Comic Fury Webcomic Hosting - convention success stories!

You are not logged in. Log in, Register, More info
Forum > Webcomic & Art discussion > convention success stories!
Pages: [1]

"convention success stories!", 11 days ago, 7:55 PM #1
joeyballast
still has a soul
User avatar
Posts: 756
Registration date: 12th Oct 2014
I tabled at my second convention last weekend (first big convention).

Spoilered for rant.



TL;DR: I didn't bring any posters or merch to sell and ended up making money selling nothing but commissions.

So I'm curious. Has anyone else gone to a convention and had great success? What things did you do that really worked and made you money? What things just didn't work at all?

From this convention my advice to anyone from now on would be:

a) Offer commissions.
b) Have examples of your commission work people can browse.
c) Make sure people can see what you're working on.
d) Keep your pricing flexible.
e) Be prepared to work your ass off.
_______________________
image
11 days ago, 8:45 PM #2
Robotwin.com

User avatar
Posts: 2709
Registration date: 22nd Sep 2010
Location: USA, Milky Way
I'm gonna get three feet of a sex foot table.


Wow.

I wonder if printing fanart posters is even worth it for my next con...?


If you have to lug a printer and print everything anyway, why can't you print fan art posters in addition to printing commissions?


A long time ago, I had a couple of successful conventions by selling my original comics and traditional media commissions. I felt unworthy and didn't really enjoy it, so I stopped doing it. But I'm delighted to see other artists enjoy it and be successful.
11 days ago, 10:21 PM #3
Timelapse11

User avatar
Posts: 362
Registration date: 14th May 2017
Location: UK
My first con was okay, I didn't sell much, and the last one I went too I sold 1 drawing, mainly because no one came to the con because of the roadworks in my town.
I nearly sold 2 posters though, but the kid was misbehaving so the mum wouldn't buy them, XD, not that I blame the woman.
Next year I'll be selling my comic.
_______________________
image
image


11 days ago, 10:39 PM #4
Leafa

User avatar
Posts: 1327
Registration date: 22nd Sep 2009
Location: UK
Cooool! I haven't been to a con (I'd need a bit of forewarning and to share a table, like you did!) but I'm pleased to hear it went so well for you.

I think the live drawing idea is great, I'm surprised i didn't see anyone doing that at London Comicon this year. I find it so awkward going up to look at tables when the table-holder is right there looking hopefully at you! I think if the person was drawing and i could see what they were doing by looking at a screen it would be way less weird, and I'd be a lot more likely to browse their wares in comfort.
_______________________
image
image
10 days ago, 1:21 AM #5
joeyballast
still has a soul
User avatar
Posts: 756
Registration date: 12th Oct 2014
Robotwin.com:Wow.



I shall let my hilarious typo stand!

Robotwin.com:

If you have to lug a printer and print everything anyway, why can't you print fan art posters in addition to printing commissions?



Most of my posters use large blocks of flat colour. Printing them out myself would run through ink cartridges pretty quick and end up being more expensive than have them printed professionally.

Merged Doublepost:

Leafa:
I think the live drawing idea is great, I'm surprised i didn't see anyone doing that at London Comicon this year. I find it so awkward going up to look at tables when the table-holder is right there looking hopefully at you! I think if the person was drawing and i could see what they were doing by looking at a screen it would be way less weird, and I'd be a lot more likely to browse their wares in comfort.


That's an interesting take on it! A friend of mine goes to cons and he HATES it when he approaches a table and he's not acknowledged. I'd be interested to see a comparison between me drawing while people browsed vs. me drawing while someone sold and interacted with customers for me.
_______________________
image
10 days ago, 3:04 AM #6
zerothe3rd

User avatar
Posts: 312
Registration date: 5th Feb 2014
Location: California
joeyballast:! A friend of mine goes to cons and he HATES it when he approaches a table and he's not acknowledged. I'd be interested to see a comparison between me drawing while people browsed vs. me drawing while someone sold and interacted with customers for me.


