Author Topic: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019: August 16-18, San Jose, CA  (Read 8299 times)

Offline Mario Wario

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Re: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019: August 16-18, San Jose, CA
« Reply #105 on: August 17, 2019, 09:48:10 AM »
So, SVCC is having a promotion: buy 1 Arnold photo op, autograph or selfie, you’ll get a Sunday badge for free. Makes me wonder if this year’s attendance will be low? 

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For those who got VIP badges check your email! They sent out a list of the special guests visiting the lounge. In advance! Will wonders never cease?
Who are the guests this time? I doubt Arnold is part of it.  ;D
« Last Edit: August 17, 2019, 11:36:16 AM by Mario Wario »
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Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019: August 16-18, San Jose, CA
« Reply #106 on: August 17, 2019, 09:06:02 PM »
Turns out that this year you can go to as many VIP autograph sessions as you want. I went to Ray Fisher this afternoon and got a photo and an autograph (and the pic for autographing was free).

They also had 2 people from Power Rangers yesterday, and the BB8 puppeteer today. Tomorrow is Julie Benz and the actor who played Greedo.

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Re: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019: August 16-18, San Jose, CA
« Reply #107 on: Today at 03:29:53 PM »

Offline Mario Wario

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Re: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019: August 16-18, San Jose, CA
« Reply #107 on: August 18, 2019, 12:34:29 PM »
Very nice!

Btw, Arnold has his own autograph room! He’s too cool for the show floor. ;)

Edit: Looks like he got too cool for that room, so he’s on the show floor at long last, according to Twitter.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2019, 03:44:50 PM by Mario Wario »
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Re: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019: August 16-18, San Jose, CA
« Reply #108 on: Today at 03:29:53 PM »

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019: August 16-18, San Jose, CA
« Reply #108 on: August 19, 2019, 03:31:43 PM »
Thanks to everyone who attended our dinner on Saturday night! While the company was terrific, I know that the service was lackluster and the room temperature was an issue as well. I just wanted to let everyone know that I have told Il Fornaio that we will not be back next year, and I will look for another location. I still want to have a meetup in 12020, but will search for a place that better meets our needs.

Regardless, I really enjoyed seeing everyone and meeting some new people as well. I look forward to seeing you all at future cons!

Offline accelerate

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Re: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019: August 16-18, San Jose, CA
« Reply #109 on: August 19, 2019, 03:52:00 PM »
So how was everyone's experience with SVCC? I thought it was fine for what it was, and in line with what I expected. It felt smaller than last year, and definitely smaller than two years ago. For instance, I remember there used to be a bunch of activities on the lower level, including an arcade center, but this year, nothing really to see downstairs. I enjoyed wandering around both Exhibit Hall sections, though again, it felt like there were less booths? I attended a few panels, including Andy Weir's, which was interesting. There were more cosplayers than I expected (although I say that every SVCC). Not surprisingly, quite a few Aquamans in attendance. Even a couple of Namors.

If there's one thing I would change, it would be the lines to get in during peak hours. I understand the need for security, but I felt the lines still could've gone much faster. Also, I didn't understand the policy of no outside drinks.

Offline hikanteki

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Re: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019: August 16-18, San Jose, CA
« Reply #110 on: August 19, 2019, 03:53:11 PM »
SVCC 4.0 is in the books. As a generic local convention, it would have been perfectly fine. But as the 4th Silicon Valley Comic Con, it was lacking.

In the NASA booth, I overheard an attendee saying that he was glad to see NASA had a booth. The NASA employee replied: "You should have been here two years ago!" That about sums up this year's SVCC.

Their strongest area from the first three years -- panels -- were severely lacking. The first three years there were many times I had to choose between two or more panels going on at the same time, but this year for most of the con there was barely one panel at a time that I was interested in. It wasn't like year 2.0 where science panels largely replaced pop culture panels -- both types were minimal this year. There was nothing resembling a studio panel at all, and it looked like a high percentage of the panels recycled the same guests in slightly different combinations. There were some that were truly odd and out of place (i.e. Soul Travel) as well as some randomly thrown in fan panels (i.e. Galaxy Quest, Game of Thrones gripe sesson). Even the science panels, despite probably having interesting content, had boring titles that tried too hard to sound clever or profound (i.e. The Science of Science Fiction, Technology and the Future of Humanity.) No evening sessions on Saturday either like previous years -- even the Cosplay Masquerade went from 6-7:30. Honestly, this year's lineup felt like a Wizard World with a couple of science panels.

