|Jul. 27th, 2009 09:28 am A few final ComicCon thoughts|
Once I actually got to panels, I enjoyed myself pretty well. I suspect that next year -- and any other year in which I'm nursing my vacation -- it will be similar with me not doing a whole lot on Thursday and Friday. It is possible that I may just head home one or both days and rescue the dog.2 comments - Leave a comment
I have a couple of general observations. First, it is obvious that this event has attracted the marketers very strongly. So, there were a few people there that didn't seem all that good of a fit -- like the Playboy Enterprises truck that was set up just up along 5th Ave. They were getting people stopping by (and not only men), but still they just don't seem to really fit to me. I would not have been that much more surprised to see Good Housekeeping there (OK, I would have been really startled, since how many fen are good housekeepers ;-)
I did see two behaviors that really disturbed me. First, several people -- including many of the large companies with booths in the exhibit hall and the aforementioned Playboy Enterprises -- didn't seem to consider the impact that they would have on traffic flow. This ranged from attendees stopping to pose for costume shots in the middle of high traffic thoroughfares in the exhibit hall, to vendors having signings or other events in their booths positioned so that the crowd was forced to choke traffic. Playboy had the same impact on the sidewalks of 5th.
The other problem behavior was that people didn't seem to be able to say "No, Thank You" if they didn't really want something, and wouldn't keep what they got or dispose of it properly. The area between the end of 5th Ave. near the trolley station across the tracks (all 3 sets -- two trolley and the BNFS tracks) were nearly covered with post cards and other freebies that were handed out on the plaza close to 5th Ave. I'm guessing that the only reason that the tracks themselves were clear was because the trains pushed the debris away. Fortunately, nobody appears to have slipped badly and fallen because of this loose paper on the ground. It was better in the Gaslamp and Convention Center.
We also witnessed other rude behavior. However, I suspect that the worst thing we saw did not come from someone at the convention, but rather someone who thought that they were inconvenienced by it. Yesterday, a driver in a fancy BMW was driving on K St, crossing 5th Ave. He wanted to make a left turn, onto the part of 5th that was open. But the cops directing traffic were not allowing turns. This person refused to go straight, probably until the cop directing traffic threatened to arrest him (I'm guessing, I didn't see her reach for her radio or cuffs, if she had cuffs). He then drove aggressively as he could. Fortunately, there were not pedestrians crossing while the traffic cops weren't watching.
I can now see why the various governments in the area are desperate to expand the convention center for this one event. I think I've seen the revenue estimates from the convention, but observing how much business was done outside of the convention center -- and knowing that at least indirectly much of the business inside the convention center created business outside as well, I can see that this is a major economic benefit to the area. Having this event move to Las Vegas, or Anaheim would probably at this point actually hurt the economy at least a bit. But getting a major municipal project launched quickly in this current economy won't be easy, even if the numbers will show that it can be paid for just with the direct taxes and rentals.
Now, I only wish that I had one more weekend to recover between ComicCon and the trip to Montreal. Next year, I'll have plenty of time, but it will probably get eaten just like this summer has.