Wednesday, April 13, 2016

SVCC Brings Big Con Experience Back To Bay Area

I think the title of this post is absolutely on par with one of the reasons why Silicon Valley Comic Con exists. It's here to fuse comics/arts/entertainment/tech into one arena, but the bay area has been yearning for a big resident comic convention ever since WonderCon left. There's potential here. An exact replica of WonderCon is not what this is. Catering towards the current Hollywood names will always be a challenge if the event isn't in the Los Angeles area or San Diego or New York, but special guests for the very first SVCC was pretty awesome.

The exhibit hall layout was rather clever. I did noticed some heavy traffic spots in certain areas, but getting from one end of the hall to the other wasn't a problem. One of the neat items found in the exhibit hall were chairs and couches! Those were accessible for anyone that wanted to sit. Areas to sit were the place to be towards the end of the day. Even I sat down to take a breather midday.

I can't comment on the autograph / photo-op area since it wasn't something I took part in. Scratch that. I did take a picture of the line for Back to the Future photo-ops. It looked this busy for a good chunk of time. Still can't comment on the experience though. Folks looks calm. Autograph/photo-op lines require a great of patience (at least that's what people tell me).

There was plenty going on for SVCC that wasn't in the exhibit hall/panel room area. Several food stands were easy dining options until the lines got long. One area that I enjoyed was the arcade room downstairs. It was away from the crowd, closer to the Marriott.

What didn't work for me?

The wristband. That's has to be numero uno. I thought it was cute at first, but wholly guacamole did it get annoying. Data and security are important, but pig-penning folks entering and exiting the exhibit / panel room area didn't seem efficient at all. There was no consistent flow. Specific wristband scanners can only be used to enter/exit. Next SVCC will probably have improvements on how wristband areas can be accessed without getting stuck in one spot. I know, first time SVCC, so let's give them some slack.

Okay, nothing else really grinds my gears after the wristband. Everything else was fun. I felt like it was a Big Wow ComicFest XL with more celebrities. There was an announcement made throughout the exhibit hall Saturday morning giving props to Steve Wyatt for making SVCC possible. That was a nice gesture because Steve runs some of my favorite conventions in the area (East Bay Comic Con, Mouse-Con to name a few). The vibe was totally there, and it was very much appreciated.

Shout out to all my friends that crossed paths with me! It was nice seeing some familiar cosplay faces too. San Jose is definitely a hot spot for reuniting with convention folk.

Dates for SVCC 2017 haven't been announced yet. However, I'll be sure to have the weekend open to include SVCC in my plans for next year. For a more colorful visual experience, my SVCC photo gallery is available for viewing on Facebook and Flickr. Enjoy! :)