Dana Blunk, Creative Media Group
Salt Lake Comic Con’s success in September 2013 has created room for growth.
Not only will the pop culture convention’s FanXperience event in April have nearly double the floor space that it had at the Salt Palace last year, but co-founder Dan Farr has announced another addition to the FanX lineup — a new section called KidCon.
As explained on the official San Diego Comic Con website, the name “Comic Con” originated in the 1970s, when the event was strictly centered around comic books. Farr said that naming the April convention “Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience” allowed his team to take a much broader approach when organizing the event.
“It kind of allowed us to broaden the horizons a little bit,” Farr said. “We also thought that the name helped to convey a message that this whole event is really about a ‘fan experience.’ ”
Though most activities at Salt Lake Comic Con appeal to fans of all ages, the KidCon Pavilion will be geared toward younger audiences.
“We don’t want the impression that we have KidCon there for everything else to become less kid-friendly,” Farr said, promising that the same family-friendly standards that existed at September’s event would carry over to FanX in April.
“Although I would imagine 99 percent of the people that are coming are going to take their kids throughout the whole hall, it’s just to have an area where they can go and spend a little more time with their kids,” Farr said. He pointed out that the KidCon area is not intended to be a baby-sitting service, but rather is an opportunity for parents to create some lasting memories with their children.
Farr hinted that some of the plans for KidCon would include arts and crafts activities. He also said there would be opportunities for autographs and photos with celebrities. The cast of Power Rangers Samurai will be holding a Power Rangers school for their young fans, and Farr said that he may try to pull some other guest stars at the convention over to the KidCon area for photo and signing opportunities as well.
“We did have a lot of kids under the age of 10 join their families in September, so the idea of providing something for them is exciting and something fun," Farr said. "That’s really the reality of it. We think kids will have a good time.”
Forbes Magazine reported that the inaugural Salt Lake Comic Con event last September hosted more than 80,000 people and broke national records for a first-time Comic Con. Farr says that, with the additional floor space they have lined up for FanX, along with more celebrity guests and additional booths for vendors, he’s anticipating as many as 100,000 guests in April.
“Last time, I think we turned a few heads, and I think that this time it’s going to be even bigger,” Farr said.
Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience will be at the Salt Palace Convention Center from April 17–19. Tickets are available at SaltLakeComicCon.com.
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