San Diego Comic-Con’s Expansion Beyond Comic Books

Mar 26, 2019

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San Diego Comic-Con started in 1970 as the Golden State Comic Book Convention – a 4-day event in which local enthusiasts showcased the latest and greatest from the comic book and science fiction universe. Now, almost 50 years later, San Diego Comic-Con’s expansion has transformed the event into an annual pop culture event that regularly draws hundreds of thousands of attendees from around the world. As part of this evolution, Comic-Con has expanded to showcase not only comic books, but movies, tv shows, video games and more. Here’s why San Diego Comic-Con has expanded its focus beyond comic books.


It’s only fitting that Comic-Con’s expansion includes a focus on movies. Name a comic book that HASN’T been turned into a movie? …I’ll wait. It feels as if Marvel releases a new super hero or comic book adaptation every 3 months. And what better place to promote or showcase these movies than San Diego Comic-Con? With deep ties to comic books and science fiction, Comic-Con is an ideal event for film studios to promote an upcoming release. Studio execs, writers, directors and actors themselves have all appeared on Comic-Con panels in recent years, often to draw buzz about an upcoming movie. SDCC has also been an event in which major movie news gets reveled (like the creation of 16th Spider Man movie). Given the (relatively) close proximity to Los Angeles, San Diego Comic-Con is easy to get to for many studio execs and talent alike.

TV Shows

Similarly, Comic-Con has proven to be an excellent venue to showcase and promote TV shows. In recent years, popular programs like Game of Thrones, True Blood, and Dexter have all had a big presence at SDCC. Even late night programming have cashed in on the Comic-Con buzz, with Conan O’Brien taking his show on the road to San Diego in years past. Comic-Con gives you instant access to hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom are a target demographic. It’s the perfect event to promote and showcase popular – or upcoming – programming.

Branded Content

For major brands, Comic-Con is an ideal event to produce live, branded content. Not only do you have instant access to fans attending Comic-Con, but you also have access to big name talent who could appear as potential guests on your program. Plus, at home viewers are interested in seeing what goes on at one of the biggest pop culture events of the year. Amazon, Wired, IMDb, Turner and countless others have used Comic-Con as an opportunity to generate and produce live content in year’s past.

Having worked at San Diego Comic-Con for the past 3 years, we’ve seen how much the event has exploded over a short amount of time. And we’ve witnessed how major brands, television networks and movie studios have all leveraged Comic-Con as a promotional tool for their content. If you’re in need of any event management or live production services during San Diego Comic-Con, give us a call… we’d be happy to discuss.

No Comments
  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2018-03-07 21:55:41

    We're glad you found this to be useful, Margaux. Let us know if there's anything we can help with.

  • Margaux Ford Reply
    2018-03-07 05:57:06

    I appreciate the tips on hiring a production staffing company to have more time to focus on the creative aspects of the project. Hiring a production crew is a tedious task, and can take up much of your time. We're currently working on a huge production, and I'll share this article with my boss so he'll consider on delegating the recruitment to a staffing company. I like that you mentioned that staffing company can ensure to have the right team onboard for the project. Thanks!

  • Robert McWilliams Reply
    2017-10-31 19:05:18

    Todd:I have an ad agency in addition to our production company. We put one of our clients on OTT two months ago up in Nevada. Seems to be working!Thanks again for the work earlier this month.Rob

  • Nicole Rohde Reply
    2017-05-27 22:28:45

    Hey Andrew, Any word as to whether or not the Jokers will be back for Comic Con this year? Please let me know. Thanks!!!

  • Aaron Estabrook Reply
    2017-02-23 16:26:57

    I'll be tuning in for sure!

  • David Patton Reply
    2015-01-16 13:16:02

    Interesting blog post Andrew. For those who are nearly ready to cut the cord, but still want access to key channels such as ESPN, I'd recommend checking out Dish Network's new service, Sling TV. It provides access to a handful of channels for $20/month.https://gigaom.com/2015/01/15/sling-tv-details-price-devices-networks-resolution-bandwidth/

  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2015-01-13 14:44:19

    Go for it! I'll admit that I was a little apprehensive about pulling the plug at first, but honestly, the transition away from DirecTV has been seamless. The only missing link is live sports, but there are a few work arounds depending on what sports you watch. Good luck!

  • Gregory Hart Reply
    2015-01-13 06:35:00

    While I am part of the 55 year old demographic that still has TV boxes and does TV viewing, I do my viewing using DVRs and networked PCs playing video files from an in-home server. I too have noticed that I view a handful of shows on a regular basis and have found various other sources for these shows. And now it has gotten to the point to where I am seriously considering ending my very long relationship with DirecTV and going streaming. Working in the TV industry also helped to open eyes to this as well. This transition from "old" TV is coming and the networks (Les Moonves, I am looking at you!) had better plan for it.

  • Gary Reply
    2013-08-08 09:44:39

    You've left out a HUGE part of this story by not mentioning Howard Stern's effect on the Sharknado buzz! #siris-ly

  • Marybeth Harrison Reply
    2013-08-07 14:46:29

    I can almost hear the theme song from Jaws as I read your post!