For celebrity guests, the lineup itself was decent -- not amazing -- but the two biggest names were Jason Momoa and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and neither had panels. Arnold wasn't even on the Terminator reunion panel. To be fair, he wasn't listed, but we were hoping he would pop in at least for a few seconds. They had 3 from Gotham including 2 of the leads...but it was a missed opportunity to not have all three at once. They had 2 panels with a different 2/3 of them (and both of them started pretty significantly late.)

Organization was also weak, and hasn't seemed to be this bad since year 1.0...or maybe the issues were just more noticeable this year since everything else was lacking. Three main examples:

1) I asked at least three volunteers where the entrance to the outdoor festival on Viola Ave. was, and no one knew. One of them even directed me outside, and I walked all the way around the back of the convention center to the fence on one side of the outdoor festival. There was a security officer who wouldn't let me in, and said they didn't know where the actual entrance was either but it wasn't outside. I finally walked back around the other side (wasting about 30 min in total) and asked another volunteer -- they didn't know, but a couple of nearby attendees actually heard me and told me where the entrance was -- turned out to be at the back corner of the exhibit hall (on the side near the artists alley). As far as I could tell, this was not mentioned on the app or anywhere else, only at the festival entrance itself.

2) I wanted to see the outdoor "Fury" performance which was advertised as happening every hour Saturday and Sunday beginning at 2. I went Saturday at 2 and met a representative from Fury who told me it was cancelled due to being too hot. While I get that people's individual tolerances are different, the temperature was 83 on Saturday and 80 on Sunday. The average high in August is 82, which means the temperature was right at average. So using "too hot" as an excuse to cancel was poor planning -- they should have either scheduled it inside or not at all. The temperature excuse might have made more sense on Friday, since it was 92 then (although, the outdoor performer that day -- Sergio and the Holograms -- was a real trooper and actually DID show up!)

Adding to that, the con did not make any sort of updates about Fury being cancelled at all. They should have updated it on the app, or even taped a paper sign to the stage saying that it was cancelled.

3) I tried to get into the Chris Hadfield panel about 6 minutes after it started. They told me it was full...no worries, I (and some others) stayed outside and watched it on the screen. About half an hour later they let us in, telling us that about 20 seats had opened up. We got inside and there were 100+ free seats, probably closer to 200. It wasn't just seats in between people, but there were entire rows that were empty or almost empty (like 1 or 2 people in the row). People hadn't really been leaving, so the seats must have always been free. 

Finally -- not sure how much control SVCC has over this but they convention staff was VERY strict about not letting people bring in outside food/drink. While that's the convention center's official policy, I've previously rarely seen it enforced. I don't mind the metal detectors in theory...but I do mind them if all they're going to do is make them crack down on bringing in food and water. The food inside this year wasn't very good either, unlike last year when it was surprisingly good. (Although to be fair, last year seemed to the the exception in that regard.) For me it wasn't a huge deal since I was able to leave and go elsewhere for lunch...but for people with dietary restrictions that can't easily leave (i.e. vendors, and some actually were complaining about this), they need to come up with a better solution.

The program guide was pretty much just a brochure, although at least it was on high-quality glossy paper unlike last year's half size programming book on cheap paper. I'll consider it a wash compared to last year, but a downgrade compared to years 1-2.

There were still a few bright spots.

Most of the panels I did get to attend were interesting and high-quality, especially the Phelps (Weasley) Twins and Terminator Panel. The Terminator Panel was great because you could tell how much the cast members across the three movies supported each other, and the Phelps Twins were a riot as always. Also, the Law of Universal Monsters was a pleasant surprise. The four members were law professionals, and they put on a very professional and surprisingly entertaining panel about how legal issues would be applied to Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Wolfman, etc had they actually occurred. I also attended The Science of Science Fiction, with NASA Scientists and the BB-8 and Greedo puppeteers. The panelists themselves were fine, though IMO selecting Gary Whitta as moderator was a mistake.

