Can Virtual Comic-Cons Replicate The Real Thing?

"Virtual Pop Expo" had all the components of a pop culture convention: cosplay contests, celebrity panels and a marketplace full of nerdy merchandise.
Posted at 1:12 PM, May 11, 2020

The pandemic has shuttered many of this year's biggest pop culture events — like San Diego Comic-Con — so some companies wanted to re-create the convention experience virtually. 

Jonathan Tavss: "There's a whole bunch of exhibitors that we know and love that are going to be stuck with a lot of inventory, … plus the fact that there is a whole bunch of talent that had no outlet for announcements."

"Virtual Pop Expo" was one of several projects working to re-create in-person events online. It took place last weekend with all the components of a pop culture convention: cosplay contests, industry panels, celebrity appearances and a virtual marketplace with more than 120 pop culture merchandisers. 

Bernie Bregman: "We are here to support the vendors in our community. … Let's help keep them afloat, because that's really what this weekend is about."

The marketplace drew around 1,000 to 1,500 attendees at any given moment during the event, while the YouTube stream garnered more than 12,000 views. Beyond supporting community vendors, Virtual Pop Expo also supported charities like Feeding America and Direct Relief

Bregman: "Here's to you guys and here's to coming back to comic-cons in the future!"