As further proof that it is now officially cool to be geek, New York Comic Con saw a record numbers of attendees this year, bringing in more than 150,000 comic book, movie and television fans to the Javits Center in New York.
It's an increase of 15 percent over last year's 130,000 attendees, according to Lance Fensterman, senior vice president of show organizer ReedPOP. That new attendance record may make NYCC bigger than its much older and more well known sibling, San Diego Comic Con. Though 2014 attendance numbers for SDCC aren't available, in previous years attendance has been capped at roughly 130,000.
Fensterman says shows like NYCC and its sister show in San Diego are about motivation.
"It's about motivating the hard core, passionate fan," Fensterman says. "Geek culture is becoming more mainstream. It's an institution."
As that institution grows, so does the chance for profits. ReedPOP already has international comic shows in India and Australia, and recently announced another coming in 2015 for Paris.
Further increasing the scope of NYCC this year was "super week," a week long series of events at various venues throughout New York to help celebrate the coming convention.
"We are not worried about how it will pay off this year, but in five or 10 years," Fensterman says to the New York Times, as he expressed wishes for Super Week to become as well known as other New York event weeks like Fashion Week. "We want this to be an anchor in the fall."
While it may bear the name Comic Con, the convention and others like it have moved away from focusing only on comic books. Movies, video games and television shows also share the spotlight, and it presents the perfect marketing opportunity for companies to appeal directly to their fanbases by delivering a newsworthy Comic Con performance.
It always comes back to the comics, though, says Gerry Gladston, who is the chief marketing officer at Midtown Comics in New York and a partner of NYCC.
"The convention scene has exploded and expanded out in so many directions, but at the end of the day, it comes back to the comic book," Gladston tells the New York Times. "We provide the content for anything that happens at conventions like this."
Comics also provide the cosplay, a major draw for thousands attending the show. You can check out some of the best sights, sounds and smells from NYCC right here.
Photo: Jason Persee via Flickr