Have you heard about Broadway-Con?

You haven’t heard about Broadway-Con?  It’s a convention like the unbelievably popular Comic-Con.

You know about Comic-Con, right?  Comic-Con the unbelievably popular convention that unites fans of comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, and related types of movies and television from all over the world.  The big one was held in San Diego last week and drew over one hundred thousand folks, many of whom dressed up to show their pride.  Fun, games . . . and lots of marketing.

So now have you heard about Broadway-Con?

You haven’t?

Well, I’m not surprised.  Because it doesn’t exist.

But maybe it should?

Sure, we’ve got Broadway on Broadway and the BC/EFA street fair in September, but what about an good, ol’ fashion convention all about Broadway, Off-Broadway and theater all over the country . . . but for the fans.

We could take a weekend in the spring, when all the new shows are begging for attention and ticket sales, and have performances, autograph signings from current, past (and future) stars, memorabilia displays, movies, workshops, contests . . . in other words, fun, games and lots of marketing.

I’d go.  Would you?

Are there enough fans out to make Broadway-Con successful?

I think so. And if there aren’t, we’ve got a much bigger problem.

UPDATE FROM KEN 3/7/15:  Three years after I posted this blog, an actual BroadwayCon was announced!!!  And it was all because of this blog!  😉  Ok, ok, maybe not, but still, it’s happening and you should check it out.  Click here to read more.

 

 

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Comments
  • kim says:

    GENIUS. Sign me up for Broadway-Con!!

  • Amyleigh1982 says:

    Make it so, Commander.

  • Maxwell says:

    I would definitely attend, and know many who would, although to an extent the Flea Market does kind of serve this purpose.
    But a con in the spring? I’m there. Get it going!

  • Summer M says:

    Yes! There needs to be Broadway-Con!

  • Shannon D. says:

    As a frequenter of Harry Potter cons, that sounds like an excellent idea! Broadway-con definitely has a lot of potential. Having some panel discussion about Broadway related topics would be cool, too. Assuming it would be in New York, accommodations for people coming from around the country might be hard, but if there was a possibility of getting a good enough discount for a hotel, it could totally work.

  • Jake says:

    Love this idea. You are the perfect person to make it happen.
    Let me know if you want some help, I’ll gladly assist.
    But would it perhaps be better if it happened in the post-Christmas winter months? Shows getting ready to premiere could showcase come numbers (lots of free press) and it would bring a lot of Broadway-minded tourists to NYC at a historically weak time. Comic-con is often used to build buzz for film very early on. Broadway-con should do the same.

  • Just got back from SDCC myself. I’d love a Broadway-Con. Where do I sign up for a booth?

  • jess says:

    It’s a great idea, Ken! not only connecting fans with broadway but all the industry networking that can happen. how many new shows that might not get noticed but should could make the jump to bway…..

  • Lance Carter says:

    Great idea! Just gives me another reason to head back to NYC.

  • This is a great idea. I would attend, and my organization, NOMTI (New Opera and Musical Theatre Initiative, http://www.nomti.org) in Boston would definitely be interested in a booth (pending prices, of course).

  • Bryce says:

    The problem with your idea is what makes theater and comic-con different forms of entertainment. Comic con has a brand that can generate new movies, following the same characters, we love and know, thru multiple adventures. See any of the Harry Potter movies. And what makes comic-con have such a large fan base is the simple ability to re-watch the product as many times as I want. For theatre, its a live form of entertainment, and to re-watch a show it’s gonna cost me 80 plus dollars. A show can’t get a following like comic-con simply because of its inaccessibility, high ticket price and inability to be accessible to the masses. For what you are suggesting to work, you would have to encompass a celebration of live performance, rather then simply Broadway. Loose the idea of Broadway and focus on regional, local theatre. That’s the convention I would like to attend. Broadway is not the be all end all, and it seems the vast theatre community forgets that. It may be a place to make money, but is being a producer about the money or artistic pay off and celebration of creation? I know the response to this, but valuing Broadway as the be all end all like a Broadway-con could suggest, just drives the problem even further. To make theater successful, finically and artistically we need to start the solution at home and drive it to Broadway. Cheers!

  • Christine says:

    Broadway-Con sounds like an AWESOME idea! Just let me know where and when to buy tickets!

  • Auntief says:

    I shall be there! Pick a date, pick a time, pick a venue. I’ll even volunteer if you need extra help!

  • Shephard says:

    We’d be there in a heart beat. There are enough theatre geeks for sure. Though even ComicCon started very small. Maybe tie in a charity and some major celebs and all our theatre favorites of course. Have a costume contest (one of the big highlights at ComicCon)…and karaoke… Prizes like walk-ons in different shows and hard-to-get house seats!

  • Not only would I go – I’d be first in line to help organize it. I say – Let’s Do It!!!

  • Mike Vogel says:

    Great idea. You give them a scene or song from the show to wet their appetite, then offer them a discount ticket, with extra goodies once they show up. This could be the start of something big!

