- Tighter Security and Better Ticket Collection: Security was strict with both ticket and non-ticket holders this year. If you didn't have a badge, there was no way for you to gain entry. Too many non-ticket holders were able to loiter around in the entry halls of the Javits Center last year. Badges were not inspected until you walked up to the main exhibition hall. This played a big hand in keeping rift raft and freeloaders away. While I could care less if someone is sneaking into the place, it is a slap in the face to the people who went out of their way and spent top dollar to buy a ticket, or wasted hours filling out a press application.
- More Coat Check Options: The Javits Center opened up a few more coat check areas this year. This made it extremely easy to get in and out as quick as possible. However, the main coat check across from Starbucks still had a long wait since many people were unaware that there was more than one coat check.
- The Banning of Rolling Suitcases and Strollers: I can't even begin to count the number of times I almost killed myself last year by tripping over someone's rolling suitcase, or how many babies were almost crushed to death as I tripped over the wheels of their strollers. Let's face it, every die hard fanboy loves to bring a suitcase full of comic so that they can get every issue they owned signed by their favorite creator. It makes sense since NYCC may be the only opportunity they have to meet their all-time favorite creator, but not in near-fire-hazard conditions. On the most attended day of the convention, Saturday, thousands of people are crammed shoulder-to-shoulder in the exhibit halls of the Javits Center. There's no room to be dodging suitcases and strollers in that environment.
- The Relocation of Artist Alley: NYCC made better use of the Javits Center's space. Moving Artist Alley to Javits Center North was a great idea. Sure, it took a while for people to realize where exactly Artist Alley was located, but once they did, business began booming. Last year, the North Hall was used primarily as a lounge and partial celebrity autograph area. It was virtually empty at times, and a complete waste of space
- Phone Charging Stations: The Javits Center is known for having the worse phone reception in all of New York City. Phone batteries die quickly when trying to find a non-existing signal. Luckily everyone was able to recharge their phones while sitting down and recharging themselves and several of the Davinci's Demons sponsored charging stations. The sponsor also sprung for 4 hours of free wifi service within the walls of Artist Alley. If there's one major gripe everyone has, it's that attendees and exhibitors alike need to pay an overpriced fee for wifi at the Expo Center. How can you not allow free wifi access to anyone conducting business inside the Javits Center!?
While many people still have their gripes towards comic con and how it was being run, the 2012 experience was vastly improved. A few tweaks by NYCC organizers went a long way in making the con a lot more pleasant. Let's hope they continue to strive towards an even greater fan friendly experience, while continuing to address some of the other lingering annoying issues. With the NYCC 2012 behind us, I'm greatly looking forward to next year's event. Let the countdown begin!