Total Nerd
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The Best Geek Conventions All Nerds MUST Attend

Updated May 21, 2018 491 votes 183 voters 9.9k views13 items

List RulesVote up the cons all nerds should add to their bucket list.

The best geek conventions aren't all that elusive. The events may seem intimidating, but truly, the nerds who attend are friendly; they tend to welcome new connections. Comics and cartoon series continue to be extremely popular, and fans need safe spaces to show their appreciation for the wacky characters and content. Perhaps that's why so many conventions exist. In fact, finding an amazing con isn't as difficult as determining which one you want to attend.

Some geek conventions are more popular than others, though, and you may not have even heard of them all. There's one for just about everyone and every genre. If you're looking for cons that are worth going to, you won't have to search for long.

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    Photo: millermz / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

    Date & Location: DragonCon happens during early September at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta, GA. The website references specific dates. 

    Average Attendance: 80,000+

    Approximate Cost to Attend: A one-day pass is $50, and a three-day pass is $130.

    Past Highlights: The Julie Award, which commemorates comic book editor Julius Schwartz, is given to industry professionals every year at this convention. The past recipient list includes Ray Bradbury, Yoshitaka Amano, Alice Cooper, and Neil Gaiman.

    Why You Should Go: DragonCon is one of the largest conventions in the United States; it typically focuses on science fiction and fantasy. There's always something exciting to see at the event, and it's even good for kids.

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  • 2


    Photo: Andrew H. Walker/Staff / Getty Images Entertainment

    Date & Location: There are five PAX conventions held throughout the year in Seattle, WA; Boston, MA; Philadelphia, PA; San Antonio, TX; and Melbourne, AU. The dates vary, but specifics can be found on the website each year.

    Average Attendance: 80,000+

    Approximate Cost to Attend: A one-day pay is about $52.50; three-day passes are about $105.

    Past Highlights: Every PAX convention is unique, but in 2017 at PAX Boston, Overwatch game fans came in droves. They all engaged in intense cosplay.

    Why You Should Go: PAX is almost entirely focused on the video game industry, so it's fun for many serious gamers. Originally called the Penny Arcade Expo, this convention accommodates people all over America; you probably won't have to travel too far from your hometown to attend.

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  • 3

    Anime Expo (AX)

    Photo: Toglenn / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

    Date & Location: The Anime Expo happens in early July at the Los Angeles Convention Center in California. The website lists upcoming dates.

    Average Attendance: 107,000+

    Approximate Cost to Attend: A single days costs $55, and a four-day pass is $115.

    Past Highlights: Every year, AX raises thousands of dollars to support organizations like the Children's Hospital of Orange County and the Japanese Red Cross.

    Why You Should Go: AX is one of the largest and fastest-growing anime conventions in America. It has a significant cosplay presence and is regularly attended by industry professionals and YouTube personalities.

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  • 4

    Gen Con

    Photo: Piotrus / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    Date & Location: Gen Con occurs during August in Indianapolis, IN. Details about the current dates are online.

    Average Attendance: 60,000+

    Approximate Cost to Attend: A one-day pay is between $60 and $70; a four-day pass costs $110.

    Past Highlights: Each convention focuses on a wide variety of new releases in tabletop gaming. New editions of Dungeons & Dragons are sometimes revealed during this event.

    Why You Should Go: If you like tabletop gaming, go to Gen Con. It's the largest tabletop-game convention in North America, featuring pen-and-paper RPGs, card games, and traditional board games.

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