After much speculation, Comic-Con International revealed this weekend that they are moving WonderCon, San Diego Comic-Con's (steadily growing) little sister, to Anaheim for their 2012 show, March 16-18th. Normally held at the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco, CCI was faced with having to cancel next year's show or move it to another location when they were told that Moscone would be under construction throughout the season that WonderCon was normally held and that there was no space available to them during that time. When rumors leaked that CCI might make the move to Anaheim, even for only a year, San Francisco seemed to panic a bit, searching for a way to keep the revenue-generating event closer to home (even though it originally started in Oakland before CCI took it over). But in the end, there wasn't a large enough venue available to host the show, giving the Anaheim Convention Center the opportunity to take on what some consider San Diego Comic-Con Jr.
Of course, it’s no secret that over the past few years, the Anaheim Convention Center campaigned heavily to have the San Diego Comic-Con moved to their larger facility when it first became apparent that Comic-Con was outgrowing the current San Diego Convention Center. However, announced almost 11 months ago to the day, Comic-Con decided to stick with San Diego through at least 2015. Wizard World was already in position in Anaheim, hosting their Anaheim Comic-Con in 2009 and 2010, but the convention center definitely wanted what San Diego had: a $60 million a year revenue stream in the form of geeks sleeping, eating, and spending money on anything that caught their fancy. Now that has seemingly come to pass, although not in summer and not likely for more than a year (although nothing official has been stated either way).
In response to the big change, the two biggest events taking place in March not run by Comic-Con International decided to graciously step aside to make way for WonderCon‘s move to Anaheim. ReedPop‘s Chicago C2E2 event (usually in mid-March and originally scheduled exactly the same week of WonderCon 2012) and Wizard World’s Anaheim Comic-Con (usually in late April) have each postponed their shows to as yet unannounced later dates in order to accommodate the hundreds of exhibitors and talent that make a point of hitting each of their fan-oriented events.
So what does this mean for the future of WonderCon or any Comic-Con International event in Anaheim beyond 2012? Right now we can only speculate. Even if wildly successful in its new home, WonderCon will very likely return to its home in San Francisco (a location I rather enjoy). But that doesn’t mean that a seed planted couldn’t take hold in Anaheim when it comes to CCI. Could Comic-Con International manage to take on 3 events a year, if evenly spaced out (spring in SF, summer in SD, fall in Anaheim)? With San Diego already bursting at the seams, couldn’t a possible solution be to spread the love between cities and the calendar year? There’s a lot of ground to cover before a question like that can be answered, but I personally can’t have enough Comic-Cons. If they keep making them, whether it’s CCI, Wizard World, or ReedPop, I’ll keep going. I’m a geek like that.
How about you? Will WonderCon‘s move to Anaheim in 2012 prompt you to go or skip it next year? And what do you think will happen come 2013 (assuming we all survive the apocalypse)?