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IDG, Gen Con in talks to merge events

Ongoing disruption in trade show biz adds group behind sci-fi/fantasy convention into the mix; talks of a joint show continue.


Industry sources say IDG Expo executives and Gen Con founders are exploring the possibility of a joint show--and ongoing talks could net an inked deal in the next few days. The joint show would see the two events share the Los Angeles Convention Center over the locked-down dates of IDG's soon-to-be-renamed GamePro Expo, slated for October 18-20 of next year.

Gen Con So Cal, a video game, fantasy, and science-fiction-oriented event completed its 2006 run at the Anaheim Convention Center earlier this month. If a deal were inked, Gen Con would join forces with the upcoming IDG show, a morphed version of E3 that will now cater to general consumers. The IDG event expects to attract no less than 25,000 attendees next October, according to its organizers.

If the two events colocate at the LACC, the current plan is to see Gen Con base its exhibits in the convention center's West Hall, with the IDG game event placing its exhibitors in both South Hall and the lower-level Kentia Hall. One impediment to the two groups linking up could be the current success IDG is having selling its upcoming game event into the industry. If it can sell out the LACC's nearly 550,000 square feet of expo space on its own, there may be no need nor reason to bring Gen Con into the mix.

Sources say Gen Con still has a tentative agreement with the City of Los Angeles to hold its 2007 event at the LACC in early November, but that could all change if IDG and Gen Con decide to collaborate.

In related news, tomorrow IDG is expected to announce the winner of a contest designed to pick the show's new name. The winning entry will replace the current moniker, GamePro Expo.

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