Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Wizard World Attendance Shocker!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Wizard World Attendance Shocker!

Yeah, I know. That's just a sensational headline so maybe you'll read this post. It's not really a surprise, because this is what Wizard does. To the surprise of no one, except maybe a few of those in the vast expanse of a less-than-full convention center, Wizard announced that attendance at last weekend's Wizard World was up by 2,000 over last year. That makes it a new record.

Now, I wasn't there every minute of the con, of course, and I've got no way of actually counting what attendance was, but as I wrote a couple of times over the weekend, there were noticeably less people there than in past years. I wasn't the only one who noticed it--even the commenters at Newsarama found the estimates unbelievable. Perhaps there were a number of invisible people there that I didn't notice. Or maybe they included any parents who drove up to the curb to let their kids out. Perhaps they counted comics characters, who were certainly present in the books themselves. And the Rosemont Convention Center is right next to O'Hare Airport, so it's possible that any planes that came in low enough were considered as passing through the con. One thing Wizard pretty definitely does is recount attendees who come more than one day. The show is three days long, so if you buy a three-day pass, you count as three attendees--even if you only come for two of those days. Since they've started a preview night, they might even count you as four people, which is ridiculous, because you can only get in to the preview if you've got one of the three-day deals, so you're automatically going to be there at least one other day. Counting Thursday attendees is nothing but stacking the deck.

I'm not sure how much it matters, though. These record-breaking numbers were met with such disbelief that Wizard is just undermining their own credibility. (Maybe Wizard also believes that everything's just getting better and better in Iraq and that Lieberman regained his Joementum last night.) Dealers making their decisions about whether to come back in future years will certainly take this into consideration.


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