6 of the Biggest Geek Conventions in the Country
Despite their accepted notion that geeks tend to recluse themselves from socialization, there is one place that a geek can feel right at home among other geeks - a geeky convention. While they come in many flavors and sizes, from the massive San Diego Comic Con to the tiny sci-fi cons, geeks can be themselves at these conventions. Here is a look of ten of the biggest. While these may not be THE biggest, they are probably pretty close.
1) San Diego Comic-Con International
Leaving out the biggest convention would be pretty silly, so we'll start right away with San Diego Comic-Con. While it's dominated by the latest projects from Marvel and DC, one has to expect everything at a convention this big. Sci-fi, horror, video game, toy, collectible card game, manga and anime fans will all find something at this convention that has grown far beyond the name "Comic-Con" into a four day geek expo. The 2009 convention had at least 125,000 attendees.
2) Wizard World - Chicago, Los Angeles, Etc
Another of the largest geeky shows in the country, Wizard World toppled gets a couple hundred thousand attendees combined from all of its events. They recently bought Atlanta Comic Con, following purchases of other convention such as Big Apple Convention in New York City. They faced some trouble in 2009, though, cancelling a Texas convention and postponing one slated for Los Angeles, although they seem to be on the schedule once again for 2010.
3) Anime Expo
The largest anime-centric convention reached 45,000 attendees in 2009, growing by several thousand attendees each year in the past decade. Some believe the convention has reached the plateau of it's size, as recent years saw smaller growth than previously experience. Troubles between convention upper and middle management which arose earlier in the year may also hamper the 2010 convention. The second-largest anime convention in the US, Otakon, got around 26,000 in 2009.
4) Dragon Con
While I'm sure we've skipped a few large comic conventions, such as the Baltimore Comic-Con and Megacon, we're moving right on to Dragon*Con. Dragon*Con, annually held in Atlanta, gets over 30,000 attendees and has it's origins in the Sci-Fi world. The 4-day event is another convention encompassing many genres, with guests ranging from comic book illustrators to science evangelists.
E3 brings select game developers and press together for what is generally considered the largest video game trade show there is. While it was an invitation-only event for 2007 and 2006, it has since been reopened to bloggers, independent developers, and other attendees.
6) Gen Con
Gen Con is another game convention which brought in over 27,000 fans in 2009. Historically focused on table top and other hobby games, it expanded in mid 2006 to allow more space for video games and video game business after E3 announce it's downsizing.
There you have a list, not-comprehensive, of six of the largest geeky events in the country. While we may have left a few out in the middle, we hoped to give a good overview of the different flavors of conventions as well. It's important to keep in mind, though, that a small convention closer to you might be worth more than a large convention further away. You could meet new friends from nearby, and will have a better chance of getting into favorite events with less wait in line.