  • Randi says:

    I would absolutely drop everything to be involved in this.

  • Katie O'Brien says:

    I completely agree with whoever commented below me that said: A.They’d drop everything to be a part of this, and B.They’d even help out with planning it.
    THIS NEEDS TO HAPPEN!

  • I agree with Bryce. Broadway-con is too exclusive. The Broadway experience is fast becoming a once in a lifetime event for all but those with bottomless purses. For the price of a Broadway ticket, a comic fan can buy a wagonload of comic books. It’s a great idea, but I believe something like Theatre-Con would be much more marketable. 100,000 people attended Comic-Con, not Marvel-Con or DC-Con or even Dark Horse-Con. It was an event that encompassed every spectrum of the comic world. There is the danger that Broadway-Con might, by the very nature of its name, only feature shows that have made it to Broadway. And I think most everyone on this forum could honestly say that they’ve been to enough Broadway shows to know that Broadway is not always synonymous with quality.
    The other great thing about an event like Comic-Con (or Gen-Con or Origins or any number of Geekfests) is the ability to present your own creation at the event. Anyone can rent a booth and show off their own custom made comic or original game idea. There should be something of the Fringe Fest flavor at a Convention like this.

  • Pam W. says:

    I think it’s a winner. While a ticket to a Broadway show is certainly more expensive than buying a comic book, I think those who attend comic-con spend far more than a few bucks on their comic passions. Broadway fans express their love of theater in more far-reaching ways than just buying expensive tickets to Broadway shows. They attend regional and local presentations of Broadway favorites, purchase books about and music from Broadway productions, sing Broadway tunes in the shower and behind the wheel. Broadway comes to the Group Market in sponsored luncheons with featured performers at several annual industry events and that segment feels genuinely appreciated as a result. Why not reach out to a broader fan base with Broadway-con?

  • Jason says:

    Being a regular Comic-con and anime convention go-er, I would totally love to see this Broadway-con happen. In fact, I used to say all the time that there should be a Broadway-con or at least some kind of theatre convention for all fans and would be theatre-enthusiasts.
    Many of the activities I see at these comic and anime cons could definitely apply to Broadway; costume contests, fan performances, guest industry panelists, concerts, trivia games. Let’s do this!

  • lauren says:

    You’re sitting on a million-dollar idea, Ken. You should make it happen!

  • Jamisa says:

    You know what is crazy??? Me and my friend was just talking about something like this. Like why would that not have a convention for just the Broadway/theatre scene. This could also be a great way for actors, directors and other creative outlets to not only network but to be exposed to the professional level of the industry. I know so many people (including myself) that would hop on this.

  • Paul Mendenhall says:

    I like the idea. But don’t call it anything ending in “con.” That just makes it seem like a lame copy. And I agree that it can’t be just about Broadway. Broadway is far from being the capitol of theatre it once was. Most of the significant work is being done regionally.

  • Ellie says:

    Absolutely YES. I’m there. That is all.

  • Becca says:

    I think a Broadway-con would be a great idea. It would be nice to have all our favorite actors under one roof. Plus, I would think many people would want to dress up as their favorite Broadway characters, or even wear their favorite Broadway apparel. It would be fun to attend!

  • Malini says:

    I would be on Broadway-Con like white on rice.
    I will also like to put my name in for the planning committee.
    Great idea. No one’s done it so how do we know it won’t work.

  • Susan says:

    Seems to me it should be in the fall, not the spring – too many industry events all happening in the spring, there’s time to pay attention to the fans in the fall.

  • Mac McCarthy says:

    Jeez what a great idea, Ken! No down sides, huge upsides!

  • Kaitlyn says:

    Broadway-Con sounds like the greatest thing ever and I would TOTALLY go! Sounds like a sort of thing like ITS conference or uh, the thing that colleges do, that’s like ITS, but it just totally slipped my mind. But yeah! It sounds epic and needs to happen!

  • Jerry Katell says:

    Having just been “conned” in connection with my investments in two shows that went to Broadway I think you need to do be a lot more creative with your name choice and avoid any negative connotation.

  • jery says:

    Even if I have to sell body parts on the black market to get the money to fly cross country and stay the whole week, I TOTALLY WOULD for Broadway-Con!! That is a brilliant idea. Frackin’ brilliant!

  • Tanya says:

    We have something like this in London every June called West End Live where all the shows that want to can perform over the end and there are workshops and stalls happening all around the main stage. There’s also Wicked Day every Hallowe’en weekend which is much more Comic-Con style, with signings and workshops with the cast of the show and costume displays etc, so some sort of combination of those two events would be brilliant! Although Comic-Cons charge a fortune for autographs and I doubt you could get away with that at a theatre event because you can just show up at the stage door of your favourite performer’s show and get something signed for free.

