Who’s Going to Chicago’s C2E2 in Its Second Year?

I had a good time last year at C2E2, the ReedPop Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo, but this year, it looks like I won’t be able to go. Which got me wondering how many other people were also bowing out.

C2E2 logo

In our case, it’s the cost and the timing. We’re not ready to start thinking about conventions already, and the show is next month. (2010 was April, a more favorable time.) Last year was awfully expensive, given hotels in the downtown location, and while we combined it with a visit to family, the timing this year is inconvenient. Plus, mid-March is a rotten time to go to that area, and the weather has been cold and nasty this year.

I started hearing, at some other shows late last year, that others might be rethinking a repeat visit as well. Some exhibitors from last year weren’t sure about displaying again, because they thought the cost to set up was much too expensive for the returns they got. Also, the show is putting more emphasis on the entertainment side of the show, which may mean a different kind of audience, one not necessarily there to buy comics.

The local folks I’ve spoken to are planning to go for a day instead of the whole weekend. I wish that was a an option for me, because I did get to see and do a lot last year that I enjoyed. And I hate to see something so promising not have the turnout they need to continue to grow. My suspicion last year was that expectations were just too high. A first-year show is not going to be a New York or San Diego right out of the gate, but that seemed to be what some were expecting (and maybe selling to exhibitors?). I’m also unclear on whether they’re looking for a trade show setup/expense-account audience (who won’t mind the expense) or a more general group of attendees, in which case they may be limited to local/regional.

I haven’t heard much about panels or programming or must-see guests for the show, and it’s getting close. Then again, I wasn’t looking for information, given my inability to attend. Are you planning on going? Why or why not? And what do you hope to see or do there?

12 Responses to “Who’s Going to Chicago’s C2E2 in Its Second Year?”

  1. Jason Green Says:

    I’m planning on going. Living in St. Louis, I really don’t have many choices for comic cons within driving distance, and the inaugural C2E2 was head and shoulders above the last 3 or 4 Wizard World Chicagos. In terms of expense, downtown Chicago isn’t really *that* different from Rosemont, anyway, and you at least get some “city” on you.

  2. Mike Kowalczyk Says:

    I’ll be there! Best run Chicago show since the pre-Wizard days of the Chicago Comic-Con! Now that it’s moving into the West building it will be even better with concessions overlooking the floor. Things will be closer together. Which was a mild complaint from last years C2E2.

  3. Hal Shipman Says:

    We’ll be there, of course. So, so much better than the last time we went to Wizard World Chicago, it isn’t funny.

  4. Jacque Nodell Says:

    I am going to try to go for one day! I didn’t make it last year, so I am anxious to check it out.

  5. Russell Lissau Says:

    I’ll be there all three days, exhibiting at the READING WITH PICTURES booth and participating in the RWP panels. Last year we promoted a book that hadn’t come out yet, and we generated a lot of good buzz. The book is out now, looks great and has been selling fine, and we’ll be seeking to get it in a lot of hands at c2e2. Please say hello! I’ll have some of my indie books with me, too, including the recently award-nominated OMEGA COMICS PRESENTS #3 and the horror anthology KAGEMONO: FLOWERS AND SKULLS.

  6. Michael May Says:

    I’m planning on going and I’m sorry you guys aren’t. I had a great time last year, but one of my few regrets was not grabbing the opportunity to visit more with you and a few other bloggers. That’s something I hope to correct this year.

    It was good to meet you last year though.

  7. Anthony Says:

    I still plan on going again. Living in Milwaukee, it’s not that far, plus staying in a hostel again (like last year) will cut down on expenses. That and the midwest needs a big comic show of its own. Sorry I won’t get to see you there like last year, Johanna.

    Still, the above concerns are, well, a concern. I’d also like to know about the panels, etc. this year, but no schedule of such is posted yet (and the deadline for having a pass mailed to you if buying online is approaching). Also wonder why they moved it back a month to mid-March (with St. Patrick’s Day that Thursday, I imagine most of the revelry will get pushed to that weekend—all the bars/night spots will be packed as it is…). The weather won’t be as nice as in April, nor will it be as warm.

  8. Jamie Coville Says:

    While I did enjoy myself last year I don’t plan on going this year. To swing a convention like that I need to go with a group of people and I just don’t know enough people that want to go to that one again.

  9. Johanna Says:

    Mike, I’m glad to hear they’re fixing some of the layout problems. I wound up temporarily unable to walk last year after the first day of too much hiking back and forth to the panel rooms.

    Anthony, I’m sure there was a certain amount of having to take what they could get in terms of schedule slots available.

    Everyone, I’m sorry I won’t see you there. I hope those who are going have a wonderful time.

  10. Tara Tallan Says:

    I really wanted to go, but given the relatively high cost of tables in Artist Alley and the mixed reviews from exhibitors last year (not to mention travel costs), I felt I was better off waiting until 2012. I’ve got my fingers crossed that this year’s show will go well for all who are attending, though! I used to love going to Chicago, and I want there to be another great show there so I can have an excuse to visit that city with my family. :-)

  11. SKleefeld Says:

    I’m up in Chicago pretty regularly these days, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be going. I don’t know yet if it’ll be for the whole weekend or just one day though.

  12. Anthony’s attending C2E2 in March | Anthony's Notes Says:

    […] and some vendors/attendees not wanting to make the cross-country trip to the midwest (including Johanna at Comics Worth Reading). That’s too bad, though I hope it won’t impact the show too […]




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