David Glanzer is Comic Con’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations, but every time we talk, I keep giving him a promotion to Vice President. It’s become a running joke that, one day, I’m going to really embellish. But the good-natured Glanzer enjoys the humorous opening as it lays the platform for a more serious talk on what I call “The State Of Comic Con.”
My interest was in whether Comic Con 2012 would break 2010′s 130,000 person attendance record. That was based on Glanzer’s last talk at last year’s Comic Con (we did another one at WonderCon this year), where he said that on-site registration for 2012 was already at a record pace. “It’s really hard to tell,” said Glanzer on the possibility of setting a record, “because of the lack of space.”
What he’s referring to is the problem that plague’s Comic Con to the point of considering leaving San Diego as recently as two year’s ago. The event has outgrown the San Diego Convention Center, and so much so that half of the complaints concern overcrowding, by my estimate. Thus, there are actually more people hanging around the buildings and hotels who don’t have badges to Comic Con – maybe upwards of 20,000 to 30,000 more people.
Glanzer says that San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders is committed to building the much talked-about convention center expansion “And we’re right behind him,” said David.
The Campus That Is Comic Con
Last year, Mr. Glanzer made the statement that the objective was to create a kind of campus surrounding the SDCC and using the hotels and restaurants and other spaces nearby. 2012 has seen the development of that plan, as more events were at the Hilton Bayfront, The Marriott, and The Omni, than ever before. Glanzer says that has caused more walking space in the main building that years before – a welcome treat for those used to shoulder-to-shoulder Comic Con crowds.
WonderCon Back To San Francisco?
WonderCon saw a new home for 2012: Anaheim. A temporary home because San Francisco’s Moscone Center is undergoing an expansion. As I understood it from my talk with Glanzer earlier this year at WonderCon, they would like to get the dates ASAP. This time, Glanzer pretty much repeated that point, and said that the two sides were still talking but nothing was finalized, and the Mayor Of San Francisco had not stepped in to save the day. Thus, they’re still talking with Anaheim, too.
The Counterfeit Badge Problem
Some have complained that the new Member ID system prevents them from getting more than one badge, say for themselves and their significant others. But there’s a reason for that: Comic Con, according to Glanzer, has had a terrible counterfeit badge problem in the past. So someone with a fake badge is taking up space that was supposed to be held by the person who really bought the badge. The Member ID system was supposed to prevent that, and by all accounts it has.