1.3 Billion Impressions: How BravoCon Returned with a Bang

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Bravo increased attendance from 10,000 attendees in 2019 to 30,000 this year.

There’s nothing Bravo fans love more than lapping up the tea spilled by their favorite network stars. So for the post-pandemic return of its three-day superfan event, Bravo brought the whole kettle to New York City. Indeed, this year’s iteration of BravoCon was transformed from a 10,000-person festival when the event launched in 2019 into a full-fledged fan con that drew 30,000 “Bravoholics” to the Javits Center to mingle with more than 100 cast members. And from the panels to the live recordings to the immersive video ops to the curated bazaar, fans had plenty of ways to drink in everything the brand had to offer.

Catering to its unique breed of superfans has always been part of Bravo’s strategy, and the brand took lessons learned and attendee feedback from the inaugural BravoCon to heart while planning this year’s event (Oct. 14-16). For one, Bravo focused more on meeting demand for tickets and tripled attendance as a result. The brand also consolidated the experience into a single venue, rather than leveraging three spaces as it had done in year one, increased the ways fans could interact with “Bravolebrities” on-site and added a full playground of immersive video ops that placed attendees in the center of their favorite shows. To boot, BravoCon sponsorships quadrupled for 2022, with 60 booths on-site and nine major sponsor activations for fans to engage with.

bravocon-2019_teaserMore From Bravo’s Event Portfolio:

Speaking of scaling the event, Bravo expanded a number of experiences from the first BravoCon, including offering five different “Watch What Happens Live” shows, rather than one. Attendees quickly filled seats to see which Bravolebs would grace the stage and what kinds of behind-the-scenes “tea” they might share. Bravo also revived its “Bravopalooza” talent brunches, hosting 20 events this year, compared to two in 2019. The experience this year was presented more like a cocktail hour, lasting about 75 minutes and strategically formatted so that fans didn’t know which stars might walk through the door at any moment to offer an element of surprise and delight.

Over in the bazaar, fans could browse a curated marketplace of goods developed by Bravolebs, and in some instances, rub elbows with them. In BravoLand, an extension of the 2019 Real Housewives Museum, Bravoholics could explore memorabilia from all of Bravo’s franchises and place themselves in iconic scenes from their favorite shows. Like posing on the “Below Deck” platform with wind in their hair as a yacht set sail, strutting down the “Project Runway” catwalk and inserting themselves into the opening sequence from “Vanderpump Rules.” These shareable activations were particularly appealing to the slew of fans who showed up in Bravo cosplay and/or had used a glam team prior to the event to look their best (yes, attendees actually went to those lengths).

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In BravoLand, fans could explore memorabilia from Bravo franchises and insert themselves into iconic scenes.

“There were a lot more opportunities to put yourself into videos because fans love those experiences,” says Ellen Stone, evp-marketing at Bravo. “This was absolutely about letting them step into the world that they’ve been watching and loving. And also about finding their communities. Bravoholics are a very unique people, and they’re wonderful and open. So [at the event], all the external forces that might cause friction are gone, and it’s just about this community of people who love the same thing.”

Big sponsorship moments delivered by a curated selection of brands were on tap, too, including an activation by Lay’s, one of BravoCon’s three presenting sponsors. The snack brand created three chip flavors inspired by three different “Real Housewives” for the experience, ultimately prompting plenty of social chatter and becoming a trending topic with BravoCon on Twitter. Among other sponsor activations were State Farm’s “Bravohood,” Bubbly’s winter chalet and Pure Leaf’s “Realitea” House.

On the social front, Bravo posted more than 500 pieces of content during BravoCon, and with supporting posts from talent and sponsors, earned 75,000 mentions and generated 1.3 billion impressions. The brand also extended the reach of four BravoCon panels, which are currently streaming on Peacock.

“The event success comes from a lot of different areas. It comes from social, it comes from the ability to give sponsors the experience they wanted, it comes from the ability to sell out that Javits Center and to make sure that our Bravoholics were getting the experience that they wanted,” says Stone. “And it was nerve-wracking because we were going from 10,000 to 30,000 attendees. So one of the things I feel is successful is that we’re hearing such wonderful responses to it, because it wasn’t a festival, it was a con. There’s a difference in the intimacy there. People just rooted for Bravo and it was wonderful.” Agency: Superfly.

Step Inside BravoCon:

Kait Shea
Posted by Kait Shea

Kait joined EM in 2015 and today enjoys her role as senior editor, digital content. When she’s not in reporter mode, rocking mermaid pants at Comic-Con or running laps at MWC Barcelona, you can find her at home listening to music.
View all articles by Kait Shea →

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