The exhibit hall was actually a step up from last year, with one glaring exception -- no carpet. (Carpeting doesn't seem like a big deal but it's many little things like that that can help distinguish top tier convention vs. next level down.) The Playstation truck and display were pretty cool. I liked the feel of the gaming area inside the truck, and the phone chargers (with lockboxes where you could set your own combination) were a great idea. I liked the selection they had of artists and vendors with handmade goods. There seemed to be more Funko Pops than last year -- not sure if that was a good thing -- but I did find the Jollibee Pop that I had been looking for.

They had some unique displays set up in the main areas of the convention center as well -- Legion M had a photo area with interesting props and statues, and the Vudu film-your-own-movie booth was very cool looking (although I didn't go in.) 

While I have to consider the outdoor festival on Viola ave a flop, at least I can give them credit for trying to do something interesting.

Swag was actually above average. Geico's was the best IMO, an oversize swag bag with a few items like sunglasses and a plush gecko and it wasn't difficult at all to get (you just had to give them your info to enter a drawing, but you didn't have to sign up for insurance or anything.) State Farm also had cool stuff, and the Allied Global Marketing booth gave away TONS of free stuff for spinning a wheel. A few booths down, they had "nutritionally balanced ramen" and I spun the wheel to get a free high-quality ramen spoon. There was also the Vudu scavenger hunt which I hear was easy to complete. I didn't enter it, but they had extra t-shirts and pins at the end so I ended up getting them anyway (thanks to karatekid for clueing me in!)

So, despite the issues I mentioned in the first part of this post, there was enough to keep me occupied (though I didn't stay the entire weekend like I usually do), and I had a perfectly good time, and it was very nice to meet you all at the FoCC Meetup. ;D However, it's telling that some of the best things about the con itself were from Geico and State Farm. If this would have been the first year of a new local con, I'd think they were off to a great start. But knowing what they've already done the first three (and especially the first two) years, it was a disappointment. Based on this year, I don't consider it a destination con anymore and wouldn't recommend it to anyone out of the area, like I did the first two years.

I wonder if any of that had to do with the date change. It probably caught them off guard, and they had to scramble to find new dates (and even then, the attendee reaction to the actual date change was mixed -- it was probably more for the benefit of vendors, which at least did seem better this year.) But given how SVCC turned out this year despite caving on the dates, I have to wonder if it was really the right decision...I don't think it was.

I do get that in any Silicon Valley business, there are going to be highs and lows, and I'm hoping this year was just a low. But another common theme in Silicon Valley is "here today gone tomorrow," and I really hope that that won't happen to our con especially since we waited so long to finally get a real one again. But given that they've secured the dates over a year in a advance and were confident enough of them to print them in this year's program, I am currently optimistic that they'll rebound. We shall see.
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Offline janray

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Re: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019: August 16-18, San Jose, CA
« Reply #111 on: August 19, 2019, 04:43:55 PM »
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Thanks to everyone who attended our dinner on Saturday night! While the company was terrific, I know that the service was lackluster and the room temperature was an issue as well. I just wanted to let everyone know that I have told Il Fornaio that we will not be back next year, and I will look for another location. I still want to have a meetup in 12020, but will search for a place that better meets our needs.

Regardless, I really enjoyed seeing everyone and meeting some new people as well. I look forward to seeing you all at future cons!


Thanks for organizing it again.  We enjoyed meeting up with everyone as well and look forward to 2020.

Offline TheOtherMel

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Re: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019: August 16-18, San Jose, CA
« Reply #112 on: August 20, 2019, 09:18:57 AM »
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Thanks for organizing it again.  We enjoyed meeting up with everyone as well and look forward to 2020.

O.k. I see the Dragon in the thumbnail now after closer inspection [member=3050]janray[/member] !!  :D

Thanks again to [member=314]Transmute Jun[/member]  for making the dinner happen!

Thank you [member=4270]mark[/member] for the Iron Man trade you gave to my son! I will remember this gesture come Fantasy Football time.  ;)

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Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019: August 16-18, San Jose, CA
« Reply #113 on: August 20, 2019, 12:24:38 PM »
With apologies for the delay, here is my review of SVCC 2019.

