She touches on such topics as the growth of the convention, director J.J. Abrams, and how her role has changed her life. We’d like to thank her for taking the time to tell us about all this and much more in this enlightening interview.
WTP – This will be your 5th year at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo and 3rd year as Emily Expo herself. What are your thoughts on the great growth the Expo has experienced in that time?
Emily – Watching the growth of the show has been special for me. I have the best job at Calgary Expo, because I get to work with the fans. Watching the numbers of fans grow has been because more and more people are embracing what make them nerdy – being proud! Being nerdy used to mean getting shoved into a locker, and now it warrants its own festival.
WTP – A great part of your job is simply listening to feedback from the fans. What are some of the most often heard positive comments? Are there any constructive criticisms you’ve received from fans that you are attempting to implement this year to make for an even more exciting experience for the attendees?
Emily – It’s always nice to hear that the show facilitated someone’s dreams coming true – meeting a childhood hero or reconnecting with characters that empower them. Guests are just always asking for MORE – more space, more guests, more programming, you name it. This is an awesome challenge to have. We’re meeting it this year by constructing our own building! The EXPO Pavilion will offer space for seating, programming, autograph sales and more.
WTP – Your position as spokesperson for the Expo is a highly visible, public persona. Was adjusting to having a fan base a comfortable transition for you?
Emily – I actually tend to be a private person, but I’m personally fulfilled by connecting with the fans. I wouldn’t have taken on this responsibility for any other group of people.
WTP – How about the other people in your life, how do they handle the fact you are Emily Expo? Are they at all surprised at the strange twists that have led to this opportunity?
Emily – My friends and family are totally supportive. I’ve never asked them, but I’m sure they’re not surprised that I have a job that aims to help people. I’ve always been a people person.
WTP – What is an unknown fact about you that you wish more people knew?
Emily – I love pop culture, but I have lots of other interests as well. I have a post-graduate degree in journalism. I’m a certified yoga instructor. I am an active supporter of several organizations that support human rights and animal welfare.
WTP – I understand you grew up a Star Trek fan. What do you think about the recent movie franchise reboot, and are you looking forward to J.J. Abrams upcoming Star Wars?
Emily – I am a fan! I love that the reboot has honored the vision of Gene Roddenberry. I’m looking forward to seeing Star Wars – I would never judge it before seeing it! I definitely have high hopes because J.J. is very talented.
WTP – If there was one lesson from Gene Roddenberry’s vision of Star Trek and mankind in the future that you wish people could implement now what would it be?
Emily – Tolerance.
WTP – The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo’s focus in recent years seems to have shifted somewhat to TV and film celebrities. How difficult is it to find a balance to satisfy all attendees, especially considering there is another competing convention in Chicago the same weekend which would focus on many of the same guests primarily in the comic book field?
Emily – We do our best to satisfy all of our attendees – that’s over 60,000 people. I’m really excited by our creator guests this year. I wouldn’t say that the focus has shifted, both the ‘comic’ and ‘entertainment’ aspects of our show have grown. Within our team the focus is not more targeted to one element. We try to show a balance so we can provide something for everyone.
WTP – If there was one thing you would love to hear from each guest as they pass you by and leave the event, what would those exact words
Emily – Thanks Emily. I’ll see you next year.