If you’re throwing a live convention, conference, or over-the-top birthday party (just kidding), then you need to know about chat for events. Chat helps you update your attendees in real time, gives them a way to talk to one another on a large scale, and lets fans feel the energy even if they can’t be at your event in person.
In this post, we’ll share how chat increased engagement for one of the largest producers of live events in the country.
Wizard World Comic Con is a producer of pop culture conventions across North America. These shows are based around comics, cosplaying, graphic novel art, and other phenomenon like pro wrestling and cult movie celebrities. Their biggest events draw 58,000 people in one weekend, and they hold shows in over 25 cities throughout the year. They are the second biggest Comic Con in the country, behind San Diego, and they have a robust Â fanbase that attends these events in order to meet new friends, both online and off, and to purchase merchandise, dress in cosplay or see celebrities.
With a large fanbase comes the need for community engagement. Wizard World is very active on their social media channels, but they recognize the benefit of another form of communication before, during, and after shows on a channel that isn’t as cluttered as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Together, we created a chat program as a way to access fans during a show, even if fans were in a faraway location. Our goal was to connect fans with each other before, during and after a show. Wizard World used Frankly Chat and the app’s Group Chats and Brand Celebrity Chat features.
Brand Celebrity Chat
We created a Brand Celebrity Chat, which was the most successful chat integration of the campaign. Wizard World could broadcast messages to each member of the chat room, but when a member wrote into the brand, only that person and the brand saw the message. Wizard World used this room as a way to hold contests and get fans excited, announce promotions for upcoming events, and show off happenings on the showroom floor to everyone following. If users didn’t have the app open, Frankly Chat sent them push notifications to let them know they had a message waiting for them.
These chat rooms let users around the globe experience each show digitally, even if they weren’t attending. Wizard World sent out pictures from cosplayers at the event, showcased artists, and even sourced questions through the app to ask celebrities during Q&A sessions. In order to promote this channel, they hosted in-app fan chats with celebrities, such as Jason David Frank, the Green Power Ranger. Members of the chat group typed questions, and Jason David Frank immediately responded with text, video and images. The free and accessible celebrity chats were incredibly engaging and exciting, and gave comic fans more reasons to love Wizard World.
To engage Wizard World’s fans with each other before and after an event, we created group chats for each city. These rooms provided a space for their community to get excited about the upcoming show and converse on timing, rides, location information, and more. During the event, these rooms were a great resource to attendees as a way to meet other attendees, ask about sessions in various parts of the convention halls, share pictures, and keep in touch after the event! This strategy also helped Wizard World retarget users for the next show in their area.
We also created interest-based group chats on topics such as anime, gaming, and cosplay to engage their users outside of events. This allowed for announcement opportunities, such as the appearance of a famous cosplayer at an upcoming show.
Over the course of 10 shows, the Wizard World chat rooms amassed 15,000 followers ready to share fan experiences and receive information on show announcements. Wizard World’s fans praised their efforts to keep the Comic Con community engaged with each other. With their Brand Celebrity Chat, incoming messages resulted in open and honest feedback and thoughts from their fans on new topics, event locations, celebrities, and artists to pursue.
Wizard World actively embraces their community in social media, but found that chat is an avenue of engagement which actually has more potential for brand awareness, mindshare, and advertising opportunities. We’re excited to see what Comic Con fans will do with chat in 2015!