My Comic Con Life: Introduction & The Little things that can make a BIG difference at a Con by Christine Carbone
Posted on May 04, 2014 | Comments (0)
President of Marketing/Content Editor
Hi there! I am super excited (nervous, anxious) to be writing my first guest blog for the site. This has been on the to do list for a while, but, to be honest, I wasn’t quite sure where to start, and I didn't know who would want to read my perspective.
In 2012-2013 Casey and I started to plan our promotional strategy for The Shadow of the Gauntlet. Comic Cons were the ideal fit for our brand, and we chose Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con to be the debut event for the novel. Looking back a year to April and May of 2013, I realize how green we were and how far we have come in terms of marketing and just being prepared.
I hope that with a few lists (one of my favorite things) and through some anecdotes, I can help anyone that is preparing to vend at a con or just provide some comedy for those of you who enjoy the behind-the-scenes view of things.
In the interest of disclosure, I am new to almost all things that go along with Comic Cons. So if I sound uneducated in all things geek, it is because I am just learning.
Honestly, five years ago I could not have told you the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars, beyond that cute, furry things existed in one. Marvel vs. DC was not a part of my lexicon and Doctor Who?
So bear with me, or laugh with (at) me, as we go through My Comic Con life!
My First List: Seven Little (Silly) Things That Can Make a Big Difference at a Comic Con
1. Dress in layers
Convention halls are notoriously freezing, and if you think about it, it makes sense. Thousands of people, many in costumes all in a confined area . . . I can handle wearing a cardigan vs. smelling a ton of sweaty people any day! So be prepared and layer it up! But make sure you layer in accordance to your brand/marketing strategy. If you have a logo on your shirt that you need customers to see make sure you layer underneath or with a blazer, etc.
2. Napkins, plastic utensils, and such
I will touch upon food in a post on hotel living, but trust me, not having these essentials will cramp your style when you have 5 minutes to eat. I keep spare napkins and utensils (and mayo, mustard packets) in our set up bin. I restock it every couple of shows. If you forget, most conventions will have food vendors where you can grab some. But if you are going to be manning your booth all day, you don’t want to be missing a fork for your salad!
3. Bring bags/can for garbage
Bigger conventions provide garbage cans, and that is extremely convenient. However, even if they are provided, they are often small, so it is good to have a back up. You will be surprised how much garbage you create. If you aren’t careful behind the table or in the booth it will get quite messy. After spending all the time on your set up, the last thing you want is to present garbage filled area to your customers.
4. Hand Sanitizer
Hand Sanitizer is a must! I leave it right out on the booth near the register so I remember to use it regularly. Hopefully you will be touching a lot of money at the convention. Hand sanitizer will help you stay as germ free as you can.
5. Bring something to jot down ideas/notes
I write lists in my sleep, but for me lists/notes, everything needs to be written on paper. In this age of technology that is somewhat antiquated. However, Casey knowingly ordered company notebooks just for me! I use them religiously, but I have forgotten to bring one to at least half of the shows. It would be so much easier to keep my lists organized if I would just remember. Instead, I end up using some of our promotional material, which is not good for organization or our bottom line. I have one stored in the register now, so no excuses. If you prefer storing information electronically, be sure to charge your phone or tablet.
6. Folder or envelope for receipts
There will be a complete post dedicated to the always fun tax/financial end of things. But trust me on this one; you need a place to keep receipts. Casey and I just started bringing a dedicate envelope to store them in, and it makes life so much easier. No more rummaging through pockets or purses. The envelope should be small enough to fit in something that is always with you, in our case my purse, so that you can immediately “file” the receipts.
7. Keep cards on you at all times
Casey and I only remember to do this about 40% of the time. When you are done at the show, you are not really done. If you are in a city that is hosting multi-day shows it will inevitably come up in a conversation outside of the convention center. Be prepared. It will help.
Thanks for reading! Let me know if you have any questions or if there is a list you would like to see in the comments section.
May the 4th be with you!