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Comic-Con International: San Diego is not your average convention. When more than 130,000 people descend on a city, the economic impact they’ll create is usually one of the top things discussed.

Comic-Con show move in and out.

Comic-Con show move in and out. Photo courtesy of San Diego Convention Center.

Not so in the case of Comic-Con. Held this past July at the San Diego Convention Center, Comic-Con 2014 will be remembered as the convention where attendees sparingly opened their wallets, and giveaways were practically non-existent. Additionally, sponsorships weren’t as robust either.

Driving this trend is the behavior of the attendees themselves. Being borderline obsessed with a fandom doesn’t necessitate spending a lot of money in the minds of Comic-Con attendees. These fans come from all walks of life, and not everyone has the purchasing power expected from the decision-makers and buyers who attend other tradeshows and conventions.

Comic-Con attendees go to the show to be entertained or become the entertainment themselves through their costumes. They also attend panels and get excited about meeting their favorite superheroes and celebrities. These activities already serve as indicators why Comic-Con is different from other conventions. So while these attendees find “fan girl-ing” or “fan boy-ing” a great pastime, it seems like spending a lot of money isn’t a priority unless they have a major reason to do so.

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