If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it billions of times. Whenever someone mentions Dragon*Con in a public forum, the crowd invariably mentions PAX or Gen Con or Comic Con or any one of 1000 other conventions/media events out there.
First, watch this video…
Now, here are some major differences between Dragon*Con and “everybody else”…
GenCon is gaming, only gaming, nothing but gaming. They are the Mac-Daddy gaming convention, and they do gaming very well. They do not, however, have concerts, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Costuming, or any of the other “3 hotels worth of stuff” that Dragon*Con does.
Penny Arcade Expo, is run for gaming companies, by gaming companies, and caters to an established audience. If you are a computer or console gamer, this is a great convention. If, however, you want to have drinks with celebrities, or are not a hardcore gamer. PAX isn’t for you.
Comic-Con focuses on Sci-Fi and (duh) Comics. You’ll have a pretty good chance of seeing celebrities there (since it’s located near Los Angeles and New York) and there is a correspondingly large media presence there.
There is only one convention that does “all of the above”. There’s only one convention that isn’t so hip-deep in advertising and sponsorship dollars that you can save yourself the trouble and just download press-releases all day. There’s only one convention that boasts 24-hour, round-the-clock, non-stop “stuff to do”. There’s only one convention that is run by fans, for fans.