Sunday, September 27, 2009

21,388 – NYAF By The Numbers

Saturday was by far the most insanely busy day in the history of the New York Anime Fest. Unbelievable numbers of people. But even with the crowds, we managed to count them all and this year’s attendance including fans, professionals, press, guests/speakers but NOT exhibiting staffers was 21,388! Woot! That’s a 16% increase over last year’s 18,399.That's an awesome number of otaku roaming the aisles, sitting in panels and dancing all over the Javits Center this weekend.

We know there are lots of ideas and opinions out there about NYAF moving to New York Comic Con and we really know that we can’t screw this up! A 16% increase in attendance tells us that you think we are doing something right with NYAF so we better not drop the ball with this move. We heard a lot of good feedback from vendors, industry insiders and especially fans this weekend about how to make NYAF's new home at New York Comic Con the best possible. So keep giving us your ideas and opinions and we promise to do this the right way and give the Otaku what they want…..and then some!

Now think about NYCC and what a massive party that is going to go down in exactly12 months and a week…….

Thanks for a great party this weekend!



Superdupperman said...

The numbers are great, but the reviews were.. well, kinda underwhelming.

I've been reading attendees feedback on it and NYAF has a lot of work ahead of it if you want to see those numbers again.

Among the complaints posted:

-Dealer's room: I was not fond with the dealer's room's "aisles." at least 1-2 of the rows were crowded with people,which made it impossible to get through. In all honesty,the aisles were a bit small, for the amount of people that attended.
-Position of artist alley: all I have to say for this is that the entire placement of the artist's alley thinned the passage to the other half of the con area,causing traffic. This became really noticable when a random Caramelldansen happened,causing people to father and entire block the passage. (problem was settles by con staff I guess.)
-Too many people,not enough space: this was the main problem I had. At one point,the con area was so full of people that I couldn't even move around. I literally had to get out of the area until it calmed down. That was the problem: the con area was way TO small for the amount of peopled who attended Saturday. My advice: there was plenty of unused area to the west of it:even some chairs/ tables/a couch or two/ and an open area for events. Use it, cause it was pretty much wasted space that could be use to enhance to experience.
-Seats: nothing much to say. Just that there were little to no seats WITHIN the con area. But plenty to the area I mentioned above.

-So many dealers, nothing really caught my eyes. It was all same things over and over again. I just bought one katana for my next cosplay cuz it's cheaper than buying online and convinient. There was not much thing to do, panels were disappointing, rooms were too small, too many people in too small space. It felt quite unprofessionally done, sloppy... And they kicked out everybody at 7?!?!? I heard that Otakon let ppl to stay till 2am. If they close out that early, you really can't do that. I think coming to the con is for meeting people and make new connection and if you can't do that, why would you come to the event and spent the money, especially if the city is so expensive to stay in?

-And the masquerade was a such a let down. I'm kinda sick of looking at frilly huge dresses that I do not recognize on the stage. I saw so many great costumes on the floors during the day and all the masquerade entry looked all same as last years. They really have to upgrade the masquerade and let more variety in. It's just boring... (last year's winner was also some crazy dresses... what's up with that? )

-There weren't really enough panels to keep everyone that attended busy/entertained.

You can read more at...

Miguel said...

This was the best NY Anime Fest yet! My only complaint are that the rooms for the screenings shown, where too small. Especially for Eva 1.0, where you had turn away many people on line for it, including me.

ガミネット said...

I second everything that Superdupperman said - and I can personally attest to the fact that Otakon stays open very late and schedules the panels with mature themes at the later times. [sidenote: At NYAF on Sunday, my friend and I caught the end of "Anime Name That Tune" (which was great, btw) but when asked why there weren't any yaoi titles, the panel organizer said that the NYAF people asked him not to include any yaoi in case little kids were in attendance and they didn't want the kids to be seeking out anime that wasn't appropriate for them.] ANYWAY.

A couple more complaints:

*By the time we got there early Saturday afternoon, there were NO programs left!! The people at the information desk had no idea if or when there would be any more;

*dueling audio. The MCs of the Neo-Victorian Fashion Show were pretty much drowned out by whatever it was that was going on at the back of the dealer's room, which was close by;

*costuming in the restrooms. Maybe you can guess what a drag it is to be in a long line waiting to use one of four stalls when they are usually occupied by people changing. There's at least one Con (I think it's SDCC) that is very strict about people changing only in designated areas and wisely set up a dressing area (which would be brighter and have more mirrors, presumably, than the tiny restrooms);

*My friend finally found a program - a discarded one that was only a little bit wet - and was happy to see that it had a map. I was curious to see the new taxi mascot logo on the NYAF t-shirts so we went looking for the NYAF booth. Well, it wasn't where it was supposed to be according to the map in the program, but we eventually found it.

*And this is totally my personal taste: this year's taxi mascot was the best one yet! So why were the t-shirts so awful? I would have loved to have one front and center on the shirt like all the others, but to have it just on the upper left corner? And on pastels? o_O

I've been to every NYAF so far (I live in Manhattan) but I think ComicCon is much more exciting and better organized. NYAF has always felt like a lesser offshoot. Still, I'm totally looking forward to NYAF/ComicCon next year!

