Supercon Mastermind Mike Broder Knows Hard Work Can Pay Dividends in Business

September 6, 2016 | Did You Know

mikebroder_pikachuIf you are a devoted fan of comic books, super heroes, anime and everything in between, chances are you’ve attended a comic convention.

When it comes to these geek gatherings none is any bigger than the Florida Supercon. The premiere event brings a seemingly endless cavalcade of fans from across the country to the area. Mike Broder is the visionary behind Supercon and its sister events.

Much like Spider-Man or Batman, this entrepreneur also has his own origin story. He always had hopes of becoming a director or writer, but life seemed to take him in a variety of directions. His resume includes stints working in an independent film distribution company, movie theater and a comic book store; even going as far as to own one of his own. The self-admitted workaholic even took classes at Broward College. By 1992, Broder already had a mind for business, armed with a laptop and cell phone.

Along the way, he built long-lasting friendships and began to figure out the importance of networking. Some of the people who work for him today began out of bonds formed at the institution. Connections were vital when Broder had the idea to host his inaugural convention at the Hollywood Beach Resort in 2006. The event drew 1,500 people with around a hundred vendors. A big reason for the solid initial turnout was a Sunday feature in the Sun-Sentinel on Allen Bellman. The Golden Age of comics pioneer used to work in the art department of the paper following a prolific career drawing iconic figures like Captain America. Bellman’s support brought the first Supercon some much-needed legitimacy, important to have with any business venture.

Mike Broder in office

The recession would hurt Supercon in its infancy, but Broder was determined to see it through. The company was able to bounce back in a big way. So much, in fact, that this year’s installment welcomed more than 53,000 attendees over the course of four days at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The brand expanded its roster of conventions thanks to the success with other concepts including Animate Florida and Paradise City Comic Con bringing in crowds.  Broder will also add a fourth event in 2017 called Raleigh Supercon, which takes place outside of Florida.

Super Conventions, the parent company of Supercon, currently operates day-to-day operations with eight employees in a 3,800-square-foot warehouse space in Fort Lauderdale. Wife Sandy serves as vice president of business development and operations, and hundreds of volunteers sign up to lend a hand on show days.

Broder knows the value experience and opportunity can bring someone starting out in the field while getting an education in the classroom. This is why he is looking to bring interns on board and has had contact with the Broward College multimedia department. So the next time you go to a convention, you may see a fellow student operating a camera or working a booth.

Speaking of internships, many others can be found at the Career Center and Career Services.

Enter for a chance to win a pair of 3-day weekend passes for Animate! Florida  which takes place this year from September 16 to 18 at the Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale. Follow us on Facebook for details.

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