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Wizard World Chicago 2013

edited July 2013 in On The Road
Wizard World Chicago runs Aug. 8-11, and I'll be in AA booth B26. Here's where my besties will be:
* Art Baltazar, C19 (almost across from me)
* Brian Babendererde , J11
* Christopher Mitten, F3
* David Mack, B37
* Franco , C21
* Jeff Balke, E11
* Jim McClain, G3
* Steve Horton, L39
* Tom Kelly, J33
* Tom Nguyen, D1
* Trevor Mueller, F36
So come check us out. Buy some comics and art. Be nerdy. Have fun.

Comments

  • Updated. Trevor, Steve Jim and I now are in e2 to e8.
  • That much awesome in a single row? I'm impressed the universe allowed such a thing to happen. :)
  • We are KILLING IT. Trevor has sold lots of Albert, Steve is moving Amala, Jim has sold 25 copies of Solution Squad already. As for me, I'm selling a bit of everything. Mostly Strawberry Shortcake and Aw Yeah, which was expected. Fewer Kagemono than expected. Still, on pace to be a record con.
  • I have but one complaint about this show: The 3G/4G access was nonexistent after noon. And that just can't be at a retail show like this. It's not Wizard's fault, it's the con center. They need signal boosters or free sponsored Wi-Fi or something, because we had to stop taking Square sales each day. And that meant customers stopped trying to make purchases, because they knew cards weren't working. It was a cascading effect, as Tom Kelly said.

     

    Now that that's out of the way: AWESOME SHOW. Some people in AA complained about poor sales. The guy across the row from us, for example. But dude: You're selling custom made fangs in Artist Alley. YOU ARE IN THE WRONG LOCATION. Lady selling plushies? YOU ARE IN THE WRONG LOCATION. Dude with decent artistic ability selling the same type of prints as 40 other artists? YOU ARE NOT OFFERING ORIGINAL PRODUCT.

     

    Those of us who brought their A-level sales game and had good product sold. PERIOD. And that means me and my guys.

    My totals:

    Strawberry Shortcake floppies: 22 (plus 10 given away as incentives)

    SS digests: 29

    Best of OCP trade: 9

    One Last Thing: My final two

    Kagemono: 10 (fewer than I expected, but still good)

    Aw Yeah Comics: 35

    OCP singles: 4

    My art: $94 in cards and prints
    Marv's art: 3 pages for $52 (I owe you a check, @MarvinMann)

    Books from my shortbox: $27. Biggest surprise of the show, few people even looked at these

    Total sales: Over a grand, beating my $900 target

    Trevor and Steve also exceeded their targets.

    More later.

  • I'm really glad to hear this, Russell.

    From a fan perspective (which is the only way I've ever attended the show) -- I really hated that show after Marvel and DC bailed for C2E2. There were certain things I could count on -- a $50 weekend pass (which was an actual badge and not a wristband that started to smell by Saturday afternoon), a chance to interact with pros, show incentives and exclusives that could offset the cost of the trip -- and that stuff all seemed to disappear at once. 

    Now that I actually have things to sell, I'm already half-convinced to try my luck with an AA table next year. If only Wizard wasn't doing such a great job of running what used to be my other favorite con (Mid-Ohio) into the ground.
  • @EricPalicki WWC is very similar to Mid-Ohio Con. However, how we are able to stand out and do well is by selling and pitching to everyone we can.

    I was down two trades this year (RWP and Hope are both gone and out of print), so my sales were down compared to last year. However, I was still able to meet my goals of over $500 for the weekend - which more than covered my table and expenses.

    Similar things happened to me at Mid-Ohio last year (although I think I was up last year), where I had a pretty good show - but I had to work twice as hard to make it happen.
  • Trevor is right, it's a matter of how hard you work. The guy directly across from me was selling horror prints, And they werent bad. But he sat at his table all weekend, rarely looking up or talking to people. I think he had two sales. That his wife was grooming his daughters hair for an hour one morning at the fucking table didn't help.
  • WHAT NOT TO DO: the no-name guy holding up a sloppily drawn paper sign over his head that read CAN I TELL YOU ABOUT MY COMIC? I saw him from 20 feet away and walked down the other side of the aisle. that hurt him and the tables on either side of him.
  • Another dick move: a creator named Onrie Kompan stands in front of his AA table and hawks his book to passersby like the workers handing out hooker fliers on the Las Vegas strip. If I was exhibiting next to him, I'd try to have him kicked out of the show.
  • Glad to hear you guys kicked ass!

    There's a webcomic guy that has a whole stack of signs and a funny shtick that goes with it - he never says a word. (A friend of Dirk's maybe... or I just see them at the same cons.) Sounds like it's someone ripping off his idea and missing the entire point, so they deserve to have bad sales. (The neighbors didn't though.)

    Makes me realize how lucky I've been with table neighbors over the years.
  • edited August 2013
    Surprised he didn't do the card-snapping thing like the hooker fliers guys do. :) 

    My goal was actually to break my record this year, and I was about $70 short. I couldn't move any anthology trades (well, one), but I sold over 130 Amala comics. I'll have the Amala trades next year and should move even more to people who don't like singles. (My plan is to continue ordering #0 and/or #1 and sell it as an intro to the TPB; come back that weekend if you like it, and get $2 off the trade.)

    Fantastic, well-run show -- literally, no complaints about how we were treated, our placement, professionalism of staff, or anything, really. Can't ask for better.

