It's the return of the cons
It's the return of the cons. Cons aren’t just for those who are dusting off their Star Wars cosplay or laminating 1964 limited edition comic books. Cons are for any of the realest of the real fans, whether that be fantasy, reality tv or NFT’s. And although fans have been around for a long time, the industry of cons is still somewhat in its infancy. In this edition of More Things with MAS, we asked our team what they predict we will see in the next big trends of fandom conventions.
A THING EVERYONE WILL BE DOING
If you have not gone to a Con, whether that be VidCon, Comic-Con, WonderCon or even BravoCon, just wait. Just two weeks ago we saw how the NFT and alt coin craze has capitalized on fans' desires to gather and build community around shared interests with the emergence of VeeCon. The brand VeeFriends brought together multiple stages filled with founders of non-fungible token collections, top digital artists, celebrities, athletes, NFT investors and builders. This world is exploding and has huge potential for brands wanting to engage their audiences. So many pros, so little cons!
- Jessica Ritter, Director of New Business and Marketing
A THING BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER
I think 'con' is a confusing term for people who aren't familiar with the culture of events like Comic-Con. A shortened form of 'convention,' the nomenclature here does a disservice to what 'cons' are all about - and that's community. Community will be the key focus in the evolution of cons. Sure, we'll see cons full of brand activations, but group activities that really encourage fan engagement will be in the spotlight. Think the evolution of cosplay: live action role-playing (LARPing) is likely to become a large part of con interactivity in the future - especially as the practice gains broader appeal thanks to experiences like Disney's Galactic Starcruiser.
- Rob Blasko, SVP Creative Strategy
A THING THAT WON'T CHANGE
The new age of fan conventions won't be a reinvention of the wheel because there's no need to. This convention demographic, those true die hard fans who fly across the country, and most often the world, to attend with their fellow super fans have always found a way to come together. Long before NFTs, absurdly high ticket prices and even the internet; fans were getting together in the 70s at the very first iterations of some of the most popular conventions we know so well today like Comic-Con (1970) to celebrate the community they still remain inseparable from. It won't be conventions that change but the makeup of the fans, those 20th timers and the 1st timers, who attend them continuously will.
- Nic Moalli, Creative Strategist
SOMETHING FROM A GALAXY FAR AWAY
Star Wars Celebration just happened and seems like a 'must check out' moment for Jedis and Padawans alike. And besides the wonderful cosplay moments and meet and greets that are part of any Con, this celebration also became a centerpiece for content showcases in person and online. The first two episodes of Obi Wan Kenobi, trailers for Andor and Season 2 of The Bad Batch may have premiered in Anaheim, but their presence was felt across the internet. And this is such an exciting place for ConCulture, especially when it's focused on a single fan culture. These moments can be a focal point for digital reach whether we are in Alderaan (RIP) or the sands of Tatooine.
- Garrett Brooks, Creative Director