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Anaheim turns to Facebook for help in wooing Comic-Con

From the convention bureau's Facebook fan page

From the convention bureau's Facebook fan page

The courtship of Comic-Con International, and its $40-million annual boost to the local economy, has made the move to Facebook.

The Wrap discovers that the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau is turning to social media, and the people of Southern California, to help in its bid for the pop-culture event.

On a newly launched Facebook fan page called Bring Comic-Con International to Anaheim, CA, the convention bureau posts an “Open Letter to Comic-Con International” extolling the virtues of the Orange County area and the Anaheim Convention Center — it underscores the selling points on its website — while acknowledging organizers’ hesitancy about uprooting the event from its longtime San Diego home.

“… We get the feeling that it is going to take something extra to get you to leave a place of comfort and familiarity to come to Anaheim,” the letter states. “We need to show you the level of interest and excitement that Comic-Con International elicits out of this huge Southern California drive market.”

To that end, the convention bureau is using the Facebook page “to gauge the fervor of the Southern California crowd” and show convention organizers “just how excited people would get at the mere consideration of Comic-Con International moving to Anaheim.”

It will take more than excitement and Facebook fans, though. As Comic-Con nears the end of its lease with the San Diego Convention Center, the home it long ago outgrew — attendance has been capped at about 126,000 because of lack of space — Anaheim and Los Angeles are prime contenders for the event for 2013 and beyond.

That’s not to say San Diego should be counted out: The San Diego Convention Center Corp. has submitted a proposal seeking to extend Comic-Con’s contract through 2015, and has secured commitments from three waterfront hotels to provide for free about 300,000 square feet of meeting space from 2013 to 2015.



I heard that Anaheim was making a push, but they’re getting serious about it now! Interesting choice of using a Facebook Group.

The question is does Anaheim allow for Comic-Con International to grow? It sounds like it should based on the fact that the convention center is apparently the biggest in the West Coast. It would be mind boggling to see the convention get bigger than the 125,000 people they seem to get in the past.

So, there are 12,000 hotel rooms within a mile of the convention center, which is across the street from Disney’s California Adventure…meaning those 12,000 hotel rooms are within a mile of the Disney complex as well.

On a typical July weekend, how many of those rooms are used by people going to Disneyland? That’s something that always seems to be missing from the Anaheim pitch.

Well if the world doesn’t end in 2012, I wouldn’t mind driving 15 minutes instead of an hour or so for this convention.

I started the Keep Comic Con in San Diego facebook group, check us out and join.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: after ten minutes at Downtown Disney (which is the only thing really walkable) you all will be BEGGING for the Gaslamp or the deli counter at Ralph’s.

This does not excuse hotel roulette or the abyssmal parking situation or the Hyatt apparently going DEFCON 2 on SDCC. But it is pretty much a fact.

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