Three years ago, I blogged about the first time I attended the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, then in its second year. This fan culture event was overwhelming, and it was difficult to know where to begin talking about the experience. On April 26, I experienced C2E2 from a more personal perspective: my 12-year-old daughter Marion was among the throng of attendees who dress up as their favorite fictional characters ranging from Princess Mononoke to Dr. Who. Marion was adorned in a trench coat and black wings to honor Castiel, an angel in the CW Network series Supernatural. As I noted on a LinkedIn blog post, being with Marion helped me appreciate first-hand a superfan loyalty that is rooted in self-expression and spontaneous community.
C2E2 has quickly become a premier destination for fans and companies to gather and celebrate each other over the course of one weekend. C2E2 attracted 53,000 attendees in 2013, up from 40,000 the year before, and the event has taken up more space in the Chicago McCormick Place convention center to accommodate the growing number of merchants and entertainment properties participating.
If you opt into the C2E2 email newsletter, your experience begins well in advance of the actual event. The pedestrian-looking newsletter and website serve up a steady stream of announcements about the show, such as autograph signings (for a fee) by comic book legends such as Stan Lee, a panel with Game of Thrones cast members, or the unveiling of an interactive booth for online game League of Legends.
But you really don’t begin to understand C2E2 until you walk into McCormick Place on the day of the show and take stock of your surroundings. Even before you enter the formal C2E2 convention area, you encounter the superfans expressing their passions. Continue reading →
The next time you visit Disney World, don’t be surprised if Buzz Lightyear greets everyone in your family by their first names before you’ve been introduced to him.
According to an apparently well-sourced rumor, Disney is morphing itsKey to the World card (which acts as an all-purpose credit card, ID tag, and room key on Disney properties) into a smart wristband that will give you a more personal and interactive Disney resort experience.
Depending on how Disney develops its NextGen park technology, here is what you might be able to do during a future visit to a Disney resort:
Enter the Magic Kingdom by waving your wristband as you breeze past a turnstile. Or buy a snack at Epcot with a scan of your wrist. No fumbling around for your card as you simultaneously help your children find theirs while you hold up a line of impatient park goers.
After you enjoy a thrilling ride on Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom, purchase a video capturing the moment and send it home to your friends.
Have Snow White greet your daughter by her first name (“Hello, Emma, how nice to meet you”!) because your daughter’s wristband is encoded with personal information visible to the Disney Princess.
Disney has made no introduction of the wristbands although it’s quite possible Disney could road test aspects of the technology soon. Meantime the rumor has Disney bloggers buzzing, as evidencedhere and here.