Sunday, July 12, 2015

Should Conventions Provide A Virtual Ticket?

I personally like going to conventions, especially if I have the extra time and money. Let's face it conventions are a giant meet and greet, that allows a person to geek out with other geeks and potentially meet celebrities. The thing I hate the most about going to conventions is the cost. If the ticket to get into the doors doesn't burn a hole in your wallet, the traveling expenses will. Maybe for some the financial burden isn't a problem, but getting the time off work. Maybe neither off these things are and issue but you're an unlucky person and the convention sells out before you could get a ticket. What I'm trying to say is there is a limited amount of people who can go. I personally would like conventions to expand their business model and find an online space.

Follow me here. There are many live streaming sites that could easily sponsor a convention and broadcast the event worldwide. The convention could go the free route and limit the broadcast to the "main stage" and maybe a few other things. If the convention wants to make a little bit more money, they can charge a reasonable amount (I suggest half the price of a physical ticket) and show nearly everything. There could still even be room for exclusive content for those who are lucky enough to be at the actual convention.

The only convention I can think of that use this model is BlizzCon. BlizzCon, for those of you out of the loop, is Blizzard Entertainment's convention they throw for fans of their games. Blizzard usually announces their newest games including expectations to they're already popular games (World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo). Blizzard knows their fan base is very large, so large that not everyone could fit under one roof. Blizzard fixed this problem with the Virtual Ticket. I believe their Virtual Ticket is sponsored by DirectTV and cost roughly 40 US dollars. With this 40 dollars, you get access to the majority of the conventions, which includes all the panels, eSports stages, and high-quality trailer. There are also some in-game incentives for buying the Virtual Ticket.

Let's imagine for a moment the SDCC (San Diego Comic-Con) used the BlizzCon Virtual Ticket model. One: people like myself who can't make it out to the conventions, for one reason or another, could experience those events as well. I'm positive I'm not the only one who would like to see the content released in Hall H. Usually, low res version of the panels are placed online, then taken down shortly there after. Two, this could be a way to release a non-pirated version of a trailer, and true market to their fans. This beats a journalist, blogger, or Youtuber's synopsis any day. There still could be exclusive content with this model. At this year's SSCC, Lucasfilm gave all the attendees of the Force Awaken's panel, a free Star Wars concert. Those who have the "virtual ticket" don't get to see that content, period. Maybe there are more incentives for those in the crowd, so the "virtual ticket" doesn't take out the point of going to the convention in the first place.

What I'm trying to say is I would love an opportunity to experience the major conventions like SDCC when life doesn't allow me too. How about you?           

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