Monday, October 17, 2011

New York Comic Con – A Huge Thanks to All 105,000 Of You!



NYCC set another record with 105,000 people descending on the Javits Center this weekend over 4 days (yup, our first ever 4 day NYCC). The numbers are not totally final, but it won't go any higher than 105,000 so it's a good round number to use.


I’ve gotten a ton of tweets and emails thanking me and the team, but all the thanks go to all of you that came and rocked NYCC. I think this was the most fun I’ve personally had at NYCC and that is all thanks to the fans that brought so much energy, the talented guests that filled the event with so much creativity, the exhibitors that built the most elaborate booths we’ve ever seen and so much kick ass product that I literally ran out of money shopping.


I know a lot of you look forward to NYCC all year, and remember the entire ReedPop team spends that same year working to build something worthy of your time, passion and yes, investment. Every year the show has grown so dramatically that it feels like we are starting over with our plan and building a brand new show. In spite of that fact, every year we try to make it better and improve upon the things that did not go well the year before. We got some things right and we know we missed the mark on some things as well. What’s important though is that we always are listening. In the weeks leading up to the show, I was getting about 200 emails from fans every day, and I know the entire ReedPop team was too. We do our best to answer every one if we can. My point is just to illustrate that we are listening and we work hard to earn your support.


After the show I get a lot of emails too about things that did not go well in some people’s eyes so let me give you a few points on the good and that not so good from what I’ve seen and heard.
This year was a lot of firsts. Our first Thursday preview, which I think went awesome. First concert with Tom Morello and DJ Z-Trip which is a concept we hope to blow up next year. Our first business summit in White Space, which was pretty mind opening. Our first 3 day, Saturday and Sunday sell out.


For the first time we used color coded, separate entrances to the building, which largely seemed to work well, but more on that later.


It was the first time Hasbro or LucasFilm were at the show as exhibitors and if you saw the Hasbro booth or rode in the Red Tails flight simulator, I am hoping you were blown away.


It’s the first time we filled all of level 3 with exhibits and spread out to Javits North.


I think Anime on the 4th floor worked much better than on level 1 like last year. It was extremely busy all weekend, which says something positive.


We heard loud and clear that many of you felt last year was too crowded and we listened. No doubt the show was busy, but we capped our ticket sales more aggressively so it would not be so “vibrant” as I like to say. We have a formula of gross square feet available to us divided by number of people. We upped that amount by several gross square feet per person this year (we were able to do that and still grow as we added the 4th floor and Javits North).


I’ve heard from a number of fans that they were unhappy with not getting into the IGN Theatre for Avengers and Walking Dead and the organization of the queuing for those events. I agree, it should have been handled better and I am sorry for that, truly. We will have a better plan for queuing in place for next year and we are also looking hard at building out a bigger IGN Theater in another part of the building for next year. No matter though, with 100,000 people and 3,000 seats in the theatre, we will never be able to accommodate all that want to go. Folks were unhappy that we do not clear that room between panels, we never have cleared rooms in 6 years and state it on our web site and I’m not sure that policy will change. Clearing a room of that size after every panel means adding about 40 minutes between panels which would mean about half as much content in that room each day. I do not think that is a good choice there for do not see that policy changing.


I also got some notes about the queue hall on Saturday and Sunday before the show and the fact that people were unhappy being sent there and that not everyone was. This is simple logistics guys, when 40,000 plus people descend on a building over the course of 75-90 minutes, they have to go somewhere. It would be an absolutely unsafe situation to simply allow everyone to free flow about the building. When the queue hall was filled and backing up into the North Concourse area of the show, we could not continue sending people there, so we opened the doors of the blue entrance on level 3. This seemed unfair to some, and I suppose in a sense it is, but in another sense it is an absolute safety issue and a call we had to make. Think of it this way – 9-10:45 of NYCC is rush hour. If you come before that or after that, you’ll have less traffic. Just like driving, if you take the freeway during rush hour, expect some delays. I’m not deaf to the concerns expressed, but with a crush of people of that size, some inequities of who gets in when cannot be avoided and I’m sorry for that, but safety above all else during that hectic morning rush hour is our first priority.

I know there are many more bright spots and many more areas to be improved upon and I’m confident you’ll all let me know about them in the coming days, but I wanted to highlight a few of them here.


Above all else, I wanted to thank everyone that came to the show for making it great. It is a humbling experience to be a part of building something that brings fun and excitement to so many people. Myself and the entire ReedPop team thank you from the bottom of our hearts.


We’ll see you next year, October 11-14 and we’ll have even more space to build an even bigger and more amazing NYCC.


-Lance

53 comments:

JustinL81 said...

This year's NYCC was the best yet. From Hasbro's debut to all the great costumed fans, 2011 was a banner year for NYCC and for Reed. I had the great pleasure of getting to meet Lance and Milton, and both guys are top-notch. Congrats to Reed on an outstanding show and to all the fans who attended. Can't wait for 2012!!

mcuseless said...

I truly had a blast! And it was my first con, too! The panels were awesome, the guests were a pleasure to meet, and everything was just perfect! Thank you for a great experience and I'm definitely saving the date for next year!!

Unknown said...

