Panel, premieres, sneak previews, guests, and are all strong reasons to go to big time comic conventions. But the number one draw of any major comic convention is its dealers room and NYCC is no exception. All the major and most of the smaller comic publishers have booths showing off their latest titles and any animated or live action tie ins they have. There are also video game and toy companies out in full force. And then there are countless booths selling swords, costuming products, nerdy books, boardgames, card games, and anything else even slightly geeky. Also there are dozens of small shops selling everything from classic comics to every conceivable piece of Dr. Who merchandise. And most booths have something free for you can take or at least try to win alongside merchandise you can only get at a con. I did not spend a dime but I left with everything from a picture of me with the Justice League to a collection of housewares. If I had any money it would have quickly disappeared. I am not made of stone and they had many a wondrous item.
Promotional, early, and exclusive merchandise is one of the big draws to a pop culture convention such as NYCC. This is a place where companies show off, talk up, and sell you the consumer on their latest wares. This becomes a rather profitable situation for fans. Many booths aren’t actually selling anything so talking with people has less of an expectation. And anyone who is selling is so overwhelmed that you can browse without bother. In any case, you can leave the exhibitor’s hall weighed down by mountains of stuff whether you wanted to spend money or not.