Two weekends ago, April 3-5th I represented Machollywood as part of Wacom Technology’s exhibitor booths for the Wondercon in Anaheim. It was great to see some of our customers at Machollywood attend the event at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Admittedly, this was my first Wondercon event. I was uncertain what to expect, but I anticipated large blockbuster movie companies, and widely famous comic publishers announcing over another and competing for the crowd’s attention.
Although I went for business, and was contained in a booth for the event, I was still able to catch some of the excitement around me at the exhibitor booths.
I was surprised to see the majority of exhibitions were of small independent companies and artists. Wondercon’s floor was gridlock busy, but also friendly and inviting. Two of my favorite booths sold personalized crafts: man-made leather bound notebooks, and the other sold custom lightsabers!
Some of the larger exhibits of Wondercon included, San Andreas, a film starring Dwayne Johnson, set up a trailer within a trailer: the movie trailer/sneak peek was showed within a large cargo trailer installation.
The other well-known company exhibitor booths included a Nerdist center stage and panel, Nintendo made an appearance to for people to demo some of their products. Capcom was present, revealing some game trailers and updates, and selling a load of merchandise.
Overall, Wondercon at the Anaheim Convention Center was a very humbling experience. Although it was busy with people, the atmosphere had a casual excitement. It’s what Wondercon is known for, the lessened chaotic version of San Diego’s Comic Con.
Yet, the existence of Wondercon has often been argued upon. Is it intended to be more casual than the San Diego Comic Con? Maybe. San Diego’s Comic Con has built feverishly in its reputation and audience over the years. Thus the spawn, Wondercon was created. I believe the organization behind both Comic Cons intend for them to be widely publicized and attended, this is a reason to explain why Wondercon moved from San Francisco to Anaheim.
It also explains Wondercon’s biggest announcement that it will be coming to us, here, in Los Angeles! Anaheim is convenient, Disneyland is near, but that’s the literal extent of venues within Anaheim to attend when you’re not attending Wondercon. There is no nightlife in Anaheim. So, not only, do I believe, is this more beneficial to Wondercon’s exhibitors and attendees, but it is most definitely advantageous for our internationally prominent movie and animation studios.
Steve ‘Frosty” Weintraub explains in his article on Collider.com how movie studios have missed out on marketing at Wondercon,
“I don’t understand why movie studios, TV networks, toy companies, or any of the various companies that spend huge money at Comic-Con to get noticed, wouldn’t want to invest a fraction of their marketing budget to premiere something at WonderCon where it would have been easy to “win”.”
I would agree, there didn’t seem to be much buzz for San Andreas whose trailer premiered. I do think it is intentional, in some sort of respect to the traditional comic con, to keep Wondercon intimate with smaller independent companies. Yet, I do expect Wondercon 2016 in Los Angeles to be heavily marketed from multiple studios. We might experience a San Diego worthy Comic Con next year in LA, and I certainly won’t be missing it.
Thanks for reading!