Lance - thanks to you and the entire ReedPOP team! This is the first year that I can truly say that I got to see everything that I wanted to. Even at the most crowded times, I still felt like it was manageable. Loved that the autographing area was in a big, open and quieter space.

I only have 2 minor complaints and 1 suggestion:
1) The VIP lounge is kind of sucky and a bit depressing. Seems to get worse every year.
2) You website is extraordinarily slow and clunky. It could use some streamlining, as well as the ability to sync the My Show Planner with the mobile app (I'm on Android)
3) and finally, my suggestion is more great Kids Day stuff like Bonnie Burton's Star Wars craft panel... my daughter loved that and simlar things for younger kids ages 4-8 would be appreciated!

Thanks again! Looking forward to next year!
-Steve C.

Sub said...

Lance,

Let me state, that I have gone to your show for 5 years now, and I had the most fun ever this year. You and your team did an outstanding job. The volunteers this year were better trained and were super friendly. I was amazed how everything ran smoothly. The Thursday night preview night was AWESOME! I had a great time all around, except for a major problem I had with Marvel about the Avengers signing they had on Saturday. I won a ticket to see Chris Evans and Tom Hiddleston, and they left the booth before they were finished signing for myself and 15 others who won the "guaranteed" autograph. I understand that they needed to get to the panel, but Marvel really had no back up plan to maybe meet them after the panel, or even just get us some posters that were signed by them, they just said we were pretty much SOL. There was a little girl who was behind me with her father, they had won as well, and she was practically in tears when the actors left. Also, since I wasted about 2 hours waiting in the line to meet them, I wasn't able to attend the Avengers panel because it was already closed off. I know that has nothing to do with you and your staff, and that was all Marvels fault, but they really really handled it poorly.

The only other problem was the Bevis and Butthead panel. That should have been in the IGN theater, but I was at least able to watch it at the VIP lounge. I understand if MTV wanted it in their room, because it is an MTV show. Maybe next year we can get the IGN theater to stream in the VIP lounge as well. Or even set some other room aside for the overflow crowd to watch the stream of the bigger theaters (IGN, MTV, and AmerAirlines).

Melissa81 said...

@Sub: That stinks! I'm very sorry to hear this happened to you and the other 15 fans. I won a ticket for the Clark Greg/Colbie Smulders signing and as far as I know, everyone got through b/c they really kept the line moving for that one. I was really sad that I didn't get the Chris/Tom ticket, but I would have felt 1000X worse had I won, and got shut out because of poor line control. Marvel has done several of these signings already and should know better. Perhaps send them an email explaining what happened? Nothing may come of it, but you never know.

baa96f38-b237-11e0-8545-000bcdcb2996 said...

I've attended all of the NYCCs and this one was the best yet. The only thing not good was the Friday line but other than that, an awesome job guys. I'll be back next year

8082fc76-f8f9-11e0-a1b5-000f20980440 said...

While I think it's a shame that you won't kick out the IGN Theater squatters (I personally think it's silly to go to a convention, yet not actually go into the convention), the handling of the line (which wasn't as much a line as it was a mass of people packed together) needs vast improvement. More knowledgeable staff and definitely more security.

Sinner said...

On behalf of the Mandalorian Mercs I'd like to thank you for a great Con. We had a great time with the fans and other exhibitors. Next year we hope to have an even larger presence.

Lauren said...

Lance, Peter and the rest of ReedPOP just want to thank you all for the awesome NYCC this year! I may be the minority (or maybe the only one as a NYCC attendee) but I like the fact you don't clear the room in the IGN Theatre. Well a lot of the panels I attended this year and last are right after one another. And to line up again is a hassle etc. I got a 3 day pass (and always will I am a pop culture nut lol)...so I figured check out the show floor on Friday and Sunday. The only thing I think you should be aware (regarding IGN Theatre this year and last)...several people in front of me were told by NYCC to vacate their seats because they're for VIPs even though they claimed it first. There is no reserved sign or anything on those...fortunately that has never happened to me, but I felt bad for those people. They eventually refused, NYCC called security and I think the issue was let go and just let them sit there. So maybe have a bigger venue? I don't know..but thought I'd let you know what I witnessed.

Lauren said...

Also...is it possible if there could be free wi-fi throughout Jacob Javits?

Halo said...

I don't know about comic stuff, but anime and manga panels was needed more space for people.
Miku's line was closed for 40 (or so) minutes before start. Fairy Tail Panel had a huuuuuge line, three times more, than the room could fit.
Same for Makoto Shinkai, Junko Takeuchi, Mashima ect...
Anime screening room (1A18) had only 70 (or so) seats. It's okay most of the times, but not for events with creators. Kinda shame...

Ah, and air condition sometimes doesn't worked.

Ah, and there was only ten or so atm. And why they was SO old? It took an ages to withdraw 100 bucks.

Ah... Oh, well.
----

Thanks to guests and frendly staff/volunteers, they made my (and not only) first NYCC enjoyable. Shinkai even did his sign for an every last fan, even when time is over (though it was vip sign, but hey).
Even in line was fun too, thanks to other fans. I just think it would be better to tell you all this complains for better NYCC in next year.

The Gaf said...

