Sunday, December 20, 2009

Interview with Paul Maiellaro

How did the Chicagoland Entertainment Collectors Expo get started?
Actually, the show emerged out of the love of comic books & interacting with people.

What type of convention is the Expo?
The Expo is a place where one can go to enjoy themselves, relax, make new friends and get reacquainted with old ones. We try to create a less stressful environment for everyone. Today's world is filled with way too much stress. Although the show was born into a nonsport and entertainment trading card show, it has morphed into an entertainment show, still predominantly nonsport cards, but with a flair of comic books, movie items, toys, TV & Movie celebrities, artists, publishers and from time to time a manufacturer or two.

Does it get easier organizing the convention every year or are you faced with new challenges?
In some respects, yes, but we try to keep things fresh for people and we try to change the programming a slight bit each year to do so. Each year has a new challenge.

I understand you usually have 2 a year. Are there any plans to add more or scale it down to one convention per year?
The amount of shows vary from year to year. Being the impulsive person that I am, I tend to add shows, try different areas, and again, to keep things alive and interesting. I have added a Holiday Expo this coming Sunday, Dec 13th at the Carol Stream,IL. Holiday Inn. I hope to see some of your fans there. Please stop by admissions and say hello!

Do you have a lot of volunteers helping you?
We have about a dozen or so really great people that we can count on. High praise to each of them. Thank you everyone for all of the terrific help you have been throughout the years.

Is there anything new planned for this year's 10th Anniversary Chicagoland Entertainment Collectors Expo?
Wow! Is this a loaded question! Yes! There will be a great addition to the programming and special offerings the Expo will have this next year. Among the changes include an extra day of show time at NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE for those of you who prepurchase an advance ticket. The dates for 2010 are Sept 9-10-11-12. Just a reminder, anyone coming to the Dec 13th Expo, will have an opportunity to purchase the 10th Anniversary admission ticket at a VERY SPECIAL COST! So, come on out and get yours today!
Also, there are a great number of guests and artists planned for this special event. And most of all, we will be unveiling the Treasure Chest of Art charity project we are currently offering for sale. I am especially proud of this charity project, to help benefit the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation. Please check out my website at for complete details. This is a great project, I hope that you will take the opportunity to purchase this once in a lifetime piece.

How far in advance are you preparing for a show?
Typically one year in advance of the Expo, however, this being the 10th Anniversary and all, it will be 1 1/2 to almost 2 full years in the making.

Are there a lot of steps involved to schedule celebrities to attend the show?
Tons and each year varies depending on how much programming there is to do.

I understand you have a sketch card artist do the cover art for the program book. How do you choose which artist you would like to feature?
Well, there are different ways of selection. Mostly depends on the timing. In 2010, we will have a huge surprise for all the visitors. Look for four variant covers- a different issue given out each day of the convention!

Are the shows financially successful for the Expo?
The Expo is truly a labor of love and dedication to the people and the hobby, as well as a great satisfaction of helping people in need. To date, the CECE raised over $ 12,000.00 for the Treasure Chest Foundation and we are shooting for a record breaker in 2010! I feel very confident that we can accomplish our goals with all of your help.

You currently host the shows inside a hotel. Do you have plans to move it to a larger venue?
No, not at this time.

Where can people get more information about the Chicagoland Entertainment Collectors Expo?
The main contact is or email
The web address for the Treasure Chest is
Thank you Jessica for the opportunity! Thank all of your followers for supporting or future support of the CECE and the Treasure Chest Foundation.

Thank you for your time, Paul!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome interview Jessica! Paul and the people with Chicagoland Entertainment Collectors Expo are doing great things! Especially the Treasure Chest Foundation.