Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island ([email protected]) proved to be the perfect blank canvas for one of the most colourful events held at the venue this year – Oz Comic-Con.
The spectacular premiere year in Sydney of Australia’s newest pop culture event drew a crowd in the tens of thousands over September 13 and 14, proving the global phenomenon of comic conventions has conquered the city – with the potential to be an iconic annual event.
It was a weekend of fantasy and fun as kids from 6-60, Trekkers, Whovians, Jedi, and proud comic book, sci-fi, game, anime, and Disney geeks flocked to fill the Exhibition Centre. The 20,000 m² venue with its expansive halls was the ideal space for this sensory overload of events within an event as fans of popular culture came together to celebrate their passions and connect with actors, artists and creators. Many of them cosplayed their hero characters.
“[email protected] was a great launching pad for Oz Comic-Con Sydney,” said ReedPOP Event Director Bernadette Neumann. “We needed a venue that could maintain the continuous number of people we were expecting. The place is massive – despite the never-ending crowds, people easily navigated through an amazing variety of activities. And the Centre team are wonderful to work with, absolutely nothing fazed them,” she added.
The ultimate fan experience, Oz Comic-Con featured question and answer panels, photograph and autograph sessions with guests, gaming demonstrations, cosplay competitions and a wide range of exhibitors offering hard-to-find merchandise.
Pop culture royalties William Shatner aka Captain James Kirk of Star Trek and Orlando Bloom aka Legolas of Lord of the Rings led the charge of international guest artists which also included Jason Momoa from Game of Thrones, X-Men’s Booboo Stewart, Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Emma Caulfield, stars from Veronica Mars, Warehouse 13 and Stargate, as well as voice actors and comic book artists.
“The explosion of comic cons around the world is fascinating,” said [email protected] General Manager Malu Barrios. “We are delighted to provide attendees with a venue that brings the comic convention experience to Sydney in both size and content – and help ReedPOP put Australia on the map for pop culture events.”
Once again, the the Centre’s convenient city location and a mix of free shuttle services saw attendees make good use of the ferries from Darling Harbour, the buses from Central and the James Craig Road shuttle bus service, with more than 1,000 pedestrians hitching a ride on the latter. Driving to the event also proved popular, with many fans arriving early to take advantage of the Centre’s new early bird rate.
Launched in 2012 in Melbourne and Adelaide, ReedPOP’s Oz Comic Con is now held in five cities across Australia throughout the year, including Sydney and Brisbane. The “quirky offshoot of Reed Exhibitions”, ReedPOP is the largest producer of pop culture events in the world including the iconic New York Comic Con.
Sydney Exhibition Centre @ Glebe Island has been purpose built to provide a fully functioning event space while ICC Sydney, the new exhibition, conference and entertainment complex in Darling Harbour is being developed.