    You know those shows where people just come up to your table and selling is like giving candy to a baby? This wasn't one of those shows. You had to stand up, call people over and work for it. If you did so, you were rewarded. If you didn't, you were that guy that got two sales.
  • You know those shows where people just come up to your table and selling is like giving candy to a baby? This wasn't one of those shows. You had to stand up, call people over and work for it. If you did so, you were rewarded. If you didn't, you were that guy that got two sales.
    This is why I envy those of you who can do this. I could probably handle some one-on-one sales with people who just wanted to be sold to – that's just flirting, and I can do that – but in a crowded room with that many people around, I'd be whimpering under the table.
  • So, full disclosure: I know Onrie a little bit (online) and he seems like a good dude, in general.  Plus his book is pretty cool and it looks good. Soooo:

    Trevor is right, it's a matter of how hard you work.


    On the one hand, you make a point that you have to work hard to attract attention, to move your books.  But on the other hand:

    Another dick move: a creator named Onrie Kompan stands in front of his AA table and hawks his book to passersby like the workers handing out hooker fliers on the Las Vegas strip. If I was exhibiting next to him, I'd try to have him kicked out of the show.

    Maybe it's just me, but there seems to be some cognitive disconnect going on here - he's standing in front of his table talking to passersby to sell his book...  How is that *not* working it?  Or rather, what was the problem you saw with this activity?  Did this impede *your* sales or traffic in some fashion?  I wasn't at the show, so I'm really honestly curious...  and also, I've done something similar in the past if I've had easy access to get back behind the table, or someone else to do it for me (I had a sleight of hand magician doing card tricks in front of my table one year, in fact).  Can you explain the con etiquette faux pas that I must be missing?

  • This is why I envy those of you who can do this. I could probably handle some one-on-one sales with people who just wanted to be sold to – that's just flirting, and I can do that – but in a crowded room with that many people around, I'd be whimpering under the table.
    Some people can do it, others can't. I enjoy the retail sales experience, going back to high school and college when I worked in record stores.
  • edited August 2013
    Maybe it's just me, but there seems to be some cognitive disconnect going on here - he's standing in front of his table talking to passersby to sell his book...  How is that *not* working it?  Or rather, what was the problem you saw with this activity?  Did this impede *your* sales or traffic in some fashion?  I wasn't at the show, so I'm really honestly curious...  and also, I've done something similar in the past if I've had easy access to get back behind the table, or someone else to do it for me (I had a sleight of hand magician doing card tricks in front of my table one year, in fact).  Can you explain the con etiquette faux pas that I must be missing?
    Sure. And it's not just me; a well-known writer who's a pal of mine from college emailed me to warn me about Onrie when he saw we were supposed to be in the same row. He'd exhibited next to him once and didn't sell a damn book. Here's why:
    1. Artist Alleys have a certain expectation: creator behind a table selling wares. Now, I like breaking expectations if done in a socially acceptable way. But that rule is there for a reason. It keeps the traffic flowing.
    2. If a creator is standing in front of an AA table and physically approaching people to tell them about his book, many people will veer away from him. I saw this happen. And the veer doesn't start in front of the booth, nor does it end there. The approach begins earlier in the row and ends later in the row, like a large arc at the center of which is the artist in question. Make sense?
    3. So, because people are veering away from the artist in front of the table -- or just avoiding the row entirely, as I did after the first day -- the other people in that row are potentially losing sales and the customers who encounter the guy are not enjoying the experience, which sours them on other AA purchases in the short term and on the show in the long term.


    All that being said, I could be very wrong. He could be a helluva nice guy and he could be getting great sales from this approach and his neighbors may love him. But I know one guy who didn't, and I certainly didn't like what I saw as a shopper. And I was shopping at the time.
  • And it turns out I was VERY wrong about the other guy, the one with the sign. It turns out he's partners with a FB friend of mine, and the friend explained to me that his pal had sold a TON of books and lost his voice. After checking with his booth neighbors, he started using the sign. No one complained, and everyone did well.

    I learned all that when the FB friend emailed me to explain the situation, and I apologized A LOT.
  • Fair enough.  If he was driving people away from the row, or interrupting the flow of traffic, I guess that's probably not an ideal situation.  A solution might be to mention to the person in question that their tactic might be backfiring (in a polite and tactful manner, of course) and that they might need to try something different.

    The magician at my table did draw a crowd, and this led to sales (the cards were custom printed with the cover of the book also, so when people took a card home with them, it had the tagline and website printed on it as well...) and in fact he got himself some local television coverage out of the bargain.  I suspect it may have blocked traffic as well, but a) people were entertained and b) I was selling books and prints, so it worked the way it was intended, drawing people in, rather than scaring them off.
  • At the Calgary con a few years ago, five of us who worked on the Acts of Violence crime anthology had a booth together. A couple of the guys were out in front of the booth trying to drum up business and generate some awareness. It worked amazingly well. Granted, we weren't in A.A., we were out by the Ghostbusters car (does that have a name?)...so it's kind of a different situation. But still, worked really well.
  • If you have a 10x10 small press or exhibitor space, you can use it however you want. Be creative!
  • Ecto-1 is the Ghostbusters car.

    ...and I remember Tyrese Gibson hawking his Mayhem in front of the Image booth at SDCC a few years ago. The crowd he attracted made it impossible to visit any of the other creators (including Jimmie and Derek) at the booth.
  • I have to put in my two cents worth. Flow is everything when it comes to Artist's Alley at a convention. Often times the aisles may even be slightly more narrow there as they try to fit a lot people into the show. I've noticed that if people get distracted or the flow is interrupted, they may not be back.

    Small press is a different beast, There's a lot more going on there. There is also a lot more of an expectation of showmanship (for lack of a better term). Booths are bigger and the aisles are wider which allow for a better flow of traffic.

    These are my experiences anyway.
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