Over the last few years, conventions have become a staple in every good geek’s calendar. Whether you’re into learning about the latest tech, watching movies or playing brand new games, there’s a convention out there in the wide world for you.
Unlike small events or online platforms, conventions allow people with a similar interest to come together with mutual enthusiasm in a real space. Conventions are celebrations unlike any other event, and here we’ll be exploring the best conventions you should attend depending on your interests, whether it be tech, media or gaming.
For Tech: TechCrunch Disrupt
There are literally hundreds of different technology conventions held around the world every year, but it seems TechCrunch Disrupt is swiftly becoming the hottest one to attend. Founded in 2005, TechCrunch has become one of the go-to websites for all things technology related. Still, it was a big surprise when the company decided to launch its very own annual tech conference in 2011.
Since its inception, the con has been held in tech hubs all over the world, including San Francisco, New York City, London, Berlin and even Beijing. In addition to showing off all the latest tech, TechCrunch Disrupt is perhaps most famous for the Startup Battlefield. There, entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to investors to gain money and publicity. Previous participants to the Battlefield have included Dropbox, Trello, Mint, Beam, Vurb, and Yammer.
For Gaming: E3
Chances are you’ve heard of the Electronic Entertainment Expo – E3’s full name. Even though there are quite a few fantastic gaming conventions held every year, E3 is probably the most popular. The biggest players in video gaming – including Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo – come together each year to exhibit their work to the thousands of attendees. More often than not, the big companies also use the convention to announce upcoming titles and generate some hype, which is one of the reasons why it is such a heavily publicized event.
Games announced at E3 over the years include Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Portal 2 and Fallout Shelter. However, the best part of attending E3 is, to many, being able to play games that are just on the verge of being released. Brands also tend to showcase new consoles, hardware and peripherals such as VR headsets that you can try out, which is great considering the equipment is often expensive to buy outright.
For Music and Movies: South by Southwest (SXSW)
It was in 1987 when South by Southwest was first held in Austin, Texas, and even back then it was a great hit. In fact, the first SXSW was prepared for about 150 attendees but over 700 people turned up. Each year, the festival celebrates music, film and emerging technology, and has been known to last as long as ten full days.
So, what can you expect at the annual SXSW festival? There have been well over 2,000 different musicians who have appeared at the event over the years, including Johnny Cash, Kanye West, and Solange Knowles. As for films, there are hundreds of shown every year, while guest speakers such as Jon Favreau, Nicolas Cage, Tilda Swinton, and Ava DuVernay have also been known to appear. When it comes to guest speakers though, the Interactive section of the convention may have the best, with the likes of Barack Obama and Elon Musk being just two of the impressive personalities who have turned up to make speeches.
Are there any other conventions we should know about, or entirely different genres that we’ve overlooked? If you could go to any convention in the world, which would you choose? Let know in the comments below.