C2E2 is organized by ReedPOP, a division of Reed Exhibitions that manages and runs pop culture shows and fan conventions in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. ReedPOP events include the New York Comic Con, PAX gaming conventions, Star Wars Celebration, and more.
The first C2E2 events was held from April 16–18, 2010. It attracted around 27,000 attendees. Although the convention featured a number of entertainment guests, its main focus was on comic books. Visitors had a chance to meet dozens of professional and amateur comic book artists. There was an impressive showcase of comics from the biggest publishers and a special auction where fans could buy original props from the Iron Man movie.
Over the years, C2E2 has grown to become one of the largest fan conventions in the United States. Its program includes a variety of panels, meetings with comic and entertainment guests, photo-ops and autograph sessions, special screenings of movie trailers, films and television pilots, family events, Artist Alley and more. The most important events are live-streamed over the Internet so that those who were unable to attend can still watch them.
Like most ReedPOP events, the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo features a lot of celebrity guests, mostly actors known for their roles in sci-fi and fantasy films and television series as well as for voicing characters from рanimated films/series and video games. For example, the 2017 line-up of entertainment guests included Dave Fennoy (Star Wars), David Yost (Power Rangers), Evanna Lynch (Harry Potter), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead), Jennifer Hale (Mass Effect), Jon Bernthal (Daredevil), Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy), Millie Bobby Brown (Stranger Things), and more.
The highlight of the convention is the C2E2 Crown Championships of Cosplay. It is the world’s largest and most prestigious cosplay competition featuring the best cosplayers from around the world who battle for over $10,000 in cash prizes. In 2016, the competition featured regional cosplay champions from different countries for the first time. The jury includes professional cosplayers, costume designers, concept designers, and fashion designers.