Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Post NYCC/NYAF 2011 with Peter Tatara Part 2

Please read Part 1 of the interview before reading Part 2

Arrangement Decisions

When entering the show floor from the 34th street side of the building one encountered an extravagant display of exhibitor booths. As I moved towards the back of the room, the lighting was getting darker and it felt gloomy. This was where most of the least impressive booths were located. There was a similar layout in the room on the 38th street side of the building. Additionally, the mixing of vendors made it difficult to find all the manga or anime booths in one area of the show floor. Whether or not it was manga or anime related, a fan had to keep a sharp eye out for any product that they wanted. When it came to the exhibitors on the show floor, how did they figure out where to place the simpler or less extravagant booths? “The show floor has various different price points -- from premium space, to dealer space, to small press, to Artist Alley,” said Tatara. “Then, too, there are pavilions, like the Cultyard, Anime Fest, and Star Wars Zipcode. When we build the floor, the first things that are set are big, tentpole booths. From there, we work with exhibitors to place them according to space and theme.”

Since ReedPop had extra space to play around with at the Jacob Javits Center, the staff had to figure out what or who to place in the North Pavilion and Concourse. Some of the activities and exhibitors were Propworks, the Hasbro stage, Toys for Tots, NYC Office of Emergency Management, and the Autographing area. The reasoning behind the decision of the final layout was “all about moving people.” Since this was the first time the North Pavilion became available to ReedPop, they had to move features to the area that “would move people.” For example, the Autographing area tends to attract a large amount of people, along with events for Kids Day. So by moving it from the show floor to the North Pavilion, it helped move the fans of these activities into the new area. “This assured we'd be able to lessen the overall crowds and lines on the show floor with this attraction now in North.”

Other attractions located in the North Pavilion were the Red Tails truck and the Batman and Back to the Future vehicles. Similar to other convention centers, Jacob Javits Center has freight doors. Of course, the crowd usually does not witness the moving in of the vehicles or do they see the freight doors. Why? “Before the show begins, exhibitors load in through massive doors in the rear. Big vehicles are the first thing that load into the show.” In regards to the other crowd pleasers: Beyblade, the Iron Man/Thor/Captain America props and the Red Tails trailer, “these were all new things we hadn't done before, but they were all physically big and could and would command a crowd. Putting them in airy North gave them the space they needed.”

This year NYAF was in the Galleria, while last year it was in the basement (where the 2011 press lounge was this year). What led to the decision of placing the festival in the Galleria were the fans. A lot of time was spent listening to fans about the 2010 NYAF: what worked and what did not. “I came to Reed from the anime world, and it's still my baby. It's what I love,” said Tatara. “I've seen the petitions and have several folders of emails about the ‘anime ghetto.’” As a result from listening to and “working directly” with the fans comments, the NYAF was placed in Galleria, which had not been accessible last year.

Looking at how things went with the new location, “for the most part, it worked.” Tatara received a few emails from fans, who were upset about the location being “‘too bright.’” “Admittedly, the sun and acoustics aren't the best placement for the stage, but the Galleria worked very well for gaming and NYAF's Artist Alley.” In regards to the panels, Tatara believes that the situation needs to be amended. As mentioned in the previous section of the article, the NYAF panels were moved into Hall A. This was to prevent the isolation that happened in 2010. With this change in the panel location, the “issue is, with so much going on at the show, and involving NYAF in this same space, it meant not as many panels as last time out and not all of them in big rooms. Again, it's something that needs work, but it's something I know needs work.”
© 2011 Linda Thai

Stay tune for Part 3 of the Peter Tatara interview.

Photography by Linda Thai

For more pictures, check out the Something Deeper: Anime, Manga and Comics Page on Facebook

1 comment:

Toshiro said...

i liked the change in placement for the anime fest location. sunlight is good haha