Author Topic: SiliCon 2022: August 27-28  (Read 1500 times)

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: SiliCon 2022: August 27-28
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2022, 01:15:37 PM »
They've been really slow with a number of things this year, including press and pro applications. I have sent messages to customer service and to real people behind the scenes that went unanswered. The schedule was published with no announcement, and then gets changed significantly every day. They are scheduling major celebrity guests on top of each other (e.g. they previously had Summer Glau's panel at the same time as the Expanse panel, now she's at the same time as Karen Gillan, etc.).

I spoke with the organizers last year and they told me that they were losing money on the 2021 con, but that they lost less than if they had cancelled it altogether. They clearly aren't sold out for this year. I suspect that the financial woes are real.

It also feels like the selection of panels this year is slim. If you aren't into Maker panels, there isn't a lot.

That being said, we are going. I want to support my local con. But next year, instead of buying badges the moment they go no sale, I think we will be waiting until the panel schedule is released to see if we really want to attend. If it is going to become a Maker Con (which is is 75% of the way to being this year) we won't be going.

Offline hikanteki

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Re: SiliCon 2022: August 27-28
« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2022, 03:29:53 PM »
The anime convention that sold out (Crunchyroll Expo) probably did so because the are a well-run convention with excellent programming and have been every year since they started (which was around the same time as SiliCon.) It also helps that they're a professional organization that's now owned by Sony. They had a lot of panels with professional Japanese guests, exclusive premieres, and legit in-person concerts by Japanese major label rock bands. The past few in-person CRXs have been solid as well, and CRX's virtual con was probably the only one that I legitimately enjoyed.

SiliCon is a world of difference, they were off to a good start the first two years, the third year even wasn't bad, but they never really figured out what they were - and then year 4 was a total dumpster fire, it was bad enough to kill off my interest in it for good. Also this year (and the last few years) it has just felt like announcements have been thrown together haphazardly. That hasn't been enough to make me look forward to it for months (and it definitely wouldn't be enough to make me want to travel to it.) The announcement of the 2021 show was a complete surprise and I had no plans to go, but decided to go at the last minute for one day. I did enjoy it that year but not enough to make me do anything different this year. This year I figured I'd go last minute if I go at all (and most likely, I will still go for Saturday only.)
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Offline accelerate

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Re: SiliCon 2022: August 27-28
« Reply #17 on: August 26, 2022, 10:13:27 PM »
Man, now I’m completely lowering my expectations. Last time I went was… 2018 I think. It was the year Andy Weir had a panel, and NASA had a booth with a replica of the Curiosity rover. I enjoyed the science-y niche that the con had carved out for itself at the time. I just want more of that.

It seems like the con was better when it had Wozniak’s name attached to it than Adam Savage.

As I may have mentioned, the South Bay needs a good con (that’s not anime, as I’m not the biggest anime nerd).

Ah well, I hope to be surprised tomorrow.

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: SiliCon 2022: August 27-28
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2022, 08:17:16 AM »
There is the livestream from the ISS this morning. That should help satisfy the science nerd in you. There is an Artemis panel too (the actual project, not the Andy Weir novel).

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: SiliCon 2022: August 27-28
« Reply #19 on: August 27, 2022, 01:16:44 PM »
Not I pressed so far… of the 3 panels we wanted to attend, 2 were canceled because the panelists just didn’t show up. The ISS livestream was fun though.

Offline hikanteki

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Re: SiliCon 2022: August 27-28
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2022, 11:25:39 PM »
I’m back from today and had a pretty awesome time. I initially had some of the same concerns (overall too light, too many maker panels at the expense of not enough other panels and the schedule changing around a bit too much too soon before the show) but by the time the schedule settled, there was enough to occupy myself.

