While San Diego Comic-Con pretty much serves as the mecha of all pop-culture conventions, that doesn’t mean it’s the only game in town. There’s C2E2, New York Comic-Con (which often matches SDCC in attendance and is the biggest convention of its type on the East Coast) and, of course, WonderCon. Now it seems the latter of the group is about to go through a major change.
It was announced by officials yesterday evening that WonderCon will be shifting venues from Anaheim to Los Angeles starting in 2016. To be exact, the con will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center - the same location as the most popular video game event, Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) - starting next year.
This past year’s WonderCon was met with a fair amount of complaints. Despite being done in association with the same group that puts on SDCC, the offerings of the con were lackluster in terms of “main event” offerings. There was no Avengers, no Batman v Superman. There was, however, some highly-anticipated Mad Max: Fury Road footage and a handful of TV offerings, but the convention simply failed to really live up to its potential. With a change this big, WonderCon now has the possibility of completely changing with a new home in Hollywood, in the industry's own backyard.
Currently, WonderCon's sister convention - San Diego Comic-Con - is the world's most popular event for fans and the entertainment industry, alike. The reason SDCC is able to pull major talent to its convention every year is because the legacy of the entire event provides a terrific platform for promotion and fan interaction; for top talent in both film and TV, attendance is almost required. That said, even SDCC's need for stars and creative talent is questionable. New York Comic-Con can get away with it by saying it’s the biggest East Coast con in the country - but WonderCon doesn’t have the same luxury.
Over the last few months there’s been a lot of talk about SDCC leaving the town of San Diego, over failures by the city to expand its available space for the convention (after its contract runs out in 2016). Since Los Angeles was one of the cities in contention for the event, it’s entirely possible WonderCon could also serve as a test run for event organizers to see how the city handles a con of its type. If things work out, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that SDCC becomes LACC - if San Diego can’t figure out a way to incentivize the organizers to stay past the current contract.
There are many more benefits than downsides (of which there are next to none) for WonderCon to shift locations. More press will attend the event, which means more coverage opportunities, which means more high profile roll-outs, which means even more press and so on. Essentially, this is all one, long winded way of saying, “Good move, WonderCon. We’ll see you in 2016.”