Wizard World was a popular destination for fans across the United States with shows in Austin and Chicago, and had announced future events in Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Portland. Tens of thousands of people flocked to their shows to meet some of the biggest celebrities in the pop culture world.
Emphasis on “was”.
The company once saw revenue exceed $20 million for several years, but that was pre-COVID, which dampened live events across the industry and across the globe. Prior to that, the company had seen financial difficulties to the point where people questioned if the company could stay afloat as early as several years prior to the pandemic. By 2018, their total assets were cut in half from almost $6 million to under $3 million, while their liabilities continued to rise from $10 million to almost $12 million.
Today it was announced that Wizard World would be acquired by Fan Expo HQ, a division of global events giant Informa. They will be adding the Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Portland (OR), St. Louis and Cleveland comic and fan conventions from Wizard World to its portfolio of shows starting in 2022.
Throw this in with their already impressive number of shows across the US and Canada, this gives the Toronto-based company 17 events total, a massive amount on the continent and possibly the largest collection of events in the world. Other events include Fan Expo – Dallas, Orlando’s MegaCon, the recently-acquired , and the
“We’re beyond thrilled to be able to offer that to fans in six new locations, and pleased that Wizard World recognized our ability to elevate guest experience to the next level. We’re looking forward to getting to know each of these individual communities, learn what they’re looking for, and raise the bar!” said Fan Expo HQ President, Aman Gupta.
“I’ve already had the pleasure of diving right in, working with the amazing team at Fan Expo HQ and to bring our shared vision of creating exceptional fan experiences,” said Wizard World Vice-President Peter Katz.
This news represents a fundamental shift in the world of comic cons. Fan Expo has clearly gone “all in” as other organizations like ReedPop and Comic Con International have drastically pulled back as the pandemic continues. In the traditional “buy low, sell high” game, there is no doubt that Fan Expo is playing the long game, positioning themselves when hungry fans come back to large live events.
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