As someone who worked in sales for 7 years, I managed multiple stores, you WANT to engage every person who comes up with at least a hello. I have friends who sell at cons and I used to sit at their tables; sell things because it was fun.

Then I'd wander away after an hour or so after selling a bunch of stuff. Often times just having someone engage the customer like they matter is enough to sell something. You don't need to show them anything, (I often did because that's how I sell), just acknowledge that they're people. A simple comment on their cosplay or shirt is more than enough to start a conversation.

If you make most of your money off of Commissions than prints than clearly that can't work out. However it would be smart to make a ton of prints of popular characters and sell those WHILE taking Commissions.

How many business cards did you guys bring to cons?
_______________________
image

10 days ago, 4:49 AM #7
joeyballast
still has a soul
User avatar
Posts: 756
Registration date: 12th Oct 2014
I absolutely agree that people need to be acknowledged when approach your table. It always amazes me when vendors at cons sit with their phones out.

And yes. My plan for next time (when I have a full table) is to have prints as well as taking commissions.

As for the business cards I took one hundred. Next time I'll bring more. Then again I really tried to hand them out like candy. Anyone and everyone who was remotely interested got a business card.
_______________________
image
10 days ago, 10:29 AM #8
Damatris

User avatar
Posts: 2237
Registration date: 4th Mar 2014
Location: Finland
This is gonna get long...

I've been selling at maybe... 9 (? Could be couple more) and 99% percent of time gotten pretty OK/good profit after deducing all costs, even eating included.

Only time that didn't happen was this summer at Worldcon, although I sold a bit more than ever before. I just had huge expenses since I had to print everything in one go as I didn't have any leftovers from before. And it also included 80 batch of 1st volume of my comic. xD Good thing is, I don't necessarily have to print anything for the next con in February. Unless (and when) I make something new. And even that's not something I absolutely have to do since everything at Worldcon was new and I haven't been at a con selling them since.

I too recommend offering commissions on top of prints/merch. It's really good way to make profit since expenses are pretty non-existent with those. And it's a good way of attracting potential customers. I've sold sketches, inked pieces and couple of times also small watercolours.

I tend to price them by the time it takes me to make them and the technique. They have been 10min, 30min, 1hour and 1.5h. That way I can keep tabs on my hourly "salary" and customers know when to come back for them. And yes, you definitely need to have examples of the sort of commissions your offering.

Small cheap things are also something people generally like. Postcards and magnets have worked well for me. Then there's obviously prints. I'd recommend having them in couple different sizes since people have differing tastes and/or available space for them.

Comics too attract a specific group. I have a few different ones I'm selling, most of them B&W zines I've printed myself and stapled together. Although since I had Fallacy's 1st chapter printed for Worldcon, I'm able to sell that too! So far it has been selling well and a bit over 1/4th have been sold after selling it at 2 venues.

It's not necessary to have a huge spread of different things but being able to show a "full" table is recommended. And try to have as much of your products as possible displayed vertically so passerbys can see them. Having everything flat against the table doesn't attract attention. I like to also have "laundry line" overhead where prints are really easy to clip and people can see them even if someone else is perusing things on the table.
_______________________
image
imageimage
9 days ago, 9:43 PM #9
Leafa

User avatar
Posts: 1327
Registration date: 22nd Sep 2009
Location: UK
I agree that acknowledging someone visiting your table and swapping hellos is essential (it would be a bit weird if you didn't...!) I guess I just meant that the fact that you're drawing can be used as a bit of an icebreaker?
_______________________
image
image
8 days ago, 4:24 PM #10
joeyballast
still has a soul
User avatar
Posts: 756
Registration date: 12th Oct 2014
It worked well as an icebreaker, yeah! Lots of people had questions about the program I was using (Almost no one knows that Corel Painter exists!), or the hardware setup. Pretty easy to strike up a conversation.
_______________________
image
Forum > Webcomic & Art discussion > convention success stories!
Pages: [1]