Comic-Con International (CCI) 2015 is just around the corner. It is a great example of how the nonprofit San Diego Comic Convention has been able to pull off one of the largest events of it’s kind. Comic-Con International started as a one-day “minicon” on March 21, 1970 at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego and the purpose of this single-day event was to raise funds and generate interest for a larger convention. It’s success lead to the three-day San Diego Comic-Con (called San Diego’s Golden State Comic-Con), held August 1–3, 1970 with over 300 attendees. It featured a dealers’ room, programs and panels, film screenings, etc. – creating a template for every comic book convention hence.
Comic-Con International has grown into a monstrous event with an attendance of more than 130,000 in recent years with a convention center facility that is used to maximum capacity. The event has grown to include satellite locations. Games, anime, the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival etc. all take place outside of the Convention Center lending a campus-like atmosphere to the event in downtown San Diego.
Comic-Con is run by a nonprofit entity called San Diego Comic Convention and their mission statement from long ago is “creating awareness of, and appreciation for, comics and related popular artforms, primarily through the presentation of conventions and events that celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture.” According to tax documents, CCI has a nest egg of $16.4 million to help them absorb the shock of any type of catastrophic canceling of the event and to also pay employees and get the show back on it’s feet again. From the Comic-Con International event in San Diego and Wondercon Anaheim, San Diego Comic Convention makes about $15 million in revenue and annual expenses are about $12 million.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin
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