My two bits on NYCC. Reed Expo has successfully developed a show with the corporate presence that they wanted, with a character all its own. However, like the Durian fruit, a distinct character can leave a bad scent in the air or a bad taste in your mouth.
NYCC’s location and heavily financed for-profit orientation allows for a show with significant potential. The number of large booths and huge names at the show were a madhouse. Most of the major companies in both comic and gaming worlds were there, along with heavy hollywood presences. The caphony of merchandising, marketing, and booth babes put into my mind the phrase, “Give them what they want” over and over again.
However, as a show NYCC 2010 displayed many of the hallmark concerns that a volunteer convention shows (Poor line control, inconsistent enforcement, understaffing); while displaying issues that come with a for-profit motive. I was infuriated to see issues with how badly exhibitors were treated (both large and small), extremely rude red-shirt staff and their attitudes (telling an exhibitor “You GIRLS need to get back in the booth and get WORKING”, and ordering exhibitors out before the attendees have been cleared out), continued horrid bad habits with ticket control, and all events other than the showroom floor being relegated to “afterthought” programming.
I will grant this – the sudden loss of the middle section of the Javitz certainly added to the nightmare. This left NYCC with horrid traffic chokepoints in the middle of the show floor. However, there needed to be further thought towards how to rejigger the space to ease these chokepoints. 20 foot aisles are a necessity around certain booths! Flood points for line control around booths that clearly are going to need queue space, please! So on and so forth.
As a convention with a huge company to fall back on whenever a mistake is made, NYCC will certainly not die, roll over, or fall down. However to see certain mistakes made by this profit-oriented convention that would KILL a non-profit with hairline backing is disappointing, to say the least. It is a show that can afford to ignore and toss away people, as distasteful as it may be, because it has hit that point in time where no matter how mistreated you are you will return because they can “give you what you want”.
NYCC is a show that I will continue to visit, however the extraordinary crowding and haphazard management, along with a location that makes it inconducive to simple socializing makes the show a day trip at best.
Bouncing back to that Durian fruit analogy – a con that is spiky and painful on the outside, smells like sulfur and smelly feet when cracked open, but tastes like heaven to some people. (We won’t say what it tastes like to the others.
This was originally posted to Say, What Chu Looking At?, you may comment here or there.