Reed Exhibitions, the organizer of New York Comic Con, has fine-tuned its ticket sales, ticket distribution, and entry procedures for the 2007 show this week to avoid the crowd problems that marred an otherwise spectacular launch for the new annual show last year (see 'Huge Crowds at New York Comic Con').  Online ticket sales for both weekend passes and Saturday single day passes (see 'NYCC Stops Selling Saturday Tickets') have been halted based on pre-determined maximums.  Online ticket sales for single day passes for Friday and Sunday are continuing, and according to Reed Event Director Greg Topalian, are unlikely to sell out before the show begins. 


Limited numbers of Saturday and weekend passes are also available at New York area retailers that participated in Reed's New York Retailer Partner Program.  According to Topalian, since online ticket sales for Saturday were halted, those retailers have seen dramatic increases in store traffic related to ticket purchases.  Topalian expressed satisfaction at the increased business retailers were reporting as a result of the ticket traffic, noting that this beneficial side effect of retailer ticket sales was a good thing for the industry.  'A trade show should help grow a business or it's not doing its job,' he said.  'If you a help grow the business, the show will flourish.' 


The careful management of online ticket sales is one aspect of Reed's efforts to make show traffic a more pleasant experience for all concerned.  Another was the decision to mail tickets, at considerable expense, to all attendees that pre-registered for the show by the end of January.  'Last year, every single person that registered for the show had to stand in line to get a badge on site,' Topalian noted.  'This year on Saturday, less than 4,000 people will have to pick up their badges on site, a huge difference from last year.  Over-all, over half the attendees for the show will have badges before they arrive.'


The expansion of lobby and queuing space will also help move people smoothly into the Javits.  Signage has been improved, according to Topalian, and people with tickets will have separate lines from those that need to pick up tickets at the show.  Special events tickets will be handled at the Special Events Hall, also relieving pressure on the main registration areas. 


Registration will open at the Javits on Wednesday, two days before the show begins.  On Wednesday, weekend professional registration (for which online registration closed on Friday, see 'Web Pre-Reg for ICv2 Graphic Novel Conference Ends Friday') will be open at the Javits from noon to 5 p.m.  On Thursday, registration for all attendes will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


The continuing availability of professional registration (and registration for the ICv2 Graphic Novel Conference on Thursday), of single day tickets for Friday and Sunday, and of sales through retailers reflects the allocation of specific buckets of tickets for different groups.  'We have numbers that we want to achieve, but we have to be flexible and anticipate changes,' Topalian said.  'Not every group will hit its threshold at the same time.'


On Saturday afternoon, after the hall capacity is evaluated and the availability of tickets from other allotments is determined, it's possible that some on-site tickets will be sold, according to Topalian.  Those tickets will be released in small groups after noon to fans waiting in line at that time.  'They'll be sold only if there really is room,' said Topalian.  'And if you don't want to wait in line to buy a ticket on Saturday, buy a Friday or Sunday ticket in advance.'


The show will occupy over twice the space at the Javits Center this year (see 'NYCC Announces 2007 Dates').  


The ICv2 Graphic Novel Conference (for which onsite registration is available on Wednesday and Thursday) will be held on Thursday afternoon, February 22nd. 


New York Comic Con will open to trade and professionals (for which onsite registration will be available from Wednesday through the weekend) on Friday, February 23rd from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and to all attendees on Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Saturday floor hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.