Yesterday, Disney announced the dates for their biennial convention D23 Expo 2017. Next year, the convention will take place during the weekend of July 14 – 16.
If those dates seem familiar to you, they should; mid-to-late July is prime San Diego Comic-Con time.
While SDCC has yet to announce their 2017 dates, the unofficial SDCC Blog has discovered that based on the San Diego Convention Center’s website, next year’s SDCC dates seem to be July 20 – 23 (not including Preview Night).
This puts D23 Expo and SDCC occurring in the same week, which is interesting for several reasons. Let’s consider those reasons.
Disney’s Presence at SDCC
Under the umbrella of Disney, we now have Disney Animation, Disney live-action, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and ABC television. These are a lot of big-hitters, with plenty of huge projects on the horizon. Last year’s D23 was a massive success, and one of my favorite conventions that I’ve attended recently. Thousands of people went and there were plenty of awesome panels and exhibitors.
Marvel films didn’t have a presence at last year’s SDCC, either because of the press conference they held earlier, or because they wanted to concentrate their efforts on D23, where they presented plenty of cool things. Could we see Disney’s other branches do the same thing next year – skip out entirely on SDCC, in favor of D23?
Especially being so close together, planning panels, events, and news for two massive conventions would be quite a task, and it’s not as though D23 is lacking in attendance or clout, despite next year only being the fifth one.
This is going to be a huge one for attendees. There are two major costs to consider: financial and physical/mental.
Attending conventions isn’t cheap. Attending two conventions back-to-back? Nearly impossible for some people. There’s tickets, lodging, food, travel, and miscellaneous spending to consider. My co-worker noted that these two conventions occurring close together could make it easier for people living outside of Southern California, as they’d only need to block out a week or so of their lives, but that doesn’t take away all the big costs.
Another thing is that conventions are exhausting. They’re overwhelming and involve planning out your days, standing in long lines, constantly going, and not getting enough sleep usually. The idea of attending two conventions one right after another tires me out just thinking about it, honestly.
D23 vs SDCC
These two conventions are quite different and if people are forced to choose between them, for whatever reasons, there’s plenty to take into account.
I have been to both conventions, both as a regular attendee and as press. I first attended D23 in 2013 and had a pretty terrible experience – it was unorganized and inaccessible, mostly. However, as I mentioned, when I went last year, I had one of my best convention experiences yet. Throw in the fact that I’m a huge Disney fan and everything under its umbrella, and D23 is a dream convention for me.
2010 was my first year at SDCC and it was a blast – I saw the Avengers assemble for the first time, I saw Harrison Ford at his first SDCC (for Cowboys and Aliens), and so much more. However, in the recent years, I’ve found SDCC to be more inaccessible and far more overwhelming than I care to deal with sometimes.
Both conventions have their pros and cons, and neither convention will be lacking in attendees next year.
Still, this is an interesting situation (one that will only get more interesting once SDCC posts their official 2017 dates) that could play out in so many different ways, and I’m eager to see how it all unfolds.
What do you guys think of this situation? Which one would you choose if you had to? Sound off in the comments!