Phoenix, Arizona — It started in December 2014 as the Fall/ Winter expansion of the larger pop-culture event, Phoenix Comicon, Fan Fest made it’s debut at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Becoming a venue with a personality of it’s own, Fan Fest moved to the Phoenix Convention Center in October 2016.
Through the years, Fan Fest has come into it’s own viable and separate venue, offering guest, activities and fun, like it’s bigger brother, except in a smaller package.
Changes this year!
Back in June 2017, a well armed assailant tried to enter Phoenix Comicon, was successfully taken down by Police and Security with any harm to visitors and guests. This forced Square Egg Productions, the parent company of both Phoenix Comicon and Phoenix Fan Fest to introduce news rules and procedures regarding costume weaponry for cosplayers and entry/ exits for guests and visitors.
They had to adjust their security plans on the fly for day one of Comicon 2017. This caused long lines and bottle necks in some instances and a small bit of confusion. For the most part, it was accepted by the patrons with no issues, except some issues.
The new idea this year for security is wristbands with barcodes that scan you in and out of the event.
You now have a more centralized security entry point, that’s separated by cosplayers and visitors with or without bags.
I visited the two day event on Saturday, November 11th. Although it took a few swipes of the wrists before the before the scanner accepted the code, entry was pretty smooth and well thought out.
Inside the exhibit hall there were the many patrons and cosplayers moving through a familiar combination of collectibles, talent and merchandise.
The event ran from Saturday, November 11th to Sunday November12th.
I look forward to see how this new process will work on a larger venue like Phoenix Comicon next spring.