It’s January 1st and I’m wasting no time in letting the convention runners in Arizona know what I would like to see happen in 2023. In reality, I don’t have that kind of pull but regardless, onto the list (and Happy New Year!!)

More value for the cost of entry
Let me start by saying that some of the this is about conventions trying to recoup money from the pandemic. However, it just seems convention costs are either rising or new conventions charging a lot right out of the gate. A few examples:

– Phoenix Fan Fusion charging $110 for three days when it had cost less in the past for four days

– UwU Con charging nearly $100 for a con focused on voice actors and food (which of course costs attendees even more)

– Tucson Comic Con prices rising without a elevation in guests or expanded programming

Goodwill with attendees will only go so far, high prices need to come with perceived value especially when costs are being compared to California cons which offer much more at nearly the same prices.

Bigger conventions in non summer months
The biggest conventions in Arizona such as Phoenix Fan Fusion, Game On Expo, Saboten Con, Tucson Comic Con will all take place between June – September, the hottest months in Arizona. The cooler months only provides us a few smaller cons that don’t have the same juice as the bigger cons. I’ve always heard the cost of renting facilities is much cheaper in the summer.

Just one more comic convention
Arizona really only has two conventional comic cons: Phoenix Fan Fusion and Tucson Comic Con. Fan Fusion has zero competition in the state which means no one is pushing them to keep innovating. Remember when we had Amazing Arizona Comic Con? It wasn’t the size of Fan Fusion but it did everything that a comic convention should do: good guests, good artist alley, programming, and cosplay (and it was in FEBRUARY!). Can we just have one more comic con, please?

Less restrictions
I’ve seen restrictions on bags, camera equipment, food, cosplay props, water, and so on. I know some of these are due to the convention center/hotel that the various conventions are being held at but man, the restrictions seem to keep growing each year (while also having some very lazy security for bag checks, etc). Rising costs AND more restrictions? Not a good look.

Informed staff
I don’t know if its been harder to find good staff or if there isn’t enough time for these cons to train their staff but there just seems to be a lack of helpful staff over the past year. Staff making bad decisions, not knowing how to handle a situation, or just not being helpful at all. I know these are volunteers but they represent the convention they are staffing and its only a matter of time when something goes really wrong because of lack of staff training.