Keystone Comic Con – I have to be honest here – was a mixed experience. For whatever reason, the con organizers sank a lot of time, money and effort into wrangling some great celebrity guests, but not a lot of time, money and effort into one crucial thing: marketing.
In other words, there weren’t a lot of people there. Certainly not enough for many of the vendors to have made a profit. (Many of the vendors I spoke to hadn’t even recouped their exhibition costs).
And it’s a damn shame. The con staff was terrific, the moderator they secured for our panels was simply outstanding (shoutout to Amanda!), the setup was professional and eye-catching, and this could have been a rocking con experience. But people have to know about it.
Honestly, if I hadn’t been invited, I would never have known it was going on. And I’m local! I listen to Philly radio stations every morning and afternoon on my hour-long commute. I’m subscribed to area subreddits on Reddit. I work in the near suburbs and pass two dozen billboards every day. Nada. I think I may have heard one radio spot. How was this not given a lot more buzz? Especially with some of the first-rate stars they brought in? No one I mentioned the con to at work, in my neighborhood, or on Facebook had any idea it was happening, other than hearing it from me.
But you’ll notice I said it was a great weekend in my title, and it was! We had a respectable amount of attendees to the Friday panel, and they were really engaged. Sunday yielded a handful of people in attendance, but that was okay – we had a great, relaxed back-and-forth conversation instead of a more formal panel and our audience was amazing to interact with. So that smile is genuine up there. It was a great experience.
I just wish more people knew they could have experienced it with us.