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Offline sessionka

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Re: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019: August 16-18, San Jose, CA
« Reply #114 on: August 21, 2019, 02:21:25 PM »
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So, despite the issues I mentioned in the first part of this post, there was enough to keep me occupied (though I didn't stay the entire weekend like I usually do), and I had a perfectly good time, and it was very nice to meet you all at the FoCC Meetup. ;D However, it's telling that some of the best things about the con itself were from Geico and State Farm. If this would have been the first year of a new local con, I'd think they were off to a great start. But knowing what they've already done the first three (and especially the first two) years, it was a disappointment. Based on this year, I don't consider it a destination con anymore and wouldn't recommend it to anyone out of the area, like I did the first two years.

I wonder if any of that had to do with the date change. It probably caught them off guard, and they had to scramble to find new dates (and even then, the attendee reaction to the actual date change was mixed -- it was probably more for the benefit of vendors, which at least did seem better this year.) But given how SVCC turned out this year despite caving on the dates, I have to wonder if it was really the right decision...I don't think it was.


This might be due to growing pains.  I'm ashamed to say it, but for the first time, I'm actually reading SDCC's program book, and the history is very interesting.  I recommend everyone take a look.  The beginning years were not perfect.  There were date changes and the theft of all proceeds from one year almost derailed the con completely. 

I wouldn't consider SVCC myself, as I'm on the east coast, but it may still survive.
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Offline karatekid

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Re: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019: August 16-18, San Jose, CA
« Reply #115 on: August 22, 2019, 11:16:55 AM »
I figure I'd weigh in with my basic review of SVCC so here goes ...

I enjoyed SVCC and had a great experience! Now my disclaimer is I only went one day on Sunday and that influences my view and the lens I'm seeing and experiencing the con from. It is a really nice fun enjoyable con if you go for one day. My time was very complete and fulfilled with checking out the show floor, doing the VUDU scavenger hunt, meeting up with friends for lunch and going to the Terminator Reunion panel. It was a full day and I probably could've benefited from another hour or two ... and that's where I can empathize and sympathize to TJ and Hikantei that there was just not enough content, exhibitors, panels, etc to occupy and enjoy 3 days. By early mid day 2 I'm pretty sure I would have been twiddling my thumbs and downtown San Jose is just not nice or vibrant enough to be a quality extension of your visit. There's no beach or zoo or similar to do beyond the con.

As Hikantei referenced, this is not a "destination" con. It's not worth coming outside the relative Bay Area unless you have a specific purpose like wanted Jason Momoa or Arnold's autograph/photo op or wanted to meet up and hang out with friends beyond the con itself. Even then it would probably be better suited to wait for that star to come to a closer con to you.

So final assessment ... A very good local con. A very good one day con. Not a destination or travel afar from con. Not a strong multiday con experience.

As I'm in the Bay Area, I will look forward to attending SVCC 2020! ... At least on one day!
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Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019: August 16-18, San Jose, CA
« Reply #116 on: August 23, 2019, 08:27:15 AM »
I think part of the reason many of us are somewhat disappointed is that a couple of years ago, it *was* a con worth traveling to. The second year, when they had the outdoor festival and so many high quality panels (Flash, TNG Reunion, Sesame Street cast, Buzz Aldrin) it would have been worth coming from SoCal. They've definitely pulled back, not just into the convention center, but in terms of guests.

I'm hoping that they do a post-con survey this year, so that they can see how attendees felt.

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Re: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019: August 16-18, San Jose, CA
« Reply #117 on: Today at 03:29:53 PM »

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019: August 16-18, San Jose, CA
« Reply #117 on: August 23, 2019, 08:37:48 AM »
Just came across this!


Offline accelerate

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Re: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019: August 16-18, San Jose, CA
« Reply #118 on: September 04, 2019, 02:19:15 PM »
SVCC just sent via email out a survey for this past year's event. Just filled it out. Lots of 2-3 stars from me, though I was fair and gave 5 stars to the registration / wristband pickup process.

Offline Transmute Jun

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Re: Silicon Valley Comic Con 2019: August 16-18, San Jose, CA
« Reply #119 on: September 04, 2019, 06:13:15 PM »
I filled out the survey as well, expressing my displeasure that some of the celebrity guests did not have panels.