New and returning convention press policies explained
Phoenix Fan Fusion has started charging small and new media outlets $25 (“plus tax and fees”) per registration for its
Memorial Day weekend 2020 convention.
On top of the $25 admission, media registrations will incur Arizona sales tax as well processing fees amounting to $3.50-$4, the same as public attendee badges.
“The longer a show is around, the more coverage it receives and the more people hear about it, the more applications we receive for people requesting complimentary passes,” said Kristin Rowan, director of marketing, public relations and sales for Fan Fusion owner Square Egg Entertainment. “Unfortunately, that also leads to a greater number of people receiving media credentials without providing coverage of the show as well as a greater number of people applying for media status and not attending the event.
“The change was made primarily to streamline the application process and quality of media coverage as well as to help offset the considerable time and energy our team puts into vetting the media applicants and the costs associated with the application and redemption process.”
In addition to the new fee for Fan Fusion media passes, the event’s organizers are requiring media outlets to provide links to pre-show coverage before approving these “discount media credentials,” as well as evidence of prior show coverage for returning media outlets who have been approved in the past:
“Prior show coverage for past approved media is required. If you have received media passes before, please submit examples of show coverage with your application,” states Phoenix Fan Fusion’s updated Press & Media Registration information page.
“Pre-show coverage of Phoenix Fan Fusion is required BEFORE media credentials will be sent. If your outlet receives conditional approval, you will be added to our press release contact list. Proof of pre-show coverage is required by May 1st to receive your media credentials.” (Emphasis theirs.)
Rowan stressed that this practice is not new: “We have required proof of coverage for the last several years,” she said.
“Part of the guidelines for media registration that we have had in place for several years is that covering the show through a media outlet is required. We have had media outlets obtain media credentials and never write about the event. The pre-show coverage for all media outlets and proof of prior coverage for returning outlets ensures that all registered media are onsite for the specific purpose of providing coverage for the event, which is a requirement of the media badge.”
I asked Rowan if the coverage shown for Fan Fusion media registration needed to be positive, and she said “not at all”: “In fact, some of our longest standing media outlets are among the first to call us out for things they disagree with. We welcome this transparency in reporting and do not place any expectations of favorable coverage on media outlets,” she said.
Square Egg is also distinguishing between registering “press” — defined as “established editorial outlets such as newspapers, magazines, TV stations, & radio stations,” which can secure free “Press Passes” by a separate process — and the $25 “Media Passes” for “members of professional blogs, podcasts, and small press outlets who are regularly making editorial contributions.”
Rowan said this distinction is not uncommon for events like Fan Fusion: “Those with press credentials from established media outlets are sent by the outlet to cover specific aspects of the event, are not attending for the purpose of enjoying the event, and are often on-site outside of regular operating hours and only for a short period of time,” she said.
Phoenix Fan Fusion 2020 will take place
May 21-24 Sept. 25-27 at the Phoenix Convention Center. Examples of pre-show and past event coverage from various Nerdvana contributors are presented here below: