Filed under: About Thought Bubble, News, Thought Bubble 2013 | Tags: Comics, Leeds comic con, Leeds Thought Bubble comic festival, Sequential Art, Small Press, UK Conventions, Webcomics
As we mentioned earlier in the year, exhibitor tables for this year’s Thought Bubble Comic Con sold out in a couple of hours, which was rather unexpected.
As you may be aware, in previous years, tables have been available for a couple of months before selling out completely – and we’ve had a reserves list in place for those who’ve missed out. Obviously we were delighted that the tables were all snapped up so quickly, it just goes to show how quickly the community of comic creators here in the UK has grown over the last few years, and how interest in the medium continues to grow every year both here and abroad. However, we were also acutely aware of the frustration this caused to those exhibitors who missed out on booking a table, and we really appreciate the passion that people have developed for our festival, which is one of the many reasons we love putting it on so much.
Exhibitors, whether they are self-publishers or retailers make Thought Bubble what it is, and your contribution to the festival each year helps it to grow and expand in ways we never thought possible when we first started.
As stated in previous updates, we’ve been working very hard behind the scenes to create space to accommodate more exhibitors at this year’s convention – over the last few months we’ve looked at erecting a marquee, and also the possibility of finding an extra hall in the area.
In the end we found exactly what we were looking for with support from the wonderful people at Allied London, the new owners of the New Dock site where the majority of convention events take place. Since the beginning of the year Allied London have been carrying out some major redevelopment work on New Dock, and many of the empty retail units have been opened up into large open-plan spaces. As a result of which we have been offered the use of an extra 1400 sqm space, which is comparable in size to New Dock Hall, and means we can now accommodate more exhibitors than ever before.
The new unit is just a few yards away from both New Dock Hall and Royal Armouries Hall, so audiences will only have to take a few steps before they’re in the new additional venue. This means we’ll be taking over the whole of the New Dock area for this year’s convention, and turning Yorkshire into the hub for comics for one very special week as the wider festival takes place!
What we have to do now is make this space fully accessible, which means fitting a temporary floor in one half of the hall, overseeing the installation of a new lighting and heating system, and initiating a big clean-up operation to spruce the place up to our standards. There’s a lot to do, and that’s why it’s taken us longer than expected to finalise plans, so we’d like to thank everyone for their patience while we’ve worked out all the necessary action we’ll need to take to expand things at our end.
While the unit isn’t a purpose built exhibition hall, we hope that by the time Thought Bubble arrives we’ll have a high quality, temporary hall space that can accommodate many of the exhibitors on our waiting list, enabling even more people to attend Thought Bubble in 2013.
Table space will be available soon and we’ll be contacting exhibitors on our reserves list for first refusal in chronological order – each entry on the system creates a unique time-stamp so we know who filled it out and when they did so. We’ll let everyone know of the table prices once we begin contacting exhibitors regarding the new space, and once all the available slots are filled people can still sign up to the reserves list to be notified should any cancellations occur in the run-up to the event and more spaces become available that way.
While we can’t promise we’ll be able to fit everyone in who’s applied for space via the reserves list, we’ll do our best to try and accommodate as many people as we possibly can, with a view to making this year’s event even bigger and better than the last.
We’re really excited to have this new additional space at our disposal, which will help us to accommodate more exhibitors and bigger audiences, and provide an even more diverse experience for everyone attending the show. We’ve popped some photos under this post of the space, taken at the start of spring this year.
We’d like to thank Allied London for their invaluable help, but most of all we want to show our gratitude to all those exhibitors who have patiently waited for us to deliver on our promise of a new space – thanks for your support and we look forward to seeing even more of you in a few months time!
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