There are so many great venues in New York City that I don’t blame NYCC for wanting to utilize some of them. Especially for big draw panels like The Walking Dead or new Marvel TV shows. But there are down sides to attending panels at places like Hammerstein Ballroom or the Hudson Mercantile.
Other than having to leave the convention center, which is something most con-goers are not used to (I don’t even like to see daylight during most of my conventions), you can’t bring outside food or drink into the venues. Since the panels held there are popular, and they don’t clear the rooms, you basically have to camp out to see anything. Which means you’re stranded without your bag of snacks. That is not cool.
Last year, when I went to see Teen Wolf at the Hammerstein Ballroom, they almost made me throw away my water bottle. The security guard didn’t put up much of a fight when I said I wasn’t going to toss it, and let me keep it as long as I emptied it out and promised not to take it out where anyone working inside could see it. I was only there for one panel that day, but I was going back and forth from the convention center and not stopping back at the hotel, so that would have meant not having snacks with me for an entire con day. That’s impossible!
It makes planning for the convention really difficult, and adds an unknown amount of money to my food budget, not to mention an unknown amount of calories to my meal plan. It makes me not want to attend panels outside of the Javits at all. I know I’ve seen a lot of other people on Twitter expressing the same concerns. If there was some transparency about why the policies are in place it might help, but we just assume it’s because the venues want to make extra money off of attendees. Which sucks.
Unfortunately they have us over a barrel, because I super want to see The Walking Dead and Marvel TV this year, so it looks like I’ll be living off shitty nachos and crummy pizza all day Saturday. Unless I can pad myself with Luna bars.
What do you think of these policies?