According to this article, New York Comic-Con had 130,000 people attend this year. It 100% felt like it. I’ve been going to NYCC for about three years now. I’ve done a single day before and the entire weekend. I have to say this year felt very overcrowded. Now, I think it’s great that more people are checking out conventions and having fun and letting their geek flags fly but maybe conventions need to do a better job of limiting the number of badges they sell. At times it was almost impossible to get around anywhere, including Artist Alley. Even at San Diego, you can normally find a quiet spot in the convention center to catch your breath. It was hard to do that this year at New York. Since everything is on different levels, every area is packed. Plus it doesn’t help that people like to stop at the top of steps for photos (someone actually had their photography set up at the top of a set of steps), people stopping in the middle of walk ways, and every other issue that people have at conventions all happening at once it seemed. Also, I know people in the past have tried to blame the cosplayers for the aisle backups and what not but honestly, I didn’t see too many cosplayers just randomly stopping. If they were stopped, they tried to move out of the flow of traffic. It seemed to be people not knowing where they were going or what they wanted to do that were causing most of the flow issues.
As far as the tap in/tap out fears, I don’t believe those ever panned out. I never had any issues entering or leaving. It didn’t really seem to slow anything down. What did slow things down were people not ready for the bag check and not having their badges ready to be scanned. I did notice on Saturday that one set of doors didn’t open right at 10AM while the other set did. I have no idea why. We were told to keep walking and that around the corner you could enter right away. I’m glad I listened and didn’t wait seeing how my goal that day was to secure a Rocket Raccoon from the Marvel booth! If you did notice any issues, let us know in the comments!
I had won a few autograph signings in the weeks leading up to New York Comic-Con. We had to pick those tickets up in person the day of our signing. That went off without a hitch. All you had to do was show your ID and you were good to go. If you had the ticket transferred to you, it was helpful if you knew the name of the person who gifted it. The only main issue I had was the fact you had no idea when the signing was until you picked up that ticket. This is a comic-con. People have schedules set weeks in advance. I don’t see why those who won couldn’t have been told in the information email when and where the signing would be. I actually missed one signing because I had a panel to attend. After talking with people in line for “The Following,” it sounds like plenty of others had the same issue. They either had panels, a paid signing, or something else already scheduled. Hopefully this is something they fix in the future.
I did like the fact that they had two main stages this year. I think it maybe gave people a better chance of seeing something they wanted to see and not having to wait all day in a room for it. The panels they offered covered a wide range or fandoms and areas. They had cosplay panels, typical comic related panels, and industry options as well. Plus of course TV panels! Oddly enough I was only able to attend about four panels. I’d have to say my favorite was probably the Women of Marvel panel. Not only were the panelists passionate but the audience was as well. The “Can’t Sew But Must Cosplay!” panel was a highlight as well. They offered the same panel during C2E2 but this time around it was in a bigger room (woohoo) and had a much better crowd. They asked some great questions and I think appreciated the panel a lot.
Speaking of cosplay, I saw some amazing costumes! Unfortunately I didn’t take too many photos. I found it a little too hard with the crowds but i09, Blastr, and Bleeding Cool have tons of amazing photos for you guys to look at. You might even spot yourself somewhere!
I’ve started to ramble here and I don’t want everyone to think the show was a bust. It wasn’t! The Nerd Machine had a wonderful booth that featured some great photo opportunities with Zac Levi, Arthur Darvill, David Duchovny, and more. I’m sure they raised a pretty penny for Operation Smile! Plus it was a nice little spot to recharge your phones and catch your breath for a hot second. It was exciting to see Lola in person as well. The Marvel booth is always a fun spot to visit during a convention. It was great finally getting to meet the lovely Kelly Sue. I had her sign a few comics and snapped a photo with her. As with any Con, it was great seeing friends and making some new ones. Plus NYCC has an amazing Artist Alley. If you didn’t get the chance to visit, you really missed out!
All in all, I did have a good time. It was a bit stressful but it seems that just comes with the territory now when attending conventions. As they become more popular, they’ll become more crowded. Not everyone can make it San Diego or wants to deal with the drama that goes into attending. That means “local” conventions and new kids on the block, like Salt Lake City, will start challenging the crowds of San Diego Comic-Con. This should be a good thing, but until crowd controls and limitations are placed, some of these Cons are going to outgrow their space and get out of hand very quickly.
Did you attend this year? What did you think? Did you run into any issues?