So without further delay... these questions are about the conventions...
Questions July Edition
With Creation’s announcement that 2012 will be the final Xena convention, does that mean no more Xena conventions?
The short answer is yes; however, over the long term, possibly not. Since the real reason for Creation not continuing the conventions (and presumably the merchandise) after 2012 is unknown, anything that I say is pure speculation based on what I know about product licensing. If we use the reasoning that Creation’s licensing ends at the end of 2012 another company may license Xena conventions and host them. Is that likely? I’m hesitant to say yes because attendance wise, it’d be foolish for another company to put on Xena convention as the sole offering. I suspect that any future Xena convention (if it happens) would involve it being packaged with something else to draw in a bigger audience. It would be a collective convention, similar to some of the other convention promoters do around the country where stars from various TV shows and movies gather together for a weekend. Just recently Bruce Campbell was at a Wizards convention on the East Coast.
Another possibility is that Creation may end the Xena weekend convention package and instead package it with some other convention. For example, Xena-Stargate-Farscape—One day would be Xena, one day would be Farscape, one day would be Stargate. Anyone who’s been to a Xena convention over the past few years knows that unless it’s Lucy, Renee, or Hudson—the convention theatre is about half or three-quarters full. But this option remains to be seen as Creation is also ending it's Farscape and Stargate conventions as well. Most recently they canceled the Whedon convention that was to be held later this in Los Angeles. They've also added some new shows to their convention line-up including The Vampire Diaries, Eureka and Warehouse 13.
What about merchandising?
From the email that was sent out and the note (one in the same) posted to the X-Con website, it almost sounds like the licensing agreement is ending in 2012 and that Creation no longer can manufacture Xena merchandise and in which case another company can license to make T-Shirts and products based on the series and its characters. NBC Universal has already licensed out a calendar to a publisher based out of New York. It’s the first non-Creation calendar since Portal ceased producing them about four or five years ago.
And the fandom?
The only way the fandom will die is if we the fans let it die. That said, the Xena fandom will live on. The conventions may have ended, it doesn’t stop fans from gathering independently or hosting their own things on their websites, forums, etc. This blog and its companion websites, including The XOC will continue forward. I’m pretty sure MaryD isn’t giving up AUSXIP or TX either.
Is there anything fans can do to keep the conventions going?
If the reason for ending of the conventions is not based on licensing, but financial, there’s always a possibility that fans could persuade Creation to keep the conventions going. A few years back they proclaimed Farscape’s convention demise, yet it has continued on. In that same respect, Stargate is also ending its run on the convention circuit. Fans can write and tell Creation how much they enjoyed the conventions. It’s evident that Creation is having to make some hard decisions about its business. And with the United States economy heading toward another recession, Creation wants solidify itself so it’ll be open for business on the backend once the economy improves.