So Your Local Convention Has Been Sold

Written by Cora Berry

Events or companies being sold isn’t a new topic. Hundreds of transactions like this happen every day.  Sometimes it works out well and sometimes it doesn’t. What I’m here to offer insight on is why it may have happened and what will most likely change now your hub for pop culture is with a new company. In this article I’m speaking from the perspective of someone who has worked for pop culture and gaming events but also sold or discontinued my own events in the past – so let’s jump in!

Why This May Have Happened

There are several reasons that this may have happened. There is also a lot more beyond this list that could contribute to the event being sold however I’m going to briefly touch on a few points.  

  1. The event isn’t making money – Just because I’ve put this first doesn’t make it the main reason. Essentially all events have targets to make profit or at least break even on the costs that go into it including staff costs, venue hire and all the other costs to make the event run.
  2. Lack of resources – This is not only the resources to run the event such as venue, building etc., but also staffing resources. Normally on large scale events you’ll have a core team in management that oversees everything that tend to work full time hours. You’ll find in the events industry (not just with conventions) there is a huge number of additional hours that goes into an event including long amounts of overtime. When I was working on shows, I was lucky to get 3 -4 hours sleep a night in the week leading up to it.
  3. Organisers lose interest This is very much a SOMETIMES scenario, however it does happen. This happens more in fan run events however if the main organiser loses interest in maintaining the event, then they really don’t feel the need to run it.

So What Changes?

There is a big list of good and bad so let me break it down for you into the points and the pros and cons:

Resources change

Now the event is with a different company, it might have more (or less) resources in staff, funding etc., to pull together the event. You could see the event either getting bigger or getting smaller depending on the company who took it over.

The Staff Will Change

You lose the experience of the people who used to run the event. People who have worked on the event for several years will know the event inside and out and that experience helps an event run smoothly. When the staff are experienced there is a lot less chaos on the show floor.  In some cases however former staff will be brought on to consult on the event.

People Will Lose Their Jobs – But new jobs will come up

As mentioned above, often the staff don’t often go with the event when it’s sold, depending on the company and the role the staff member had in the company they may be moved to another department (in the case of larger companies that do a number of events) or they will lose their job entirely. This also means there might be jobs coming up as well within the new company as well.

You’ll Get a Fresh Perspective On The Event

New staff isn’t always a bad thing. What will happen now is there will be new staff with different views and opinions that have the potential to make the event better for the fans.

The Event Content Might Change

What I mean here is that due to the overall staff changes and fresh perspective the show floor might look very different in the coming years. Some areas of the show might have previously depended on the knowledge of former staff and unable to run because they are no longer on the team. However, on the flip-side you might also get new staff with a different skillset, connections and resources to create more content on the show floor and make things better. This also extends to exhibitors, event sponsors and content on stage.

The Overall Event Strategy Will Change

Now this might not immediately come to mind but an event (or any business) strategy has a massive effect on how an event is managed and planned. This could mean anything from guests, to marketing, to location – everything has the potential to change. You might see a change in the audience due to the new marketing strategy and the direction of the event. You might see different guests other than what you’d expect to see at your favourite event. Everything can change when the strategy changes.

In Conclusion

So that basically sums up my thoughts on this topic. A shorter article than normal but hopefully this touches some of the points that your event may have been sold, maybe given you something new to think about with this change. Overall what I want you to take from this is the positives and negatives from both sides. Don’t attack the new company who bought the event or the one that sold it. The event will be different, it could be in good ways and bad. For now, be optimistic about the new changes for the future.

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