When it comes to social media engagement and performance, Comic-Con@Home performed abysmally to the live event that typically takes over the San Diego Convention Center every July. A new report from Variety says tweets about the annual all-things-geek convention were down a whopping 95-percent. A study performed by ListenFirst says just 93,681 tweets were made about the event over its traditional five-day period this year compared to the 1,719,000 tweets the live event reportedly tallied last year.
The report from ListenFirst is dire on all fronts if Comic-Con International hoped to return big numbers with their virtual convention, something the analytics firm largely attributes to a lack of fan interaction. As the company points out, some of the biggest panels included in the Comic-Con@Home package had the comments turned off, so there were no ways for fans to interact with the stars in the panels. Furthermore, the vast majority of the panels were pre-recorded and simply released on a schedule.
“Fans couldn’t talk with creators,” ListenFirst head marketer Tracy David tells Variety. “[It] really deflated interest around the Comic-Con@Home experiment.”
On the bright side, Comic-Con@Home is a stopgap measure until public events return to a new norm in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Though The Walking Dead had a major presence as did Keanu Reeves and Hulu, many of Hollywood's largest studios skipped the event entirely. The only events from Marvel included snippets of The New Mutants and Helstrom while Warner Brothers skipped the event entirely in favor of DC FanDome next month.
"As well, Comic-Con@Home promises exclusive panels and presentations about comics, gaming, television, film, and a wide variety of topics from publishers, studios, and more," the company said when first announcing the event. "As if that weren’t enough, Comic-Con@Home will also have a Masquerade, gaming, and many other activities in which fans can participate from their own homes. Although Comic-Con@Home will provide badges for fans to print and wear proudly, all aspects of the initiative are free and there are no limits to how many can attend."
The statement added, "Comic-Con@Home will be held on the same dates as the previously canceled Comic-Con, July 22-26, 2020, and online attendees are encouraged to use the official #ComicConAtHome hashtag to be included in the virtual activities. Organizers and participating entities will begin providing additional details in announcements leading up to the event. Interested fans are encouraged to check Toucan, the official Comic-Con and WonderCon blog, SDCC’s website and social channels, and the official channels of their favorite pop culture creators in the weeks to come."