Attendance at ReedPop’s New York Comic Con, which wrapped up Sunday, topped 95,000, according to Reed Group Vice President Lance Fensterman, with the caveat that the number could go up once all sales by retailers were tallied. All areas of the show were extremely busy, including the main show floor, the show floor that included Artists Alley, the Anime Artists Alley, the panel rooms, and traffic areas. Press attendance topped 2900, according to Fensterman, up 60% from last year’s 1800.
We asked Fensterman his reflections on the show. “Everybody got in,” he said. “Everybody got in safely. The show floor was busy. Panel rooms were busy. I’m generally feeling fairly optimistic about it right now. I have a pretty good rapport with the fans so over the next few days I’m sure I’ll hear from them what didn’t go well and we’ll be working on that, but right now I feel we’ve had a successful event.”
Exhibitors we talked to were very happy, with several telling us they had record weekends. “I had one guy come up and say this was the busiest Sunday he’s ever had in 20 years of doing shows,” Fensterman said. “I can tell you that the re-up for booths is strong and a lot of the people re-upping are using cash, which typically says that their return on investment went quite well. Those that measure their success on publicity, they’ll look at it through the press, see what kind of coverage they got. Certainly traffic was strong for all of our exhibitors, so we’re hearing positives right now.”
As far as events, Walking Dead was the biggest draw. “The Walking Dead panel was completely insane,” Fensterman said. “We could have filled that room twice. It took over Robot Chicken as being the most popular. That one was really jammed too.”
Next year’s NYCC is scheduled for the weekend of October 14-16.
We asked Fensterman if there were plans to add a day to the show’s run (the show currently begins on Friday). “Well, it kind of seems like it could be a possibility,” he said. “We’re looking at it. It really didn’t cross our minds until we saw the response that we got this year, so it’s something we’ll discuss and we’ll discuss it with our customers before we go any further.”
Saturday was maxed out (see “NYCC Nets Full House on Saturday”), with parts of the floor feeling uncomfortable at times. Friday was the furthest from sell-out, and Sunday traffic was brisk, but not as mobbed as Saturday. Reed had almost all of the available space at the
We asked Fensterman what the maximum capacity of the con is at the current number of days. “That’s tricky to say because they don’t give you a number,” he said. “It’s essentially how it feels. So public safety simply looks at the show floor and if there’s too many people on it, they shut you down. It’s that subjective. So everything we do we have to do is by how many people could be in the building at any given time, because we don’t know how many people are in the building. We know how many tickets we’ve sold, we know how many exhibitor passes are out there, we know how many pro passes are out there. But we don’t know how many of them are going to show up at any one time. So we have to peg it to what we think is the top number that could be in the building at any one time based on the space we have. It’s an inexact science.”
We noted that San Diego Comic-Con has made a commitment to stay in that city until 2015 (see “Comic-Con Stays in San Diego”), capping its attendance at its current 125,000, and asked Fensterman whether that gives New York an opportunity to pass it in attendance. “Provocative question,” he said. “I have actually never even thought about that, to tell you the truth, but now I’m intrigued—I”ll have to do my homework. We’re five years old and we’re going to be flirting with six figures. It’s growing too fast to even have those sorts of thoughts. We always feel that we’re trying to catch up with the growth that the fans are kind enough to bring to us.”