This Just In
  • Messe Frankfurt acquired the Thailand Lighting Fair and Thailand Building Fair. Messe has been with the shows since they launched in 2015.
  • JW Marriott will open the 4,000-room Drew Las Vegas in 2020 at the site of the stalled Fontainebleau hotel project on Las Vegas Blvd.
  • Denver OK’d contracts for a $233-million expansion featuring an 80,000-sf rooftop ballroom and terrace at the Colorado Convention Center.
  • The latest numbers rank NAMM’s 2018 show the largest in its 117-year history with more than 115,000 attendees and nearly 2,000 exhibitors.
  • The deadline for nominations for Trade Show Executive’s Trailblazers Awards has been extended to March 16. Got to TSE Events for info.
  • International Assoc. of Amusement Parks and Attractions President and CEO Paul Noland has resigned. CFO Hal McEvoy steps in temporarily.
  • The Aria Resort & Casino $170-million expansion in Las Vegas adds 200,000 sf of flex meeting space, raising total space to 500,000 sf.
  • Gary Musich announced his retirement as Vice President of Sales for Meet AC effective March 2 after 25 years representing Atlantic City.
  • The San Diego Convention Center named ON Site, a GES company, its exclusive sound and rigging vendor and preferred audio visual provider.
  • Board members of UK-based UBM have accepted an offer from Informa for a reported 3.8 billion pounds ($5.3 billion).

Silicon Valley Comic Con Partners with E3 Producer IRL Events

Danica Tormohlen
, Editor-at-Large
October 25, 2017
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San Jose, Calif.Silicon Valley Comic Con (SVCC), presented by Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak, has partnered with IRL Events to plan and produce SVCC 2018, which will be held April 6-8 at the San Jose Convention Center (SJCC) and surrounding areas. IRL also produces Anime Expo (AX) and E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), which ranked #40 on the Trade Show Executive Gold 100 Class of 2016. IRL Events has become an equity partner with SVCC, and IRL’s CEO Mary Dolaher will take over as CEO of SVCC. Outgoing CEO Trip Hunter will stay on as a partner and advisor.

“SVCC is truly unique because it brings science into the ‘con’ universe, on top of pop culture, entertainment, and tech,” Dolaher told Trade Show Executive. “So, it has a future-forward perspective that no other show can offer. Moreover, the show is perfectly positioned for growth given where it is located, who backs it, and the great fan support it has received over the last two years.”

Debuting with 60,000 attendees in 2016, SVCC expanded both its footprint and attendance, with 65,000 fans over the course of the three-day show in April. SVCC 2017 featured a number of celebrities, including William Shatner, John Cusack, Adam West, Buzz Aldrin, Tom Felton and Steven Yeun. The show attracted more than 400 exhibiting companies and filled all of the space at the SJCC.  This year’s event included a free public outdoor festival, programming at City National Civic, a Kids S.T.E.A.M. Lab, Geek Fashion Show, a science fair, dog cosplay contest and Space Village. 

“We made huge changes and additions between SVCC 1.0 and 2.0, but our team didn’t grow at the same rate,” said Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder, SVCC. “Lab and digital cloning aren’t quite there yet, so it was time to bring in reinforcements!”

With the addition of IRL’s staff of 15 to the existing SVCC team, the show will double its staff size. IRL brings its experience running large-scale events like E3, which attracted 53,400 trade attendees and 15,000 gamers to the Los Angeles Convention Center in June 2017, to SVCC. Dolaher founded IRL after serving as CEO of IDG World Expo, and she has worked on E3 since the show was launched in 1995. 

“With more than 25 years of experience in running events, I know a great one when I see it,” Dolaher said. “We look forward to being part of the show and its success in the years to come, and to working with the SVCC community.” 

SVCC 2018 will be announcing new features and additions in the coming weeks, Dolaher said.

“With two booming startups – Primary Data and Silicon Valley Comic Con – Woz, Trip and I had to find a way to expand and prioritize our resources,” said SVCC Chairman Rick White. “Mary and her team at IRL Events have decades of experience running pop culture and technology events like E3 and Anime Expo, so we knew they were the experts to supplement our core team to take SVCC into the future.”

Reach Mary Dolaher at (602) 955-0050 or

To learn more about SVCC or to inquire about exhibiting and sponsorship, please visit

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