It was a great show.

I'll echo a few comments myself. I bought the VIP ticket, did it last year, and will probably again, just for the marginal extras. You should beef those up though, even it you raise the price $25 bucks or so.

1) VIP lounge sucked. TVs sucked. No food/snacks. Nothing but an empty room with some water and coat check that was really far from the panel area. Fail.

2) Waaaay too crowded. I know you'd lose money, but you have to find a way to cap it more. Too insane.

3) VIP access- there are no VIP lines, and no real VIP perks for panels at all. Except the walking in and out of IGN. You need VIP seating at IGN, and quite frankly, in the others as well. Rows 1-2 of any panel should be VIP, and then the rest GA.

4) I did enjoy Thursday night. The limited access made the showroom floor really a good experience- except half the booths were non-operational/broken and not really engaging with the fans, ie no good swag.

5) Kids day- I liked the almost separate venue in the Hasbro area, but it should be completely segregated from everything else. The kids almost get crushed by people trying to get autographs. Kids need space to walk, and be entertained without being overwhelmed.

Otherwise- great job- top notch talent, great panels, previews, extras, etc. Will definitely be back next year- just tighten it up a bit. :D

DR5WHO said...

Hey Lance
I had an awesome time at NYCC. I liked the VIP lounge as it was a goo place to go and relax and get my barrings and to get away from the huge crowds for awhile. Loved that the autograph area and artist alley had their own areas. I have been to all but the first and will be back again next year. Oh the seperate entrance was a good idea also.

Miguel said...

Lance I thought the con was great! Much better organized and more room to walk than last year. Better exhibitors, guests, and programming, as well. Although, I didn't get to see to much, myself. The line-up of panels in the IGN theater were the best since 2008, IMO. I find it interesting for several reasons that you all looking for a bigger IGN theater, next year...

I actually volunteered at the IGN theater this year. And I agree with keeping with the policy, of not clearing panel rooms, despite how unfair it seems. Considering that many of the IGN panels on Friday and Saturday were running about 30 mins behind schedule, without clearing the theater. It would definitely just have taken too much time, to force people who want to stay to leave. Then have those same people brought back in with everyone else and wait for all of them to get settled in. I see SDCC doesn't do it either, Since they been running longer, they probably have a good reason for not doing it. I also don't think it's worth losing "content" in the IGN theater. Being how limited the Hollywood stuff in NYCC is compared to SDCC.

Aces said...

Good job with the 2011 edition of NYCC Lance, but as usual, there are problems that needs fixing.

The IGN theater debacles needs changing no matter if you lose a panel or 2 to kick out seat planters and ensure that everyone has a fair shot at them. What got everybody most upset was that nobody told those waiting in line for hours that they were not getting in. People wasted good money to spend half a day or more waiting just to be told "we're full"? Would you be upset? I would be furious. At least, consider piping in a live feed to another panel room or 2 for future consideration.

105,000 is a cool number and all, but even with additional space, it felt as packed as last year. There were reports of counterfeit badges and security at each entrance was not checking each and everyone for badges because of the overwhelming amount of people coming and going.

There were also a incident of pervert with camera gear hanging around in the lobby taking pictures of female cosplayers and actually getting physical with them.

There has to be some changes to prevent these kinds of abuse next year.

Erin Wolf said...

Hi Lance,
This was Nerdsburgh's first year at NYCC and from a first timer's perspective, I thought it had everything a con goer could possibly want and more.

I understand the grumblings from fans about the incredibly long lines to the more popular panels...especially the IGN theatre events such as The Avengers and The Walking Dead. Personally, I thought waiting in various lines was a great way to meet new people and pow wow with other nerds like myself.

Although I wouldn't change the policy regarding the smaller panels, I do recommend some time of pre-sale or pre-registration for IGN events. Some type of anticipatory action like an online pre-sale might sidestep any miscommunication regarding intense 4 hour plus queuing, especially if these patient fans were eventually denied entrance anyway.

Thank you again for a wonderful experience and I look forward to covering the event next year!
-Erin Wolf
For full coverage of NYCC, check out www.nerdsburgh.com

lafemmeluna said...

I have to agree with all the comments saying this was the best NYCC ever. You could really see the growth in both space and organization! So much thanks to you and your team, Lance.

But there definitely needs to be a higher volume of ATMs, especially as using credit cards at the booths was hard with such a congested network. And Con germs! We all know how prevalent they are! Is it possible to maybe get Purell dispensers scattered throughout the Javits for next year? NYCC DOES happen at the very beginning of flu season... :)

Gene said...

The con was fantastic this year, but there were very bad missteps along the way. I got locked out of The Avengers panel and I am not happy about that. I was looking forward to it for months, but a bunch of people who want to stay in the theater get to stay? Not fair to anyone.

My suggestion is to have two theaters and stagger events. This way one theater can be cleared while the other is running. This ensures that fans can get into a panel they want to. So, say had it been done this year, if you wanted to see The Walking Dead panel you can do that, but you'll miss the Avengers panel. It gives people a choice and they can plan accordingly what they really want to do. And from what I understand VIP's didn't have the two front rows to themselves reserved? I've never been to a con that hasn't had that perk.

