The organizers for SiliCon with Adam Savage sent out a poll to past attendees last month. I found some of the questions about the dates and the location for the venue to be interesting. The show has been at the San Jose Convention Center in late August since 2019. The poll asked questions about dates in late October and the Santa Clara Convention Center.
Will SiliCon be moving to a different date and/or location in 2023?
A Short History Lesson
Before we deep dive into the poll, a short history lesson about SiliCon with Adam Savage and the cons that came before.
Big Wow ComicFest started as a medium-sized con with 2,000 to 5,000 attendees in 2011. I attended the 2013, 2014, and 2015 shows. The 2014 show had the opening of “Godzilla” and Godzilla suit actor Kenpachiro Satsuma at the Camera 12.
Steve Wozniak and Stan Lee bought the rights to the show in 2015.
Big Wow ComicFest became Silicon Valley Comic Con in 2016. I didn’t attend the first year since the show blew up to a Super Bowl-sized con with 50,000 attendees. And it was a madhouse. I got off the light rail, saw the long lines around the block and inside the building, and got back on the light rail.
The organizers gave me a 2017 VIP pass for my unused 2016 general pass and autograph tickets. The 2017 show with William Shatner and the cast of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” was perfect.
The 2018 and 2019 shows were lackluster. Stan Lee was ill during the 2018 show and passed away later that year. Steve Wozniak lost interest in continuing on after the 2019 show. Adam Savage, who was with SVCC from the beginning, took over as the new showman.
Due to the shutdown in 2020, SiliCon with Adam Savage became a virtual con with a series of streaming events.
Due to COVID restrictions, the 2021 and 2022 shows were smaller than Big Wow ComicFest. The organizers haven’t released any attendance numbers for those shows. The website still quotes the 60,000 attendees from Silicon Valley Comic Con.
Poll – The Venue
The last question on page one of the poll was, “The Venue.” Rank from “Least Important” to “More Important” on a scale from one to ten.
“The Venue” being the San Jose Convention Center. The same venue for Big Wow ComicFest, Silicon Valley Comic Con, and SiliCon with Adam Savage.
Poll – Alternative Dates
The first question on page three: “Do you have a preference on the event dates for SiliCon with Adam Savage 2023?”
The four options are: “No Preference”, “August 26-27, 2023”, “October 21-22, 2023” and “October 27-28, 2023”.
The organizer, surprisingly, haven’t announced the date and the venue after the 2022 show. August 26-27, 2023 was the expected date for next year’s show at the San Jose Convention Center.
Big Wow ComicFest was always held in the spring months (March, April or May). Silicon Valley Comic Con was also in the spring months until the 2019 show switched to August.
When SiliCon became a virtual con in 2020, the streaming events took place in October. For the 2021 and 2022 shows, it was in August.
October might be a more convenient month for Adam Savage to host his own show.
Poll – Halloween After Party
The second question on page three: “Would you be interested in attending a Halloween After Party for an additional fee?”
The three options are: “Yes”, “No”, and “Maybe”.
A Halloween party implies an October date for the show. This might be a replacement for the cocktail party that comes with the Platinum VIP package. I hope the Halloween party is open to everyone and the fee isn’t too outrageous.
The only event I had to pay extra for was the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” panel at SVCC 2017. That panel was held at the San Jose Civic Center across the street from the San Jose Convention Center. Expect to pay extra for events held outside of the convention center.
Poll – Other Comic Cons
The third question on page three: “What other Comic Cons have you attended in the past 5 years?”
The eight options include: “Los Angeles Comic Con”, “San Diego Comic Con”, “WonderCon”, “New York Comic Con”, “Denver Pop Culture Con”, “FanX Salt Lake Comic Con”, “Emerald City Comic Con”, and “Other”.
The first three cons are in California, New York Comic Con is on the east coast, and the last three cons are in the west. The outdated attendee numbers that I pulled from Wikipedia varies from 60,000 to 180,000. Those numbers scare me for the future of SiliCon.
The organizers may still want SiliCon to be a Super Bowl-sized con with 50,000 or more attendees. Super Bowl-sized cons tend to have Super Bowl-sized problems. The organizers could make the same mistake they made with Big Wow by blowing up SiliCon into a Super Bowl-sized show.
Poll – Santa Clara Convention Center (Part 1)
The last question on page three: “Have you ever attended an event at the Santa Clara Convention Center?”
The two options are “Yes” or “No”.
I’ve attended many events at the Santa Clara Convention Center over the years. The most recent con events were the ToyXpo 2018 and the AlienCon 2016. ToyXpo 2018 had the Demogorgon creature from “Stranger Things.” At AlienCon 2016, I got autographs from Katee Sackoff (“Longmire”), Jewel Staite (“Firefly”), and Marta Kirsten (“Lost in Space”).
Poll – Santa Clara Convention Center (Part 2)
The only question on page four: “How would you rate the Santa Clara Convention Center compared to the San Jose Convention Center?”
The three options are: “Location”, “Facility Size/Layout”, and “Parking”. Rank from “Worse” to “Better” on a scale from one to five for each one.
Santa Clara at 262,000 square feet is a smaller facility than San Jose at 550,000 square feet. Those numbers are somewhat misleading. Santa Clara is one-story facility that can be a long walk from end to end. San Jose is two-story facility that is quite compact for a short walk end-to-end and upstairs-and-downstairs.
Which one is better? They’re both the same for hosting events.
Santa Clara Water & Levi Stadium
The two most serious problems I have with Santa Clara is the water and Levi Stadium.
The facility puts out water dispensers with slices of lemons inside for events. Because Santa Clara water has a noticeable metallic taste that some might find distasteful.
If the San Francisco 49ers has a sold-out football game at Levi Stadium, traffic in the area will be hell. The stadium can seat over 68,000 people and had hosted Super Bowl 50 in 2016. If the organizers blow up SiliCon to be a Superbowl-sized con at Santa Clara, expect things to get messy on game day.
When can we expect SiliCon with Adam Savage to make an announcement on the date and the venue? If the scheduled date is in August, expect something in February. If the scheduled date is in October, expect something in April.