Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Convention Table set up

So, with Vcon past, we had the opportunity to test out how different table displays were successful or unsuccessful. Each day of the convention we changed the table display. I'll go ever each day and what worked, and what didn't.
Day 1:
Okay, here we are. as an overview, we tried to make the centre of the table the focus. Our highest priced item #3 was a one of a kind sculpture of tasirt. We put him in the middle thinking he's the focus there. but as you can see, he's totally not. in fact there IS no focus to this table layout. the main project, Daqueran comics #1 are way off to the side, and yes they have lights around them but it doesn't make them have any impact at all. Our prints #4 are in closed black books, and look like nothing. The business cards, notebooks, and mini comics blend together #5, and the sketch cards are just floating in their little folder #7. #2 and #9 are signage advertising ghost tales pre order, and sketch card commissions. those are the only things that stand out on the table, with good reason - bright colour! Same as our price signage. They're bright blue, and stand out like crazy. I've always been an advocate of clear price signage. No one is going to ask you how much something is. you have to have it displayed. They are aloof until they decide for sure they're going to buy. #10 is our rack of charms. It's stuffed in the corner with some puzzles underneath #11, but you cant even see them. they're non existent. #6 our banner, is not visible in the front of the table. not much we can do about it now. vertical banners are in our future.
So day 1: entire layout, is bad. Signage and price tags are good.

Day 2:

Day 2 did little to improve the layout. We added some canvas prints #1, moved the lights to the ghost tales display, and propped the pendants on a necklace display.Things overall looked more clean and simplified, and sales did improve quite a bit. Dopey looking Guru probably didn't help that much, HA!
Tasirt in his plastic case didn't work too well. He's still invisible. Why are the prints books still closed?! We just forgot to fuss with them.

Day 3:

day 3 was a winning day! I mean, it did have the benefit of being the most traffic day, and in general the last day of a con is the best, but we learned some valuable things.
Clarity! This table is clean, there is space between each item and each thing stands out of its own.#1 ghost tales was moved to the side, and we included a ghost tales mini comic right next to it. This made it easier to promote the Anthology. we could mention the mini comic showing them an example from the anthology, then also show them that a pre-order is available. It was great. We moved the charm rack to the centre, and put the lights on it. this worked best! The rack was black, set against the yellow wall, so it stood out, and the lights really enhanced it against the black. This is the only day of the 3 that we sold charms at all! #3 the canvas prints are together, and once we sold one we moved the sketch card sign down onto the stand from the wall. #4 the Daqueran comics are with the New reader pack instead of being separated. Same situation as the Ghost tales. It allowed us to streamline our customer interactions, thus getting better results. Last but not least #5 , the prints! finally they're folded out!the price sign was on the table above them, and just about everyone who stopped flipped through. we sold several of them as a result. We actually got compliments on our table display from several people on this day. This was clearly successful.
Sometimes talking to people it scares them off, but when you're not selling a product people know about (like fanart) and you're promoting your own work, you need to sell it verbally!
Talk to your customers, and tell them about your project. come up with a streamlined little description for each of your projects, and spew it out at everyone who stops by and shows an interest. We had a little tagline for Daqueran that was just working so well. Ya, its hard to muster the courage to talk to strangers sometimes, but it's the difference between selling your stuff, or sitting around frustrated that your stuff isn't selling.
So I hope this was a little useful for fellow con goers out there. We're getting pretty experienced at the little cons! As a side note, on the Gurukitty website now on that side ---> there is a little widget that shows our upcoming convention appearances! check it out often.

We also got the proof for the Ghost Tales comic today! you can check out some photos of it on our facebook page!

Monday, 3 October 2011

Vcon Report

Well we survived Vcon which was our first 3 day convention. We think we did okay considering it was our first time in that convention, and we didn't know what the traffic and stuff was going to be like. There was some good and some bad parts of it; but in the end we pre-registered and paid for the con next year already. (So yes, We'll be at Vcon Next year September 28, 29 &30th.
So lets do a little review of Vcon for those of you thinking of taking a chance on the artist alley.
I'l going to start with the Cons so that the blog ends on a high Note.

  • The venue was pretty easy for me to find because I had been there before, but some outdoor signage would have been a huge help! 
  • In the area where Vcon actually was there was absolutely no garbages! Turns out there were a couple small bins under the water service on each end, but there really should have been a big bin in the hallway somewhere. We had to keep going into the bathroom to throw garbage out.
  • Most cons I've been to had major enforcement when it came to blocking walkways and doors for photos but the people in the booth beside us basically kept our aisle blocked off from people the entire weekend. I saw many people avoid the alley all together because of it. We also had people really blocking the way into the Vendor area getting photos of the GhostBusters. also not cool. 
  • We were against the wall in a new table set up and god it was cramped! we couldn't get out of our area without having to get everyone in the table beside us to move out of the way, and they have huge cameras blocking the path sometimes. We also were very close to the wall making everything awkward. If you can ever help it, get an outside table! We did talk to the host of Vcon about it, and she agreed and said maybe next time 2 tables per section. then people won't have the problem next year. 
Now, onto the pros!
  • The attention from the staff of Vcon was awesome. They'd come check on you now and then and see if everything was ok. That was Nice!
  • Water service! There were 2 tubs of water with cups in the vendors room! a godsend! It was quite dry and I'm always thirsty! 
  • There was a hospitality room with food that was free (technically by donation). I never got to take advantage because every time I went up there was a technical issue! HAHA! Lot's of people did take advantage of it though, and it's a great service!
  • In the end the traffic was worth the effort, and they gave us a bit of a discount for pre registering on the spot! That's nice too!
There was a fair amount of traffic on the Sunday, but a lot of people just wizz by the tables without looking down. If you're going to have a table at Vcon the best thing you can do is engage with your customers. explain your story to them and sell them on your idea. People who just stroll by without getting talked to, don't generally buy. We had to basically pitch Daqueran to everyone and the ones we pitched to, bought the new reader pack. If you're the type of person that just sits by and does nothing to engage with customers you'll do badly at Vcon. There were lots of cos players and lots of the vendors were dressed up in fantasy and medieval clothing. It was good, and in the future we're thinking that dressing up wouldn't hurt us at all.

As far as sales, what sold well was the New Reader pack, Prints (surprising!) and  Charms (our ghosts, and tiks). Like I said though, we had to engage with any of the customers who were going to purchase anything. Stuff just doesn't sell itself there, and it's a very specific audience.
Come to a con like that prepared with a cash float. Everyone paid with $20 bills. I saw lots of my table mates struggling with trying to make change from their wallets.
Friday's traffic was so slow, we barely sold anything that day, until the last person of the day made it worth our while. Saturday was a bit better but not much and we were ready to give up on the con at that point but then sunday was the main traffic day. that was the spending day for sure!

I went around and collected the business cards of all the people that were in the artist Alley so I'll post a list of them all here! check them out! they're all great!

EchoesLight -Amanda Rose (my table neighbour!)
Albert Art - across the aisle neighbour!

Well that's about it. The next convention we'll be at is Vancouver Comic Con at heritage hall in Vancouver. November 13th!

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