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November 3, 2011

After NYCC: Lance Fensterman Talks About the Con

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It’s been a week since the illustrious success of this year’s New York Comic Con, so we thought we’d check in with Reed Exhibition’s Lance Fensterman, who put it all together. Has he sufficiently recovered in a week? Let’s find out and see what he thought of how the show went this year.


Congratulations on another great year! What did you think of New York Comic Con this year? Any particular fun or interesting events stand out?
In all, I think we produced an exceptional event. New York Comic Con continue to grow with such leaps and bounds that every year it’s like completely reinventing the event, and I’m proud of this year’s reinvention. I thought that the extra day of professional programming on Thursday, the Thursday night preview for professionals and four-day ticket holders, and the high-level B2B pop culture summit—White Space—were all developments that I was particularly pleased with.

What was the official count of the attendance this year? Was it a good jump from last year?
In all, we hosted 105,000 people to NYCC this year. That’s up from 96,000 in 2010 and 70,000 or so in 2009. If New York Comic Con were an athlete, it would be randomly tested for steroids.

How big was the team you had that put all this together?
That’s a fairly personal question, but I’m 6'5", so I can handle it…. We have about 15 people that work on the event year-round in programming, sales, marketing, operations, etc. Then as the even gets closer, we add additional staffers for registration and production. On site, we have about 70 Reed staffers, 300 volunteers, 100 security personnel, 200 temps, and so on and so on. Good thing we have bullhorns or it would be tough to communicate with everyone.

What were some of your favorite things this year or things you were particularly proud of?
I mentioned White Space, but beyond that, having 7,000 kids under 12 come out for kids’ day is awfully cool. It’s important that we are helping to grow this community with new readers and kids’ day is a special part of that.

Did you learn anything that you plan to do differently next year?
Lots! I have a huge list of ideas, improvements, areas to fix, and so on. After the show, the entire team will come together with similar lists and we compile them into one big list. Then we get survey results from the thousands of fans we poll. Put it all together and we’ll have laid the groundwork for NYCC 2012 by Christmas!