Job cuts at Phoenix Fan Fusion owner Square Egg Entertainment

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Attendees line up to check in on the second day of Phoenix Comic Fest, Friday, May 25, 2018, at the Phoenix Convention Center.
Attendees line up to check in on the second day of Phoenix Comic Fest 2018, Friday, May 25, 2018, at the Phoenix Convention Center. (Bob Leeper file photo for Nerdvana)

Square Egg Entertainment has eliminated multiple staff positions, the company confirmed Thursday in an email to Nerdvana. The company owns and operates Phoenix Fan Fusion (formerly Phoenix Comic Fest and, before that, Phoenix Comicon) as well as similar events in other states.

“As a business, we must align internal organizational structure to match ongoing business needs,” said Kristin Rowan, Square Egg’s director of marketing, public relations and sales, in response to an inquiry. “This allows us to effectively and efficiently meet organizational goals and adapt to any changing market conditions or needs.

“This occasionally impacts certain positions, as it has this week.”

Square Egg did not elaborate on the reasons behind the cuts nor confirm the number of reductions.

“These internal changes are unrelated to any decision regarding Vegas Fan Fusion or Phoenix Fan Fusion,” Rowan said. “We do not provided specific information when an employee leaves or is let go.”

The “Team” page on Square Egg’s website no longer displays several event operations, exhibit hall and social media personnel who were listed before.

The company also runs Minnesota Fan Fusion, which just took place Aug. 3-5, and the new Vegas Fan Fusion planned for Sept. 28-30. Phoenix Fan Fusion, the flagship event, is held over the Memorial Day weekend each year.

Phoenix Fan Fest, (not to be confused with Phoenix Fan Fusion), a smaller event held later in the year, was recently scuttled by the company: “Phoenix Fan Fest, traditionally held in October or November, has struggled over the years to find its own identity, audience, balance of price, size, and offerings, and community support,” the company said in May. “It is not for lack of love of our fans, but in the best interest of the future of all our shows that we have decided not to host Phoenix Fan Fest 2018.”

The company in recent years has made several changes to its business model amid a national boom in “Comic-Con”-style events.

In late 2016, Square Egg announced plans to require paid dues from its all-volunteer staff, before switching gears in early 2017 after fierce feedback and implementing a paid-staff model it has used since. It has also fought bigger events over naming rights, leading to the recent shifts away from the “Comicon” moniker. Challenges also came from a high-profile security breach at 2016’s Phoenix Comicon that reverberates today with highly debated costume and prop policies, and a disruption during a false fire alarm at this year’s Phoenix Comic Fest.

More about Phoenix Comic Fest:

Another name change: Phoenix Comicon to Phoenix Comic Fest to Phoenix Fan Fusion

Fire alarm triggers Phoenix Convention Center evac, ending Saturday’s Comic Fest events (UPDATED)

Drama at Phoenix Comicon over prop weapons ban after security breach

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