Having visited Comicon at the NEC for the first time this year, we were hoping for a little more from Cam Con.
The venue was far too small, I am sure you could have filled a venue at least twice the size! it was by no means family friendly, (not the main market I know) prams were a nightmare.
The price was far too high for the little ammount of stalls/stands etc, maybe for the workshops etc it was good value, but as a casual visitor it was top heavy on the price, (we were only there for 20 mins!)
Fair play for the first event, but think bigger and better, 2-3 times the size, same price, more stands, memoribilia etc and I think you'll be onto a winner!
All the best
The comicon at the NEC is run by MCM, which is a tens of thousand / perhaps hundreds of thousand pounds. I don't have the number for Birmingham, but the London sister event attracts 60k+ attendees and is what I personally call a trade show, rather than a convention.
The focus of MCM Expos seems to be on merchandise and selling goods to people, rather than actually focusing on the fans, so for instance, if you go to an Expo event and you want an autograph on your comics / dvds or whatever merch you have, you are likely to have to pay, while in conventions you can even chat extensively to the guests at their stalls, take pictures with them and get them to autograph something for you for free.
Also, conventions usually have a different set of talks and panels, many of these are very much interactive, which we failed to do this year, due to space constraints, but it's definitely in our plans for next year event.
While we may think on a bigger event for next year, we actually may not consider increasing the number of stalls so extensively, as I said the focus is definitely not on selling goods, but to end up with a more interactive event.
I am bringing to the comitee the idea to actually have a separate ticket for the dealers room, for the casual visitor, but I must admit that it is not our main goal now.
For a similar experience as you had at the NEC, I'd actually recommend you to attend London Expo or LFCC.
Thanks for your feedback on the event. As Chaos has said we were aiming at running a very different type of event to events like Comicon and we were definitely trying to be as family friendly as possible.
With regard to your comment about the Dealers Room and prams, I agree that the room that we used for the Dealers Room was a bit cramped particularly when it was busy as we were restricted for space and I wanted to have as large a number of artists and dealers tables as possible in there for people to see and visit. However I must admit that I was surprised to see that your main reason for you considering that the event was not family friendly was in regard to prams. I can understand that you may have had a young child or children with you when you attended the event but I wouldn't have thought that you would have needed to walk around inside the building with a child in a pram/pushchair/buggie as they would have enjoyed the event more if they were able to walk around and see everything that was happening, particularly when the event was busy. There were a few places like the main Foyer and the Lobby to the Dealers Room where there was space to leave a pram/pushchair/buggie that you could have used if you needed to and I saw that at least one person who did that as they asked me if it was ok to leave it there and I said that it was. This enabled them to walk around the venue and the Dealers Room in particular with ease and not inconvenience any of the other attendees trying to manoeuvre a pram, etc around the venue. We'll keep that all in mind when we're planning for next time though.