Anaheim, CA – The video above represents the sixth time I’ve interviewed WonderCon Director of Marketing and Public Relations David Glanzer (who I always refer to as “Vice President”) on the ‘State of Comic Con’ or in this case WonderCon. But it’s the first time we’ve talked from somewhere other than San Francisco’s Moscone Center, or the San Diego Convention Center. This time, Saturday, we’re in Anaheim, California.
This year, as is known, the Anaheim Convention Center is the new home of WonderCon, but on a temporary basis because of the renovations at Moscone Center. Or is it? When I talked with Glanzer, he informed me that while it was difficult to find a venue that met WonderCon’s space requirements, Anaheim did step forward and offers an exhibit hall space that’s larger than what’s currently offered at Moscone Center – they’ve signed up 200 more exhibitors this year. Again, the South Hall of Moscone Center’s being expanded as of this writing, but the question is will it be ready by 2013?
Glanzer said that they’ve sold out in space sales for this event. The challenge is to set up in a whole new place, and so far it’s went well. But “our hope is to move back to San Francisco,” Glazer says. But problem is Moscone Center officials haven’t given the WonderCon bosses any new dates, so they’re still waiting as of this writing. “Typically they give us dates six months out,” Glanzer says, “and as any exhibitor knows, six months is not conducive to planning one’s schedule. Especially when there’s so many conventions on the calendar.”
In other words, Moscone Center, please give them some dates to return ASAP!
Overall the Anaheim experience is a different one but I have to say WonderCon has been a success. People, like myself, have flown down here from San Francisco and Oakland (I have an interesting interview coming up), and on Saturday, the crowds were as large as any I’ve seen at Moscone Center. And that was with the rain, and two large events: national women’s volleyball and cheerleader contests right next door in the convention center.
That part was different, but interesting.
With all that, the prayer here is WonderCon is able to move back to the Bay Area. But it’s a total shame that Oakland or San Jose could not accommodate WonderCon, and that situation points to the terrible state of the convention facilities business in the Bay Area. We’ve lost a number of large scale events, let’s not lose WonderCon.