Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How To Fix Comic Con: Another Attendee's POV





Let me preface this with the statement "I am not a die-hard comic book fan." I have attended the Con on a couple of occasions, and enjoy the Star Wars (even have a strong opinion about the last 3 films...which were actually the first 3...whatever, too much to get into here), but I do not dress up, or buy stuff. I go, because I live in the entertainment industry and that is what currently draws many of the attendees.

I know this year's Con was riddled with so-called "Twitards" who "ruined" the experience for many fans. Well, get used to it. Like it or not, the Con is a business and they are in it to make money. I had to bite my tongue when a very lonely woman behind me in line for a panel waxed poetic about how the organizers should think about which panels are scheduled following something that is going to be very popular and not schedule them back-to-back. Well, newsflash crazy lady; the organizers schedule the panels according to when the celebrities are available. Most stars/filmmakers/producers are in the middle of projects and aren't at the Con all 4 days; many are only there for the hour or 2 that their panel runs, and then are on a plane back to where they are filming their next project.

So how do we fix it? Well, for one, the Con has out-grown San Diego. No matter what, it needs to move to a bigger space. Vegas not only has an extremely large convention center, they have about 10 all up and down the Strip. The Con will lose a bit of its quaintness, but it already has. And it will only get bigger, which will really tax the resources of the Gaslamp district.

I like my colleague's suggestion of splitting up the Con into Panel Days and Exhibit Days. I support that idea. Moreover, the panels need to be individual events, not the marathon campouts in whatever room is hosting the majority of the discussions an attendee may want to see on a particular day.

Here's my solution with the over-population of the panels:
After the Con schedule is posted, registered attendees would be given the opportunity to register for the panels they wish to see. They would need to plan their panels carefully, because the system would not allow them to register for panels that occur at the same time. They would also need to input their Con ID #, or receipt number, or some other identifier that verifies they have paid registration. At the con, when an attendee registers for their badge, they will also be given their tickets to all of the panels they registered for that day. The tickets will have their names and badge numbers, to avoid the selling of panel tickets; non-matching tickets would be denied entrance. Most importantly, ALL PANEL ROOMS WILL BE CLEARED BETWEEN PANELS. This will eliminate the camping. Additionally, it will eliminate the need for 3-hour waits with no guarantee of admission; the only line would be a short stand-by line in case there are any open seats.

I think this would enhance everyone's experience, maximize an attendee's coverage of the events and minimize the unnecessary waiting.

POPped by to put in my 2 cents, by TheEdley

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the support Edley. Siggraph goes even further by selling different levels of tickets depending on what you want to see. One year I spent extra to hear George Lucas give the keynote address. Previously, I just walked the exhibit floor.

    I like your ideas, too. And the picture of Seth Green. Did I tell you I ran into him at Toys "R" Us?

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