We had a fantastic day in Salt Lake City, as we kicked-off FanX 2015. Mother Nature was kind to us, greeting fans from all over with blue skies and balmy temperatures; making it a great day to welcome the stars!
It was immediately apparent that Dan Farr and his production team had taken previous con-goers concerns and complaints to heart, implementing new measures to make lines run smoother and adding new security features to make everyone have a better bang for their buck. I heard not one complaint, today! The smiles were back and the house was packed.
Some of the changes included, sending RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) wristbands out to folks in the mail, letting people pick their bands up at designated venues, beforehand, pre- activation, capping ticket sales (to make this a smaller, more-intimate event), re-routing check-in places at the Salt Palace Convention Center, giving better information through social-media and the FanX app, and providing more volunteers. There were no lines, today! Dan Farr and Bryan Brandenburg insisted that the issues that plagued them at September’s sold-out comic con had been resolved, and they weren’t lying. This was a really good opening and we’re happy to see [they] are listening.
Also, the venue for the opening press conference changed; from being held at the Salt Palace, to the Grand America Hotel. The press was welcomed by Dan Farr, and by Mayor Ralph Becker, who proclaimed January 29 as SaltLakeComicCon’s ‘Day of Heroes’ in SLC. Bryan Brandenburg took the podium, then: “Our mission is to provide our attendees with ‘the Ultimate Fan Celebration’,” he said. The Salt Lake Comic Con Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer went on to say, “We know how passionate our fans are and go to extraordinary lengths to supply the very best variety of pop culture experiences. There truly is something for everyone.”
Then, without further adieu, the introduction of the celebrities began. Those attending today’s kickoff were Nichelle Nichols, Billie Piper, Glenn Morshower, Jess Harnell, Rob Paulson, and Alaina Huffman. Also, Rob Prior provided a 12-minute painting of Batman, with the auction proceeds going to Operation Underground Railroad; an organization dedicated to rescuing children from the sex-trafficking trade.
Once-back at the Salt Palace, the doors opened for fans at 3:00 pm. There was more room on the floor, lines were being kept orderly, as to allow better mobility and flow, and more volunteers were on-hand, in an effort to give out information and direct fans to their desired areas of interest.
Overall, it was a major improvement over the last con, and I was delighted to see how quickly the producers have evolved in addressing the fans needs, and by listening to their voices. It’s no wonder, then, that fans and celebrities alike are saying, “This is the greatest comic con on Earth.”