Anonymous said...

I agree with superdupperman, it ends too early. It was a great place to socialize.

Will said...

I would have liked to have descriptions of the booths, perhaps with the kind of items each booth had. I spent a lot of time just wandering around, figuring out where I could get what.

The other thing is that booths that offered similar things were too far apart; there were three booths iirc that sold manga, but they were all over the place. It would be nice to see all the sword dealers grouped together, tshirts and things grouped into another, etc.

Those are my major issues, I agree with what Superdupperman said as well.

JamesCraven said...

Maybe by making it a two-level show (exhibitors on the top, retailers, artists alley and screening/panel rooms on the bottom, and adding a larger theatre-type setting for major events on the lower level). Any other ideas?

Hinano said...

I completely agree with everything Superdupperman said ESPECIALLY the crowding. It took me 15 minutes just to get to a bathroom because of all the people I had to push over to get through the crowd.

I missed half the dealers area because I couldn't be bothered waiting until 20 people stopped doing caramell dansen and blocking the way.

Additionally STOP SELLING SWORDS. These idiots buy them and then wield them around like giant sticks and smacking everyone in their vicinity. Or if they buy the sword at the con they should have some kind of shipping option to ship it home. Its incredibly dangerous and because of all the crowd traffic there's nowhere to even dodge if someone's about to (usually unintentionally) smack you with their long cardboard box.

Hinano said...

Oh forgot to mention - very much need the changing rooms. In one of the womens bathrooms which only has 3 stalls, 2 were being used by girls changing in or out of their cosplay. That's really annoying especially when you've just eaten a pretty awful lunch and you just GOTTA GO

Giant R said...

I love anime conventions and I thank Reed Exhibitions for doing NYAF for the past 3 years! I think that criticisms show that people care about the convention, so here are mine:

1) Too many of the panels seemed to be the same panels as last year. There were some good new additions, but too many seemed to be the same.
2) At NYAF there is generally an absence of "advanced anime fan" panels. Like - for example - the panels like "Know Your Creators" where they *introduce* the audience to Osamu Tezuka and Hayao Miyazaki (!) or the "Why Anime?" panel... these are good for rank beginners but will bore the rest of us. Might be one reason why the average attendee seems to keep getting younger and younger. Wouldn't you like some return attendees rather than mostly "fresh blood" every year?
3) Please train the volunteers better in the use of DVD players and how to prepare them for exhibition to a large audience. Sgt. Frog started about 15 minutes late because the person didn't know how to put the sound on without assistance, and the Gurren Lagann screening also had a major technical interruption in the middle of it.
4) I didn't even go on Saturday this year because the "Saturday overcrowding trample-fest" thing does seem to be a regular feature of these Reed exhibitions at Javits. Something should be done about this. I attended on Friday and Sunday and had a good time along with what I consider to be a just-right size crowd for the space on those days.
5) Considering comment #4, I strongly feel that THERE IS NO POSSIBLE ADVANTAGE FOR THE FAN IN COMBINING NYAF WITH COMIC-CON NEXT YEAR! I can only see this as something which is being done solely for the convenience of Reed and perhaps some of the exhibitors.

kreigwrikker0000 said...

I agree what the rest above me said. It was small than what I expected (because I saw pics of Comic Con so I assumed it would be a bit bigger) and it was really crowded. In about 1 and a half hour, you can finish looking at all the dealers. And there should be a booth that sells Japanese snack and food! But I had fun hanging out with my friends and seeing many people. Hopefully, in a year you can make it better. Looking foward to Comic Con.

JamesCraven said...

Here's a little story I wrote on my blog about my cosplay on September 26:

I Survived New York Anime Fest.

Chibi-Acer said...

Overall, I thought NYAF was great. I'm really looking forward to coming back next year, though I am nervous about it being combined with Comic Con. I hope the two together get more space or it will be way too cramped.

Like others have already said, my main complaint was that the screening rooms were waaay too small. What happened from last year? I've seen bigger classrooms than that. Considering there were some major shows going on, I can't believe we got shafted like that. Unlike last year, the con seemed to end way too early because once the panels were over there was little to do. You couldn't count on going to screenings since the chances of getting in were slim.

The only other criticism I have is that some stuff was announced way too late. AKB48 was awesome, but it's unfortunate that they had such a late show (I wasn't planning to stay in the city Sunday night) and it was limited (lotto) ticketing to boot.

Other than that, I had a blast. Funimation in particular had a great showing. I spent a bunch on cool vendor stuff, and even more in the artist alley (you guys are awesome, BTW).

Please try to figure out a way to fix some of the space issues, then everything will be great. Is that huge auditorium that everyone waits in before the show starts available to the con? Maybe once everyone clears out you could have some people setup chairs, then after noon or whatever that room would become what was the ANA Theater this year. That would be a ton of space for the big shows, and then the ANA theater space could have been used for screenings.

Either way, I'll be back next year. Time to start thinking on who to cosplay as... ^_^