Pro View on the NY Con

Bob Greenberger has posted his take on the New York Comic-Con problems. Good analysis, including this surprising figure.

we had a blast despite all the technical difficulties Reed Exhibitions encountered with running their first consumer-based comic book show. Given that 95% of their business is b-to-b trade shows, this caught them totally under-prepared despite warnings from various comics consultants. Last week pre-reg was only 4500 and they were worried. What they didn’t anticipate was the huge consumer walk-up business and even after Friday’s experience they were a mess.

4500 people is tiny for a show planned at this scale. No wonder they weren’t anticipating the crush! Bob goes on to say that the show was terrific for networking, once he got in.

KC and I were talking about the difference between trade shows and consumer conventions earlier this week, actually. I’ve been to plenty of comic cons, but the only other kind of show I’ve been to was a newspaper industry trade show back when I was a programmer. (The attendees, mostly old white men, didn’t have to be told to bathe regularly, but there were issues with proper behavior while drinking.) I can imagine that someone who only had experience with business-supported industry gatherings wouldn’t understand the special needs of a fan-aimed convention.

6 Responses to “Pro View on the NY Con”

  1. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Johanna, There also seems to be a big difference between anime and comic conventions. I have noticed that the bulk of the attendees for an anime convention (75-80%) pre-register for the event. Anime Boston sold out through pre-registration this year. Otakon sold all but a thousand of the available tickets through pre-registration last year. That said, most anime conventions have established attendance maximums and these are posted on the web sites.

    I was amazed to hear the pre-registration figures were so low for NYCC. People are talking about how there seems to have been a general skepticism about who well an NYC comic convention would be. Perhaps most attendees thought the show was going to be so poorly attended that they would just show up on Saturday and walk in off the street and get to the main floor with no problem. Why pre-register if you don’t think that many people are coming? I am interested in seeing how Reed Exhibitions deals with all the complaints and what solutions will be implemented to keep this from happening next year. I still plan on going next year, especially given the true mix of the various comic genres there.

  2. Ralf Haring Says:

    I was planning in walking in off the street, but not because I thought the con wouldn’t be well-attended (quite the opposite, in fact). It was because that’s what I’ve done at every other convention at the Javits Center I’ve been to.

  3. David Welsh Says:

    I thought I had seen a pre-registration figure of 10,000 bandied about just before the con. I could be wrong, though.

  4. Ralf Haring Says:

    Newsday quotes the 4500 figure as well.

  5. David Welsh Says:

    I think I saw the 10,000 figure at The Beat, but that might have reflected total pre-registration for the whole weekend.

  6. Rachel Kadushin Says:

    One of the things they did right was puting ads in non-comics pubications. Really there are a lot of people who remember liking a comic book based movie or even remember comics at one point of their lives in the New York City tri-state reading area. So those ads in Time Out and The Village Voice — which might have included web ads in addition to print ads — got to more eyeballs.




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