Published on April 6th, 2019 | by gareth0
Phoenix Fan Fusion: 2019 Interview
Recently I spoke with Kristin Rowan about what fans can look forward to from the 2019 edition of the show.
What can you tell us about what is new for the show this year?
We have quite a bit that is new this year, actually. We have two new Friday night events that we will be announcing; one next weekend and one very soon. We also have a celebrity-lead podcast that is in the works, hundreds of new exhibitors that have never been out before, and a few things we’re still in the planning stage on. It’s going to be a great year.
What are some of the changes guests will see this year based on feedback you have received?
As you know, we send out surveys throughout the year and during the event to see what our attendees have to say and make adjustments and improvements based on that feedback. Some of the changes you can expect this year include: streamlined security processes to keep lines outside to a minimum; more focus on the cosplay community, including a very large cosplay corner in the Hall of Heroes; new panels created by the panelists and fans; a kid’s area packed with activities; and as I mentioned, two new Friday night events.
Last year Playstation was on hand and we saw some new vendors in place. How do you go about selecting vendors, who will the new ones be this year and do you see gaming growing at the show as our upcoming games panels are always packed.
We are always on the look-out for new exhibitors, artists, and sponsors. Playstation was a great addition to our e-gaming hall last year and we’re so excited to welcome them back for 2019. Vendors are offered the ability to renew their space immediately after each show and then we go to our waiting list once the renewal period is closed. The full list of exhibitors is available on our website. I’m afraid it would take me quite a while to list the 300 or so new exhibitors this year.
We do see gaming growing at the event. It’s a very popular addition and we especially love supporting our local Indie Game Developers in that hall, so it will definitely continue to grow each year.
How many people do you expect to attend this year?
Our projected attendance is somewhere between 65k and 85k.
What can you tell us about the charitable aspects of the show?
For the last 9 years, we have been proud to sponsor and fundraise for Kids Need to Read. With the help of some of our other partners, we have donated more than $600,000 in cash, books, space, and volunteer time.
In addition, Phoenix Fan Fusion hosts an annual blood drive with Vivant (formerly United Blood Services) all four days of the event. We also host and provide booth space for local charity organizations such as AZ Building Families, the AZ Humane Society, the U.S. Armed Forces, The Phoenix Police Department, and the charity cosplay groups in our community.
What can you tell us about the guests planned for this year as well as the selection process and how the timing of guests announcements are made?
If you haven’t seen it, our guest line-up this year is pretty amazing. We continue to announce guests, so I can’t tell you everything, but so far we have actors and actresses from Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Jurassic Park, Star Trek, Sharknado, RWBY, Overwatch, Gotham, and more.
The selection process is a mixture of looking to see who is currently appearing at shows (actors who are currently film don’t usually do appearances), who is available and interested, the guest suggestion list we get from our attendees, and myriad other factors. We try to bring guests from different genres and fandoms so there’s something for everyone.
What are some of the long term plans for the show going forward and will you look to resume shows out of state?
Right now we’re focusing on Phoenix Fan Fusion being the best event it can be in 2019. We won’t be making other plans until after this event is over.
What can you tell us about the outdoor entertainment options?
We are still working on a few things, but don’t have anything set or scheduled for outdoor entertainment yet. But…there will be beer!
I have noticed more studios and companies getting involved each year, what can we look forward to this year?
Each year it depends on which studios have movies or shows coming out. We are lucky to work with partners like Allied Entertainment and Fingerpaint Marketing to bring studio promotion to us. The larger studios attend very few shows because they are busy making the next blockbuster film for us to see, but we welcome any studio that is available to come see our show anytime.