Secondly, security really needs to be beefed up. Matt Fraction of all people was saying his friend was pickpocketed. I understand things like that happen, especially in NY with a crowd that size, but security was few and far between and way overwhelmed. Also, I did notice the pervert in the lobby but no security was around to stop him and throw him out, or the two cops that I did see are not even close to enough to control that crowd.

Thursday was fantastic, keep that up! Although a lot of the booths were still setting up, I got to do a few things other fans didn't, such as hold Thor's hammer on the Avengers stage. That was a great experience.

This was my first NYCC and I'm still in awe of the show. I'm already planning for next year, and I look forward to meeting more great fans, getting to interact with some great guests and having a blast overall.

THANKS!!!!

Mzfeebs said...

i really enjoyed comic con this year, big events were of course the walking dead and the avengers panel. i was one of the people that camped out in the ign theater for the day. but only annoyance with that was for the ultimate pass holders, they spent their money to get their guaranteed seats [ i wasnt a vip but i felt for the people who were having problems] i believe the con staff and not the volunteers should check for badges in the specified areas. these poor kids were getting cursed out by regular pass holder for sitting in the seats that were for vip. it needs to be stricter i believe. i enjoyed the thursday early day it was less crowded and it was nice being able to see the booths and getting exclusives before the big con days.
at the moment i'm suffering from post con plague. =.= but that will not stop me cannot wait for year 7 =D

fbd7f022-fa0f-11e0-a3f6-000bcdcb2996 said...

Great show and much better than last year. This was my second con and this time I brung friends along... whom all loved it. We will be back with even more friends next year!

Pros:

better spacing and better isles made getting around better. I loved how the celebrity area was seperate. They felt more comfortable, less rushed and talked more this year.

2. Much more cooler things to see this year. The car shows, avengers set, all the star wars stuff, and so many other cool things made the trip worth it and left a lasting impression on us. I here now wondering how the heck do you top this year?

Here are my gripes which I hope you take into consideration....

1.In booth lines were never clearly defined. I don't know how many times i walked into a place to buy something or get a pic to only find out it wasn't part of the line and be sent to a line that I could barely tell with such big crowds.

2. Website was slow and the guest list was posted very late like last year. Many of guest and things I wanted to see showed up in the last 2 weeks before the show. I would have bought the tickets months ago and got more people to come with me if this info was live sooner.

3. Please post major info sooner rather than later when it comes to panel schedules, etc. Its hard to pick out what day or days to go when you don't know what is going on yet and there is no info online to tell you which day best suits what I would enjoy the most. If I had known this ahead of the pre ticket mailing deadline, I would have once again purchased them sooner and got more people to go.

Great show and will be back next year... in force!

fistofsmith said...

Hey Lance,

Once again great show overall. Love the vibe that this show gives off.

First off you got to make the website more tech friendly. I felt like I was going to have buy a whole new pc to just handle the loading of the website.
The site needs to be simple and load quickly on whatever web capable device that the person is using. It was way to slick and way to flashy. A simple website well do.

I know this isn't necessary all your fault. Somehow, someway there has to be better comunication on where, what time and how the signings to celebrities are going to be handle.
I would have love to been able to get Haven cast autographs. There was no information till I found out to late. The funny thing was, I was on the train ride into the city and I check the website on my tablet and there was nothing about Haven signing till I went onto the website Saturday morning to check Saturdays Autograph Schedule and there is was: Haven friday 4pm-5pm. A little to late, oh well! Batman Year One/Arkham City panels guest. I just got lucky that I was at the autograph area at the time. There was never any info posted for that either on NY Comic Con's site. Just a one time mention on your blog site.

anyway thanks for all of your efforts. I hope to be at Celebration 6 next year.

William

@sub, I felt sorry for you. That you and others got shut out of Avengers autograph line even though you won tickets to get their autographs. I just a video posted online of the autographing session for Chris Evans and Tom. The problem with Marvel they allow photo ops taken with them and that slowed the autographing session down considerably. Taking away time to get to everyone who won a ticket to get an autograph. Hey I just missed out getting a Walking Dead autograph ticket. I waited just over an hour and they gave the last ticket out to the person right in front of me.

Melissa81 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissa81 said...

Some pros are that the show floor seemed SLIGHTLY less crowded than last year… I remember last year I couldn’t take any full steps to walk anywhere on Saturday and Sunday. At least this year, there were pockets of room to spread out slightly.

I think the way some of the cast signings were handled last year was WAY better. I recall they were all in private rooms downstairs, and you had to get a ticket for them. Having all these signings at the booths was extremely chaotic and volunteers NEVER knew what was going on. They acted like you were in the way and were very annoyed, but there was no room to move anywhere out of the way. I also found out about the Kevin Conroy autograph signing @ the last minute because I happen to be by the autograph area @ that time. My friend and I waited an hour in line, only to them have a volunteer cut the line RIGHT in front of us. PLEASE tell the volunteers to cut the line (if need be) with more notice. It’s not fair to wait for that long (and miss other signings/panels in the process) to then be turned away at the last second. That happened to me again during another signing.

Also, the website was just awful. It froze on my constantly, and I finally gave up trying to access it, since I spent more time trying to refresh a page than actually getting info from it.

