Whether you are new to the world of conventions or a pro, Fandemic Tour is one convention that should be added to the ‘must attend’ list. Debuting in 2017, Fandemic Tour was created by ex-Wizard World CEO John Macaluso and we sat down to talk with him about the origins of Fandemic Tour, what makes Fandemic conventions unique, and what fans can expect in Houston next month.
Though he is clearly a convention pro now, Macaluso shared that he started out his career in the clothing manufacturing world. When he retired in 2008, it wasn’t long before his wife and five children encouraged him to find a new business venture. As fate would have it, a friend of Macaluso was involved with the Wizard World convention company and invited him to check out a show and perhaps get involved.
“I saw lots of happy people while I was there, and that was nice,” said Macaluso of his first convention experience. It wasn’t long after that he joined the board for Wizard World and was immediately offered the CEO position. After a few years with Wizard World, he chose to leave the company in 2015 but quickly found himself missing the convention world. “I decided to start my own company and the first show was going to be 2017 in Houston, but the hurricane made that impossible,” remembered Macaluso. He shared that he felt the devastation of Hurricane Harvey victims and offered full refunds to anyone who couldn’t attend the new December dates.
Now two years on, Fandemic Tour is again returning to Houston this fall featuring huge names including Sebastian Stan, Milo Ventimiglia, Sean Astin, John Bernthal, James and Oliver Phelps, WWE stars Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins, and more.
So what sets Fandemic Tour apart from other conventions? This con is all about the fans and their experience according to Macaluso, “I always say our mantra, ‘take care of the fans, take care of the fans, take care of the fans.’ I personally welcome everyone at the doors when they open.” He also boasted about Fandemic’s amazing, professional staff who always give 100% at every event. “We try to give you a great line up with great vendors and great programming,” continued Macaluso.
Also unique to Fandemic Tour is their payment plan option, brought to fans by their genius ticketing team. The payment plan allows fans to make monthly installments from the time of ticket purchase until the con. Offering this option opens up the possibility of securing tickets early without breaking the bank with one charge. For example, if you purchase a ticket now, fans can make three payments; one at the time of purchase, one on Sept 11 and the final payment on Oct 11. If fans choose to buy tickets early to next year’s convention, the payments will be even lower if purchased as soon as they go on sale.
So what can fans attending Fandemic Tour for the first time expect this fall? “Expect lines,” joked Macaluso, “we have fans that know the doors open at 10 a.m/ but they arrive at 7 a.m. anyway.” Lines used to be a source of worry for Macaluso, but he now equates them to football tailgating, “Our fans are fanatics about movies and sci-fi and horror, just like football fans are for football.” He highlighted that Fandemic does work to keep wait times to a minimum by offering VIP and photo ops in groups throughout the day.
Fans attending the Houston convention October 18-20 can expect the schedule to release in the next week as Fandemic strives to have an accurate schedule available as early as possible to allow fans time to plan. Fans can also get a glimpse inside the con as they set up with the below video tour from Macaluso himself.
Though this video is from last year, Macaluso confirmed that the entrance and set up will be exactly the same as last year, the one exception being that the VIP packages will have brand new swag bags with all new items inside.
Lastly, we asked what Macaluso hopes fans will take away from their time at Fandemic conventions. “I hope that they have a good time and enjoyed themselves and want to come back next year. Dates for next year will be in September for Houston,” he confirmed.
Macaluso shared a final message for all the nerdy fans out there, “We appreciate all the support and the city of Houston. If you want to have a nice weekend and have a couple of days, please come to the show with us.”
Details for tickets can be found on Fandemic Tour’s website, and be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for ongoing promotions and the latest info including an additional guest to be announced later this week!
Nerds and Beyond will be at Fandemic Tour Houston, so stay tuned for coverage October 18-20.