15 Great Geeky Festivals and Conventions

Attention gamers, movie buffs, comic book addicts, wannabe knights, Star Trek fanatics, and bookworms! If you’re a big geek, then a big geeky festival, convention, or tournament is right up your alley. We’re here to help you get your geek on at Comic-Con, the Official Star Trek Convention, and other dorky (but fun) festivals and conventions around the world!
Comic Con Geek Festival

1. San Diego Comic-Con

Where: San Diego, California
When: July

There's no need to be shy about your geekiness at Comic-Con 2010. Instead, look forward to breaking news and sneak peeks into the video game, sci-fi and fantasy film, graphic novel, and anime industries, and tons of autographs to ask for! From screenwriter Stan Lee to comic book author Neal Adams, there’s no telling who you’ll rub geeky elbows with at Comic-Con. Spend the weekend in a San Diego vacation rental to make your experience complete.

2. The Official Star Trek Convention

Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
When: August

At the 2010 convention, you may get to shake hands with the real Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock, as William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy are set to make appearances. But perhaps the biggest stars of the convention are the loyal Star Trek fans who flood Las Vegas each and every year. With a Las Vegas rental, you’ll feel like one of the cooler geeks around.

3. RoboGames

Where: San Francisco, California
When: June

Soccer playing, bartending, acrobatic, fighting, remote-controlled, autonomous, and kung-fu robots are just some of the headliners of RoboGames, the biggest robot competition in the world. Anyone – from average Joes to genius engineers – can enter a homemade android into the open competitions, while other categories, like Humanoids and Combat, are more selective.

4. Texas Renaissance Festival

Where: Plantersville, Texas
When: Weekends in October and November

If you’ve ever felt like you were born in the wrong time period and would have fit in better with the jesters, wenches, knights, beggars, Shakespearean actors, gypsies, kings, and queens of the 1500s, then head to Houston area vacation rentals for one of the world’s most impressive and acclaimed renaissance festivals.

5. South by Southwest Interactive Festival

Where: Austin, Texas
When: March 2011

If you’re obsessed with the latest and greatest gizmos and gadgets, then connect with other technology junkies at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival, where creative entrepreneurs and pros of the media industry get together to network and pick each other’s brains. Musts are the 3-day Screenburn Arcade, the enlightening panels, and the competitions, which include one for game design. Lots of Austin condos and apartments are up for rent during SXSW.

Star Wars Celebration Geek Festival6. Star Wars Celebration

Where: Orlando
When: August

Meticulously thrown together by none other than Lucasfilm, Star Wars Celebration features exclusive collectibles and merchandise items, celebrity panels and meet-and-greets, costume contests, music performances, and of course, an abundance of excited Star Wars aficionados. Even George Lucas will be in attendance for this year's gathering.

7. WonderCon

Where: San Francisco, California
When: April 2011

Over 30,000 people are expected to show up to this year’s convention, which will showcase the newest and coolest technologies, video games, and movies, and also award its best dressed attendees at the WonderCon Masquerade costume contest! Sponsored by the folks behind Comic-Con, it’s no wonder expectations for WonderCon are always high and always exceeded.

8. Butt-Numb-A-Thon

Where: Austin, Texas
When: December

200 lucky film geeks get to help celebrate the December birthday of Harry Knowles, founder of AintItCoolNews.com, at the famous Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Several thousand movie hounds apply to attend Butt-Numb-A-Thon every year, but only a select group is treated to a marathon of vintage movies, world premiers, celebrity guests, and many more exclusive goodies.

9. MegaCon

Where: Orlando, Florida 
When: March 2011

To many comic book lovers, Comic-Con has abandoned them for television shows, movies, and other geeky glitz and glamour. But MegaCon (or the Mega Convention) brings things back to comic book basics, spotlighting the beloved art form with comics for sell and comic book writers on hand to answer questions and sign autographs. Tabletop gaming, celebrity guests, and anime exhibits have helped MegaCon earn the respect of 20,000 annual guests. Choose from our vast selection of Orlando vacation rentals as you book accommodations for MegaCon.

American Crossword Puzzle Tournament10. American Crossword Puzzle Tournament

Where: Brooklyn, New York
When: March 2011

With Will Shortz, the New York Times Crossword Puzzle editor, as your guide, watch phenomenal puzzle solvers compete for more than 20 prizes, including the grand cash prize of $5,000. Or put those years of doing crossword puzzles in your spare time to good use and compete yourself! May the fastest and most accurate man or woman win.

11. BlizzCon

Where: Anaheim, California 
When: October

If you’re a fan of World of Warcraft, Starcraft, or Diablo, why haven’t you bought a ticket to BlizzCon yet? BlizzCon, organized by Blizzard Entertainment – the creator of these classic and addicting computer games, is the place to be for insider news, interesting panels, and a quality goodie bag, to boot. We’ve got great Anaheim condo rentals that will make you feel welcome on your trip to BlizzCon.

12. QuakeCon

Where: Dallas, Texas
When: August

Do you think we’d leave out computer gamers? They’re a hard bunch to ignore, especially at QuakeCon, where thousands of computer gaming devotees come together to play their favorite games (sore losers tend to be vocal) and compete in cash prize tournaments. While gamers must supply their own computer, the event is free and also happens to be the biggest “LAN” party in America. If you don’t know what LAN means, you’re probably not going to QuakeCon anyways. A cheap Dallas vacation house will make your vacation to QuakeCon not only fun, but affordable, too.

13. Penny Arcade Expo

Where: Seattle, Washington
When: September

2009's gamer gathering drew 50,000 or so attendees. Whether you play on the computer, video game console, or on a table, the Penny Arcade Expo is for you – panels, exhibits, live music, and plenty of opportunity to indulge in your favorite games with new friends, fill this year’s schedule.

Roswell UFO Festival14. Roswell UFO Festival 

Where: Roswell, New Mexico
When: July

Maybe you swear you’ve been abducted by an alien or maybe you don’t believe in extra-terrestrial life forms at all. No matter who you are, the Roswell UFO Festival promises to be a fascinating, fun, and potentially geeky festival. Get your favorite UFO book signed; listen in on an insightful lecture from an ET expert; debate your thoughts on the legendary Roswell incident with skeptics and believers alike; and win a prize for dressing up like an alien! The Roswell UFO Festival is one of the more family-friendly festivals on this list and is certain to intrigue and entertain all walks of life.

15. Electronic Entertainment Exp (E3)

Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
When: June

Journalists and insiders make up the bulk of E3 attendees but if you manage to get your foot in the door here, you’ll catch wind of the hottest tech and video game news before anyone else. Every year, giant companies like Sony and Microsoft gather at the Electronic Entertainment Expo to make giant announcements and show off their up-and-coming products.



Photos by Rachel Lovinger, caoimhin57, and Howie Muzika