And don’t get me started on the way Marvel handled their autograph lottery. I wound up with Clark Gregg/Cobie Smulders, but there was A LOT of line cutting and people going through the lottery line 2-3 times ahead of those who only got through once! Marvel finally caught on to what was happening and started putting black X’s on ppl’s hands once it was my turn to go through (of course). I admit, though, that it’s so much worse to have won a ticket and be turned away like that. I saw countless Marvel ppl staffing that booth during the Chris/Tom signing, and you’re telling me no one was able to figure out the timing better or move the line along? When I was in the crowd watching, a girl next to me was talking to her friend after begging security to be let in the line, and said that security denied her, but let someone dressed as Loki through the line with no ticket, and 2 disabled ppl through the line that also did not have winning tickets. So that’s at least 3 ppl that met them who didn’t win. I also noticed that a couple Marvel booth staffers got in line, and got their autograph/pics. I caught that on my camera, so they got ahead of ticketed fans, too.

JJ said...

This was my second time at NYCC, and I still love it! I think spreading it out over 4 days is brilliant, and I hope this continues. It was amazing being able to walk the floor on Thursday with a reasonable amount of people. I also think it was less congested on Saturday (last year there were moments I was actually afraid -- I'm short and more than once got swept into a crowd of people who didn't see me and just got pushed along for several minutes in whatever direction the crowd was going until an hole opened up in the crowd and I could get myself free... not a pleasant experience!). Still a lot of people, but not like last year, at least as far as I could see.

The other improvement from last year was the app, which didn't require wifi to work (wifi being prohibitively expensive!)... mostly. The map never loaded for me in the Javits, but most of the app worked, which was good, because last year it was worse than useless once I entered the con, which seemed silly. This year I could actually use it inside (as in: "I saw a t-shirt at Busted Tees I've decided to buy... now where was that booth again?) which was good.

Things I did not like... I agree with other posters about the lines. Especially the line to get into the Jay and Silent Bob event... which was a ticketed event. I understand that apparantly Kevin and Jason were late, but... well, I actually hurt my back that night standing in line for close to 2 hours for an event that started over an hour late... why they moved us from lining up outside to lining up in the other room was ridiculous... if something is going to start late, why they couldn't let us wait in a room with chairs is beyond me. I understand that waiting in lines is a part of what happens at cons, but it sucks and I think that some thought should be put into making the waiting as un-unpleasant as possible... like making sure events start on time (I know this particular event may have been out of your control, but it was far from the only panel I went to that started late... Robot Chicken, for example, was about half an hour late). And honestly, this particular wait was ridiculous. It was a ticketed event, so there was no way the people lining up were going to outnumber the seats, we could have been let in to the room to wait there...

Or at the very least, some explanation being given to the people waiting in line as to why they are still waiting goes a long way towards calming down the increasingly angry masses. Telling us how much longer it might be, why we are waiting, etc... knowledge, as they say, is power. I don't mean to harp on this one thing so much, but honestly, my back still hurts from standing in that line for so long...

But all in all, it is still a fantastic event! I fully intend to make it an annual thing.

fistofsmith said...

@Melissa81
I was in the same line as you were. Maybe about 20 people behind where you got cut off. I also seen that volunteer step into the line to tell everyone that the line closed.
You should have just stayed. That is what I did and I told the person right in front of me to move up. So when everyone in front moved along. I moved up along with the guy in front of me.
The security guard behind the table along with Kevin, Andrea and Bruce said that the line was closed. I just told him I only wanted a Kevin Conroy autograph. I don't even need to walk up to him.
Kevin did sign an extra 10 posters before he left. I was lucky enough to get the Arkham poster Kevin signed and the Batman Year One poster that Bruce and Andrea signed. I even got a second to tell Kevin he is the ultimate voice for Batman and was able to get a photo of him.
I felt I got real lucky with that one. I didn't even try to get an autograph ticket for the Avengers. After reading some of the nightmares of people who had tickets and still couldn't meet them. It just sounded awful.

Melissa81 said...

@fistofsmith: That's good that you lucked out...I've been able to lurk around after a line was cut off and get lucky, too. I tried with Kevin, but the volunteer kept yelling several times right at me & my friends that there were no more autos and the ppl that got through the line might not even get them. We definitely lingered, but then just gave up after seeing him shoo more ppl away for several minutes. This is a great example, though, of how ppl that wait in line for so long get misinformation from staff and lose out. And this signing wasn't even on the main floor at a booth...it was in the autograph area which should have been way more organized. Ok, I'm done complaining for now :)

Brad Wayne said...

This was my 4th year with the Ultimate Access VIP pass. I have to say that except for the Avengers panel, it was a complete waste of money. Lance, something seriously needs to be done about this. They didn't even sell out. You should have included something like Unlimited access to the IGN, MTV, AND American airlines theaters. In these tough economic times, it was a shame how short changed me and my fellow VIPers felt. Other than that, this was the best con in recent memory. Much better in terms of organization, programming and the ability to navigate around the Javitts Center. I look forward to next year, i just hope the ultimate access issue is addressed.

OneBadassmotha said...