  • WC says:

    I would definitely sign-up for Broadway-Con! I would love to hear the thoughts behind casting, stage design, marketing and etc.
    I think it should happen in late Summer/early Fall (after the Tonys and before the official start of the new season). This way theatre-lovers can gear up for the new shows.
    Meet the stars and Broadway masterminds? Being one of the first to know about a new production? Who can ask for anything more? 🙂

  • Sierra Rein says:

    I’ve been to ShowBiz Expo here in NYC, and all I kept thinking was “why are they so concentrated on Film & Television here. Where’s the Theater version?” I feel as long as the convention is open and don’t cost an arm and a leg to attend, it would be great. It would also be a great option to record seminars, provide downloadable podcast interviews, and more publicity to upcoming shows that could be on their way to Broadway if someone would hear their work. Composers, producers, directors, actors, crew and designers would all be interested.

  • Carey Walden says:

    Same here! I’m all for a weekend at Broadway-Con!

  • Michael says:

    That would be amazing! The possibilities are endless! Not to mention it would be a great way for smaller companies, actors and writers to get a name out for themselves and mingle with people who may help them or their shows off the ground!

  • Eliana says:

    I would totally go that and help plan, prep and organize. It sounds like it would be a lot of fun and great advertising for new shows and shows that want to be revitalized. Let’s do it!

  • Laura says:

    It’s a great idea and you can capitalize on some of the success of SDCC by cross-pollinating: bring in film people who have turned B’Way shows into films. Have them there for panels and signings and so forth, or if there is anything coming in film to preview. Theater should certainly be the focus, but if you want a larger aud–be sure to bring in the film industry.

  • Emma K. Harr says:

    Broad-Con would be fantastic. It’s what I love about conventions like SETC and KCACTF–amazing shows, fabulous workshops, so many new people to meet through acting/design competitions–but it would be nice to have one of these that is fan-centric rather than competing through your college for something. I vote yes.

  • Jan says:

    Great idea! I’d go and would love to be involved in the planning…BUT I am not 100% sure there are enough fans to support something lime this in order for it to break even. On the other hands, if it were affordable, it might bring in those who csnt afford to actually go to a show but buy cast albums, read blogs and Broadway message boards etc.
    In any case, I love the idea!

  • Adam Meyers says:

    I go to literary Cons a lot, and I don’t think people realize just how powerful conventions are for uniting fans and bringing a community together. A Broadway-Con is long, long, LONG overdue. If you need people with experience putting Conventions together, I can probably provide several that would love to help. It would help out the Broadway community so much, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already.

  • kim says:

    this is an excellent idea!

  • Kristi R-C says:

    It exists already in a more formal format as the Spring Road Conference but that’s for biz people. It would be nice to have something fan-based rather than performer or tech or management based. Kind of like CMA’s Fan Fair where the stars are available for autographs and an average guy can get to see and do things he couldn’t normally be able to see and do without having a Con pass.
    Could be scheduled for a time when B’way is slower (Januaury/Feb?) to increase traffic. The Marriot Marquis would make a great host hotel both for location and the facilities there.
    Perhaps your Con pass gets you into a show via lottery each evening – your number gets posted by 11 AM for the show and you have until 3 to pick up your ticket for the next evening or it gets released to TKTS for sale the next morning – producers get X of the con registration if they include their show in the lottery – or could do an extension of the Kids Night promotions to encourage families to participate as well as build future audiences. When you register, you list 5 shows you want to see and over the course of the weekend, you might get a chance to see 3 of them. Or simply offer VIP deals to the shows with the registration and make even more $$.
    Would also be fun to have a kind of “scavenger hunt” of Manhattan that would send participants to businesses/organizations in the theatre community, e.g. Drama Bookstore, Manhattan Wardrobe Supply, Alcone, IATSE local ONE, Actor’s Equity, Broadway Cares, etc. with a “Show receipts from at least 3 of these companies totalling $X or more and get a _____” deal. The unions sell t-shirts and BC/EFA could take donations.
    Yeah… this is an idea that “has legs.” Count me in and if you need planning help, I’m interested.

  • Raelee says:

    kldsfds I WOULD GO. I’D DRESS AS CHARACTERS AND LFDSGKJSDFLK

  • E says:

    In a heartbeat would I attend!

  • Anthony Johnson says:

    I woke up today thinking about the fact that there wasn’t a Broadway Con. A little googling sent me to your post. I really think this could be awesome. I’m going to brainstorm how to make this idea a reality.

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  • 5-baksov.ru says:

    Drive the pickax vertically downwards into the root. Make cuts that are longer and not so splintering. Repeat the cutting procedure until the tree root is removed totally!

  • whole of the UK but of course most of our work is in London .

  • Naisa says:

    Someone finally said it. I’ve been thinking about a Broadway Convention since I saw my first Broadway play.

  • Sue says:

    http://www.BroadwayCon.Com – it’s coming, January 22-24, 2016 thanks to Anthony Rapp!

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Ken Davenport
Ken Davenport

Tony Award-Winning Broadway Producer

I'm on a mission to help 5000 shows get produced by 2025.

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