I didn’t get there in time for the ISS stream but I did see the panels with Ben Browder/Michael Shanks of Stargate, Christopher Lloyd, and the Expanse. The Browder/Shanks panel I originally only had a mild interest in but really it turned out to be the favorite panel I’ve attended at any con besides SDCC this year. They were absolutely hilarious. Christopher Lloyd was also great, and I was glad to see the Expanse was a real studio panel (SVCC has been pretty good about getting these in the past.)

I also attended a few of the Conversations with Jonathan Knowles panels. Some were more in my area of interest than others but it was nice to see intelligent discussion. I also tried to attend an author panel at the end of the day but it was ruined by Gary Whitta. There were 4 authors there but Gary Whitta was going on a series of rants that were neither interesting nor insightful and was barely letting anyone else speak. This continued for 15 minutes before I got annoyed and left. Come to think of it, Gary Whitta has ruined pretty much every panel I’ve seen him in the past. Maybe he is a good author but he is a terrible panelist - this is feedback I’ll be passing along to SiliCon.

Exhibit hall wasn’t big, but had a pretty decent turnout. And once again, the SF Giants booth single-handedly made it worth it. They were running a special where if you bought a ticket for the SF Giants Star Wars Night game next Sunday (which includes a limited C-3PO Funko Pop with admission), they would give you a free bobblehead, t-shirt or other gift from the table. I bought a pair and they totally hooked me up. They gave me 2 bobbleheads from previous Giants Star Wars nights, a Giants Hello Kitty lunchbox, and a Giants Harry Potter bat. All of those probably would have cost at least as much as the pair of tickets!

Registration was a breeze. It was in the main building this year (not in the giant blue tent like previous years.) I liked that they actually had badges instead of wristbands this year. They were probably a cost-cutting move but I hope they keep them. There were a couple of scheduling issues. Nearly everything I attended started late, some as late as 20-25 min. Although nothing was cut terribly short. The program schedule constantly changing was kind of nerve-wracking, although I do remember that last minute schedule changes are nothing new to this con. But overall, it was a very enjoyable day.

I’ll also say that I appreciated that they removed the vaccine requirement. I think vaccination is important but it has to be a personal decision and even though I’m vaccinated, tbh I’ve been extremely uncomfortable at being asked to show my medical records to go to things this past year. I understood the rationale for vaccine mandates when they actually provided a decent shield against infection and when covid was more than a mild to average cold in general…but those rationales have passed. Removing the vaccine mandate solidified my decision to go to SiliCon.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2022, 11:41:46 PM by hikanteki »
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Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: SiliCon 2022: August 27-28
« Reply #21 on: August 28, 2022, 09:10:46 AM »
We definitely had fun yesterday. I learned that the reason that some of the earlier panels had been canceled (with panelists not showing up) is because SiliCon was approving panels very late and often the panelists didn't even know that they had a panel! I attended a writing panel where the panelist stated that it had been an attendee who had told him that he had a panel, and he would not have known otherwise.

The show itself definitely has a Maker feel. I have to wonder if it will settle at this level or increase. At this point, more than half of the show is Maker-related. The pop culture and tech aspects (which were the things that drew us to this show initially) felt more like afterthoughts, with the celebrity guests there mostly to earn money selling autographs and photo ops. This being said, the celebrity panels I attended were good, with thoughtful questions. The Expanse was undoubtedly the star of the show, and the Main Stage was packed for their reunion panel with cast and creators. We had enough to occupy us... barely. We felt like we were done with one day, and there wasn't enough on Sunday to interest us in going back.

All of this being said, everyone we encountered appeared to be having a good time, and there was a good amount of cosplay representing many different fandoms.

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: SiliCon 2022: August 27-28
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2022, 12:12:44 PM »
You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login was notified this morning at 11 am that his Expanse fan panel would have to be moved. Thing is, he hadn't been told that he had been approved for a panel to begin with!

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: SiliCon 2022: August 27-28
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2022, 10:27:16 AM »
Here is my review of the show's evolution to a Maker con.

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