NYCC To Start Clearing Their Main Stage After Panels

New York Comic Con

I came across this information yesterday but wanted to calm down a bit before I actually wrote about it. As someone who has attended New York Comic-Con the past few years, this is a big change and I’m still not sure what to think.

If you visit the VIP package page, you’ll notice this little blurb:

For the first time we will be clearing the Main Stage after each Panel this year. Ultimate VIPs will be the very first people let in for each Panel on the Main Stage and will have their own private line. You MUST arrive at least 20 minutes prior to the start of any Main Stage Panel you wish to attend. You will be let into the room first and have first choice of any seats you want at each Main Stage Panel. There will be no reserved seating for Ultimate VIPs this year but you will have first choice of any seats you want for each Panel on the Main Stage.

This is only for the Main Stage and doesn’t affect any of the smaller panel rooms. According to someone who works for ReedPop, this is how it’ll work as far as lining up:

There will be seperate queue’s for each panel in the queue hall. If you want to see Walking Dead get in that line. As soon as we hit capacity then that panel is capped and no more people will be allowed in that line. Then they have the choice to line up for another panel in the main stage if there is still room. This allows more fans a chance to see the big panel that they want to see.

I mentioned how when you’re “camping” out in a room, at least you get to see other panels, maybe even find a new show or movie to get excited about. I was concerned that basically you’d be sitting in a line outside a room all day, not being able to really see anything. Turns out there will be streaming of the Main Stage panels in the queue hall. Also, it sounds like they plan to try and take advantage of the RFID technology they use so that people don’t have to psychically sit in a line:

People will not be standing in line all day waiting for one panel. Please remember that we have cool technology like RFID and other things at our disposal. The show is still months away and there will be systems in place that will make it so people aren’t sitting in the queue hall all day waiting for one panel. More details will be released about this as we get closer to the show

I really hope everything goes as smoothly as they imagine. I really enjoy New York Comic-Con and I’d hate to see this turn into a disaster which then reflects badly on the show. They do clear rooms during Star Wars Celebration which is another ReedPop show, so they do have experience with clearing of rooms and I heard they did the same at BookCon a few weekends ago.

I know they want everyone to be able to enjoy panels but I worry that now, you really will need to pick just one panel. If the panels you enjoy are far enough part (say morning and then afternoon), you might have a chance of getting both, but what if they’re back to back? Granted, every Con is about making the tough choices but now it’s getting even tougher.

What do you think of the changes? Do you think it’s been a long time coming? Are you trying to wait and see how it goes before getting too upset? If you want to read more about it, along with what other Con attendees think, check out the Friends Of CCI forum!

4 comments

  • I think this has been a long time coming, for the last few years the main stage has been filled to capacity with the “campers” from the opening panel until the walking dead panel on Saturdays with little to no chance of anyone else getting in to the main stage. This new policy may be frustrating for those who liked to camp out in the main room all day, but this really will allow more convention attendees an opportunity to see one of the big panels on the main stage. I think NYCC has made the right choice and I think as time goes on they will find overwhelming approval from the non-campers who will now have a chance to get into the main hall for a panel.

  • Love it! More people can see what they want without taking up space in a panel they don’t care about. Now if only SDCC would follow suit!

  • I think this is a pretty horrible idea, mostly because people are SO SLOW. Have you ever seen an airplane clear out? It takes 20-30 minutes to get a few hundred people out of an airplane. Now we’re talking about clearing a room the size of, what? 3000 or so? How many panels a day does that cut from programming?

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