OK, I have been to the Olympics, Super Bowls, Final Fours, presidential conventions, and NASCAR races, and not to mention CES, E3, CEDIA, and other trade shows. But last week was my first visit to Comic-Con. It was awesome. Why? Because it was the most fan-centered event ever. And for someone in entertainment marketing, that is gold. The passion and loyalty the fans displayed really resonated. Yes, people do camp out for hours (even days) to get into some of the panels that feature stars and producers of movies and TV shows. Yes, many fans wear costumes expressing their interests (vampires were big this year, so were video game characters and there were still many Starship Troopers). This year my costume was "Network TV Marketing Guy." I am sure I scared a few people there (see pic).
What was special about Comic-Con was its focus; it addresses the fans directly and satisfies their interests. The movie studios and game companies all pay a lot of attention here, as do we. It's just about the only time we get to be one on one with our fanbase on a personal scale. We get to meet them, and talk about what they like and what they don't like. It's all about the consumer. They have the power to build--and break--brands.
Most importantly, it demonstrated once again that in a world where technology is maximizing our ability to communicate, it's content that is the big magnet (see my post on the Seven C's). As an event, Comic-Con was extremely well planned and well run. Kudos to all involved.