C2E2 2023 - Recap

Colleen Budde

Spring 2023 brought with it late snow storms, earlier warm days and the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo. Historically drawing over 80,000 annual attendees. Over 200 vendors from all over the world flock to C2E2 held at McCormick Place in on the waterfront of Chicago's east side to sell their art and wares, meet with their client base and enjoy the people watching that comes with some of the best cosplayers that can be seen anywhere in the United States. 

During my brief but overwhelmingly long 3-day tenure at the 2023 C2E2 show, I saw Ursulas, Links (because his name is NOT Zelda), Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayers and more Sailors (Moon, Mars, Jupiter, etc) than you could shake a stick at. 

But first, let's talk about getting there and setting up. This was my first experience at C2E2, my first show in the state of Illinois and my first show at McCormick Place. From registering for Illinois Sales Tax (completely unnecessary since it was my only show in the state for the year), pre-purchasing parking for my Chevy Silverado and baby enclosed trailer not to mention getting enough displays for all the tiaras and thinking and rethinking my 10x10 corner booth setup, it was all a bit overwhelming. 

C2E2 is definitely the largest show that I have ever done and will likely be the largest non-renaissance festival I will ever do. I was able to try out a couple new product lines and was surprised at which tiaras this group of clientele were drawn to and utlimately purchased. 

This was also the first show I decided to give a discount for filling out a survey. It was so much fun to see the answers to questions like "Star Wars or Star Trek" and "What is your favorite TV show?" I love learning about my customer base and taking a survey is a great way for me to directly ask the questions without actually asking the questions!

Overall, C2E2 was an experience that I will never forget and one that I am so proud to have participated in. I learned a lot about my business and a lot about myself as a business owner. 


Next up is Royal Stagg Renaissance Faire in Marshall, Michigan, May 13-14, 2023!