This weekend I will be vending in the artists' alley at the Cincy Comic Con, at the Norther Kentucky Convention Center in Convington. This is my third year at this show, which I like for the laid back attitude and lack of T.V. and other big pop culture icons.
I will be there with Lucas and our friend Julie if anyone wants to swing by you can find me right as you walk into the hall at D-01 (such a sweet spot this year!)
I've only been doing conventions for a short while now, and there are a few things that anyone who is interested in should know. First and foremost is to check out the local conventions in the area, or any else you are interested in going to as an exhibitor. If possible go as an attendee first so you can scope things out and ask questions about the show.
Once that is done and over with, and you have signed up and are getting ready, like I am now, here are a few things to keep in mind for prep:
For me this is probably the most important thing, and with it I lump in (though not shown currently) is my check list as well. Having these things will make everything pretty much a cake walk.
Here's a sneak peek at some of the stuff in my kit.
*My Square Reader, signage of what forms of payment I accept, a portable USB charger, and a stylus (I also will have a sectioned case with small bills in $1-$5-$10 that totals about $150-$200 for those with cash who need change.
*Double sided tape and regular tape, as well as something a little heavier duty
*Band aids, breath mints, Tylenol, hand sanitizer, kleenex, and Halls (I also carry spare tampons and pantyliners for emergencies)
*A small paper cutter (to trim down ACEOs), scissors, and an exacto, as well as rubber bands, bull clips, and bobby pins.
*Pens, pencils, markers, extra pencil lead, erasers, and post-it notes.
I also have my newsletter sign up ready to go, business cards, a freebie bookmark with my etsy shop information on it, and my convention log book (this is also very important to have. I keep track of sales and inventory in this, as well as take information for commissions in here),
Other important things you will need:
*Prints (I keep mine in clear folders, tabbed and labeled for easy access), and a print book
*Crates for display (I have a few that I use for original art, matted prints, and smaller originals)
*Signage and pricing so that people know how much things cost, including commissions if you choose to do them
*Sleeves and backing board
*Vertical display of some kind (I have a PVC pipe backdrop that cost less than $25 in parts), and a banner or sign with your name clearly visible on it, perhaps with your website as well
*If you are doing commissions, then supplies for that kind of business (for me this includes Bristol pads, masking tape, a clipboard, paper towels, a water container (PLASTIC, NOT GLASS), my paintbrushes, pencil and eraser, and my paints)
*Table cloth for your table and an extra to cover up with at the end of the show day
*Plenty of water, along with something with caffeine (if you rely on that), snacks (make sure they aren't messy ones!), a bag for trash in case you don't have a waste bin at your table (be courteous and throw out your garbage so your space doesn't smell or attract flies as this is not only gross for you, but for your potential customers and neighbors)
*A sweater or cardigan because it gets chilly often. Also dress comfortably, and maybe bring a padded seat pillow too if you want
*A hand cart or dolly. You can buy one for under $30 at Walmart, and it's worth it. Make sure to put your name on it. I also have a crafter's rolly thing (<--- that is the official name, I swear) that I use to cart my prints and sleeves around in.
I can't express how important it is to be nice to people. Be nice to the security, to the staff, and to your neighbors. I like to introduce myself to the people near me at a show not just to be nice and friendly, but to let them know that if they need to step away for a bit to grab a snack or go to the restroom that they can ask me to watch their table. Most people will be kind and return the favor. But it's also a great way to network and grow your convention family as well.
Get plenty or rest, eat a good breakfast, and don't drink yourself sick! Otherwise have fun!
I'll be doing a follow up post to this one soon! Till then, hope to see ya around sometime!