Thursday, April 20, 2017

Walker Stalker San Francisco Review

Walker Stalker San Francisco
April 15-16, 2017
Fort Mason Conference Center, San Francisco, CA

April 20, 2017
by Robert Holloway, Jean Vallesteros

Fan Conventions are a hot commodity these days and it seems that a city is always hosting one every weekend. It has come to a point that if you have attended one, you’ve seen it all. And this is where Walker Stalker comes in. Although it is essentially a fan convention, it is far from the norm.
Walker Stalker made its return to the San Francisco Bay Area emanating at the Fort Mason Conference Center. This fan convention centers around the hit TV show on AMC and the graphic novel, The Walking Dead. This convention makes multiple sold-out stops across the United States providing a venue for fans to unite and celebrate.

The people behind the driving force of Walker Stalker are well seasoned and it shows with their very informative and friendly staff and volunteers. Convention attendees always dread a show that is sold out due to many horror stories of the long wait times for pass redemption. However, Walker Stalker’s system should be set as a prime example for other conventions on how to handle such a situation. Our team was able to pick up our badges in a timely manner with no problem

One of the main components of Walker Stalker is the celebrity guest. This is where they excel and they never seem to disappoint. Attendees not only have the opportunity to meet the stars of Walking Dead, other top celebrities from the genre are also in attendance for fan interaction. Actors and actresses from Sons of Anarchy, Boondock Saints and Z Nation were also on hand to provide a broader star power to the show.

Cosplay, panels, guests and exhibitors are a must thing-to do and see at any convention. These four components are key to success for any show and they certainly shined in San Francisco. As fans of the hit television show, one can easily be immersed to the aesthetic of The Walking Dead by having the opportunity to meet the people behind the characters. Fans can have a unique experience by meeting their favorite actors through autograph and photo ops.

Photo ops and autographs were at scheduled times so there were many chances to meet the celebrities. This is helpful for attendees who like to maintain a list of things to-do so they don’t miss out on anything. The companion app was a very beneficial tool to have as you walk on the showfloor. You literally have booth locations, times for photo ops and autographs, and other important information at the palm of your hands.

The celebrity guests are as much as a fan of the show as the attendees. You can tell that they are treated were great care and respect because they are generally happy to be there and treat their fans with the same gesture. The fact that Walker Stalker is centered around one Fandom, the passion from the fans and the people behind the show prominently stands out because it easily becomes more of gathering rather than any convention thrown together with a mix of multiple fandoms. We were all there to celebrate The Walking Dead.

The Venue was at the beautiful Fort Mason in San Francisco. It is located right on the water front and across the street from big beautiful houses. The convention was both indoors and outdoors. There were food trucks, panels, and the costume contest was held outside. The only down side was the rain on Sunday, and there was limited parking at the actual venue. There was an overflow parking lot, but it was about 2-3 blocks away. Parking was free which was nice, but even showing up an hour before the show, the onsite parking was already full.

Overall I had a great experience at my first Walker Stalker Con, and I hope they come back to Northern California next year. Great location, helpful staff, decent vendors, all the celebrities you could dream of, and more importantly the fandom! There were so many awesome and passionate people. It truly is a con "for the fans by the fans." I can't wait for Walker Stalker's return next year for more undead fun!

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