15 OCTOBER 2015
In what is perhaps the ultimate measuring contest for Comic Con kings and the subjects they lay claim to, New York Comic Con has crowned itself the biggest of them all. 167,000 fanboys and fangirls rolled through its doors this past weekend; that's counting "unique attendees per day" and not total badges sold.* Still, you get the idea.
Because it's impossible to have an article about any Con anywhere without a comparison to San Diego coming up, Forbes reminds us that SDCC only claims 130,000 attendees. But then they thrill us all by including a perfect response from CCI's David Glanzer:
"The reality is we have well over 130,000 attendees to our show (our badges have names on them) so a four day badge holder is counted as one unique attendee. This was considered a benefit to exhibitors because it would let them know how many people they could encounter over the course of the event. If we counted unique attendees per day, our number would be way in excess of 300,000 attendees."
So there, NYCC! San Diego is bigger and our badges have names on them.
Salt Lake Comic Con claimed 127,000 for their event a few weeks ago; Cons in China and India are approaching 6 figure levels "and growing at a blistering rate." And Comiket in Tokyo had 550,000 attendees over 3 days in August, which gives one pause when imagining a double SDCC.
Still, I think the general point holds - that New York Comic Con is a big roaring beast of a Con and can hold its own with San Diego. That said, I want to emphasize that it's not as in demand as San Diego; thorny as its badge sale got this year, there were still Thursday tickets to be had at the end of it, where San Diego sold out of everything as fast as its servers could process us. SDCC could immediately sell out badges for the last 10 minutes of Sunday if it chose to sell them.
And I think ReedPOP and every other Con is aware of this. They can pack in all the attendees they want, but right now they're still in the shadow of San Diego Comic-Con's glittering world-famous brand. And they probably will be for a few more years.
*ETA: Forbes changed their article (quite a bit actually so you may want to read it again) at the behest of ReedPOP: "ReedPop counts badges sold, whether they are 3-day, 4-day or single day tickets." I'd also advise reading the SDCC Unofficial Blog's much more detailed post about this.
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