Cartoon Convention Do's and Don'ts

Do: Have a sign or banner that tells who you are. Have your website address somewhere in plan view. Have something free for people to snag with your contact info (business card or flyer). Have offerings tailored to the attendees (Manga at a Fine Art event, not a good mix). Have offereings with several price points ($5, $10, $20, $2000). Have tubes or other materials for shipping available for sale. Upsell folks! If your not a "people person" then consider bringing someone that can work the floor well. Bring an helper or someone that can help in your booth while you are eating lunch or taking a break. Consider lifestyle goods (t-shirts, mugs, and if you have artwork that works well in that medium). Start small if it is your first foray. Do go broke trying to do everything. Bring lots of change for that $3 purchase made with a $20 all day long. Consider having the ability to take credit cards (iPhone add-ons offers a cool solution). Don't: Make your sign with sharpies. If you don't respect yourself, neither will they. Cover every inch of your table with goodies. Allow space for customers to set down items, to be able to sign cards/prints. Eat or drink at your table, unless it's okay for your customers to do the same. Be a bad neighbor. Loud music, unruly crowds, and profanity are a great way to piss your neighbor off and get yourself barred from future events. Respect your neighbors space and the experience of all customers, not just your own. Stalk art directors or editors that are in attendance, or worse yet, have a lackey stalk them. Leave your space unattended. Aside from the fact that you can't sell something if no one is there, expecting a neighbor to protect your stuff while they are trying to earn a living is a recipe for disaster.

Bare Minimum. Gut check time... There's a lot to consider when you are going to a show for the first time. Don't panic. Breathe! Before you drive yourself crazy, ask yourself a simple question, why am I going? Give yourself a goal, and afford yourself the opportunity to be successful. Noah Bradley got into the IlluxCon showcase for the first time this past year. He went with a very simple goal, get his name out there. He went with a cool website and a very simple and effective strategy as well. He had some really nice large prints made of a limited number of images (4 or 5 if memory serves) that showcased his skills and talents. He gave (yes, gave for free) a print to each person that visited the showcase. Art Directors got additional images (I love mine)! It was amazing to see the buzz it created, and the fact that everyone that attended the Showcase was walking around with an 11x17 business card of Noah's. Should you do that? That depends upon where you are going (remember IlluxCon is a small con with a very limited attendance), the depth of your pockets, and your goals. Find a strategy that hits your goal(s). A bare minimum convention kit should include the following: A sign. Some prints. A portfolio for the customers to flip through. Business cards, post cards or flyers, some kind of free take-away. Tubes or sleeves to protect pieces for consumers. Change. Markers to sign cards, prints or draw on items. A great attitude and a really big smile. Last but not least. Every event is an opportunity to learn. Don't forget to learn as much as you can, every chance you get. Oh yeah, and have fun!