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Pensacon Shows Us The Money


It's been a couple of weeks since Pensacon took over much of downtown Pensacola, but the impact of the event on the region is still being evaluated.

Pensacon Chairman Mike Ensley said the the first time convention "exceeded their expectations".  That's a bit of an understatement. The week before Pensacon, Ensley was predicting 5 to as many as 10 thousand people attending the convention.  Turns out they had 11 thousand people on Saturday alone.  A survey commissioned by Visit Pensacola puts the economic impact to the area at 1.4 million dollars. 98 percent of out of town visitors said they plan on returning next year. Ensley said he heard good things from just about just about every business who participated in the weekend.

And the good news doesn't stop with business.  Ensley said the weekend just turned out to be a good time for all involved, from the vendors to the celebrity guests to the people attending. Most of the vendors who set up on the floor of the Bay center said they plan on returning next year.

Every first year event is going to have issues and Pensacon had its share.  Chairman Mike Ensley said the weather kept some celebrity guests from arriving on time. There were also issues with the large crowd getting their credentials entering the event. He says they will streamline their ticketing system.  He also said they will try to reconfigure the Bay center to give vendors and the public more space.

And if you're planning ahead you can circle February 27 through March first on your calendar right now for Pensacon 2015.

Bob Barrett has been a radio broadcaster since the mid 1970s and has worked at stations from northern New York to south Florida and, oddly, has been able to make a living that way. He began work in public radio in 2001. Over the years he has produced nationally syndicated programs such as The Environment Show and The Health Show for Northeast Public Radio's National Productions.
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