Yep! I did that. It was awesome? Didn’t come anywhere near breaking even, but it was a wonderful time!
Met a lot of fantastic people, and got a whole crap ton of awesome stuff! I’ll put a picture up later 🙂 Lots of posters, and we had some fantastic neighbors. THERE WERE SO MANY PEOPLE!!
Okay, so, Pro’s towards doing Planet next year:
- Tons of people attend (literally tens of thousands) and the possibility of being seen and making some of those wonderful one-on-one connections is high.
- Lots of other great talent to learn from and meet.
- I might get to catch an eye-boggling glimpse of someone as scruffy-handsome as Tom Felton again.
- Because there were so many people, I mostly stayed at the booth (this is a pro because I can sell stuff if I’m at the booth, yes?)
- Shared table meant there was always someone there to watch when I had to hit the head or go meet Jason David Frank *fans self* oh dear…
- Handed out a gajillion business cards and actually saw an increase on various social media outlets.
Cons against Planet next year. Buckle up, they’re extensive…
- Load in and Load out, especially if you’re an artist, was an absolute MESS. I walked all our stuff out to the car in the line because there was absolutely no way everyone was getting their car inside EVER to load back up– it took 3 days for everyone to set up!
- Expensive. I get it, it’s a gigantic convention (over 3000 tables/booths and almost an entire city block crammed full) and it deserves what money it can make, but goodness! And I don’t just mean the table space– food, celebrity meetings and/or photos, parking.
- PARKING. They said originally the public garage next door would be available, and they were wrong. In fact, people weren’t allowed to park in that garage the entire weekend, and just like everyone else who lives in a large city, the idea of parking on the street or in an unguarded lot is nerve-wracking.
Things that don’t get to be equated in anywhere:
- This was my first convention. I knew going in that this would be a learning venture more than a profitable one. And, really, I almost covered my table fee. That’s not so bad when you aren’t selling expensive things.
- I split my booth, and I think I’m right in thinking that may have affected my sales. But, hey! Live and learn. I’d love to do a con with my best friend again– Preferably with out own tables side by side, so we can both have room to show off out wears– because we both deserve to get seen.
- Wrong audience for my coloring book (featuring MEDIEVAL GNOMES). I knew that going in, too.
- My Table Spot. This is a big one that I don’t get to fuss about– yes, my table was in a really terrible location. Right at the end, dead center of the isle, right next to the celebrities. Sounds great, right? Wrong. We had a small set up, easily passed over in the middle because we’re new. By the time people walked aaaaaall the way back to aisle 2800, they were tired and just wanted to get their autograph– not to mention broke and shopped out. Why doesn’t this count? Because it’s preventable. We were pulled in off the waiting list, last minute. We expected exactly what we got, and we stayed positive about it. If I try my luck at this convention again next year, I’ll pay attention and make a decision much earlier than last minute.
Over all, for having had four weeks to pull a table together and figure some shit out, I think we did very well. Best of all, I left with ideas for the next con (Kansas City Comic Con in August), with tons of great advice, and completely inspired. I think the very best little nugget of advice I was given from the amazingly talented Devin Kraft (You can see his work here)– who, btw, was a totally awesome neighbor– when I asked his opinions of what we could do better as newbies trying to break into this competitive and nerdy field. He told me that while financially, splitting a table at a conventions sounds like a good idea, it severely limits your time with each prospective client. You go from a 6 foot table, to just 3 feet, which takes between one and two seconds to pass by. See the flaw? You go from several seconds to be seen, to one, which makes every sale and every connection you make a lucky one. Congrats, you won the “See Me!” lotto for one of the 20 people passing by. It was a brilliant way to explain it (his version was better phrased, of coarse) and it was very helpful. It was also really nice to be complimented on my lack of fear of engaging people.
All in all? It was fun, and I enjoyed myself. The verdict is still out on whether I’m going to pursue this means of extra income– I’m holding off my decision until after KCCC in a few months. If it does really well, maybe I need to take a look at smaller conventions like it. If I don’t do well? Well, I tried, and I may still give 2017 a shot.
I’ll post some pictures up later, folks. 🙂