"Comic Con is a dream engagement platform for brands"- Jatin Varma, Comic Con


The Delhi Comic Con organized by Comic Con India saw a massive turnout throughout all 3 days of the fest. The convention which started on December 4 and ended yesterday on Dec 6 at  NSIC Grounds, Okhla saw the audiences rejoice with the line-up of International Guest appearances, Experiential & Gaming Zones by brands, exclusive fan sessions, Cosplay, Book Launches  and so much more.

With more than 250 participants exhibitors from across the world, the highlight of this years Comic Con was the presence of Actor, Kristian Nairn who is best known for his role as Hodor  in the award-winning HBO fantasy drama series ‘Game of Thrones’.

Additionally international personalities like Rob Denbleyker, Author of Cyanide and Happiness; Ty Templeton, Eisner Award Nominated, Comic Book Artist & writer and Dinesh Shamdasani, CEO, Valiant Entertainment were also a part of the event making Comic Con Delhi a significant success.

In a candid conversation with EE, Jatin Varma, Founder Comic Con India talks about the success of the fifth edition of Comic Con, the expected revenues and why is the property a dream engagement platform for brands.

What is the kind of response you have received so far?

So far the response we have received is that people have enjoyed themselves. I was very worried about doing a show outdoors because this sort of a convention in mostly done indoors and it was challenging for us too as basically we had to convert an empty parking space into a welcome, fun and jazzy venue where something like a Comic-Con could be organized.

What was so different in this year’s Comic Con vs. the one you organized last year?

A lot changed for us after we executed the Comic Con in Delhi last year. We got bought over by Reed Exhibitions, a new team came in, the way how we worked was changed, and the way how we positioned our shows was changed as well. In terms of content this there was more research involved, people like Cos-play so we decided to incentivize it bigger this time. Also for the first time we have had celebrity guests at Comic Con and we are doing meet-and-greet opportunities with them. We are also doing a fair bit of research as people leave to make sure we work on their feedback both good and back and come back stronger the next time.

What have been the major obstacles that you faced in creating this property?

My first two Comic-Con shows in Delhi were executed out in the open. In the first year at Delhi Hatt it was a free entry event where it was a basic exhibition style concept but from thereon we decided to make the concept bigger. Last year in Delhi, we faced massive issues with the venue in terms of people finding ways to get in so there was an idea of taking the property out of Delhi to NCR regions. But we were of the opinion that this is Delhi Comic-Con and we wanted to organize it in Delhi itself and hence we selected this venue after rescheduling the dates.

But why not have it at Pragati Maidan?

Pragati Maidan is not feasible in terms of business as firstly the rental is really high and secondly they take 50% of your revenue in addition to rental so one might as well stop doing business and start a charitable organization. It ironic as well because it’s called a trade organization. Also the show that I am trying to create is slightly premium and doesn’t really gel with the concept of a Pragati Maidan.

In terms of the audience participation what is the number so far?

So far we are at par with the last years number which is 35,000 but considering today is the last day, its Sunday and hence we are expecting more crowd to come in the evening.

We are seeing a lot of brands like Alto and AXN doing some really cool experiential engagements. How did the association with these brands happen?

It has been a watershed for us in terms of brand engagements. Brands are really happy as well as they are getting premium youth customers here who want to get engaged as they are spending a lot of time with us. Even brands are realizing that this not a conventional mall crowd coming in, instead it is a more premium youth crowd which is looking towards having a nice time and brands are going all out to create those experiences for them. Comic Con is certainly a dream engagement platform for all the brands.

In terms of revenue have you earmarked something that you are looking forward to pack with this edition of Comic-Con?

In terms of exhibitor sales we are looking forward to top what we did in Bangalore in our last edition, which is 3-4 crore.



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