And, surprise surprise, it’s true: San Diego Comic-Con keeps getting bigger and bigger. Even though attendance is capped and badges have consistently sold out since 2007, convention organizers keep adding more to the programming schedule.
Comic-Con offers a total of 707 panels on the 2014 schedule. With 29 more panels than last year and nearly 100 more than in 2012, CCI has clearly been working hard to provide enough programming to satiate the masses.
But the convention’s priorities continue to shift: while comics programming still makes up the majority of the panel schedule (at 36.5%), it’s down nearly 4% from last year. TV far outshines movies at the con these days, with 17% of panels focused on TV while just 9.9% of panels are film oriented. Writing panels, which include those focused on the craft and those spotlighting fan-favorite authors, comprise 10% of the schedule. Debate and discussion panels (including panels like Psychology of Cult TV Shows) are up 2%, now filling 9.9% of the schedule – neck and neck with film programming. And despite the frenzy on the show floor for exclusives, panels on toys & collectibles only make up 4% of the schedule.[table “” not found /]
Unfortunately for the next generation of creators, the annual How-To series is down: it now comprises just 2.7% of the schedule. And with 13 fewer panels in 2014, the Spotlight series has also dimmed. Still small but holding steady is the Comics Arts Conference, making up just 2.3% of the schedule but providing a great resource to academics.[table “” not found /]
Everyone knows that Hall H’s 6,500 seats make it the biggest programming room, but the massive mainstay doesn’t host the majority of events. That honor goes to the 480-seat Room 7AB, set to offer 42 panels (5.9% of all programs). And mid-size favorite Room 6A, hosting sure-to-be-packed panels like Orphan Black and NASA’s Next Giant Leap, will have 31 panels in its 1,040-seat space.[table “” not found /]
Hall H, on the other hand, presents 3.3% of all programs – which is a mere 23 panels. In fact, Hall H is beaten out by two rooms that aren’t even open on Sundays: Ballroom 20 (with 27 panels) and the Indigo Ballroom (with 26 panels). However, 23 full panels in Hall H would make the room the most heavily trafficked at the con: with space for nearly 150,000 bodies over four days, 22.3% of all panel seating is available in Hall H alone.
As usual, Friday is the biggest day for panels: 213 different programs grace the Friday schedule, compared to 196 on Thursday and 195 on Saturday. Feeling like Sunday’s schedule is a bit light this year? You’re right, ever so slightly: with 102 panels, Sunday programming is down 0.6% from 2013.[table “” not found /]
Hall H capacity and all programming information from the official 2014 San Diego Comic-Con programming schedule. All other room capacities based on the floor plans from the San Diego Convention Center, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Omni San Diego, and Marriott Marquis & Marina. Statistics exclude film festival, autographs, games, and anime programming.