WonderCon moved to Los Angeles from Anaheim for this year’s show, but that that the result of scheduling availability and it was always anticipated WonderCon would return to Anaheim in 2017. A March 23 story in the LA Business Journal makes it official (I guess) (H/T to TheLiberalOC.com).
The show is expected to draw around $20 million in direct spending at hotels, restaurants and shops, and contribute a total economic impact of around $36 million from an attractive millennial demographic. Last year, 71 percent of WonderCon attendees fell between the ages of 17 and 34, while 63 percent were under 30. They split almost evenly along gender lines, with 53 percent male and 47 percent female.
The influx of visitors will fill hotel rooms that would otherwise be vacant during the religious holiday weekend. Whereas occupancy rates typically hover around 30 to 40 percent over the Easter frame, this year Brad Gessner, general manager of the Los Angeles Convention Center and vice president of AEG Facilities, expects downtown hotels to sell out. Indeed, there are no more rooms available in the official reduced-rate WonderCon block, with several other host hotels reporting rooms “almost sold out.”
WonderCon draws attendance on par with E3 in June and the Anime Expo in July, and will utilize the entire convention center as well as the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live.
WonderCon will be back in Anaheim next year and with the Fall 2017 completion of the Anaheim Convention Center expansion, there’s no reason to believe the fast-growing convention will be going anywhere.