Go big or go home, the saying goes. The Silicon Valley Comic Con (SVCC) decided to go big before sending the last of the whopping 60,000 attendees home at the end of last weekend. Now, that may not be a lot to the likes of a comic con kingpin like the 130,000 attendee-strong San Diego Comic-Con, but for year one in San Jose, it’s a record setter. SVCC became the largest event ever held at the San Jose Convention Center and became the largest comic con in Northern California. Not bad for one weekend (and a Friday night). SVCC brought in science and fiction, featuring celebrities, science, tech and gaming discussions and panels, expo space with the familiar comic book vendors, artists, collectibles — plus, Silicon Valley-friendly VR and app developer spaces, too.
The event was arguably a victim of its own success in some ways, with long registration lines and densely coiled and sometimes indistinguishable lines of VIP and general attendees, waiting for the keynotes, in particular the “Back to the Future” panel. Still, it’s easy to make the the case it’s far better better to suffer from first year logistical hiccups from a crush of attendees versus a void of interest. Organizers, however, seem very pleased with the enthusiasm for the event.
“We couldn’t be happier with the turnout at our first Silicon Valley Comic Con—from passionate fans to engaging exhibits and talks,” said founder Steve Wozniak. “Version 2.0 in 2017 will be even better!”
Going into the highlights from SVCC, across the show, as neatly summarized in their press release:
Marquee events included the first North American reunion of the cast of “Back to the Future,” “An Evening with William Shatner,” which included a spontaneous discussion with Steve Wozniak (a.k.a. Woz) about science and philosophy, and a fireside chat between the Woz and the founder and creator of Oculus Rift, Palmer Luckey. Additional packed events included “Let’s Go to Mars!” which featured “The Martian” author Andy Weir, NASA’s Chris McKay and “MythBuster’s” Adam Savage, [X] Labs head Astro Teller and medical researcher turned author Danielle Teller with “Superbabies vs A.I.,” “Rockstars of the Internet” brought out social media superstars Alx James, Brizzy Voices and Mamrie Hart and fan Q&As were held with Stan Lee, Nathan Fillion, Jeremy Renner and the teams behind “Deadpool,” “Big Bang Theory,” “Halt and Catch Fire” and “Con Man.”
Fan-favorite Hollywood celebrities joined the inaugural SVCC, including Stan Lee, William Shatner, Michael J. Fox, Nathan Fillion, Christopher Lloyd, Jeremy Renner, Lea Thompson, Alan Tudyk, Adam Savage, Peter Mayhew, Nichelle Nichols, Bonnie Wright, Jon Heder, Ray Park, and Vic Mignogna.
Several companies leveraged SVCC as the launching pad for new products and companies including Loot Crate, which debuted its premium Loot Crate DX subscription line, Legion M, which launched its crowdfunding studio that lets fans own a piece of Hollywood and Yaksee, a mobile broadcasting platform.
The sold-out show floor featured hundreds of exhibitors and attractions including a VR Zone curated by SVVR, an indie-filled App Alley, rare collectibles from the Stan Lee Museum and Rancho Obi Wan, wax figures from Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, photo opps with the “Back to the Future” DeLorean Time Machine, Artists Alley, ScreenUsed memorabilia auction and more.
Silicon Valley Comic Con 2017 is already being planned, so a “save the date” announcement is sure to be made soon. With the explosive first year that initiated the con, it’s a sure bet to expect bigger, better and more.