Not Another Comic Con 2019
A word from the organiser:
Thank you to everyone who supported the event yesterday, from the support before the event, to the staff working it, the guest, creators, vendors, entertainment and most importantly the people who paid to come along and give us the ultimate show of support.
I’ve seen a few scathing criticisms and also a few people defending the event, and here is my response to both:
The load in and car park issues, is an issue created by Birmingham city council (putting a giant crane in front of the entrance to the load in area without telling Aston University or myself and the first we know about it was as people were parked up at 7am to get in) and by again the postcode given to us by the venue.
As a Birmingham native I knew the area well and didn’t need a sat nav or signage. When using our directions and postcodes we took all the information directly from Aston University’s how to find us section of the website and we check with the venue that these were up to date and correct. We were told they were… I will hold my hands up and say I didn’t test but on reflection should have tested the postcode in the sat nav and would have seen in advance issues people faced.
The signage on campus I obviously can not control, Aston are responsible to sign post their own property and if we put flyers and posters up we are potentially liable for doing this without permission. I can see the roll of the eyes and people saying have staff on hand to help, and believe it or not that was part of the over all plan. Yesterday morning I had 10 people not turn up that were listed as staff, we were due to have 21 staff and were left with 11, al of which had a functional role (panels, ticket desk, filming etc.) so my hands were fully tied to then find additional help.
I’ve had a few complaints about no one answering the phone or I was “not responding” or that “there was no response for the organiser” these are genuinely the comments that bother me most, Friday and Saturday my phone didn’t stop, calls, messages, emails! And I answered them all, I called every person back and if this is disputed I’m happy to show my call log find your number and show me where you called and I ignored you, that simply did not happen and I would never treat anyone that way.
Lastly the footfall, we sold 35% more tickets via Eventbrite than the last convention, we featured on triple the radio shows than last time, triple the amount of podcasts, we had mainstream media coverage from the BBC, Birmingham TV, Birmingham Live, we had the largest social media growth since we started, we’ve had hundreds of new likes and follows, hundreds of retweets, likes and shares. We’ve distributed just under 2500 flyers across every major area in the Birmingham area, we’ve campaigned from Nostalgia Comics/ Worlds Apart since April, daily, speaking to thousands of people, shaking hands, letting anyone willing to listen know we were here and wanted to see them.
If anyone can tell me I didn’t do everything I possibly could except having thousands of pounds sat waiting for a media campaign then please do, let me know what else I could have done, I welcome constructive thoughts I welcome advice, but people slagging you off because they are behind the keyboard is what angry teens do.
I tried to champion small press, I tried to push people who have never had a platform before, I even arranged the seating so small press people could network with major creators, and network and hopefully make connections that push their careers.
I’ve put everything into this and did it because I want people to love comics and those characters the way I do, I’m not rich and this convention won’t make me rich but I will always put on the best events I’m humanly possible to do, we have next to no alternative conventions left in Birmingham, and maybe this is why, too many people with the wrong perspective on what the event is, what is meant to be about and what they want from events that aren’t MCM or Showmasters.
We all want 20,000 people queuing round the block to get in, small alt conventions simply wont ever be that way…
To everyone who enjoyed it, in whatever capacity you were there in then thank you, whole heartedly thank you, everyone I spoke with seemed to be having a good time and there has been a lot of love and positivity on social media and that fully outweighs and outnumbers the negatives.
Will I do it again…?