New York Comic Con vendors evolve as events proliferate
By Luciana Lopez
NEW YORK (Reuters) - This year's New York Comic Con might not look that different from years past: costumed fans, panels of pop culture luminaries and a sprawling floor of vendors and artists.
But for the companies that attend this pop culture convention and others like it nationwide, there have been significant changes over the years.
The proliferation of such events, the explosion of social media and the overwhelming size of the gatherings are forcing companies to change their own approaches to meeting, engaging and hooking new and old fans.
From niche meetings for fans, comic cons have become sprawling affairs. New York Comic Con at the Javits Center expects to attract more than 120,000 fans to the four-day event that ends on Sunday, a steep rise from the first edition of the con, in 2006, which drew 33,000 people.
The event occupies a space equivalent to more than three football fields and includes a massive exhibitors floor. Last year's event featured everything from standards such as T-shirts and graphic novels to vampire teeth, corsets and even bed sheets.
"There's so much when you walk on that floor it's information overload," said Christopher "mink" Morrison, founder of Twistory Entertainment Studios, which produces film, magazines, graphic novels and videogames.
Faced with the need to cut through the increased noise at the events, Twistory set up two giant iPads rising 10 feet on which their artists can draw fans can play the company's new game, "Belle's War."
The so-called Padzillas engage the fans and pose questions, giving Twistory the chance to draw fans further in. Continued...