Fan Expo has not been idle during the pandemic. If anything, they are leading the charge into a post-COVID world and doing their best to embrace their geeky audience with celebrities, panel discussions, and amazing fan events that don’t just make their shows all about the headliners. It’s more about the fans themselves that walk through the doors whether they carry a lightsaber, battle axe, or a big smile.
Wizard World’s events in Chicago, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Portland, St. Louis, and Cleveland were rebranded as Fan Expo events in 2022. The Fan Expo company has run 16 shows in North America, making it the largest producer of fan conventions in the world. All told, they will host more than one million fans across the continent.
Geek News Now attended the Dallas show last June and are ready for Round Two next month, but before arriving in the Metroplex, we secured an interview with Andrew Moyes, their Vice-President at Fan Expo HQ in Canada.
GNN: Attending shows and seeing the fruit of your labor can be terrific, but what do you enjoy the most in your day-to-day job?
Andrew: We are in the business of putting smiles on people’s faces – what can be more rewarding than that!
GNN: You graduated from the University of Sydney, you work in Toronto, and help oversee 16 events across North America. What makes a show in Texas unique? (No fair comparing June weather in Texas vs June weather in Canada)
Andrew: Our fans in Dallas embrace the celebrity experience which continues to allow us to bring the biggest and the best to the city. Past names include: Ben Affleck, Mark Hamill, Michael J. Fox – just to name a few. GNN Note: This year the headliners include Chevy Chase, Hayden Christensen, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Zachary Levi.
GNN: Let’s talk a little about the guests coming to FanExpo Dallas in June. This year features new guests like Vivien Blair and Chevy Chase along with “veterans” like James Arnold Taylor and Kevin Smith. Do you plan a “theme” for each show when it comes to guests or are you thrilled with any individual the fans want to see?
Andrew: There is a variety of big and small factors that feed into building a guest list – popularity, nostalgia, availability of working actors, flight schedules just to name a few. The stars truly do align when our guests walk through the door at our conventions – it is always a relief when everything comes together and we deliver on the promise to our fans to provide them with the once in a lifetime opportunity to meet their hero.
GNN: Comic cons in general have not been exempt from rising prices whether caused by inflation or the “cost of doing business”. Star Wars Celebration in London recently saw a dual photo op of Hayden and Ewan go for $604 USD and a single Monday adult ticket cost over $100 USD. Talk about what FanExpo does to help keep the cost down for their fans so meeting our favorite celebrities and experiencing this show is more affordable.
Andrew: Fandom has no barriers and we work diligently to provide as many people as we possibly can access to the ultimate fan experience. We have tiered pricing that allows you to buy early and save. We have youth tickets and family packages. Even with the Hayden C special event – there are two paid ticketed options and then a Free General admission option.
GNN: What can people expect from this year’s show that is different from 2022? What ONE tip would you advise for someone attending for the first time?
Andrew: Check out the schedule when it lands and you will see lots of new and exciting programming options that will fill your weekend. Plan in advance so you don’t miss your ‘Must do” items. But also leave a window for those surprise and delight moments and revel in the unexpected. Download the APP and have the Expo in the palm of your hand.
GNN: Obviously someone like yourself would be able to walk “behind the scenes” at any FanExpo show you like. If you could sit down in a green room with any ONE guest, who would it be?
Andrew: If I could again I would love another audience with the late great Stan Lee. He had seen it all and was a creative genius giving us characters that continue to inspire and entertain. He was beloved by his fans because he loved them back just as much.
We thank Andrew for his time and can’t wait to get to the Dallas show. What do YOU want us to cover at the Fan Expo? Drop a comment and then be sure to grab tickets for yourself!