IDG and Gen Con May Merge Shows
According to a variety of industry sources, IDG Expo executives and Gen Con founders are talking about the possibility of a joint show. If things go well, we might see the arrival of a proposed and signed deal within the next few days.
Both events would share the Los Angeles Convention Center during the set dates - October 18-20 - of IDG's GamePro Expo (which will be renamed). Gen Con So Cal is a video game, fantasy, and science-fiction-based event that previously ran at the Anaheim Convention Center in November. If this deal goes through, Gen Con would join up with the IDG show, an altered version of E3 that will now be open to general consumers. The IDG event hopes to bring in as many as 25,000 attendees next year.
If the two shows are in the LACC, the plan would be to have Gen Con base their exhibits in the center's West Hall, while the IDG game event would put their exhibits in both the South Hall and the lower-level Kentia Hall. Of course, if IDG sells out the 550,000 square feet of expo space on its own, there may not be a reason to bring Gen Con into the deal.
Supposedly, Gen Con still has a tentative agreement with the City of Los Angeles to present its own show in 2007 at the LACC, but this would obviously change if the current deal-in-progress goes through. Tomorrow, IDG should announce the winner of a contest created to pick a new name for their show. Whatever wins will replace "GamePro Expo."
12/1/2006 Ben Dutka