Informa, the multinational media company that last summer bought Fan Expo Canada organizer Hobby Star Marketing, has purchased Dallas Comic Con and the related Sci-Fi Expo and Fan Days. Founder Ben Stevens will remain as director.
A statement on the convention website states, “this partnership will help these shows realize their true potential with new access to extensive resources and expertise.”
Launched in October 2002 by C2 Ventures, the company owned by Stevens and Philip Wise, Dallas Comic Con has grown from 5,000 attendees to about 20,0000, leading to a relocation in May from the Irving Convention Center to the Dallas Convention Center. Stevens and Wise continue to own C2.
Although the Dallas Comic Con logo now bears the words “Presented by Fan Expo,” On-Site Event Manager Mark Walters tells the Dallas Morning News that most of the changes will be limited to behind the scenes, at least for now.
“Moving to Dallas Convention Center, there are just a lot more opportunities there,” he says. “We do have some really exciting stuff planned as far as guests are concerned. I don’t know that we’ll try to be too overly ambitious. We’ve looked at our audience and figured out what people want to see, and we want to make the event bigger and better. We’re not trying to make this the San Diego Comic-Con. We’re not kidding ourselves in that regard. We want to do what will make the most sense for this area and make Dallas Comic Con a destination.”
Headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, and London, Informa is one of the world’s largest event organizers. Through its Informa Canada division, it now operates Fan Expo Canada, Toronto Comicon, Fan Expo Vancouver and Fan Expo Regina.