So, what is FanQuest anyway?
FanQuest is a fan convention taking place in Winnipeg May 27 & 28, 2017, with a kick-off event taking place the evening of May 26th. Similar in concept to more widely known comic conventions, FanQuest aims to celebrate all fandoms (sci-fi, fantasy, superheroes, anime, gaming) in all of the forms they take (comic books, television, film, literature, art, LARPing, cosplay, online video and podcasting, among many others.)
What kinds of things will be happening at FanQuest?
FanQuest attendees will be able to compete in video game and tabletop game tournaments (with fabulous prizes to be won!) participate in fandom trivia challenges, buy awesome stuff at our FanQuest Bazaar, take part in interactive Q&As and workshops, and meet and interact with fandom-related celebrity guests, all included with the price of admission.
Celebrity Guests? What kind of celebrities are we talking about here?
We would like to bring in relevant guests who are widely known for their contributions to any number of fandoms. This includes actors from well-known film and television properties as well as voiceover actors from anime, games and other animated productions. It also includes YouTubers, musical groups, writers, producers, artists, game developers, cosplayers and anyone else we (and you) think are interesting and have something to contribute to the convention (other than just showing up and signing autographs) In the somewhat niche world of fandoms, it’s hard to find someone that everyone has heard of. So, while you may not have heard of all our guests, we think that you’ll absolutely get something out of meeting them.
What kinds of interactions can the average con-goer have with the guests? I’ll have to pay for an autograph to talk to ’em, right? Even more money to have a photo op? That’s the way it always works, pay more for more interaction…
It doesn’t work that way at FanQuest. We want all of our guests to be accessible to all FanQuest attendees over the course of the weekend, and there will be different ways to interact with guests depending on your desire or comfort level. For example, we’re taking a page from the San Diego Comic Con book and arranging guest meetups with smaller groups of fans in which you’ll be able to get an autograph or photo, or just chat for a few minutes with a guest. Passes for these sessions will be free, but limited, so you would have to show up early to get one for the guest you want to see the most. Or, you could wait in line to see the guest at their Bazaar table, which is a somewhat quicker interaction. Or, you could attend the guest’s Q&A or other programming sessions in which you can just ask them a question. It’s totally up to you!
How are you going to sign on “big name” guests when they can go to other cons and take home tens of thousands of dollars instead? Have you approached any celebrities to find out if there is interest in forgoing such revenue in favor of a more guest friendly con experience?
We have approached several booking agents with our proposal of a straight appearance fee over a guarantee (see this Facebook thread for details on that) and they have responded positively. Unfortunately we won’t be able to compete with the “big name” cons money-wise, at least not at first. This is why we are approaching potential guests who are not part of the standard “con circuit” or who have shown willingness to attend events like ours in the past. This really isn’t about making money for us, and we know there are celebrities out there who share that sentiment.
Does Winnipeg really need another convention?
Absolutely! We have such a devoted and passionate fan culture here in Manitoba, there should be a different convention every month (and there almost is!) We love these fandoms so much that we want to be able to celebrate them in a new and different way than other conventions happening in town. Don’t get us wrong, we love all the other Winnipeg cons and we want them all to be successful. We’re just inviting you to join us at ours! We think you’re going to love it.
What makes you guys so special? Are you even qualified to do this?
We’ve put together a pretty awesome team with a diverse set of skills that can absolutely make FanQuest happen exactly the way we want it to. We are graphic designers, writers, event planners and community leaders. We’ve got strategic thinkers, PR specialists, former journalists, former broadcasters and current podcasters. Our team has experience in branding, advertising and marketing, and (most importantly) in running fan conventions. We have industry contacts who we are already reaching out to in order to book talent for FanQuest. We are ready to create this event for you!