Though WonderCon has been in Anaheim for three years now, no event goes without some sort of hiccup or two. Myself being more use to the larger conventions like Comic-Con in San Diego, I was prepared to hear a pummel of negative feedback from the line gathered for this year’s Talk Back panel. A familiar face, president of Comic-Con Internation John Rogers, sat alone at the table, thick notebook at the ready. Those not in the know, this panel is geared toward hearing the thoughts and concerns of fellow convention goers to see what was done well, or what issues need to be addressed. Comic-Con’s Talk Back’s are known for some heated words and hurt feelings.
But for WonderCon, that really wasn’t the case.
What I thought would have been a large line actually only mounted to maybe about a dozen individuals, almost of which had positive things to say about the convention. The compliments ranged from, “easy check-in process,” “great hotel selections,” to “very well managed.” The consensus though was “please keep WonderCon in Anaheim.”
The few meager grievances that were mentioned were the lack of chairs afforded to exhibitors, and of security. It seems that every year, despite what convention you go to, security is always an issue. Since these conventions get so large, a third party security company is needed to help. They aren’t direct employees of the convention, but of the security company, and this allows for a lot of the security personal to be unaware of certain comings and goings. “One security guard told us to wait in a line against the wall for one of the halls, and then later another security guard told us we couldn’t be there,” says one man. “It’s hard to have to listen to someone when they don’t all communicate.”
As for suggestions for the future of WonderCon, one gentleman asked if there were plans to expand into the other halls and rooms of the convention center. John Rogers answered, “We’ve added some additional space compared to last year. We don’t want to go too crazy too fast. That’s what happened with Comic-Con, and now it’s just too hard to manage.”
As I mentioned earlier on how everyone asked to keep WonderCon in Anaheim, the very last person in line posed the question directly; “Will WonderCon be back in Anaheim next year?” In reply, Comic-Con president said, “At this time nothing is finalized if WonderCon will be back in Anaheim next year. We are looking at a few other options, so we’ll make that announcement once we know.”
I was happy to hear all the great things said by WonderCon attendees. The air was positive, and everyone seemed generally happy with how the convention was slowly evolving. Whether or not WonderCon will be back in Anaheim next year and keep these good vibrations, it will remain to be seen.