thoughts on “Arizona Conventions: Too Many Or Just Enough?

  1. Hola Robert,

    Good to see someone covering Arizona conventions in a single site.

    Great to see LepreCon mentioned! That’s the oldest sci-fi convention in the Phoenix area, which will reach its 42nd year in 2016.

    There are other well established sci-fi conventions that you missed though. The oldest is TusCon in Tucson, which is a year older than LepreCon. They have a huge guest coming next year, I believe. CopperCon is annual but on a hiatus this year and DarkCon runs every other year so 2015 is its year off.

    Wild Wild West Con has been at Old Tucson Studios outside Tucson for four years now and it’s become the biggest steampunk convention west of the Mississippi.

    Phoenix FearCon, which started out as a horror film festival but quickly grew into a full horror convention, is less consistent in timing but it’s expanded every time for six events and was huge in 2014. It’ll be in Mesa late next year.

    Also horror, Mad Monster Party has been here for two years now and I believe will be back again. It’s a great way to talk to a lot of horror stars in one very cool vendor room.

    There’s a Wild West Festival at Saguaro Ranch Park in Glendale every year that’s very cool.

    The one that escaped me until this year is DocCon, which is a Doc Savage convention that’s in Glendale in early October. This year is their 18th. I can’t wait for that one!

    • Thanks for the info on all those cons. It’s hard to find all the info on one site so I’m *trying* to get accomplish that but stuff slips through the cracks!

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