Caped Consumers: How Comic-Con and Other Events Affect Travel Purchasing Decisions

Comic-Con consumer travel decisions | Resonate data

The popularity of comic book conventions has increased over the last three decades. They’ve evolved from small gatherings of a few fans into international events hosting thousands of travelers from across the galaxy. These fans pour into convention centers donning jaw-dropping, elaborate costumes of their favorite characters. Long gone are the days of meetups occurring in dingy basements. Today, the scene’s largest and most well-known gathering — Comic-Con — consistently sells out a 2.6 million-square-foot convention center, making it the largest annual convention in San Diego. 

This significant influx of tourists creates an equally substantial boost to the local hospitality industry. Convention-goers can cause noticeable shifts in a city’s economic health, and the scale of Comic-Con creates a seismic, if you will, influence. San Diego realizes an estimated impact of more than $165 million during Comic-Con alone. Even with the SAG-AFTRA strike, many San Diego businesses are anticipating being flooded with convention-going tourists. It and other conventions like it represent a ripe opportunity for marketers who take the time – and have the right data – to understand how these superfans think, travel and consume. Using rAI, Resonate’s AI-powered neural network, we gained a deeper understanding of how these large flocks of fans travel and the opportunities they present. Let’s look at how self-reporter convention goers stack up: 

Audience Introduction Report | Resonate data on Comic-Con consumers

Values, drivers and preferences impact consumer travel decisions

You can create messaging that resonates with this group by understanding their lifestyle and what motivates them. Here are a few highlights: 

  • They value community and group harmony, peer recognition (think best costume) and avoidance of upsetting others.  
  • They are fueled by creativity, a top psychological driver and personal value among this set. 

Costumes aren’t cheap, and neither is travel. Everyone knows that. When you factor in convention tickets, souvenirs purchased from vendors, costumes, food, drinks and all other event costs, these cosplayers spend a pretty penny when they travel. As a result, they expect to have a seamless and harmonious travel experience that allows them to fully immerse themselves in the event they’ve been looking forward to for so long.   

Comic-Con Blog | Vacation Hesitancy

Practical product attributes?

The practicality of travel products plays a disproportionately large part in influencing purchasing decisions for convention-goers compared to the average American. They also are hesitant to travel after experiencing travel complications. They just want to make it to the convention on time and with their costumes. The focus and emphasis of their travel is the event.  

Time-saving services?

Similarly, they value travel services that save them time, so they can spend as much of their vacation among their fellow fans as possible. The collaborative and shared nature of fandom also manifests in how they recommend products or services, placing more emphasis on bad customer reviews and negative experiences shared online when deciding which travel services to avoid or seek out. 

Reach the fandom with AI-powered data

Ready to make contact with these fans? To effectively harness this group’s potential, your brand needs to wield the power of AI-powered data that shows you the why behind what they do. You need the freshest, privacy-safe data available today to reach them with the right message at the right time and on the right channel – no matter what planet they’re from. 

Categorized as: Blog Page, Consumer Insights

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