Pop Con Indy adds another event to local geek landscape

The geeks shall inherit the convention center (again).

On the heels of the announcement of next March’s three-day Indiana Comic Con comes word of another weekend gathering for pop culture at the Indiana Convention Center, this one for May.

The first Pop Con Indy promises to cast a wider net than the Indiana Comic Con—or GenCon, for that matter. While those are hyper-focused on, respectively, comic characters and board/card games, Pop Con will embrace video games and internet culture in a more significant way, organizers say.

Co-organizer Shawn Smith, owner of Indymojo.com, hopes to make back costs through the rental of vendor spaces, with tickets ($45 for the weekend, with daily passes TBD) generating profits.

“We’re starting this for under $50,000,” Smith said. “As we get closer, other fees will come in, but, by that time, we’ll be bringing in income from exhibitor space, artist space, and pre-sale.”

He’s hoping to see 10,000 attendees. Preliminary guests include “Game of Thrones” actress Esme Bianco, Disney animator Tom Bancroft, and many people you probably haven’t heard of.

“Pop culture has completely changed with the internet,” said Smith. “People we’ll call ‘celebrities,’ the average person might not know who they are. But these are people with podcasts with 100,000 subscribers.”

How do other local convention organizers feel about another upstart? “We’ve heard some rumbling,” Smith said. “But we aren’t here to replace those other cons. We’re not here to replace Starbase Indy, for example. We love Starbase Indy. And we’ll go to great lengths to promote those other conventions. We can all exist in the same space.”

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