This is my second time going to this convention and I have to say that this is the best NYCC that i have went to by far. That is not to say that their where a couple of mishandles ( particularity Avengers and Walking Dead both) With long 3 hour lines and people cutting and hopping dividers. I felt like the volunteers that were hired look more loss and confuse in handling the massive crowds. So with that being said I have couple of suggestions that I would hope you can take into consideration

1) Having more Security and volunteers at your the bigger panels is a must, but if not everybody can make it to these grand panels maybe having Big TV screens outside the rooms with live feed nice to the rest of the fans that didn't make it.

2)This might be more on the Javits centers end, but maybe getting flat screen TV's built outside every conference room can give people chance to see their their favorite stars,artist, stars and Authors even if they cannot get in to the actual screening.

3)VIP members deserve better more luxurious room for the ticket prices they paid for. It would be cool to have personal game booth from the show room floor available in the VIP lounge would make people who spend more feel more appreciated. Also, maybe having the stars check in through VIP entrance giving fans quick opportunity to take pictures and sign stuff would be nice.

4)Allow people to see the Bigger panels on their smartphone: Have a bar code with every program that links to website with live feed event through your phone. Again, that way if people can't get in, the go on the phones watch the conference in the palm of their hand.

Other than that, This was the best one i went to I thank you Lance, and staff for that. See you in 2012!

Hal Miller said...

Thank you NYCC for a fantastic weekend of geekery! I've been to every NYCC so far, and it gets better each year. I walked out of Javits very happy, with comics, autographs, memories and photos to document it all.

However, a few key issues put a bit of a damper on the weekend. So, my complaints in short:

- Still too crowded.
- Disorganized lines for the panels.
- Rooms for panels not large enough to accommodate the multitude of fans.
- Not enough ATM's, and the cash ran out quickly. Those ATM's were not refilled with dough.
- Poor to no phone/internet coverage. A Javits/phone company issue to be worked out in time for next year?

Like I said, overall, a great time. Can't wait til next year!

Hal

Kirby said...

Had a truly fabulous time! I'd rather it be slightly less crowded than slightly more, but it was survivable even at peak.

One concrete suggestion: The Javitz Center was a dead zone for Internet. And the iPhone app (and probably Android) required checking for updates before being able to get in and look at my carefully constructed personal schedule. So it wasn't accessible. A 'skip checking for new data' button on the loading screen would've been phenomenally useful in practice. (I love the app in theory, but it just wasn't usable during the actual show.)

B said...

One major issue I noticed in the IGN on Saturday was the fact people were allowed to sit int he $450 VIP seats who obviously weren't VIPs. It seemed that no one was checking badges and depending on who you asked, you were told you could sit there or you told you couldn't. I know if I paid that kind of money for a "premiere" seat in IGN and found someone else there, who didn't belong there, I'd be pissed.

If you're going to offer seating like that, the area should be roped off. You should have to show your badge before you can even get near that area. Might it cause a traffic jam? Sure, but it'll stop arguments and near fights like I saw.

I doubt rooms will ever be cleared between panels. What happens if someone does actually want to see 2 or 3 panels in the same room? Should they lose out on a great seat and have to wait in line again? How is that fair? Maybe since I've been to SDCC, I knew how crazy The Walking Dead and Avengers lines would be and I arrived bright and early.

biglou said...

Overall great convention and a great time -- looking forward to next year already.

One MAJOR issue that should be addressed -- no Handicapped Parking. This was not due to constuction -- There is plenty of space in front of the Javits. Instead, NYCC rented out that space to FORD. Why looking at or "road" testing cars is a necessary part of any comic convention is unknown to me - but money talks, I guess. While I was still able to attend(at added parking costs because I had no choice but to park across the street instead of further away) -- others may not have been so lucky.

Please seriously look at this before 2012. Thanks very much.

kasper11 said...

This was my first NYCC and I had an awesome time.

That said, a couple of suggestions...

1) The queue line Saturday was a joke. The fact that it took an hour and a half to get through that line was ridiculous, as was the fact that we were forced to wait outside, go downstairs, wait through the line, then go up to the floor before we could disperse sucked. I missed an 11:00 panel I wanted to see because of this. Even if the wait was longer outside, it would have been far easier to wait outside, then go where you want once inside. I don't see how forcing everyone to go up to the show floor helps. Y

You need to have more than one entrance for ticketholders. How about letting the VIP and press people in at 9:30, then you could add that entrance for the general public? Letting the VIPs in first would be a nice bonus for the people paying a lot, and it would add more space for the general public.

Also, the green entrance is probably the worst for the biggest line. Let the press/VIP use that entrance, and let the regular ticketholders line up at 35th Street. First, this entrance is bigger and can more easily take the bigger crowd. Second, by lining up the ticketholders at 37th street, the line goes past 35th street anyway, which blocks the entrance the VIPs are using. Queuing the general public up at 35th street would allow the line to wrap around the building and keep things better organized.

2) Any reason the floor can't stay open later? There are 9:00 panels, and the floor closes at 7:00. Would be nice if the floor was open until 8:30 so we could have something to do while waiting for the last panel.

