Here is my final post about Silicon Valley Comic Con 2016. Like with any convention, there were things I liked about it and things I didn't. Let's break it down, shall we?
Emphasis on Cosplay. Not only were there multiple panels regarding cosplay (nine, that had cosplay related themes), they had a dedicated area just for cosplayers on the convention floor (it was even marked on the map). Cosplay is not consent signs were very present all around the convention, as well as the program and on their website. I don't cosplay, but I find it fascinating and have a deep respect for people that do, so I thought it was great that a convention was so supportive of it.
Location. Downtown San Jose is beautiful. It looks like its going through some kind of revamp, like most downtowns do (I know my city's downtown has been going through one for years lol), so there was a lot of vacant buildings. But they had the most beautiful murals on their walls, and there were some good restaurants over there.
Its Different....ish. I liked that they tried so hard to incorporate the technological surroundings of Silicon Valley into this convention to make it more than just another comic/pop culture con. There were more technology exhibits there than I've ever seen at another convention, so that was neat. And the panels were very good for this being a first year con.
Nays (and Mehs):
You have to pay for seating and line access. This is a money grab to me, and I've only been to one other convention like it (Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim). Its not enough that you're paying to get into the convention, but you have to pay for good seating in panels and spots in line for photo ops, not to mention how expensive all the autograph and photo ops were.VIP access was horribly annoying to those that couldn't afford it. What that was, is people could get an upgraded pass for a more expensive price that came with perks like being able to get into panels or photo ops first. The rooms were cleared after every panel so VIP people could have a crack at the best seats for the next panel, so you can't camp out like at WonderCon or SDCC. I was in some lines that held us up almost minutes before the panel started in order to accommodate any last minute VIPers that might want to get into the panel. I also learned from one couple in a panel that they had pooled their money together with their friends so that they could get the VIP passes, then save seats for the friends that had helped them obtain them. They take turn doing this at this type of convention. Seems like cheating to me, but what can you do when people pay for premium access? As press, I could have bypassed some of that, but my husband had a general admission pass, so I chose to stay in line with him. I also found that my press pass was more easily honored at the smaller panels than the larger ones. I'm not sure if this had to do with the equipment I had (or didn't, as the case was) or what, but it was a little weird.
The RFID bracelets. In an effort to set themselves apart from other conventions by being more tech savvy, SVCC had no badges (unless you had a press pass or a VIP badge). Everyone in attendance had an RFID bracelet. They were color coded depending on what you were to the convention or how long your pass was good for. The idea was neat, you were just supposed to tap in and tap out of the main hall. It was frustrating though because the bracelets were small and the area that you were supposed to tap on the pole was also small, so people kept missing it and had to keep hitting their wrists up against the poles and it could really hold things up at heavily trafficked times of day. Plus, the novelty of a badge is fun, and the bracelet took it away. That's just my personal opinion though, maybe if the bracelets were a little bigger, they might have been better.
The lack of line control. Oh my. The lines for panels were a mess. They just went all over the hallways, and the front of the line would suddenly become the end of it and vice versa. There was a lack of communication between the volunteers and it showed. And they kind of just herded us all together like cattle, there weren't any discernible lines at certain points, which again was frustrating because you could be standing somewhere for 20 minutes, then have someone stroll up 5 minutes till, and get a better spot than you, because the volunteers were concerned about filling the gaps in their lines. More signs and better lines foe next year please.
Schedule. The online schedule, the app schedule and the program schedule didn't match. At all. And that makes it difficult to plan your day when nothing is giving you the correct information. I hope next year everything can become more streamlined.
I think the convention was pretty good for a first time convention. I hated having to clear the room after each panel, because if you wanted a chance at a good seat at the next panel, you had to leave early. So you either missed out on the ending of a panel you wanted to see, or you sacrificed seats to another panel you really wanted to see. (Plus it just looks rude to me to get up and leave in the middle of someone's panel.) The convention was small enough though that I got the opportunity to see some big names that I probably wouldn't get to see at a place like SDCC though, so that was a huge bonus for me. Plus, I really enjoyed being able to attend as press, and I hope that SVCC will have me back next year :)
Would you be interested in attending Silicon Valley Comic Con next year? Let me know below! And you can check out my daily breakdown of SVCC here, here and here.