According to the BDO’s Economic Impact Study and a study carried out between March 21 and March 24 at Exponor by ISAG-EBS CICET-FCVC, the direct economic impact on the region resulting from the largest pop culture event in the Iberian Peninsula (measured by participants’ final consumption expenditure and the organisation’s expenditure on producing the event) is estimated at between €27.4 million and €46.4 million.

As for the wealth generated by the organisation and the companies whose activity depends on Comic Con Portugal, it is estimated at between €16.2 million and 27.4 million. When analysed from a national perspective, the event generated an economic impact for the country of between €53.4 million and 89.6 million.

Comic Con Portugal celebrated another hugely successful edition at Exponor, with figures showing an exponential evolution over the years. The 2024 edition saw record levels of satisfaction, attendance and economic impact. During the four days, 155,234 participants attended the event (an increase of 27.5 percent compared to 2022 and almost 10 percent compared to the previous high, recorded in 2019, pre-pandemic). Of all the events held at Exponor in the last decade, the third day of the event registered the biggest visitor record ever.

With more than 220 hours of content taking place on 10 stages and more than 150 brands (national and international) involved, the 2024 edition of Comic Con Portugal was attended by the three main Portuguese channels “Taskmaster” (RTP), the “Azul” series (SIC) and the “Morangos com Açucar” series (TVI).

The major film and television studios were also present with content and brand activations, including AXN (Sony Pictures Entertainment Iberia) with the incredible Escape Room “Trapped at AXN”; Sony Pictures Portugal brought the film “Ghostbusters: Empire of Ice” to Comic Con Portugal with a brand activation where it was possible to see the “Ecto-1” car up close. The studio also offered fans of Dragon Ball a moment to honour the saga and its creator Akira Toriyama with a screening of the film “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero”; Syfy (NBC Universal) with a launch of the iconic Chucky and the presence of talent Raymond Lee from the series “Quantum Leap” and Cinemundo left no-one indifferent with its activation of the television channel. In the cinema, fans were allowed to get in touch with the Warner Bros. Portugal activation with the films “Furious” and “Godzilla vs. Kong” and on the national scene it brought the cast of the film “Bloodless Revolution” to the Golden Theatre.

From the NOS group, Dreamia was present with its legendary “Canal Hollywood in Concert” and Biggs with a panel of actor Ed Westwick from the series “Gossip Girl”. The TVCine Channels launched their new game, created in partnership with Creative Toys, “Bet the Popcorn” at the event, which entertained fans. To top it all off, NOS Cinemas provided all the Golden Theatre’s spectators with a “Cinema” atmosphere by installing a cinema-style bar.

The LEGO Group had a multi-area presence with its content, both in brand activations in different areas and in content at the auditoriums; FNAC introduced a novelty to the event, by recreating a FNAC shop involving retail and experience; The Walt Disney Company fulfilled the dreams of children and adults who have always wanted to see their superheroes up close with an exhibition of statues from the most varied universes: Marvel, Star Warner and Disney/Pixar. Redbull, Doritos, CTT, the European Parliament, Pris Audiovisuals, Samsung, Orea, Hasbro Gaming, Nintendo, and Radio Popular Gaming enlivened the event with activations full of experiences and adrenaline.

Brands such as Banzai, Vigor, ISAG, Coca-Cola and Sapo, Sportmex, and Restart increased their presence at this edition by investing not only in activation but also in sponsorship. The first four established themselves as the event’s Official Sponsors and the others embraced stage sponsorship: Live Stage powered by Sapo, Creator’s Hub powered by Spormex, and Corporate Stage powered by Restart.

Institutional partnerships also wanted to be part of this great celebration by contributing to causes such as Non-Visible Disabilities (Sunflower), Combating Food Waste (Refood), and Raising Awareness of Sustainability and Ecology (LIPOR).

Economy and Tourism

Consolidating itself as an event of great importance for tourism in the country, (more specifically in the Porto Metropolitan Area), the data shows that 88 percent of visitors to Comic Con Portugal said that the event was the main reason for them travelling to and staying in the region.

Catarina Santos Cunha, the Porto City Council’s Councillor for Tourism and Internationalisation, stated the “Porto City Council recognises the importance of events like Comic Con Portugal for the city, which it has supported and helped boost in an active and committed way, hoping that in the future it will help to spread pop culture in the region”.

Marta Moura Pontes (Councillor for Economic Activities, Tourism, and Internationalisation at Matosinhos Town Hall) declared that the municipality “offers exceptional conditions for hosting large-scale national and international events such as Comic Con Portugal. How it was executed, the general indicators, and the movement that was generated throughout this period reflect the region’s potential to attract and retain visitors, as well as consolidating its international position as a destination of excellence”.

“The Municipality of Vila Nova de Gaia decided to support Comic Con Portugal, in partnership with the municipalities of Porto and Matosinhos, recognising its importance as an event that boosts pop culture and promotes the territories among partners, guests, and thousands of people who had the opportunity to visit”, indicated José Guilherme Aguiar (Councillor for Tourism and Entrepreneurship at Vila Nova de Gaia City Council).

The €89.6 million economic impact is reflected in the boost to the accommodation, catering, and leisure sectors. Visitors to the event from destinations other than the Porto Metropolitan Area reported they spent an average of around €100 on accommodation, with the total average daily spend being €327.

“Comin Con Portugal 2024 has established itself as a culturally significant and economically impactful event over its 10 years of existence. In this latest edition, we celebrated our 10th anniversary and created a unique experience for visitors and the agents involved, we have boosted tourism consumption in the region, which translates into an expansion of the economy, especially in the municipalities of Porto, Matosinhos and Gaia”, described Paulo Rocha Cardoso (General Director of Comic Con Portugal).