We at BoroughCon have a chip on our shoulder. Not just the usual we-from-da-neighbawhood attitude, although, yeah, that too. (Sorry not sorry.)
No, we are operating under the pressure of being a first-year convention. No matter how much con-running experience our leadership team has, no matter the managerial and legal credentials of the rest of the team, no matter the aesthetics of our design, the usability of our web site, the quality of our content, we’re still the new kid with a big mouth and a lot to prove.
And let’s face it: A lot of first-year cons suck. Sometimes it’s a matter of a comics nerd inheriting $10,000 after his uncle dies and deciding to blow it on renting out the ballroom at the local Holiday Inn. Those rarely turn into second-year cons.
That’s who we’re lumped in with, but it just isn’t a fair comparison. First-years aren’t universally bad, and we don’t intend to be. There are a couple examples we love to cite to show anyone wondering how BoroughCon will shape up that they have every reason for optimism.
Salt Lake Comic Con might be, according to BoroughCon’s own market research, tied with New York Comic Con as the second-biggest annual pop culture event in the United States — and it’s only in its fourth year! The inaugural SLCC in 2013 crammed in a crowd of more than 70,000. Of course, nobody rubbed a lamp and wished for selling out the Salt Palace. It’s all about the organizational talent. The organizers, Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg, are the founders of DAZ 3D and Acclaim Studios, respectively. They have the skills and the connections — not to mention the money — to do whatever the hell they want.
Similarly, Silicon Valley Comic Con got off to a breakneck start last year. But when a geek convention is organized by Steve Wozniak and Stan Lee, there’s not a whole lot that can go wrong. It’s certainly going to be among the U.S. Top 10 as a sophomore.
We might not have those chops, but we didn’t exactly get these jobs in the Home Depot parking lot. Our CEO and CFO ran Orlando’s late, lamented KnightroKon anime convention for years. So our goals will be more modest than SLCC’s or SVCC’s, but we do know how to run something like this.
Perhaps the best analogy is Alamo City Comic Con, which debuted in 2013 with a crowd of 34,000 — then doubled it the following year. This was just a matter of good management, i.e., invisible management. All the star power is up in front of the panel rooms, not hiding out in Con Ops. We want to be just like Alamo City when we grow up.
Not that we’d have to look far for other role models. Right here in New York, Liberty City Anime Con moved from the suburbs to Manhattan in its Year 2 because of unexpectedly large crowds in Year 1. It’s a more modest scale than multi-fandom BoroughCon intends to be, but it still supports the theses that if you can make it here you can make it anywhere.
So we look forward to our inaugural event, Memorial Day weekend 2017, on the campus of St. John’s University in Queens. We hope to see you there, and you’ll see just how much we’re willing to do to make sure you come back for BoroughCon 2.