Tapping Into Comic-Con and Similar Event Marketing Opportunities

Comic-Con, the mecca of all things geek, is this weekend in San Diego. With so many different events, experiences, parties and the convention itself attracting over 130,000 tourists and natives to the Gaslamp district, there’s no doubt that businesses big and small want to be a part of the action. So how can your company take advantage of these event opportunities?

If you cannot manage to stake a claim on the show floor or within the big event itself, the next best avenue is to try and find space outside of where everything is taking place. During Comic-Con, PETCO Park’s parking lot is invaded by all kinds of brands and businesses looking to provide more ways to have fun and to experience their product or services without the restraint of having an attendee badge. There are small interactive exhibits, giveaways and even funhouses that make for creative ways to attract the public to the space.

But if developing a small attraction may be outside your budget, consider partnering with other companies to create a co-branded experience. Every year, actor Zachery Levi hosts his annual Nerd HQ outside of Comic-Con. This year he’s partnering with PlayStation and LootCrate, among others, to give fans a unique space to meet, attend exclusive panels, play new games and more. It’s a great way to build buzz through many different channels from various brands.

If big experiences are too fancy and you’re looking for something on a grassroots level, find ways of integrating your product or service that has opportunity for big reach. A few years ago, Butterfinger drove a truck into the heart of downtown San Diego and it “accidentally” stalled. When a costumed character exited the truck, he opened up the back and piles of the delicious candy poured out for onlookers to grab the sweet treats. This year, KFC is partnering with the Cartnoon Network show “Robot Chicken.” In seven locations throughout the Gaslamp district, there will be Colonel Sanders statues dressed up in wacky costumes that emit free WiFi service for attendees. Those that snap a selfie with the Colonel and use the hashtag #ColonelSanders will be entered into a KFC giveaway.

There are many ways to incorporate your business into the likes of Comic-Con and other big events such as Coachella, Lollapalooza, New York Comic-Con and South by Southwest that are sweeping the nation with huge crowd turnouts. The key is to ensure what you are offering is presented in a relevant and inventive fashion. Most of all, have fun with it! 

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