What an adventure!


#1

I got back today from my first ever comic convention. I was a vendor even, and really couldn’t expect the experience.

I had some TCG and tabletop gaming accessory sales, a minor amount, but realized I was practically my own worst enemy the entire time. Sure did learn a lot. Tomorrow will be a much better day at the con.

I’ll have some pictures for you tomorrow of a project I was working on in-between customers while at the booth, I was so exhausted- I didn’t have the energy to carry everything in from the car (especially since I drive back there tomorrow)


#2

Which comic Con are you at?


#3

Chapel con in Albert Lea MN.

Chapelcon.com


#4

Awesome! Yes cons can be exciting and very exhausting…lol. I used to do face painting conventions selling my stencils and makeup but stopped after my son was born…now he’s older, we’ve been talking about doing them again(cons) …we’ve done a small videogame con and I just finished my first Ham radio con…sold lots of lasered nametags and the lightup led signs!!
Sometimes, the things you think will sell dont move at all and the ones you dont think will sell…go big time…lol
So glad you got your feet wet…hoping for a productive and profitable second day :smile:


#5

I miss going to Ham fests… those were great places to get all kinds of toys and tools. I can see laser stuff selling great at those. Ham operators love their CQ cards and custom tags, etc.

I haven’t seen or heard about one since I moved to Florida.


#6

My dad was a ham radio operator so i went to many ham fests as a child. I used love all the crap you could find there.


#7

Any chance you would do a break down of what you did right and wrong? What you learned and what you think you can improve on?

I’m planning on attending several of the local conventions as a vendor and would love some feedback before diving in head first


#8

Thats a hard question to answer…it all depends on the crowd and what you have…as well as your selling abilities…
I brought small button pins with funny sayings on them…didn’t sell many unless my son was pitching the sales…lol

Plus, at the ham con, there are lots of older men…I’m sure my smile and friendly manner helped…lmao :wink:
Look up the art of schmoozing…I learned this because I was and still am, normally, somewhat awkward in front of strangers. I have to almost think of it as acting while I’m at shows to be comfortable talking to strangers. You need to be friendly, confident and comfortable.


#9

Two very good friends of mine run the local club and convinced me to get my license…but I’m not really active…way too many other things on my plate atm. Eddie, my 13 year old is going for his…


#10

Don’t they still have hamfests in Orlando? I have been to them there, but it was a long time ago. :slightly_smiling_face:


#11

http://www.arrl.org/hamfests-and-conventions-calendar
Lots in Florida.:smile: didnt see one in Orlando though


#12

Here’s a list of a few things I learned:

There was loudness constantly. Stand up and speak loud to be heard.

Have a price sign. The first day I had no sign, and some interested people were probably disenchanted and turned away because I tried telling them the price, and failed at tip#1.

There’s a difference between being an artist and being a vendor. Booth fees are typically less for an artist. An artist produces everything themselves to sell, a vendor brings things they buy at wholesale to sell.

Bringing a cooler with ice and bottled water and soda and energy drinks is way awesome to stay cool.

Bringing a cooler with ice and bottled water and soda and energy drinks is way not awesome to lug to and from your car to your booth, due to weight.

Listen to the feedback of people who don’t buy from you. Offer to make them what they want and ship it.

Bring something to keep yourself occupied at the booth between customers. Try to have it be an unfinished art piece you are painting, or something you have cut out and are assembling. It looks professional. A video game is not. It will get boring.

Put the product in the customers hands.

Make sure you have at least 1 other person with you. 3 or 4 is ideal. You can rotate around seeing the competition and the events, get help reaching for things, and always having at least one person engaging with people and telling them what your product can do for them. Bathroom breaks are important too.

*Bonus~ it also significantly increases your booth being seen if one of those assistants are cosplayed up.


#13

If their is one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that the market dictates the products. From a photo perspective, I’ve been amazed at how often I am wrong about what will be most popular.


#14

Yeah, I really miss them. I’m going to have to find out if they are still having them in either Orlando or Melbourne. Oh, it looks like Steph found some for me. :smiley:

I’m sure they do. I’ll have to start getting out more and am going to go looking for them. Oh, looks like Steph found some for me! :slight_smile:


#15

Thank you very much!

Fort Pierce isn’t too far, then Lakeland and in October one in Melbourne. I’ll probably try for Fort Pierce and Melbourne.

This could get expensive :smiley: Thanks again!


#16

Glad to contribute…as long as I’m not responsible for your lack of $ at the end of it…lol


#17

Agreed. Every crowd is different - though if you find a niche that fits, you’ll start to find some common denominators from one show to the next. Likewise, every vendor has their own individual approach and just because it works for one person doesn’t mean that it’ll work for you. You have to be authentic. Similarly, every customer is different - over time, you learn to read people to know who wants to engage and which ones just want to know that you’re there if they have a question.

There are lots of great blogs with tips for selling at shows - everything from display ideas, to what to pack, to how to pitch your product. One caveat that I’d suggest when reading those is to pay attention to how much vending experience the author has. Here are a couple of quick links that I found, but there are tons more out there:

https://dearhandmadelife.com/10-ways-to-boost-craft-show-sales/


#18

The one other thing I’ve learned is that some shows are good, some shows just aren’t as good. Folks who travel these circuits know the good shows and the ones that aren’t worth paying booth fees for.