3) The panel scheduling was kinda weird. You had the Walking Dead panel at the same time as the zombie apocalypse panel. The Nat. Hist. Museum panel on the future of space travel ended right when the Science channel panel began in a different room. These are the types of panels that are likely to appeal to the same people, so I would think they should be at different times.

4) The website needs to be better, and updated sooner. It should give the times that the people will be appearing.

Sure, it was crowded, but nothing more than I expected it to be. It's a huge event, lots of people want to go.

I went Fri-Sun, and can't wait to go next year.

TGTSNBN said...

I have been going to the NYCC since the first year. And I concur that this was the best year yet.

Reed continually improves and fixes mistakes from previous years in ways I rarely see a company do.

The entire atmosphere of this con was far more friendly and enjoyable than past ones.

The only complaint I concur about is informing the audience. Its understandable that things go wrong and that you might have to wait in a line for some reason that wasn't expected. But don't make people wait in the dark.

Have someone in charge tell the volunteers to go out to the line and tell people WHY there is a delay. We won't riot, in fact we might be sympathetic. The line I am particularly discussing was the one for the Cosplay Masquerade.

I cannot wait for next year and I hope to work with ReedPop to bring even more Harry Potter fandom to the con =)

Wonder Marq said...

Lance- I volunteered this year and just wanted to share with you my most memorable moment. If you didn't hear, on Sunday in front of the IGN Theater I proposed to my gf, now fiance via flash mob. I couldn't have done without the help of Kristin and a bunch of the volunteers, staff and security. If you haven't seen it yet, here is the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc_xxtslntM&feature=related

Katheen said...

This was my summer of cons - I attended SDCC, Dragon*Con, and NYCC - and I thought NYCC was terrific. The crowds felt manageable, there was tons of great stuff to see and many cool exhibitors to meet.
Hail of bullets:
Pro: mailing the badges in advance and color coding the doors - this was the most efficient entry method I experienced at any con.
Pro: using Javits North for kid programming and autographs - loved the ability to go take a break in a less crowded venue
Pro: Thursday Preview Night was great and I loved getting a chance to survey the floor pre-con.
Con: IGN theater line organization. Not clearing the hall between sessions is fine and you certainly let everyone know that the hall wouldn't be cleared, however it would have been great to have staff/volunteers let waiting folks know when each panel had started so that they wouldn't continue to wait. It would also have been great to have video or at least audio of the panels projected in the huge line holding area.
Suggestion: At SDCC they showed video recaps of the big panels in the evening, obviously without including studio footage. Maybe you could add something like that? I think a lot of people would have liked to see the Haven, The Walking Dead, and The Avengers panels, even if they weren't live.
Suggestion: More ATMs!

Great con and I'm looking forward to next year.

Mechi said...

It was extremely disappointing that 90% of the guests that I was there to see did not show up on Friday. No one seemed to have any information that would be of any help to me. It was also aggravating that the website did not indicate some of the guests would not be attending ALL days of the show. In the future I just don't see myself attending another NYCC show.

eraisuithon923 said...

loved that the one ring .net was there for the first time . but bummed that there was no lord of the rings concert this year . had a great time with bad kids go to hell booth , loved the attack the block pannel . and had an amazing time with celebrity authentics and the cast meet n great with conan . been to all nycc but 2011 was the best so far . also the concert was great!!!!!!! the floor plan was the best set up also

Travis said...

@ The Gaf. If you paid for the Ultimate Access VIP, you got special seating in the IGN Theater. I paid for that pass and sat 3rd row for the panels. 250 people did the same thing. To give VIP seating to ALL of the VIPs... that would defeat the purpose of the special seating.

@ Lauren. Friday morning saw a special sign on EACH and every one of the seats reserved for the Ultimate Access VIPs. By Saturday afternoon, when the issues started (I was there also), some of the seats were missing on the signs... or the people who sat there took them off. I can see where they were coming from, but there were announcements made throughout Saturday stating that the first 9 rows in the center section were reserved for Ultimate Access VIPs, and that you could sit there, but might be asked to move if a VIP came in.

Lance, what I suggest for next year with the VIP seating in the IGN Theater is a different style or color chair marking that seat as reserved. The signs just got taken off and things got confusing. having something that cannot be removed and then making it clear (via signage in the theater or something) about that special section would probably work better. Then those people couldn't complain that they didn't see the sign.

As far as everybody complaining about what their VIP badge got you... VIP lounge not having snacks? The first year, all we got was a small room for a coat check. It has gotten better since. We had a place where we could sit down and not have to be with the other hundred thousand people. it was a place to escape. We also got FIRST entry to the show floor thru the blue entrance. Exactly as it said when we purchased our VIPs. No early access or anything. Only first. And we got that. That alone, to me, was worth it. I was able to get a lot of things done before it got insanely crowded. I did love the year that we got early access by 15 minutes, but back then there were a lot less VIPs.

I agree that some things improvement, but, from the VIP aspect, they have run better this year than they ever have, imho.

jdhutchusmc said...

