Over a hundred and thirty thousand people attended this year’s Comic-Con convention in their enthusiasm to submerge themselves in the spirit of “geekhood”. Comic enthusiast contributed $203 million and booked over 378,000 rooms in the area over the past three years (1). This means big windfalls for hotels, restaurants and other businesses in the area.
There are two benefits from Comic-Con that helped to steer a course for San Diego. The first is the immediate benefits to local businesses and the second is the long-tail of marketing of San Diego to the world. Businesses may see a short burst of revenue but also may find their environment improving over the long-run.
Sometimes people need an excuse to see the beauty of San Diego. Conventions such as Comic-Con give young people a reason to visit San Diego who might have otherwise have optioned for another place. Some of those people will be impressed by the area and may come back for a vacation or another time when a large event is being held.
Just in the same way as Comic-Con grew from a small event in the 70’s, to the powerhouse draw of celebrities today, areas also grow in appeal. Because we are creatures of habit, visiting once often perks our interest into visiting again. The same mental processes occur in consumer choices in events or any other buying behavior.
Some businesses will receive enough revenue during this period that it makes a difference between hiring another employee and laying off another employee during the year. Small businesses need this revenue to increase their profit margins and make small changes in their expansion. Hotels, restaurants, bars, retail, and other associated establishments should have seen a spike in revenue.
Comic-Con offers value for the area and should be encouraged. Whether we are concerned about marketing the area to the rest of the world or getting a little extra cash into the hands of local businesses owners the value of similar events cannot be underestimated. With San Diego’s vacation weather it should be a popular option for future events.