Someone emailed me for tips about exhibiting at conventions and I sent them such a big waffly reply. Maybe you are also curious and want to read this slimmed down but still very long version?
…General convention tips I would say are:
1) Clearly price everything!
I personally find it awkward asking for a price unless I know I for sure want to buy. A thing that seems common is a framed list of prices on tables.
2) Stand up as much as you can and be inviting!
I find it a lot harder to hear and interact with someone if I’m sitting down at a convention. If you’re standing it’s a lot easier to converse and I think friendlier - it is totally tiring to do for an 8-9 hour day though!!
3) Practice a quick summary for your products!
People will totally ask what your book is about!
4) Pack everything the night before
this point seems kind of dumb and obvious but I am totally terrible at making sure I do, and if you’re travelling out to a convention, you might be waking up around 4/5am to get out of the door and it just really makes everything a million times easier and less stressful.
5) Bring packed lunch! (not just sweets!!)
you’re going to be there all day long and leaving your table can potentially be such a hassle. Also pack a proper lunch and not just snacks, otherwise you might burn out fast (I always do when I make this mistake.) ALSO ALSO try not to pack smelly food!? I made the mistake of bringing pepperoni salami sandwiches and they smelt so horrible I couldn’t get them out to eat so I totally fizzled out at the end of Saturday. :< !!!
also if you remember gum is always great to have to hand!
~wanna be fresh when talking about comics~
6) make a little chart of what you’re selling so you can make a quick note and keep track of what you’ve sold.
7) BAGS! I didn’t bring any until my 4th convention? get em cheap on ebay/amazon!!
8) Packaging really adds value and a really nice touch to your product!
9) I generally sell my comics and items at a reduced price at conventions (SORRY INTERNET!). A large amount of people passing by your table may not of heard of you before this convention. People who are coming to the convention also might of had to pay entry and travel, and have their eye on a few other must buys first.
10) bring a big bottle of water! (and maybe a small one you can refill during the day!) chatting away all day about your comic is totally thirsty work!
11) Bring a freebie with your website on!!
at past conventions i’ve had flyers, mini comics and this time round, stickers.
if you’re paying for printing, I would go for the sticker over the flyer (but I would also recommend having flyers available on your table?)! I always feel a bit of a nuisance handing out flyers, but stickers are way more fun and functional! Free comics are great because if someone was on the fence on getting your comic or passing by, a free comic will give them a clearer example of your work and might inspire a sale online or next time round, if not push them to find more of your comics/help introduce them to you!
flyers are great because they (should!) have all your links so it’s easy for someone to check your work out after.
Figure out how much the convention is going to cost so you know what you need to make to break even. Have a vague idea of how you want to lay out your table before you get there. Get a nice table cloth and iron it (two things I have not done myself but always think about during conventions!!)
Try and release something around the time of the convention, so it can debut at the convention? (Conventions make really good deadlines! BUT make sure your print deadline is way before the convention though so whoever is printing it has time to print it and send it!!)
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY!
make sure you check out the other exhibitors!! People at comic conventions are so friendly and enthusiastic! You meet the best people and you’ll probably catch them again at your next convention! They’ll also probably be able to help you out/offer you great advice if you need it! :>
also bringing a table buddy with you is also nice
feel free to reblog and add tasty exhibitor tips! give yourself a pat on the back if you got this far.