Great job and getting better... can't wait for next year!
Please consider the bottlenecks caused by booths and attractions with a large draw of gawkers. All the gaming exhibitors were impossible to navigate because of the crush of onlookers and at least one was right at a hall entrance. I love them, don't get me wrong, but they create a traffic management issue that could be reasonably mitigated.
Similarly, there needs to be some kind of structure for queuing at exhibitors' booths for signings and events... this caused traffic jams on a smaller scale but not unlike the game demos.

Tiffany said...

Sincethe panel rooms are never going to be cleared out, how about instead of having two very popular panels back to back (like the Walking Dead and the Avengers) spread them out. There was a large crossover of WD fans and Avengers fans but I'm sure there were a LOT of WD fans who didn't even get close to making it into the IGN theater.

Lauren said...

@Travis Actually it was on the left side of the IGN Theatre (facing stage) that people wouldn't get up not in the center. I did see signs in the center section and I get the feeling the left side front part maybe were for volunteers who wanted to watch the panels?

Rishard Chapoteau said...

The con was mostly good. I think it might be the best one yet as far as organization and content. That being said as with most others here I have some complaints and suggestions.


1) In booth signings by major publishers should be moved to the 1E section like there was for other major signings. Having Robert Kirkman's line go down several aisles causing congestion on the busiest times of the busiest days is just silly. His wasn't the only, but it was definitely a problem.


2) Perhaps you should move games to another section. Like above it causes a lot of crowding on the floor and makes it hard to walk. Perhaps it could be in the new wing where most of the kids stuff was, and the kids stuff could be in another area all together like the 1E section which was barely used. I enjoyed the kids stuff, and I'm by no means trying to relegate it to some place less important. I just think the wide open space might be better for gaming booths.


3)Saturday there was a dragonball Z panel scheduled at roughly 9:45PM. Before that there was a black dynamite panel scheduled at roughly 8:45PM. The con floor closed at 7PM. Guess what all the dragon ball Z fans did? They lined up for the Black dynamite panel.


I got down to the panel area just before 8 figuring I would give myself an hour to lineup for the Black Dynamite panel only to see and ungodly line of DBZ fans. I asked the people organizing the line if there was a separate Black Dynamite line for the panel, and of course there wasn't. As I asked that, people standing in the line asked me what Black Dynamite was. This prompted me to go through the line and ask 10 different people what they were in line for and they ALL responded Dragon Ball Z. None of them had a clue as to what Black Dynamite was.


This is not good for the fans that wanted to get into the panel legitimately, but it is also extremely rude to cast of Black Dynamite that were giving the panel to shove a bunch of people in that don't know, or care about what they are doing.


My suggestion is that after floor closing time you should change things because people have no where to go but stand in line. A separate line for panels should be created for each panel. After the panel is done you should clear the rooms (I understand why you don't want to do this during early hours, but after hours panels this feels more appropriate because people have nothing else to do but line up)

Lance Fensterman said...

Sorry if I've gone dark on your guys, but I can't possibly answer every comments and question here. What I do want you to know is that we hear you. Every comment, concern, complaint, question, suggestion and idea is going to be a big part of our planning NYCC 2012 - I mean that. Know that everything you've shared here will help us build a bigger and better NYCC next year. THANK YOU!

Rishard Chapoteau said...

Lance,

It would definitely be nice hear your thoughts on what you would like to do for next year and how you will change things. A blog post or something would be nice.

I actually don't think its that many different complaints. It seemed like there were a good solid 5 or 6 issues that were raised repeatedly. I don't think responding to them would be that difficult.

Lance Fensterman said...

Rishard, will do. I'll post an update on some thoughts for next year soonish. Promise.

Aces said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aces said...

Lance... this is just a followup to the counterfeit issue. Apparently, a lot of them were using badges from last year as well. With so few security and the inability to check them all, there should be some thought in redesigning the badges each year that makes them more distinctive at a glance. Incorporate some hologram and other security measure to make them more difficult to pass off as legit. Hiring more security would help.

Also, why not extend the hours on Sunday to 6 or 7? With the extra hours, you can hold more panels or move some of the more popular ones to Sunday instead of bunching them all up on Saturday.

All in all, NYCC has come a long way since 2006 and I have to agree with the majority.. while there are still problems, this year has been the best so far. If you can fix these problems, it can only get better next year.

Tito Cruz said...

For those who missed the Avengers panel and would like to see it, it can be viewed here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqp2l8Emyl4

You can also go to PanelsonPages.com to view the Arkham City panel as well.

Hinano said...

If you're gonna shaft NYAF this badly, then just get rid of it. Stop pretending that the anime festival is still "a convention." I remember when NYCC had some "anime stuff" here and there but overall was comics. That would at least make sense and not confuse anime fans who think they're coming to an anime con when really they're getting thrown into a deep dark rejected corner. Also I remember when I could apply for panels at NYAF and get accepted. I've gotten my panel rejected 2 years in a row because you guys don't care about anime festival anymore. So yea stop pretending it still exists, and just get rid of it and call it New York Comic Con period. You're not fooling anyone anymore.

Rishard Chapoteau said...

@Hinano, just curious, what was the panel that you wanted to have that was cancelled?

Miguel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Miguel said...

NYAF was a little better in Galleria this year. But it's just not the same, without most of the anime exhibitors on the same floor and less fan panels. I agree with Hinano. Just call it all NYCC.