We knew it

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Well, with New York Comic-Con it’s always something. As far as we know, everyone got into the SHOW on Saturday, but gridlock erupted somewhere else.

Friday night we wrote:

Panels were all well attended — there was a HUGE line to get into the Neil Gaiman speech, while an equally huge crowd was filing out from a Marvel panel. In fact the corridor outside the panel rooms was the most consistently jammed part of the show, which people filing in and out past clumps of folks meeting and greeting.

Saturday this area had to be shut down:

Between 4 and 5 p.m., the Venture Bros. were in one panel room, while Heroes star Milo Ventimiglia was in another. At 5 p.m., a Robot Chicken panel featured Seth Green, while other panel rooms previewed various movies that crowds wanted to see. Cup O’ Joe started at 5:30, and other premiers and Hollywood presentations soon followed.

“We had to cut everyone off and let them in a little at a time. We had to. It was just wall-to-wall people. Basically, we had to make sure the people are safe,” Bouchahine said. No Fire Marshall came, as far as Bouchanie knew, but the staff themselves made the decision to stop the crowds.

Comments

  1. My two days at the con- fun to meet creators, not fun to almost get poked by cosplay umbrellas!
    http://redlibcomic.blogspot.com/2008/04/new-york-comiccon-2-days.html
    (Hope it’s OK to post this in comments)

    I can not imagine how the San Diego con is. and I like the excitement and crowds!

  2. Torsten Adair says:

    There were long lines of people waiting for the next panels. I had trouble leaving the area after the Zot! panel, the area was crowded.
    Some solutions. 1) stagger the events every 15 minutes. Yes, that creates conflict when you want to see panels which overlap, but that also means that part of the audience leaves before the end, making it easier to clear the room. 2.) Use the southern end of the Second Floor, right next to the elevators, as a holding pen. The panel rooms have bouncers which clear the room and prevent line jumping. The group is led to the room like a big group of tourists, in an orderly fashion. While waiting, the panel sponsor can hand out promotional material. 3.) Create a yellow brick road down the middle of the common area reserved ONLY for people moving towards the escalators and exits. Have a few New York City Firemen enforce the need for an emergency route.

  3. Nora Rocket says:

    Torsten’s spot on: stagger the panels. It also might help if the area outside the panels was not a cul de sac, where the in and out flow have to take the same, conflicting, route.

    Secondly, I thought the staff of the Javits did a good job of managing the crowds, especially since, for all they knew or cared, the things they were yelling out were just random strings of nouns: GAIA ONLINE, RIGHT WALL! WARCRAFT, HERE! DAR COURSE? LEFT WALL! Leaving the Veritgo panel was a challenge, but when I came back to go into the Dark Horse panel, things were orderly, if a touch huffy. But the system worked.

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